The Card With Best Return On Your Spending Has Rare Bonus Offer

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The American Express Blue Business CashTM Card and Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express both have new initial bonus offers. Until recently neither one had an up front bonus offer at all.

For a no annual fee small business cash back card the American Express Blue Business CashTM Card is great, offering 2% cash back on all eligible purchases on up to $50,000 per calendar year, then 1%. Cash back. The new upfront offer is to earn a $250 statement credit after you make $3,000 in purchases on your Card in your first 3 months. (See rates and fees.)

What I’m really excited by is the Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express. This is the strongest earning Membership Rewards cards outside of spending bonus categories.

This card no annual fee card earns 2X Membership Rewards points on the first $50,000 in eligible purchases (1 point per dollar thereafter). That makes this the best most rewarding card for up to $50,000 in otherwise-unbonused spend. (See rates and fees.)

When the card first came out there was a 20,000 point offer. That was four years ago. I don’t recall anything similar broadly available after that. However now there’s an upfront offer to earn earn 15,000 Membership Rewards points after $3,000 spend in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of cardmembership.

I value Membership Rewards points at 1.8 cents apiece. So for me 2x on unbonused spend is ‘worth’ 3.6%. That’s largely because of the wide array of Membership Rewards transfer partners many of which offer exceptional value:

  • Star Alliance: Aeroplan, ANA, Singapore, Avianca
  • oneworld: AsiaMiles, British Airways, Iberia, Qantas
  • SkyTeam: Aeromexico, Alitalia, Air France KLM, Delta
  • Non-alliance: Etihad, Emirates, Hawaiian, JetBlue, Aer Lingus, Virgin Atlantic
  • Hotels: Choice, Hilton, Marriott

ANA Mileage Club, the Japanese Star Alliance program, offers some of the lowest points rates on premium cabin awards in the world. Air France KLM in my view offers the best value in SkyTeam. Emirates’ points are key because their first class awards have been restricted from partners. These partners make Membership Rewards the best transferable currency.

For rates and fees of the American Express Blue Business CashTM Card, click bere.
For rates and fees of the the Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express, click here.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Editorial note: any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. Comments made in response to this post are not provided or commissioned nor have they been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any bank. It is not the responsibility of advertisers Citibank, Chase, American Express, Barclays, Capital One or any other advertiser to ensure that questions are answered, either. Terms and limitations apply to all offers.


  1. and they allow your to transfer the LOC once a month, you can then open a new card (max 4 i believe), hit 50K spend, rinse and repeat.

  2. @ Gary — This card is great for one’s marriage, too. The return is good enough to avoid asking your spouse to use different cards for different purchases.

  3. I like Capital One alot better. 2x on the Venture X and the fee is given back via credits anyway. I can use Capital One points towards travel at .01, AMEX its like .005.

  4. It’s important to state that this card, even though a business card, does not offer no foreign transaction fees, unlike most other cards. I have complained to AMEX several times about this shortcoming, but they don’t seem to card. Whenever I leave the US to travel anywhere, I leave this card at home for just this reason, since I don’t want to pay foreign transaction fees outside the US

  5. I don’t typically have $3,000 in charges in 3 months, but I got this card just before my annual insurance payment was due so I could pay and get the bonus and 2%. Alas, my insurance company does not take American Express….even though it’s owned by Berkshire Hathaway who also owns 18% of AmEx. At least there’s no annual fee.

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