The American Express Business Gold Rewards Card is the mid-range small business credit card by American Express, which comes with a very impressive welcome bonus and the ability to earn 2x points on bill payments.
Bonuses & Fees
Currently, the American Express Business Gold Rewards Card offers 60,000 Membership Rewards points upon spending $5,000 in the first three months when you apply via a referral link. The annual fee is $250.
(The standard offer on the Amex website is only 50,000 MR points upon spending $5,000 in the first three months; only applying through a referral link gives you the 60,000 MR points.)
60,000 MR points for $250 is a phenomenal deal. You can transfer 60,000 MR points at a 1:1 ratio to frequent flyer programs like Aeroplan or British Airways Avios, as well as hotel loyalty programs like Marriott Bonvoy.
The card also allows you to earn 5,000 MR points for every referral you make to any card in the Membership Rewards family, up to a maximum of 75,000 MR points a year.
While the product is geared towards small business owners, in general anyone can apply if they’re comfortable declaring that they operate as a sole proprietorship (i.e., do business under their own name). This is done by listing one’s own full name as the business name on the credit card application.
With the Business Gold Card, you’ll earn 2 MR points per dollar spent with three select merchants of your choice from a list of 40+ possible “suppliers” in Canada. You’ll earn 1 MR point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
Click here for the list of participating merchants. There’s a few good ones on the list, including Best Buy, Microsoft, Petro-Canada, Lowes, and Plastiq (which you can use to pay bills like rent, tax, property tax, and tuition). Keep in mind that the card is ultimately geared towards small business owners, hence some of the more obscure suppliers on the list.
Compared to the other cards in the Membership Rewards family, the only occasion when it would make sense to pay with your Business Gold Card is when you’re spending with one of your three selected merchants.
Otherwise, you’d be better off paying with the Business Platinum Card, since it offers 1.25 MR per dollar spent on regular purchases.
The Membership Rewards program offers outstanding redemption opportunities as well. This is primarily because it’s a flexible, transferable rewards currency.
You can transfer your MR points at a 1:1 ratio to Aeroplan and British Airways Avios, as well as a host of other global frequent flyer programs (including Cathay Pacific Asia Miles) at a 1:0.75 ratio. Moreover, you also have the option of converting points to Marriott Bonvoy at a 1:1.2 ratio for booking hotel stays.
Furthermore, you can redeem MR points directly for flights through the Amex Fixed Points Travel reward chart, although these are limited to round-trip flights departing from Canada.
Essentially, you can use a fixed amount of points towards the base ticket price of a regular cash ticket, up to a certain maximum. The number of points required and the maximum ticket price depends on the geographical region you are visiting (you can only book roundtrip flights that originate in Canada).
Lastly, you have the option of redeeming MR points directly against travel purchases at a rate of 1 cent per point (cpp), although this is typically not recommended, as the value pales in comparison to what you could get by booking flights through Aeroplan, Avios, or even the Fixed Points Travel chart.
Perks & Benefits
While the Business Gold Card lacks some of the premium travel benefits that you’ll find on the higher-end American Express cards, you’ll still get all of the standard perks of being an American Express cardholder, including Front of the Line event presale tickets, American Express Invites to exclusive experiences, and Amex Offers for extra everyday value when you use your card.
Insurance isn’t necessarily the strong suit of the Business Gold Card. It doesn’t come with Emergency Travel Insurance, which is a key protection that many travellers view as mandatory.
The Business Gold Card offers coverage of up to $500 in Baggage Delay Insurance and up to $100,000 in Travel Accident Insurance – these are lower limits than other American Express cards, like the Gold Rewards Card or the Bonvoy Card.
As a business card, one type of coverage that the Business Gold Card does offer is the Disability Plan for Small Business, which will compensate you up to $10,000 if you, as a sole proprietor, suffer permanent, total disability as the direct result of an accidental injury. Useful to keep in mind, in case the unthinkable happens.