Simplicity is a goal that many business owners and entrepreneurs strive for. Fortunately, the American Express Blue Business Plus (BBP) card can help make that goal easier to reach. This card is a favorite of many business owners and entrepreneurs alike because of its flat rate and lack of annual fee.
The BBP is special because it’s the only business card that lets you transfer points to travel partners for no annual fee. American Express’ Everyday Card is the other card that has this option. But the latter is a personal card.
This card is a credit card, meaning that you can (but shouldn’t) carry a balance. The BBP is not for you if you want a charge card that makes you pay in full every month.
Keep reading to find out why the BBP is great for so many people.
The BBP’s simplicity and value lie in its earning structure. This card earns 2x Membership Rewards (MR) points per dollar for the first $50,000 in purchases every year. You will receive only one point if you spend more than $50,000 per year. At this point, I suggest switching to another card.
Unfortunately, this card does not have a public sign-up bonus. But there has been a meager 10,000-point bonus in the past. This lack of bonus is the BBP’s biggest weakness.
Earning points is fantastic, but points earned are useless if you cannot redeem them for anything of value. Amex has multiple options for redemption:
American Express’ 21 transfer partners are this card’s most valuable redemption option. They are the reason why points and miles enthusiasts love the Membership Rewards family of credit cards so much. Amex transfers points at a 1 MR to 1 partner currency ratio unless otherwise noted.
- Choice Privileges
- Hilton (1 MR = 2 Hilton Honors Points)
- Aer Lingus
- Aero Mexico (5 MR = 8 Premier Points)
- Air Canada
- Air France / KLM Flying Blue
- Air Italia Millemiglia
- Asia Miles
- Avianca Lifemiles
- British Airways
- Delta Airlines
- El Al Israel Airlines (50 MR = 1 Matmid Point)
- Etihad Guest
- Hawaiian Airlines
- JetBlue (5 MR = 4 TrueBlue Points)
- Nippon Airways
- Singapore Airlines
- Virgin Atlantic
Your mileage may vary for each partner. But for most partners, you should be able to easily redeem your points for at least 1.5 cents per point (CPP).
Amextravel.com is Amex’s travel website that can be used to book hotels and flights.
Gift cards, merchandise, and statement credits are not recommended. You will earn less than 1 CPP using these options. If cash back or gift cards are what you want, this card is probably not for you.
Most business owners know that programs like QuickBooks are very helpful for your business’ financial organization. As a BBP card-member, you can connect your card to your business’ QuickBooks account.
Expanded Buying Power
This feature combines aspects of a traditional credit card and a charge card. Purchases within your credit limit are handled like those from a revolving credit card. But you can also make purchases beyond your credit limit. You must pay the excess amount in full like a charge card if you take advantage of this feature.
This can be useful for businesses and entrepreneurs with uncertain and varied cash flow.
This benefit covers up to $500 for checked bags and $1,250 for carry-on bags.
You will receive an extra year of warranty on purchases with warranties of 5 years or less.
Roadside Assistance Hotline
Amex provides a roadside assistance hotline in the event that you find yourself stuck on the side of the road. Cardmembers are responsible for any goods and services provided. But they are not responsible for use of the hotline itself.
Secondary Car Rental Insurance
This benefit covers the entire loss, damage, or theft of your car rental after your regular insurance’s policy kicks in.
Global Assist Hotline
This benefit is a phone number that you can call if you’re stuck more than 100 miles away from home. Amex will give you access to various emergency services to help you.
Rules & Regulations
This card is subject to Amex’s Once Per Lifetime Rule, which states that you can only receive a sign-up bonus on any card once ever. With respect to this rule, I would not apply until there is a sign-up bonus.
If the BBP is not right for you or your business, check out these alternatives:
This card is Chase’s version of the BBP. It earns 1.5x Ultimate Rewards (UR) points without any spend limit.
The BBP is better if you or your business spends under $50,000 and likes Amex’s partners. But the unlimited spend of the Chase card is better for businesses with high and varied expenses. This card is also the better one if prefer Chase’s travel partners.
This golden business charge card is better for businesses with steady cash flow and defined expenses. It has a $295 annual fee (NOT waived the first year) and a handful of perks to boot. Furthermore, the Gold Card has a sign-up bonus worth 35,000 points. You can earn this bonus by spending $5,000 in the first three months.
The Business Gold Card earns 4x Membership Rewards (MR) points on two categories of choice (for the first $150,000 in purchases). It also earns 2x points on the remaining categories and 1x points on all other purchases.
The categories to choose from are:
- Advertising (TV, radio, and online only)
- Select Computing Merchants
- US Gas Stations
- Airfare (booked directly with the airline)
- US Restaurants
This card is awesome if you or your business spends heavily in any two of these categories. If not, the BBP is the better card. The BBP is also better if you don’t want to pay an annual fee or have varied spend.
The American Express Blue Business Plus is a great card for entrepreneurs and small businesses with varied expenditures. Amex created this card specifically for those niches.
The BBP’s earning structure makes it a fantastic option for all kinds of businesses. This is especially true for those who want simplicity. Card-members don’t have to worry about bonus categories or optimization unless they get another card.
Once a small business grows, this card’s $50,000 annual limit might not be enough. If and when the time comes, I suggest getting another card in addition to the BBP.