Best American Express Business Credit Cards

American Express Business Credit Cards

Benefits of an American Express Business Card

So what makes a business credit card from American Express superior to other brands? A lot, actually. In addition to the typical services you see with most business cards, like cash advance or being able to get employee cards, American Express excels at its rewards program. Each card listed below offers an assortment of ways to earn bonus rewards that you can use for airline and travel expenses, gift cards, and cash back.

Does American Express Report to Credit Bureaus?

If you’re looking to build your business credit, having one or more business credit cards could help you build it, but it depends on whether or not the creditor actually reports your activity to credit bureaus.

American Express only reports only negative activity to Dun & Bradstreet (D&B). They do report to the Small Business Financial Exchange (SBFE).

How to Qualify for American Express Business Cards

Business credit card issuers, just like personal credit card issuers, look at several factors to determine whether you are eligible for a card. American Express doesn’t publish its criteria for approving business card applications, but it does take into consideration personal credit and business credit scores,  your business revenue, and other factors. Note that if you have a bankruptcy on your credit history, you will likely be turned down.

How to Apply for an American Express Business Credit Card

Once you determine which of the American Express small business credit cards you want to apply for, you’ll start the application process online. Be ready to provide:

  • Your company’s legal business name, business address, and phone number
  • Type of industry your business is in 
  • Company structure (limited liability company, corporation, partnership, sole proprietorship)
  • Number of years your company has been in business
  • Number of employees
  • Annual business revenue
  • Federal Tax ID, or Social Security number (if sole proprietorship)

Choosing The Best American Express Business Card For You

American Express offers a mind-boggling number of business charge card options, so we’ve done our best to help you understand what each is best for.

American Express® Business Gold Card: Best Overall Business Card

  • Customizable rewards based on your business needs
  • Good for business owners with fluctuating spending needs
  • No foreign transaction fee

As far as American Express business credit cards go, the Business Gold card offers the most flexible yet competitive rewards program, something that will likely attract business owners who want to get big rewards on categories that actually matter to them. This is largely due to the customizable rewards program that lets you earn bonus points back on two of your top spending categories.

Get 4X Membership Rewards® points on the 2 select categories where your business spent the most each month. 1X is earned for other purchases.** **4X points apply to the first $150,000 in combined purchases from these 2 categories each calendar year. The points are retroactive and your categories change month-by-month based on a single billing cycle. For example, if your travel expenses are exceptionally high one month, you’ll be able to enjoy max rewards on those qualifying purchases. However, if it’s restaurant visits and client entertaining that accounts for the majority of your spending the next, the rewards program accommodates that change. You won’t be locked into specific categories, which is often the case with other rewards programs. Categories include gas station, restaurant, airfare, shipping, advertising, and technology (software, hardware, etc.) purchases. 

This card does come with a rather high annual fee — $295 — but with regular card use, the rewards can quickly outweigh the fee.  Plus, members also receive access to Amex Offers for shopping, dining, travel, and more.

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express: Best for Big Spenders

  • Great for business owners with significant travel expenses
  • Strong welcome bonus 
  • Annual airline fee credit 
  • High annual fee

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express often has one of the best welcome offers, and in many cases, the same is true for the rewards program. Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com, and 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases. It’s easy to see how business owners with travel needs can leverage this charge card.

Amex business platinum cardholders who don’t do a lot of traveling will have a hard time validating the Annual fee of $695 — understandably so — but for those who do, the statement credits and rewards programs can certainly make it worth it. Plus, though you must book through Amex Travel to get the most points rewards, you aren’t tethered to one airline or hotel group as you would be with a co-branded card.

The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express: Best Card for 0% APR

  • Great for earning rewards without paying an annual fee
  • Intro APR of 0% on purchases for 12 months from date of account opening

With an introductory APR of 0% on purchases for 12 months from date of account opening and no annual fee, The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express is an attractive business credit card for anyone. However, that’s especially true, especially for American Express small business customers who need a simple, no-hassle card.

With this card, you have the opportunity to finance big purchases for well over a year before you have to worry about interest kicking in. Plus, you can still take advantage of a rewards program without worrying about an annual fee, some of which can be pretty lofty. 

Speaking of rewards programs, The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express has you covered. Earn 2X Membership Rewards® points on everyday business purchases such as office supplies or client dinners. 2X applies to the first $50,000 in purchases per year, 1 point per dollar thereafter.

The Plum Card® from American Express: Best for Financing

  • Paying early pays off: get a 1.5% Early Pay Discount, with no cap on what you can earn back.
  • High annual fee

Though this card isn’t brimming with rewards benefits and does come with a hefty annual fee, if you’re looking for a card that offers payment flexibility, The Plum Card® from American Express may be your answer.  

In addition, with The Plum Card® from American Express, you can choose your billing cycle, opting for the beginning, middle, or end of the month — a great option to help you spread your expenses out over the course of the month.  

Paying early pays off: get a 1.5% Early Pay Discount, with no cap on what you can earn back. Though this isn’t marketed as a “reward,” it’s akin to a cash back bonus. 

With a $250 annual fee this card won’t always pay off, but if you do need that extra time to pay, and the intro APR and prepayment discount work in your favor, you may find it outweighs the fee and helps you manage cash flow more efficiently.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card: Best for Frequent Flyers

  • Great for Delta Loyalists
  • Annual companion certificate
  • Priority boarding
  • Relatively high annual fee

While the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card may be great for business owners who spend a lot on general travel, if you’re a frequent flyer and you like Delta, then you may want to consider one of the three Amex Delta business cards available to consumers, especially the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card.

Earn more miles on big purchases with 1.5 miles per dollar on single eligible purchases of $5,000 or more (that’s an extra half mile per dollar), up to 50,000 additional miles per year.

This alone doesn’t make it the best card, but the travel perks certainly do.  With the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card, you can earn a generous Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Miles after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer Ends 8/3/2022.

Flying with the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card will save you money and give you and your employees access to a lot of great travel perks. And though this card does have a $250 annual fee, it’s easy to overlook with some of the perks, specifically the rewards miles, companion certificate, and bag-check waivers.

Amex Frequent Flyers Runner Up

If you’re a Delta loyalist, you may also want to check out these American Express Delta business cards:

Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card

Like the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card, this card offers miles per dollar on Delta purchases and a mile per dollar on all other purchases. Earn 2 Miles on every dollar spent on eligible purchases made directly with Delta, on every dollar spent on eligible U.S. purchases for advertising in select media, on every dollar spent on eligible U.S. shipping purchases, on every eligible dollar spent at restaurants. Earn 1 Mile on every eligible dollar spent on other purchases.

Who is it good for? With a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $99, the Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card is a good option for business owners who fly Delta enough to want the rewards and benefits without the high annual fee.  In other words, this may be a good supplemental travel rewards card.

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card

The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card has the same basic rewards structure as the Gold and Platinum cards. Enjoy 3X miles per dollar on all eligible Delta purchases.

However, one of the primary differences between the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card and the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card, aside from slightly elevated bonus earning power, is Sky Club access.  

For cardholders that regularly fly Delta and want access to the SkyClub, then this card may worth the $550 annual fee. If not, the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card may be a better option.

Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card – Best for Hotel Stays

This year, the Starwoods Preferred Guest (SPG) Business card was replaced by the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card  the result of a 2016 acquisition by Marriott of both SPG and Ritz Carlton properties. 

And while the SPG card will be phased out, many business owners may find the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card to a great addition to their wallet. 

Earn 6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program. 4x points at U.S. restaurants, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping. 2x points on all other eligible purchases.

Though there is a $125 annual fee, many cardholders will find that this is easily wiped out by the annual free stay.  

If you’re a fan of Marriott, SPG, or Ritz Carlton hotels, or your just looking for a hotel rewards card with a lot of potential, this card can certainly fit the bill.

Amex Best for Hotel Stays Runner Up

The thing about hotel cards is that it’s hard to select a “best of” when you factor in brand loyalty. For that reason, we thought it was also important to mention the Hilton Honors American Express Business card.

The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card

With the The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card, you can Earn Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases on your Card: 12X at hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio, 6X at US gas stations, on US purchases for shipping, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from US service providers, on flights booked directly with airlines or with Amex Travel, on car rentals booked directly from select car rental companies, and at US restaurants, 3X on all other eligible purchases. If Hilton is your exclusive travel partner, this can be a great card to boost your earning power

Why wasn’t it number one?  The Marriott card currently offers a bit more flexibility. With three different hotel brands under the parent company, there are a lot of options. In addition, the Marriott card also offers a bit more value when it comes to transferring points. 

With so many credit card options on the market today, American Express small business credit solutions shine through for a variety of reasons. Many of these cards offer highly competitive rewards programs and numerous small-business minded perks and benefits.

Alternatives to American Express Business Cards

Not everyone qualifies for an American Express business card, or wants to pay the sometimes high annual fee. For small business owners who need capital to grow their companies, business loans for small business, as well as merchant financing, invoice factoring, and lines of credit may also be worth exploring.

Nav’s Verdict: American Express Business Cards

Now that you’ve learned about the plethora of business cards Amex offers, how do you decide which American Express business card is right for you? Consider your needs and spending patterns and how they relate to potential rewards, annual fees, and welcome offers. 

Some cards, like the American Express® Business Gold Card and the Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express, are designed for everyday use, while other cards, like The Plum Card® from American Express and the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card, are designed to meet specific needs, like flexible payments or extensive travel perks. No matter what you need for your business, there’s a card to suit.