American Express Gold Business Card | Detailed Review

American Express Gold Business Card

Offer
Card features
rewards program
interest free days
annual fee
Apply
American Express Gold Business Card
Earn up to 1 Membership Rewards point 1 for every $1 spent until 14 April 2019, after which you will earn up to 1.5 points for every $1 spent.
No pre-set spending limit means more flexibility.
Extend your cash flow up to 51 days.
Add to comparison
Membership Rewards Ascent
Membership Rewards Ascent
51 days
interest free
(up to)
$169
ongoing

Pros & cons

What's good?

What's not so good?

Earn up to 1 Membership Rewards point 1 for every $1 spent until 14 April 2019, after which you will earn up to 1.5 points for every $1 spent.
No pre-set spending limit means more flexibility.
Extend your cash flow up to 51 days.
Receive monthly statements that provide a detailed, itemised list of business expenses.
Cards are Chip, PIN and Contactless enabled providing enhanced security, speed and convenience when making a purchase.
Transfer points to 9 airline rewards partners and 2 leading frequent guest partner programs.
Membership Rewards points are not capped and they don’t expire.
Travel Inconvenience Cover and Transport Accident Cover.
Extra fee of $80 p.a. if you want to opt into the Membership Rewards program.
Additional card fee of $119 p.a.

Point redemption rates will change as of 15 April 2019. Please go to bit.ly/rwd415 for more details.

Disclaimer (2): Reviews rely upon third party information that may not be correct or may be changed without Credit Card Compare’s knowledge. You must carefully consider your own circumstances before making any commitments and confirm all offers and terms with credit card providers before accepting them. Please refer to our T&Cs for more.

Our review

Our review of the American Express Gold Business CardReviewed by Yvonne Taylor

Here’s a gold-plated opportunity to earn a ton of rewards points just for doing business as usual. The American Express Gold Business Card will deliver ongoing Amex Ascent Membership Rewards points at a satisfactory rate, up to 51 interest-free days per month and top-level insurance cover, all packaged in a card designed to make your business life much easier.

Earn up to 1.0 points per dollar on purchases now, more points from April 2019

All your business purchases will earn valuable Amex Ascent Membership Rewards points – that’s one step up from the entry-level Gateway points.

The points earning rate is a little complicated at the moment, but it’s worth jumping aboard early so that you can lock in the improved earning rate that kicks in on 15th April 2019.

Right now:

  • For payments to utilities, non-Amex insurance companies and government bodies, you’ll earn 0.5 points per dollar
  • For all other purchases, you’ll earn 1.0 points per dollar

From 15th April 2019:

  • For payments to government bodies, you’ll earn 1.0 points per dollar
  • For all other purchases, you’ll earn 1.5 points per dollar

Paying your taxes through the ATO’s EasyPay system becomes less painful when you earn 0.5 points for every dollar you part with, and it will be even better once you start earning 1.0 points in April 2019. (The ATO charges a 1.45% fee for Amex payments, a 0.70% fee for Australian-issued Mastercard credit cards and a 0.78% fee for Australian-issued Visa credit cards.)

Points are uncapped and never expire, so you can use your card as much or as little as you like, secure in the knowledge that the earning rate will continue as stated and that you won’t use your valuable points as a result of inactivity.

There’s just one catch (or extra option, depending on your viewpoint). Membership of the rewards scheme is not automatic. You need to opt-in and pay an annual fee of $80 on top of the standard annual fee for the card. That $80 will be quickly recovered with just $10,800 of ‘all other’ purchases now ($10,667 from April 2019) but if you don’t want to bother with points you don’t need to.

Heaps of ways to redeem your points

The hardest part about redeeming Amex points is choosing between the many redemption options, although transferring them to an airline frequent flyer program probably delivers the best value.

However, the points redemption rates are also changing in April 2019.

Here are just some of the things you can do:

  • Transfer your points to nine airline frequent flyer programs: The partner airlines are Virgin Australia, Air New Zealand, Singapore Airlines, Emirates, Etihad, Cathay Pacific, Thai Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Malaysian Airlines, but not Qantas (which requires Ascent Premium membership). The current conversion rate is 1.0 Membership Rewards points = 1.0 frequent flyer miles or points, except for Air New Zealand (100 Membership Rewards points = 1.0 Airpoint Dollars) and Emirates (4.0 Membership Rewards points = 3.0 Skywards Miles). From April 2019 the conversion rates will change to 2.0 Membership Rewards points = 1.0 frequent flyer mile or point, including Emirates (200 Membership Rewards points = 1.0 Airpoints dollars in the case of Air New Zealand).
  • Transfer your points to two frequent guest programs: Starwood Preferred Guest and Hilton Honors. From April 2019 the transfer rate for Starwood Preferred Guest will not change from the current 3.0 Membership Rewards points = 2.0 Starpoints. The transfer rate for Hilton Honors will change from the current 1:1 to 2:1.
  • Shop online for merchandise at davidjones.com.au.
  • Purchase retail gift cards. Currently 1,350 points per $10 worth of gift card, but from April 2019 changing to 2,000 points per $10.
  • Pay with points for travel at American Express Travel Online, Hello World and Webjet, at the same rate as for retail gift cards.
  • Book entertainment tickets through Ticketmaster.
  • Swap points for a cashback, credited to your card account.
  • Buy foreign currency from American Express.

The bottom line is that points earning rates will improve in April 2019, but points redemption rates will decline. Whether you will end up better or worse off will largely depend on where your business spends its money and how you choose to redeem your points. But the fact remains that the Amex points earn and burn combination is very competitive indeed when compared with similar cards, and will remain so after April 2019.

Interest-free days, even though it’s a charge card

This is not a credit card, but a charge card. You can’t treat it like a revolving line of credit, and choose to repay only a minimum amount and accrue interest on the remaining balance. There are no interest rates quoted, no balance transfer option and no cash advances, because you will be expected to repay your account balance in full on the due date every month.

However, during the course of the month, you will receive up to 51 days interest-free on purchases, which gives you some flexibility in managing the cash flow of your business. Plan your major purchases to fall at the beginning of the statement cycle and keep your cash in the bank for 51 days until payment is due.

Avoid being late with payments because there is a steep $30 late payment fee. Prolonged payment default will attract liquidated damages charges, which can be punitive. You can sign up for SMS or email alerts to notify you when payment is due, as well as giving balance updates and payment confirmation.

Business-oriented insurance cover

This is both a gold card and a business card, so it includes both international and domestic travel insurance for business and personal travel, with an additional business cover that does not come with the average personal card. The complimentary policies are:

  • Annual multi-trip international travel and domestic air travel insurance for the cardholder (including supplementary cardholders) and their immediate family. It covers emergency medical expenses (overseas only), luggage, documents, delayed and missed flights, unavoidable trip cancellation, personal liability, and more.
  • Transport accident insurance, providing cash compensation for loss of life or limb while traveling on public transport.
  • Card account balance waiver cancels the amount owing on the card (up to a maximum of $20,000) in the event of a successful transport accident claim.
  • Business trip completion cover reimburses the expenses of an alternative employee’s trip if serious illness or death prevents the cardholder from completing a business trip.

Just pay all your trip fares with the card to activate the policies. This type of comprehensive business cover would probably cost well in excess of $1,500 per year on the retail insurance market.

Making your business life easier

The business-tailored aspects of this card are not confined to insurance cover designed for business travellers. There’s an abundance of other features designed to smooth the path of the small business person or sole trader:

  • Add up to 99 supplementary cards for trusted employees.
  • Travelling cardholders can access cash from ATMs worldwide.
  • Pay with smart mobile devices using Apple Pay, Samsung Pay or Google Pay.
  • Pay suppliers both in Australia and overseas, even if they don’t accept American Express cards, using Amex’s AccessLine, and earn rewards points on the payments.
  • Receive monthly statements itemising business expenses and providing GST details to assist in BAS and tax return preparation.
  • Statements and transaction details can be downloaded to Quicken, MYOB and Excel for seamless integration with your accounting system.
  • Access up to six months of historical transactions online.
  • Account data consolidates primary and supplementary/employee cardholder expenses.
  • No pre-set credit limit (but not limitless credit), providing greater flexibility than a fixed-limit credit card.
  • Instant SMS and email alerts available.
  • Online fraud protection guarantee.
  • Global 48-hour emergency card replacement.
  • Award-winning customer service.

What’s not so good?

There are so many positives to this card it’s easy to lose sight of a few downsides.

For a start, there’s the fact that American Express cards are not universally accepted, and when they are accepted they often attract a surcharge. (However, Coles, Woolworths and major national retailers will accept Amex without demur, and American Express has been actively working on improving card acceptance by bringing its fees into line with those of its competitors. And you can use AccessLine to pay suppliers who don’t accept Amex cards.)

You can’t do a balance transfer from another card, or take a cash advance, or elect not to pay your account balance in full and on time.

The annual card fee of $169 is not negligible, plus there’s an $80 p.a. fee for the rewards program, and each supplementary card costs a pricey $119. So the overall package, with just one card for a spouse or an employee, would cost $368 every year. Nevertheless, the points and insurance, if you can use them, will recover the fees many times over.

Similar cards worth considering

This card lies in the centre of the range of Amex business cards. Amex has the whole spectrum covered, with the more modest American Express Business Card, the American Express Business Explorer Credit Card and the sky-high American Express Platinum Business Card. There are also Amex business cards dedicated to the Qantas and Velocity frequent flyer programs if you are already locked-in to either of these reward schemes.

On our Business Credit Cards page in our Features section you can also check out NAB and ANZ business credit cards, covering a whole range of options from low-interest rate cards to premium rewards points or frequent flyer points cards.

But you can also use a personal credit card for business purposes if rewards and complimentary benefits are more important to you than the card’s business features. For a similar cost, you could have the Westpac Altitude Black Credit Card, with a choice of rewards programs, a high points earning rate and lots of built-in benefits.

So why choose the American Express Gold Business Card?

If you are operating your business on a sound financial basis, the fact that this is not a credit card won’t concern you, because your bank will already cover your borrowing needs at a competitive interest rate. What really sells this card is the point that it is custom-made for business purposes and will prove its worth at tax time, and also when you need to see historical expenses so that you can set up a budget for the future. Issuing supplementary cards to employees will ensure that you can keep business costs down (or employee morale up) by earning rewards merely for going about your normal business.

Disclaimer: Reviews rely upon third party information that may not be correct or may be changed without Credit Card Compare’s knowledge. You must carefully consider your own circumstances before making any commitments and confirm all offers and terms with credit card providers before accepting them. Please refer to our T&Cs for more.

User reviews

3.2 out of 5.0 based on 2 reviews100% of reviewers would recommend this card

Rates and fees
Rewards
Customer service
Convenience
Trust

Reviews from users

Great points earner

Reviewed and recommended by Richard on 09 Apr 2017

I signed up for this card with an offer of 100,000 Qantas points sign-up bonus. I use it wherever I can to maximise my points earning potential, including ATO payments.

If only Amex would reduce their fee percentage, more retailers might accept them.

The card has an annual fee of $249.

I am very happy with this card and rewards

Reviewed and recommended by Michelle Clark on 20 Jul 2015

I am a long time AmEx user – I have gold and platinum, and love them. The rewards have been very important for me, my family, and our four grandchildren.

The only issue is Aldi and other stores, restaurants, bars, and businesses do not accept AmEx, which I find difficult to get my head around.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed about credit cards are the reviewer's alone, and do not reflect the views of Credit Card Compare or the credit card issuer. Reviews have not been approved or otherwise endorsed by Credit Card Compare.

The basics

About this card

Card setup
Single
Card tier
Gold
Card type
American Express
Card use
Business
Credit rating
No bad credit history
Gambling transactions allowed
No
Joint application
N/A
Minimum age
18 years old
Minimum income
$24,000
Minimum income for pensioners
Same as standard
Pensioners
N/A
Rewards program
Membership Rewards Ascent
Temporary residents
N/A

Cardholders

Additional cardholders
99
Additional card fee
$119 p.a.

Credit limits

Minimum credit limit
N/A
Maximum credit limit
$50,000

Repayments

Interest charged from
Purchase date
Interest free period
Up to 51 days on purchases
Minimum repayment
100%

Rates & fees

Ongoing interest rates

MonthlyAnnually
Cash advances N/A N/A
Purchases N/A N/A

Fees

Annual fee
$169 p.a.
Annual fee 2nd year
N/A
Cash advance fee
N/A
Dishonour fee
N/A
Duplicate statement fee
$10
Foreign exchange fee
3%
Late payment fee
$30
Over limit fee
$0
Overseas ATM balance fee
N/A
Overseas ATM withdrawal fee
N/A
Overseas emergency card replacement fee
N/A
Transaction verification fee
$0

Rewards & points

Rewards program basics

First purchase bonus
N/A
Reward points expiry
No expiry as long as you keep your account active
Rewards program
Membership Rewards Ascent
Sign up bonus
N/A
Spend required for bonus points
N/A

Earning points with this card

Frequent flyer points
N/A
Overseas earn rate
Same as standard earn rate
Points cap per month
N/A
Points cap per year
N/A
Points earned on ATO payments
0.5 pts per $1 spent
Reward points
1 pt per $1 spent

Additional benefits

Airport lounge access
No
Complimentary flight voucher
No
Concierge service
No

Minimum criteria for this card

What you need before applying

Be over 18 years old
You are a resident or citizen of Australia
Earn a regular income of more than $24,000 per year
Have no history of bad credit
You have your personal details ready to complete the online application
Have not applied for multiple credit cards recently
Disclaimer: The minimum criteria are intended only to be a guide. Your application may still be rejected by the bank even if you can answer 'Yes' to all the minimum criteria. The final decision regarding your application is up to the bank.

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