This afternoon, we saw a report of a new publicly-available sign-up bonus on the Amex Business Gold card – 35,000 Membership Rewards (MR) points. (Hat Tip to Travel Update).
Given this report, we wanted to remind all Middle Age Miles readers that there is still a higher, 50,000 MR point sign-up bonus offer available through referral links. If you’d like to access the 50,000 MR point offer, you may use our referral link here – Sign Up for the Amex Business Gold card with a 50,000 MR point offer.
If you have a significant other or a best friend who can refer you to the 50,000 MR point offer, or if you can self-refer, by all means please do so. But if you’re ready to apply for the card and don’t have such a referral readily available to you, we surely appreciate it if you use our referral link.
More on the Sign-Up Bonuses
50,000-point referral offers and the new publicly-available 35,000-point offer are almost the same, except for these differences:
- (1) Of course, the 50,000-point sign-up bonus gets you an additional 15,000 MR points. At our baseline value of 1.5 cents per MR point, that amounts to additional value of about $225. (The 50,000-point offer would be worth about $750 in total.)
- (2) The public 35,000-point sign-up bonus offer has 2 other benefits that are part of the sign-up offer:
- Up to 1 year free of G Suite Basic for 3 users (capped at $216); and
- Up to 1 year of ZipRecruiter Standard (capped at $2,988)
- Both of these benefits are provided in the form of statement credits for purchases using the Business Gold card in your first 12 months of card membership
Regardless of which offer you choose, the annual fee for the Amex Business Gold card is $295, and it’s not waived for the first year. For each offer, the spend requirement is $5,000 within the first 3 months of card membership.
Perhaps the G Suite and ZipRecruiter benefits are valuable to some small businesses, and if so, the new offer may be better. But we’re just here for the points – and we suspect that most Middle Age Miles readers feel the same. For us, the 50,000-point bonus is still a lot better!
Benefits & Features of the Business Gold Card
The Amex Business Gold card comes with 4x bonus category earning potential. It handles 4x earning in a different and very interesting way, however, which can be extremely valuable to cardholders. Each billing cycle, the 2 bonus categories where you spent the most earn 4x MR points. The bonus categories on the card are:
- Airfare purchased directly from airlines
- US purchases for advertising in select media (online, TV, radio)
- US purchases made directly from select technology providers of computer hardware, software, and cloud solutions (the list of providers is available here)
- US purchases at gas stations
- US purchases at restaurants
- US purchases for shipping
All other purchases earn 1x (including the 4 categories that had the lowest spend during a billing cycle). The 4x category bonus is capped at $150,000 per calendar year.
The other key benefit of the Business Gold card is the 25% pay-with-points rebate on certain airfare. You’ll choose a qualifying airline, then when you use MR points through the Amex Travel portal to pay for your flight on that airline (at 1 cent per MR point), you’ll receive a rebate of 25% of the MR points used to pay for your flight. In addition, the 25% pay-with-points rebate applies to all airlines when you purchase a First Class or Business Class ticket using pay-with-points. The rebate is capped at 250,000 points back per calendar year ($10,000 worth of airfare).
Using MR points to purchase airfare with a 25% rebate results in a value of 1.33 cents per MR point. Here’s the math: Suppose you purchase a flight that costs $1,000. You’ll initially spend 100,000 MR points, then you’ll get a 25,000 point rebate, for a net cost of 75,000 MR points. $1,000 divided by 75,000 equals 1.33 cents per MR point.
This isn’t perhaps the highest-value use of MR points, and it’s a little under our baseline value of 1.5 cents per point – but it’s not bad. Keep in mind that if you hold the Amex Business Platinum card, there’s a 35% pay-with-points rebate on that card. Also remember that airfare purchased using pay-with-points will earn redeemable miles and elite qualifying miles and dollars. Plus, on pay-with-points tickets, you can still take advantage of any benefits you have from holding elite airline status. That said, you may be able to achieve a much higher cents-per-point return by transferring MR points to Amex’s airline partners.
The Amex Business Gold card also comes with certain other travel and purchase protections, 2x points-earning at Amex Travel, access to Amex Offers, access to Amex preferred seating at certain events, premium roadside assistance, access to The Hotel Collection with up to $100 in property credit, and no foreign transaction fees. Check the full terms and conditions for details.
Other Important Factors
The Amex Business Gold card is a charge card, so it won’t count against your limit of holding a maximum of 5 Amex credit cards at a time.
Both offers contain Amex’s standard once-per-lifetime restrictive language on the sign-up bonus: “Welcome offer not available to applicants who have or have had this Card.”
There was some question about whether the legacy Business Rewards Gold (BRG) card and the current Business Gold card are the same product for purposes of determining eligibility for the Business Gold sign-up bonus. Data points from several months ago on Reddit Churning were that holding a BRG card made you ineligible to receive a sign-up bonus on the Business Gold card. This seemed a little strange given that Amex did not convert BRG holders over to Business Gold and continues to administer the cards as separate products with separate benefits. If you have any more recent data points on this, and in particular if you have received a sign-up bonus on the Business Gold card despite holding or having had a BRG card, please let us know!
It makes me really unhappy when bloggers tout the new 35,000-point bonus without mentioning that a higher 50,000-point offer is available through a referral link. These bloggers are not doing anyone a favor. Presumably they’re just pushing their own affiliate links to the 35,000-point offer without any consideration of their readers. I find this personally offensive.
Are you interested in the Amex Business Gold with the 50,000-point sign-up offer (or the new 35,000-point offer, for that matter)? Do you have any further data points on eligibility for a sign-up bonus on the Business Gold if you hold or have held a BRG card? Please share with us and other Middle Age Miles readers in the Comments!
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