Summary - The Business Green Rewards Card from American Express OPEN is a business charge card that will appeal to the small business owner who wants to enjoy the tremendous travel and shopping rewards from the American Express Membership Rewards program. It allows the cardholder to earn unlimited points which do not expire. But Amex also offers the Business Gold Card and the Platinum Card. So let's look at this card and do some comparison with it's peers and see how it fares.
Reward Formula - The Business Green Rewards Card allows the cardholder to earn one reward point for every dollar spent on the card. You can earn unlimited points which do not expire. As a signing bonus, you will get 5,000 bonus points once you are approved.
Open Savings - Like every American Express business card, you money when you can use the card with OPENSavings merchants and get savings. These merchants include AT&T, Expensable, Fedex, Hertz, subscription to USA Today and 1800-Flowers.com.
Fees - The Business Green Rewards Card has an annual fee of $95.00. There is no annual fee for additional cards. As this is a charge card, there is no apr or finance charges as you have to pay your bills fully every month.
Business Rewards Green Cards Versus Its' Peers
Now that we have got it's main features out of the way, let's compare it with it's peers. I think a natural comparison to make would be with the Business Gold Card (also from Amex). But Chase has also just recently introduced the Ink Bold Card, which is aimed at competing directly with this card and the Amex Business Gold Card as well. So we'll look at this as well. Let's get started.
Business Green Rewards Card versus Business Gold Card
The Business Green and Gold Cards are really identical in most ways. The have the same reward program (Membership Rewards) and both cards earn you the same points for every dollar that you spend on the card. The main difference between the two cards is that the Business Gold Rewards Card® from American Express OPEN has the Gold Card Events feature which gives cardholders alert and priority booking to hot events and concerts that Amex sponsors. The annual fee for the Gold version is $125 versus $95 for the Green. But the advantage of the Green card is that they are no annual fee for cards issued to employees. For businesses that intend to issue employee with cards, then this would be a more cost efficient choice.
Business Green Rewards Card Against Chase Ink Bold
The Chase Ink Bold was introduced and it looks to us like it is competing directing with this card. The annual fee is the same. They key difference is that they both have different reward programs. So it really boils down to Membership Rewards versus Chase Ultimate Rewards. We can talk about gift card rewards, merchandises etc, but the real difference is in the airline partners. Amex Membership Rewards has more partners. (see chart below). But the Ultimate Rewards program has airline partners that Membership Rewards do not have. With the Chase Ink Bold, you can exchange points into frequent flyer miles of Continental and British Airways. You can also exchange points for SouthWest and United gift certificates. The four airlines are not part of the Membership Rewards (Continental still is but that ends in September 2011).
So if you are a business owner who travels and want to exchange points for frequent flyer miles, then you have to consider this card as well as the Chase Ink Bold because Chase has some airline partners that Amex does not have.
Verdict - The Business Green Rewards Card from American Express OPEN will appeal to the small business owner who pays his or her bills in full and would like to earn membership reward points and enjoy the benefits of the Membership Rewards Program. If you already have a personal rewards green or gold card, then getting this card for your small business makes sense as you can link your business card to your existing Membership Reward program. Linking to your existing account may cost only $10.00 a year for each relationship. You can then separate your personal and business spending on separate cards but yet earn points for the same program.
Another advantage of this card is that they are no annual fees for employee cards. Therefore, a business owner can save money on cards he or she issues to their employees. Lastly, American Express business cards lets you manage your account with account summaries and to track charges with Expense Management Reports.
If your intention is to earn reward points to transfer to frequent flyer miles, you also do have to consider which airlines you fly. And you do have to check out the Ink(SM) Bold from Chase With Ultimate Rewards because they have different airline partners that may suit you better.
Great reward program
5,000 bonus points when you sign up
Earn unlimited points
Membership Reward points do not expire