Business Green Rewards Card from American Express – Review
The Business Green Rewards Card from American Express is a small business charge card with a $95 annual fee and a rewards program that rewards general spending. Most Green Rewards Card purchases earn 1 Membership Rewards point per $1 spent. Travel booked through American Express Travel is the exception, as those purchases earn 2 points per $1 spent.
As a charge card, Business Green Rewards doesn’t incur regular interest charges. However, you’re required to pay your balance in full before each statement’s due date. If you fail to pay in full for more than two consecutive cycles, American Express reserves the right to close your account.
Business Green Rewards competes with numerous other business credit cards and charge cards, including the American Express “color” charge card family (Business Platinum, Business Gold, and Plum), Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express, and SimplyCash Plus Business Credit Card from American Express. Compared with more exclusive business credit and charge cards, Business Green is easier to qualify for, though you still need very good credit and may need to demonstrate that your business has adequate cash flow.
You get a bonus of 5,000 Membership Rewards points when you make your first purchase with Business Green Rewards. That’s worth up to $50 when redeemed at American Express’s Membership Rewards shopping portal.
This card earns 1 Membership Rewards point per $1 spent on most purchases, with no spending caps or earning restrictions. The only exception to this rule is travel purchased through American Express’s own travel portal. Such travel purchases earn an unlimited 2 points per $1 spent.
You can redeem your accumulated Membership Rewards points for travel, general merchandise, transportation (including Uber rides), and cash equivalents, such as gift cards and statement credits. Redemption minimums start at 1,000 points and vary by method. Point values range from $0.005 to $0.01, depending on redemption method. Merchandise redemptions are generally worth $0.01 while cash equivalent redemptions can be worth as little as $0.005 or $0.006.
The $95 annual fee is waived for the first year. There is a 2.7% foreign transaction fee (after conversion to U.S. dollars). Late payments (balances left unpaid for more than two consecutive statement cycles) cost $38 or 2.99% of the late balance. Returned payments cost $38. Terms and conditions apply – see rates and fees.
As a charge card, Business Green Rewards requires cardmembers to pay their balances in full at the end of each billing period. Those who don’t pay in full are at risk of account closure after two consecutive periods.
However, American Express does offer a way around this requirement for longtime cardmembers in good standing. Known as “Pay Over Time,” this feature permits cardholders to carry balances from month to month, with interest, for an indefinite length of time. Interest charges are variable, depending on prevailing rates.
Business Green Rewards offers a number of business benefits, including:
Business Green Rewards also has some general benefits available to Amex consumer and business cardholders:
This card requires good to excellent credit. Any notable credit blemishes are likely to be disqualifying.
The Business Green Rewards Card from American Express is one of several color-coded business charge cards offered by American Express. It’s useful for prospective Business Green Rewards cardmembers to think of their card as just one rung on American Express’s charge card ladder. Higher rungs equate to more generous benefits and rewards-earning power, while lower rungs are easier to climb onto if your credit history and cash flow are not ideal.
In this setup, Business Green Rewards is the lowest rung on the ladder. It doesn’t have a generous rewards-earning scheme or particularly attractive benefits, beyond the value-added benefits that accrue to all American Express business cardholders. As your business grows, your credit improves, and your cash flow increases, you can set your sights on graduating to higher rungs on the ladder: Business Gold Rewards, which has a much more generous rewards scheme, and Business Platinum, whose travel benefits are legendary. The climb may take some time, but the view from the top is definitely worth it.
Though it’s still somewhat exclusive by the standards of the broader business credit and charge card ecosystem, the Business Green Rewards Card from American Express is the most approachable American Express business charge card. That makes it a good starter option for smaller, scrappier businesses with lower spending requirements and less-than-perfect credit. That said, Business Green Rewards is not ideal for business owners who don’t like annual fees, or who prefer more generous rewards programs. It’s also not ideal for heavy-spending businesses that can afford and benefit from more exclusive cards.
A varied rewards program, looser qualification standards, travel benefits, and fringe benefits are all very nice perks with this card. However, the annual fee, slow point-earning ability, weak welcome offer, and pay-in-full requirement are definitely drawbacks. Overall, it’s a good place to start on American Express’s business charge card ladder, but the real prizes occupy higher rungs.
Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
Brian Martucci writes about frugal living, entrepreneurship, and innovative ideas. When he’s not interviewing small business owners or investigating time- and money-saving strategies for Money Crashers readers, he’s probably out exploring a new trail or sampling a novel cuisine. Find him on Twitter @Brian_Martucci.
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Business Green Rewards Card from American Express – Review
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