Why to Avoid the American Express Business Gold Card and its 75,000 Point Sign Up Bonus

Update: This deal has expired.

According to this thread on FlyerTalk, American Express is offering a limited time 75,000 point sign up bonus for their Business Gold Rewards charge card. If approved, you must spend $10,000 in the first four months of card membership  to unlock the 75,000 Membership Rewards.

Application Link: The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN with 75,000 Membership Rewards after $10,000 in spending in the first four months.

When does this offer expire?

According to the terms and conditions (found at the bottom of the application page), you must apply no later than January 28th. I’m hearing it ends at 11 AM.

Is this offer targeted?

No. It appears this card is available to all interested business applicants.

What is the annual fee for this card?

The card comes with a $175 annual fee that is waived for the first year of card membership.

Does the card come with any category bonuses for spending?

According to the main American Express website, the card earns 3X Membership Rewards points on airfare purchases and 2X points on advertising, shipping, and gasoline purchases. Note that gas must be purchased at “stand alone” stations in the US. There have been reports that gas purchases at discount superstores like Costco have not qualified for bonus points.

This card is listed as a charge card. Is that the same as a credit card?

No. Charge cards differ from credit cards in that the balance must be paid in full every month. With credit cards, you are allowed to carry a balance, but American Express expects all purchases made on charge cards to be settled in full and on time each month.

Will I still be able to receive the bonus if I applied for another American Express card recently?

It depends. The terms and conditions state that the signup bonus is “not available to applicants who have had this product or any other Business Gold, Green or Platinum card account within the last 12 months.” If you have recently applied for any personal American Express card, whether it be the Starwood Preferred Guest credit card or even the personal version of their Gold charge card, you should be eligible for the full signup bonus.

When it comes to signup bonus eligibility, American Express treats their business charge cards and business credit cards separately. The above Business Gold Card is a charge card. The balance must be settled every month. American Express’s business credit cards, such as the Business Delta Airlines and Business Starwood Preferred Guest cards differ from their charge cards. They have set spending limits and the ability to carry a balance (not that you should).

What if I apply correctly but American Express doesn’t give me the correct bonus?

I’ve experienced this problem firsthand and want to offer some advice. Take screen shots of the application page and offer details before applying. When activating the card, make sure to note the date, time, and person you speak with on the phone. Also note the Bonus ID code attached to the offer you applied for. In this case, the Bonus ID is A3P6.

If American Express denies you the bonus or the Membership Rewards don’t post properly, a timely secure message referencing the above Bonus ID should be all the evidence you need to resolve your claim. I have had great success in getting issues resolved by sending secure messages through American Express’ website.

Is this a good deal?

For the vast majority, I would say no.

This card isn’t for everyone. Not everyone owns their own business or engages in activities that can be construed as a business.

Although this offer is marketed as “Limited Time Only!”, we have seen it pop up in the past–usually every few months for one day at a time. The offer isn’t unique, and I would bet on it returning in the next several months. In fact, Scott wrote up the Gold card (and its bonus) back in September.

Most importantly, though, not everyone can charge $10,000 in four months to satisfy the Gold card’s steep spending requirement. At MileValue, our primary credit card strategy centers around clearing signup bonuses quickly. We aren’t big spenders (I charge less than $30k per year), so hitting the signup bonus on a card quickly is paramount. You are earning many more miles per dollar when working towards a signup bonus instead of focusing on which card is best for certain merchants.

If I had to choose, I would definitely recommend the Mercedes-Benz American Express Platinum card. The card comes with 50,000 Membership Rewards after only $1,000 in spending. Though 75k is clearly a juicier incentive than the 50k Platinum bonus, you will need to spend an additional $9,000 to unlock the last 25,000 Membership Rewards. That’s not good value unless you’re a big card spender–$100k+ per year.

For those that argue about the Platinum’s $475 annual fee, I’ve discussed the card’s host of benefits before. Lounge access to several carriers is invaluable. You also receive an annual $200 airline credit that can be used to purchases gift cards. Reimbursement for the Global Entry fee can be a real lifesaverThe Platinum card is also a personal charge card. You don’t need to have a business to apply.

Recap

The 75,000 sign up bonus for American Express’ Business Gold Rewards card should turn heads.

Remember that this is a business charge card. Many people engage in business activities, such as selling items on eBay part-time, that would qualify them for this card. Just remember that you can’t carry a balance on the card. American Express requires immediate settlement when each statement closes.

Even though the 75k bonus is high, the spending required to unlock the points is equally steep. For low spenders, I would recommend going for the Mercedes-Benz American Express Platinum instead. $1,000 in charges will net you 50,000 Membership Rewards points along with a host of other card benefits. Comparing the two, the $9,000 required to unlock the last 25k Membership Rewards is a huge turnoff for me.

Application Link: The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN with 75,000 Membership Rewards after $10,000 in spending in the first four months.

16 Responses to Why to Avoid the American Express Business Gold Card and its 75,000 Point Sign Up Bonus

  1. The 10k is a non issue these days. There are countless people detailing the ease of hitting 10k in as little as 5-10days.

    • I would certainly not want to risk a financial review by using those techniques with this card, however. That’s a decision each person must make, but it doesn’t make sense to me in my situation.

    • For people that want to devote a lot of time to this hobby learning and using those techniques, I agree. For people who want to get the low hanging fruit, this isn’t low.

  2. Can I get the Mercedes Benz Platinum if i recently had the regular Platinum?

  3. We just applied and was approved for this card. We have a condo we rent and we do file a Schedule C so I think we are okay.

  4. For the $200 airlines gift card, do you know if They can be used for paying taxes on award tickets? I have been assuming it is ok, but united told me they can be used for revenue tickets only. Do you know about AA? I got their gift card because of the citi AA card rebate. With all the miles I have(thanks to your blog), I do not need to pay for my tickets in the near future.

    • Most are only good for revenue tickets. Do you ever fly domestically? Buying domestic tickets with cash (gift cards) is usually better than miles.

  5. I must be lucky cos I just received the 75,ooo bonus offer after spending only $2,000 by June 10 2013 with $0 annual fee first year.

  6. A question about the AMEX Platinum $200 allowance. Can you use it only on tickets charged to the card or if I am flying with in-laws can I pay their baggage fees and be reimbursed even though they bought their own tickets? Love the blog btw!

    • The $200 credit specifically can not be used toward tickets. It is designed to be used toward fees like bag fees. That should get reimbursed if you call AMEX and set the relevant airline as the airline on which you want fee reimbursement.

  7. Sorry, I should have clarified my question. As lind as airline A is my chosen airline, can I get reimbursed for all incidental fees paid for by my card (including other flyer’s baggage fees on airline A) or only those that are within a flight booked under for myself?

    • I haven’t confronted this question before, but how could AMEX possibly know whose baggage fees you’re paying. I’m 99% sure you will get reimbursed.

  8. Pingback: Amazing Deal: 75k Membership Rewards Business Gold Card from American Express | milevalue.com

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