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Opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations expressed here are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed or endorsed by the issuer. We may be compensated through the issuer’s Affiliate Program. For a full list of our advertisers, including American Express, see our disclosure page.

Advertiser Disclosure

Advertiser Disclosure: Some of the card offers that appear on this website are from companies which ValuePenguin receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). The site does not review or include all companies or all available products.

Disclaimer: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author's alone. For a full list of our advertisers, see our disclosure page.

Opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations expressed here are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed or endorsed by the issuer. We may be compensated through the issuer’s Affiliate Program. For a full list of our advertisers, including American Express, see our disclosure page.

The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN: Is It A Good Business Card?

Image of The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN
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"The card provides great benefits and business solutions, but won’t pay off unless your company earns enough rewards from annual spending to come out ahead of the high annual fee."

Contents

The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN is a charge card that can provide big rewards on airfare, advertising, gas, shipping, and computer spending. The card gives businesses a 3% rewards rate in one of those categories of their choosing, and 2% in the other four. The thing to be careful about is the card’s annual fee, which is waived during the first year, and $175 after that. If your company doesn’t spend at least $17,500, or if you want more than just savings on purchases, you should look at other options.

Good For…Bad For…
  • Small businesses that spend more than $17,500 annually
  • Companies that need to carry a balance; you must pay your bill in full at the end of the month
  • Making big purchases, due to having no preset spending limit
  • Businessmen looking for travel perks

Review: Is The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN Worth It?

The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN is an excellent small business credit card for companies with expenses falling within its major reward categories: advertising; airfare purchases; gas; shipping; and computer hardware, software, and cloud computing services. Perhaps you manage a rapidly growing technology startup, or are often on the road or in the air handling for sales and client meetings. Whatever your type of business is, you may choose one out of the five categories for the top tier of three Membership Reward points per dollar, while the other four will earn two points per dollar. This works out to a rewards rate of 2-3%, which is well above average.

Though this card provides a high rewards rate, it’s important to keep in mind its high annual fee. After the first year, during which it’s waived, the annual fee on the card is $175 –- steeper than most other options. You will need to spend about $8,750 in the 2%+ categories before you break even. If you factor in the opportunity cost of using another small business credit card with no annual fee, that figure jumps up to $17,500. If your company spends well above that, you can come out ahead by using The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN. Otherwise, we recommend looking at different options.

For the above analysis, we assumed the 3x point category to be "U.S. Gas Purchases", and based the average small business expenditures based on data from Shoeboxed.com.

The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN is also a charge card, and not a traditional credit card. That means you are not allowed to carry a balance, and must pay off your credit card bill at the end of every month. A plus of this is that the card doesn't come with a preset spending limit, giving your company a little more buying power for big expenses.

Bottom Line: The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN is a solid offer that packs a lot of value. Before applying, however, businesses should double check whether or not they can get enough out of it to justify the high annual fee.

The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN Benefits & Features

The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN chief benefit is built around earning Membership Reward points. The card allows you to pick one category among five in which you can earn three points per dollar. The categories include:

  • Airfare purchased directly from airlines
  • U.S. purchases from advertising in select media
  • U.S. purchases at gas stations
  • U.S. purchases for shipping
  • U.S. computer hardware, software, and cloud computing purchases made directly from select providers

You will earn two points per dollar on all the remaining categories you don’t select. All other spending will earn businesses just one point per dollar. We value Membership Reward points at approximately $0.01, unless you transfer them to one of the participating airline partners. That puts the rewards rate for this credit card at anywhere between 1% and 3%. If you can fit most of your company’s expenditures to the 2%/3% range, this card will be among the best business credit cards to get –- especially if you manage to couple it with the Amex OPEN Savings benefit we explain below.

Earning rewards in each category is capped at $100,000 in annual spending. That means, if you spend $100,000 on advertising inside of one year, you will earn just one point per dollar on any remaining advertising purchases for the rest of the year.

Annual Fee $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $175
Purchase APR N/A
Card Details
  • Welcome Offer: Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $5,000 in purchases on the Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership
  • Get 3x points - Choose 1 out of 5 categories
  • Plus, 2X points on the 4 remaining categories and 1X points on other purchases
  • 3X and 2X apply to the first $100,000 in purchases in each of the 5 categories per year, 1X point per dollar thereafter
  • Track, organize, and stay on top of your business expenses with powerful expense-tracking tools
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $175
  • Terms and limitations apply
  • See Rates & Fees

On top of all the ordinary points you earn through everyday purchases, accountholders can also qualify for a 50,000 MR point bonus. In order to get it, your company must spend at least $5,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. We estimate the value of this welcome offer to be roughly $500 (50,000 x $0.01). For the high level of spending required to qualify for it, this bonus isn’t as good as some of the other ones currently available.

OPEN From American Express

One of the big selling points behind all Amex small business credit cards are all the OPEN features. This is the branded name for American Express’ services aimed at streamlining expense management. These include the ability to set account managers, who can manage things like spending, payments on the account. Receipt Match, another feature, allows you to tag receipts and import expenditures into QuickBooks.

The best among these benefits is OPEN Savings, which can provide discounts when you use The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN to shop with certain merchants. You may choose to either receive two extra membership reward points or a 5% discount on your purchase. Given the value of Membership Rewards, we recommend choosing the 5% discount, as it works out to a much better value. Currently the following merchants are participating in the program:

  • FedEx & FedEx Office
  • Hertz
  • Hewlett Packard
  • 1-800 Flowers
  • Barnes & Noble

Note that these benefits are not exclusive to The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN. They come with all American Express OPEN small business cards.

How Does The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN Compare To Other Small Business Cards?

In order to better understand whether The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN is worth applying for, we took a look at how it performs when compared to its leading competitors.

The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN vs The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN

If during the course of running your company, you find yourself flying on airlines a lot, The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN may be the better option. This card is fundamentally different from The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN. Instead of focusing on earning reward points, The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN is all about providing travel perks and amenities that will make it easier for a business traveler to operate on the go. The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN provides access to airport lounges, concierge services, and airline fee discounts. While it does come at a significantly higher price point - $450 per year – anyone taking advantage of the lounge access will be automatically coming out ahead in terms of net value. If, however, you are concerned with optimizing savings through your company’s day-to-day purchases, The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN will be the better choice.

The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN vs The Blue for Business® Credit Card from American Express

Image of The Blue for Business® Credit Card from American Express

This card is not available through ValuePenguin.

If you spend less than $17,500 annually on the categories where The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN will earn you a 2% to 3% rewards rate, The Blue for Business® Credit Card from American Express is the better choice. That is the breakeven point at which, despite paying the $175 annual fee, The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN will become more profitable than the no-annual-fee card. The other thing to keep in mind with The Blue for Business® Credit Card from American Express is that, unlike The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN, it will come with a hard-set line of credit. This means your business may have less flexibility to make large purchases, if the card is nearing its preset limit. On the other hand, it allows you to carry a balance, if your business' cash flow requires it.

The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN vs Ink Plus® Business Credit Card

The Ink Plus® Business Credit Card is one of our favorite small business credit cards, especially for companies that spend heavily on internet, cable, cellphone and landline services or office supply stores. In these, cardholders will earn 5 points per $1 on the first $50,000 spent in combined purchases. The award points earned are Ultimate Reward points, which we value at $0.0125 each –- 25% better than Membership Reward points. The Ink Plus® Business Credit Card also comes with one of the best welcome bonuses around: 60,000 bonus points after spending $5,000 on purchases within the first 3 months after account opening. We estimate this bonus to be worth around $750 when used toward travel rewards redeemed through the UR portal. Despite both of these cards having the same bonus requirement, the Chase card offers businesses far more. In the long-run, however, you should take inventory of your company’s expenses, and pick the card that will provide you with the higher rewards in the categories in which you shop the most.

The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN vs Business Green Rewards Card from American Express OPEN

The Business Green Rewards Card from American Express OPEN is a stripped down version of The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN. It comes with the same benefits, but earns users significantly fewer reward points from spending, and a smaller welcome bonus. Business Green Rewards Card from American Express OPEN awards just two points per dollar spent AmexTravel.com, and one point on everything else. The difference in annual fee between the two cards is $80. Therefore, with The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN your business needs to spend just $8,000 per year on the 2% reward rate categories in order to come out ahead, or just $4,000 annually in the 3% camp. Given how low these figures are, we predict The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN will be the better choice for most companies.

Compare The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN Based On Your Company’s Expenses

We built the following interactive tool in order to help businesses determine the right credit card option based on their expenditures. The tool provides our estimated 2-year net value for each card offer, and ranks them accordingly.

Edit Monthly Spend: $1,430
General:
Gas:
Groceries:
Airlines:
Hotel:
Dining:
Office:
Utilities:
Computing:
Card Annual Fee 2-yr Net Rewards Rate

The Net Rewards Rate is equal to the Rewards Value over two years divided by the total spending. The total spending is equal to the values entered into the tool and multiplied by 24 months. See the Rewards Value note to see details on how it is calculated.

The estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone. They are not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Bonus Value

The bonus field shows our estimate for the value of the card’s sign-up bonus. If the bonus is point or mile based, we multiply the total bonus points/miles by our estimate for their value to arrive at a dollar equivalent. We display $0 if there is no bonus or if the user doesn’t qualify for the bonus based on the current spending entered into the tool.

The estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone. They are not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

2-yr Rewards Value

The Rewards Value is calculated by adding together the rewards earned from charging purchases to the card over two years and any sign-up bonuses (if applicable). They are then multiplied by our estimated point/mile value, with any annual fees (if applicable) subtracted. All values are based on our own estimates for the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using a card.

The estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone. They are not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express
$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95 2.02%
$0
For the first time, earn 2 free nights at participating SPG(R) Category 1-5 hotels & resorts worldwide after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
$729
Graph Card Read Review More Details

Terms and Limitations Apply

Annual Fee $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95
APR 16.24% - 20.24% Variable
*Rates and Fees

Card Details

  • Earn 25,000 bonus Starpoints® after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
  • Earn 2 Starpoints® for each dollar of eligible purchases at participating SPG® Marriott Rewards® hotels. Earn 1 Starpoint® for all other purchases.
  • Redeem Starpoints® for free nights at over 1,300 hotels & resorts in over 100 countries and for free flights on over 150 airlines with SPG Flights. Some hotels and resorts have mandatory service charges.
  • Free, unlimited Boingo Wi-Fi at more than 1,000,000 Boingo hotspots worldwide. Enrollment required.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on international purchases and $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • Terms Apply
  • See Rates & Fees

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
Spending Rewards 34,320 x $0.024 = $824
Less Annual Fees -$95
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 729
Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card
$0 1.79%
$300
Earn $300 bonus cash back when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
$643
Graph Card Read Review More Details
Annual Fee $0
APR 14.24% - 20.24% Variable

Card Details

  • Earn $300 bonus cash back when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Named "A Great Card for Small Businesses" – Kiplinger's Personal Finance, September 2016
  • Earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on cellular phone, landline, internet and cable TV services each account anniversary year
  • Earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year
  • Earn 1% cash back on all other card purchases with no limit to the amount you can earn
  • 0% introductory APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers
  • Employee cards at no additional cost
  • No Annual Fee

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
Spending Rewards 343 x $1 = $343
Bonuses
0 x $1 = $300
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 643
Business Green Rewards Card from American Express OPEN
$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95 0.83%
$50
5,000 points after your first purchase
$298
Graph Card More Details

Terms and Limitations Apply

Annual Fee $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95
APR N/A
*Rates and Fees

Card Details

  • Earn 5,000 Membership Rewards® points after your first purchase on the Card
  • Earn double Membership Rewards® points for each dollar of eligible purchases made when you book on the American Express Travel website
  • Earn one Membership Rewards® point for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases
  • Choose rewards from over 500 leading brands in travel, gift cards, merchandise or entertainment
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95
  • Terms & Limitations Apply
  • See Rates & Fees

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
Spending Rewards 34,320 x $0.01 = $343
Bonuses
5,000 x $0.01 = $50
Less Annual Fees -$95
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 298
The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN
$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $175 0.60%
$0
Special Offer: Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $5,000 in purchases on the Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership
$216
Graph Card Read Review More Details

Terms and Limitations Apply

Annual Fee $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $175
APR N/A
*Rates and Fees

Card Details

  • Welcome Offer: Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $5,000 in purchases on the Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership
  • Get 3x points - Choose 1 out of 5 categories
  • Plus, 2X points on the 4 remaining categories and 1X points on other purchases
  • 3X and 2X apply to the first $100,000 in purchases in each of the 5 categories per year, 1X point per dollar thereafter
  • Track, organize, and stay on top of your business expenses with powerful expense-tracking tools
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $175
  • Terms and limitations apply
  • See Rates & Fees

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
Spending Rewards 39,120 x $0.01 = $391
Less Annual Fees -$175
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 216

Comments and Questions

* See the online credit card application for details about terms and conditions. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. However all credit card information is presented without warranty. When you click on the "Apply Now" button, you can review the credit card terms and conditions on the issuer's website.

Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program. 

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Advertiser Disclosure: Some of the offers that appear on this website are from companies which ValuePenguin receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). The site does not review or include all companies or all available products. For more information please see our Advertiser Disclosure.