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There’s aren’t many credit cards that I consider to be “must-have” cards for any serious miles and points fan but the Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express is definitely one of them. This card comes with no annual fee and is one of the more rewarding cards you’ll find for spending in non-bonused categories.
The Blue Business Plus Credit Card From American Express
Points-earning credit cards don’t come much more basic than this but this is still a card that can genuinely enhance a credit card portfolio – it costs nothing to hold and it offers a better return on spending in numerous categories than most other points earning cards.
Here’s what you need to know about the Blue Business Plus Credit Card From American Express:
- $0 (zero)
Cost of Employee Cards:
- $0 (zero)
Current Welcome Bonus:
- There is no welcome bonus being promoted at the time of writing but targeted offers are available from time to time.
- 2 Membership Rewards Points/dollar on all spending up to a limit of $50,000/year*
*Any spending above $50,000 will earn 1 point/dollar
Other Key Benefits:
- Transfer points to a variety of airline and hotel loyalty programs (more details here)
- Set spending limits on employee cards
- Access to Amex Offers
Why This Is A Great Card
You may be looking at the information above and wondering why I’m such a big fan of this card, but the answer to that is simple – it offers a better than average rate of return in numerous spending categories where most other points-earning cards offer a poor rate of return.
To show you what I mean I’m going to use my own valuations of Amex Membership Rewards Points, Chase Ultimate Rewards Points, and Citi ThankYou Points. These are all based on what value I know I can get out of each them without much effort at all:
- Amex Membership Rewards Points = 1.5 cents/point
- Chase Ultimate Rewards Points = 1.5 cents/point
- Citi ThankYou Points = 1.5 cents/point
Note: Those values are probably at the lower end of a lot of people’s valuations but I prefer to be prudent rather than overly optimistic.
With an earning rate of 2 points/dollar on all spending (up to $50,000) and at a valuation of 1.5 cents/point, the Blue Business Plus Credit Card offers an effective rebate of 3 cents/dollar or 3%.
If a person is spending on airfare, on general travel, on dining or at grocery stores there are better cards they can use than the Blue Business Plus Credit Card (although most of those cards also charge an annual fee), but those aren’t the only categories that people spend in.
When it comes to spending at…
- Department stores
- Clothes stores
- Hardware stores
- Electrical supply stores
- Home improvement stores
- Car valeting centers
- Wine merchants
- Movie theatres
- Sports events
- Music events
…and a whole host of other places, most Amex/Chase/Citi points-earning credit cards will only offer 1 point/dollar or a 1.5% effective rebate. The Blue Business Plus Credit Card offers double that.
On top of this, it’s important to remember that the Membership Rewards Points that the Amex Blue Business Plus Credit Card earns can be transferred over (in a 1:1 ratio) to loyalty programs like the following:
- Flying Blue
- British Airways Executive Club
- Delta SkyMiles
- Singapore KrisFlyer
- Hilton Honors
- Marriott Bonvoy
By transferring points to these programs, it’s likely that with a little bit of effort, the overall effective returns from the Blue Business Plus credit card will be greater than 3% – That’s pretty good going for a card that doesn’t charge an annual fee.
The cards that usually get the most publicity are the ones that offer great returns on spending in high-profile categories like travel and dining but, in the real world, most people do a lot of their spending in categories where the majority of cards don’t offer a bonus. That’s where the super-simple (and free!) Blue Business Plus Credit Card comes in to play.
The key to a solid miles and points strategy is to have all your bases covered when you’re spending so that you’re never having to use a card that only earns you 1 point/dollar (or an effective rebate of no more than 1.5%). To help achieve that aim, the Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express is an invaluable free tool that you should almost certainly have in your wallet. I hold this card and I love it because every time I use it I know that, without it, I would have been leaving points on the table.