American Express Business Green Rewards Card Review
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Looking for an American Express travel rewards card for business but put off by sticker shock of the annual fee for the exclusive Amex Business Platinum Card? Then Amex’s Business Green Rewards Card might be just the perfect pick for you and your business.
The Business Green Rewards Card is a charge card — a particular specialty of American Express. A charge card has one major difference when compared to a standard credit card: It doesn’t allow you to carry any of your balance over to the following month (under normal circumstances — Amex has a trick up its sleeve that we’ll touch on later). One benefit of this arrangement is that there is no interest rate to worry about — instead, you’ll simply need to pay off your balance in full each month.
With the Business Green Card in hand, you won’t be earning travel points at the same rate you would with the Business Platinum (or even Amex’s Business Gold Card) or gain access to the same fancy airport lounges. But then again, you’ll have to spend a lot less per year to cover this little sibling’s lower annual fee.
Is the Amex Business Green Rewards charge card enough of a value proposition for you and your business? Read on to see how well the card measures up.
Business Green Card At A Glance
American Express Business Green Rewards
$95 ($0 the first year)
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Applicants must generally have excellent credit to qualify for the Business Green Rewards card. However, charge cards tend to be a bit easier to qualify for than regular credit cards (all else being equal).
Rewards For Spending
The Business Green Card comes with a reasonably solid slate of spending rewards, and it should — the card does carry a $95 annual fee.
A Welcome Offer Worth 15,000 Points
To start, the card bundles in a welcome offer of 15,000 points that you earn after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases within the first three months of your account opening. Assuming the standard rate of 1 point equals 1 cent, this offer is effectively worth $150.
Unlimited 2x Points On Travel
The highlight of the Business Green Card is its standard rewards rate of two points per dollar spent when you pay for travel through American Express’s booking portal, amextravel.com. This rate effectively puts the card inline with other similar travel cards in the same annual fee bracket.
1x Point On Everything Else
Beyond travel rewards, the Amex Business Green Card is simple: You’ll nab the regular old one point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
There’s nothing fancy about redeeming rewards earned with the Business Green Card. However, you’ll still have a few avenues available for reward redemption.
Multiple Redemption Options
By far, the most common way to use points earned with a Business Green Card is on travel. Through amextravel.com, you can turn your points in for flights, hotels, cruises, and upgrades. Flight bookings and upgrades will be the most economical — 1 point equals 1 cent here; hotels and cruises are valued at 1 point equaling 0.7 cents.
If travel redemption doesn’t suit your fancy, Amex includes a couple of other options. You can use points during checkout at an array of shopping experiences (including Amazon, Amex Express Checkout, Best Buy, and Dell.com) as well as cash them in for gift cards.
As with most American Express cards, the Business Green Card comes with a healthy array of perks and benefits beyond the base rewards scheme.
Free Employee Cards
Employee cards can be had with the Business Green Card at no extra cost beyond its regular annual fee. You’ll be able to pick up points at the standard clip each time an employee uses their card to make a purchase.
Account Management Tools
There are several standard tools available to help you manage your account. Included here are account alerts (to monitor due dates, irregular activity, and employee spending), year-end summaries, and online statements. Amex also allows you to set designated “account managers” who can access and manage your card’s account.
American Express also has two mobile apps for Android and iOS available: one for general account access and a separate business-focused one that helps manage receipts.
On top of all of that, Amex is set up to connect with Bill.com. With this site, you’ll be able to pay bills via its “Vendor Pay” service, potentially streamlining your business’ bill-paying process and improving your cash flow.
Travel & Transportation Benefits
As this is a travel-focused business charge card, it makes sense for it to come with some travel-related perks. Chief among these is car rental loss and damage insurance. This insurance covers card members who use their Business Green Card to reserve and pay for an entire rental vehicle in case of damage or theft. Coverage is not available in Australia, Italy, and New Zealand, and you must decline any collision damage waivers presented to you at the rental car counter.
There is also a baggage insurance plan which covers any eligible lost, damaged, and stolen baggage attached to fares purchased in full on your card. It covers up to $1,250 for carry-on bags and up to $500 for checked bags.
Finally, Amex runs its Global Assist Hotline, which provides 24/7 emergency assistance to those traveling more than 100 miles from home. This hotline can provide a range of aid, from medical/legal/passport referrals to emergency cash wires to missing luggage assistance.
Beyond account management and travel perks, the Business Green Card comes with a couple of other nifty benefits. As is the case with most reputable credit card issuers, American Express provides dispute resolution in case your card is used fraudulently. You’ll also be able to take advantage of Amex Offers, which can provide bonus rewards on top of the Business Green Card’s default points scheme.
Rates & Fees
Because American Express’s Business Green Card is a charge card, don’t expect a normal APR to tag along. However, there is still an APR to consider with Amex’s “pay over time” feature, and some low spenders will need to take note of the card’s annual fee.
A Competitive APR
The Business Green Card is a charge card, so you normally won’t have to worry about an APR — you’ll have to pay off your balance in full every month instead. However, American Express boasts its “pay over time” feature, which allows you to pay for eligible purchases over time with interest. This program currently has a solid APR of 18.24% (variable). Note that “pay over time” isn’t enabled for every purchase. Instead, you’ll be given the option to enroll for purchases when the program is available.
A $95 Annual Fee
You won’t have to pay an annual fee the first year — a nice bonus for a premium offer like the Business Green Card. However, Amex sets the card up with a $95 annual fee once that initial year is over. This isn’t the highest annual fee you’ll see out there, but limited spenders may prefer a different card without such a fee.
Beyond its APR and annual fee, travelers will want to take note of the Business Green Card’s 2.7% foreign transaction fee. With a foreign transaction fee in hand — but a 2x rate for travel purchases — this card will be best suited for businesses that only require domestic travel. Those that venture abroad will find greener pastures with better travel-specific cards.
There is also a late fee of $39 or 2.99% of the amount that has to be paid in full — whichever is greater. Returned payments also ding a $39 fee.
Is The Business Green Card Right For You?
The American Express Business Green Rewards Card is a solid and simple business charge card designed for domestic travelers. Its points scheme and redemption methods could prove to be a boon for frequent fliers. And without any complicated points schemes, there shouldn’t be many headaches when calculating your savings. However, its 2.7% foreign transaction fee will mean that other cards may work better for businesses that require overseas travel. You’ll also want to consider if the card’s $95 annual fee — while not the heftiest around — is worth it for your business.
You might want to apply if…
- You want a straightforward credit card for domestic travel
- You need a credit card with some premium benefits but can’t afford to shell out hundreds on other cards
- Your employees need credit cards
You might want to look for a different card if…
- You plan to use this card for foreign travel
- You won’t spend enough to offset the annual fee
- Your business doesn’t require much travel
We've done in-depth research on each and confidently recommend them.
We've done in-depth research on each and confidently recommend them.