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Amex Business Green Rewards Card Review

For any business owner, having affordable access to funding is a key to ongoing success. The additional of a credit card geared specifically toward operating a business is ideal for making major purchases for the company without having to tap into precious cash on hand. Having the opportunity earn rewards on those credit card purchases for the business is beneficial as well, as it ultimately leads to valuable points that can be used for a variety of business – or personal – redemption.

American Express offers a number of credit cards designed with the business owner in mind. The Business Green Rewards credit card is a simple business card that provides a number of benefits and perks only found under the American Express name. But first, the card basics.

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The Ins and Outs of Business Green

True to the American Express way, the Business Green Rewards credit card is not truly a credit card. Instead, it operates as a charge card for business owners. This means that any purchases made with the Green Rewards card are to be paid in full by the time the due date rolls around, and balances are not carried forward from month to month. This allows American Express to offer the Business Green Rewards credit (charge) card to business owners without the confines of a spending or credit limit, and without any interest charges each billing cycle.

The absence of a spending limit is beneficial to business owners in times where cash flow is tight, but the Membership Rewards offered through American Express provide an additional perk to utilizing the Green Rewards card for the majority of business-related spending. Card members earn one point for each dollar spent on qualifying purchases. The spending categories that qualify for rewards points are generally in the realm of business purchases, making this card a great fit for business owners who buy often, or buy heavily for the company.

In addition, card members earn two points for each dollar spent on travel accommodations booked through the American Express Travel website. For business owners always on the go, the bonus points earned for travel purchases are a valuable added benefit. Regardless of how they are earned, accumulated Membership Rewards points can be used toward over a million reward options through American Express. Shopping and gift cards at partner merchants, restaurants, retailers and travel can all be purchased with Membership Rewards points. Card members also have the newly added option of paying with accumulated points through the American Express travel site when reservations or bookings are made.

Currently, American Express is offering a welcome bonus for new card members who apply for an accept the Green Rewards card. After the first qualifying purchase is made with the card within 365 days of account opening, 5,000 bonus Membership Rewards points are added to the account automatically.

Green Rewards Benefits

Business owners who are Green Rewards card members have access to a wide range of additional perks offered through the American Express program. Both mobile and tablet applications are available that make paying monthly bills, checking an account balance, reviewing benefits and general card management simple on the go. Card members can also establish account alerts that provide real-time information on payment due dates, irregular spending activity or purchases.

To assist business owners in maintaining a solid grip on purchase habits and total spending each bill cycle, American Express Business Green Rewards card members also have access to free features that include the ability to add a trusted partner as account manager. Green card account managers can handle everyday tasks related to the credit card, like making payment and disputing charges. ReceiptMatch is another great tool offered directly to Business Green Rewards card members that allows card members the ability to easily add receipts to an account and tag, note or manage transactions to ensure spending is monitored and controlled.

Additional cards can be authorized for use by card members, giving them the opportunity to earn additional rewards through employee spending. Fret not, however; employee cards can be set-up with specific spending limits and account alerts that let the business owner know who is spending on what each month, and to what extent.

One of the most helpful features of American Express is the OPEN Forum – a repository of articles and educational information focuses on financial management for business owners. Tools and advice are available at no additional cost to card members.

Finally, Business Green Rewards card members have built in purchase protection and extended warranty provisions up to certain limits on qualified purchases. Card members also have travel accident insurance, baggage insurance coverage, rental car loss and damage insurance as well as access to the Global Assist Hotline.

Green Rewards Card Costs

As a chard card, the American Express Business Green Rewards card does not accrue interest on outstanding balances; instead, card members are required to pay any accumulated spending in full each month. The Green Rewards card does carry an annual fee of $95, but the charge is waived for the first year for new card members. For business owners who plan to spend or travel heavily outside the United States, the Green Rewards card may not be the smartest option as it does impose foreign transaction fees of 2.7% on purchases made outside the country.

The American Express Business Green Rewards card does not have a spending or credit limit as a charge card, but card members should be aware that late payment fees apply. A charge of $38 or 2.99% of the outstanding balance, whichever is greater, is due on any payments made past the due date. Additionally, a returned payment fee of $38 applies.

Final Thoughts

The American Express Business Green Rewards charge card is a smart choice for business owners who like simplicity in a card and in their rewards program. The ability to earn two times the points on certain business-related categories allows card members to accumulate valuable points that can be redeemed for a wide range of rewards. Even more value is attached to travel purchases when made through the American Express Travel sit. However, for business owners who have concerns over steady cash flow and do minimal spending on travel, another business-focused credit card may be a better, more suitable choice.

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The Plum Card from American Express Open Card Review

There are many options for credit and charge cards out there for business owners.  Between the major issuers, there are literally dozens.  However, each is targeted at a different business owner, as each business is uniquely different.  The Plum Card from American Express may be a card that you have not heard of before, so let’s dig into the benefits and see what it has in store!

 

Apply: The Plum Card® from American Express OPEN

Full marketing details:

  • Get a 1.5% discount for paying early or up to 60 days to pay without interest, or both each month.
  • Do business on your terms.
  • Pay no annual Membership fee for your first year. Then, pay $250 annually.
  • No annual fee for Employee Cards.
  • Terms & Restrictions Apply.

Benefits

  • Annual Fee

The annual fee of $250 is steep, but for card members in their first year, the fee is waived.  This is great for people looking to just try out a credit card first to see if its right for them.

  • Charge Card versus a Credit Card

One “benefit” is that you’ll be forced to pay off this card each month.  There are no interest charges as a result.

  • Deferred Payments

One unique feature of this card is that you can defer payment across months.  All you must do is pay 10% of the new charges of the month, plus all other deferred payments from previous months.  Then, you can defer the other 90% to next month’s bill.  None of these deferments are charged any interest, so that’s a major plus for business owners.

  • Early Payment Discount

For all people that pay within 10 days of your statement due date, you’ll earn a 1.5% discount on all purchases that month.  That’s a great benefit for those that are on top of their finances and can handle large credit.

  • Choosing Your Due Date

Another great option for business owners is the ability to choose when to pay your bill when you open your card, to fit your business needs.  This is a great option, because every business is different.

  • No Pre-Set Spending Limit

You can run up the bill, but you’ve got to pay it at the end of each month, remember!

  • Additional Benefits

The American Express standard “additional benefits” come standard on this card as well.  You’ll receive travel accident insurance and roadside assistance, car rental loss and damage insurance, purchase protection and extended warranty, and a baggage insurance option for when you travel.

 

The Nitty Gritty

As stated previously, there is no APR on this card, since you pay your bill each month.  In addition, you’ll pay $250 a year when after your first year to hold the card in your wallet.  Foreign transaction fees are at 2.7% for every dollar spent abroad, so be careful if you bring this card with you to foreign countries.  Penalty fees, if for whatever reason you do not pay your bill on time, is 1.5%, plus 2.99% of the past due amount.   The minimum charge is $35.

 

Conclusion

The Plum Card from American Express has some great benefits for business owners.  Between the deferred payments from month to month, to the discount for early payment, this card rocks.  The steep annual fee may be too much for some, but for others, the benefits may justify the price.

 

 

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American Express Premier Rewards Gold Card Review

The AmEx Premier Rewards Gold card offers bonus points for both airfare and everyday purchases.

(Heads up: If you like the Amex Premier Rewards Gold card, we also suggest the Barclaycard Arrival PlusTM World Elite MasterCard®, which currently comes with a 40,000 miles sign-up bonus!)

The American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card  is a very solid travel rewards card, and not just because you get the first year with no annual fee. Not only does the rewards program gives you triple points on airfare purchases, you also earn double points at gas stations and supermarkets. It’s nice to be rewarded for everyday purchases as well. (Terms and Limitations Apply)

By the way, “airfare” purchases do include just a little more than airline tickets. You will also get the 3x bonus for airline fees, such as pet fees or even award fees. The only thing necessary is for the purchase to be classified as “Airline-Travel.” Even Priceline purchases count. The real advantage is that these points can be converted into miles. That’s right, you can use them to transfer miles into any of AmEx’s transfer partners, thus being able to use them for award flights and upgrades.

The current offer gives you 20,000 sign up bonus points after hitting a spend threshold of $2,000 in the first three months. There might be a better promo out there, though. AmEx is known to send targeted offers of higher sign-up bonuses, usually with a special RSVP code. Also, if you spend at least $30,000 in one year, you will receive 15,000 bonus points. (Terms and Limitations Apply)

So is the $175 annual fee worth it? Well, that depends on how much you spend on airfare and at gas stations and supermarkets. If you take a conservative estimate valuing these transferable points at 1.5 cents apiece, you would pay for the annual fee with the rewards if you spent either $5833.33 at gas stations and supermarkets in a year, or $3,888.88 in airfare in a year. That’s a lot of airfare, but most families do meet the gas stations and supermarkets spending level.

A few more things to note. First off, the Premier Rewards Gold card comes with a foreign transaction fee of 2.7%, which we really hate to see on a travel rewards card. Also, there is no preset spending limit. But, since this is a charge card, you need to pay off your balance in full every month. Sometimes, if you qualify, AmEx will let you set up a payment plan. But we don’t recommend counting on that. In fact, we recommend always paying off your balance in full every month anyway — unless you love undoing your rewards and then some by throwing money away to interest charges. Finally, do be aware that the requirements for this card include an excellent credit score.

Check out our guide to benefits below.

Money Math

  • Annual Fee: $175 (waived for the first year)
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 2.7%
  • APR: No interest, because you pay the balance in full every month.
  • Late Fee/Returned Payment Fee: $35

Benefits

  • Receive dispute resolution assistance through AmEx
  • Purchase Protection: Yes, covers refunds, theft, damage for 90 days
  • Travel Insurance: Yes, covers travel accidents
  • Car Rental Insurance: Yes, covers damage/theft
  • Roadside Assistance: 24/7, covers emergency services up to four times in one year
  • Extended Warranty: Yes
  • Customer Service: 24/7 Global Assist Hotline offers a variety of concierge-like services such as business referrals, visa/customs issues, destination info, and more

Don’t forget to check out our list of the best travel credit cards and best rewards credit cards.