The Best American Express Business Cards

Updated: 4th November, 2019.

American Express has a range of business charge cards suited to differing budgets, from the high-end Platinum card to the fee-free Basic Card. And yes, that’s right, these are charge cards not credit cards. That means there are no pre-set limits on how much you can spend, as long as you can pay it off in full at the end of the month.

Credit card offers from our affiliate partners appear first and are ordered from highest rating to lowest, followed by other top-rated offers. You can read more about our ratings and page sort here. Offers from affiliate partners are marked with *

We’ve reviewed the cards that make up the American Express business portfolio. Below you’ll find our analysis of the many perks and benefits on offer, as well as any fees and potential limitations.

Great for: Premium charge-card experience
4.5 stars question mark
Apply Now!

On American Express's Secure Website

* Affiliate partner

This card is the jewel in American Express’s Business Charge Card crown. As expected, it has benefits such as its Membership Rewards programme and purchase protection, but it also has a plethora of more exclusive perks such as airport lounge access, hotel upgrades and a dedicated concierge service. Just make sure you can afford the price tag attached, an annual fee of £595.

Read full review >

CREDIT RATING req:

  • Poor/No credit
  • Fair/Average
  • Good/Excellent

HIGHLIGHTS

  • 1 Membership Rewards point per £1 spent
  • 40,000 bonus Membership Rewards points after spending £6,000 in first 3 months
  • Access to 1,200+ airport lounges
  • Access to Platinum Business Service and dedicated concierge and travel team
  • Up to 99 supplementary cards for employees
  • 1 additional Membership Rewards Point per £1 spent through American Express Travel for flights, hotels and car hires
  • Travel Accident and Travel Inconvenience insurance
  • Purchase protection for up to £2,500 on items purchased on card and stolen or damaged within 90 days, plus refund protection up to £300

REPRESENTATIVE EXAMPLE

Not applicable. This is a charge card, so there's no credit offered.

* This is an offer from one of our affiliate partners. Click here to learn more about why and how we work with partners.

what we like

  • 1 Membership Rewards point per £1 spent
  • 40,000 bonus Membership Rewards points after spending £6,000 in first 3 months
  • Access to 1,000+ airport lounges
  • ANNUAL FEE:

    £595
  • REPRESENTATIVE APR:

    N/A
  • INTRO OFFER:

    40,000 bonus Membership Rewards points (after spending £6,000 in first three months)

KEY SCORES:

  • 5/5 Perks
  • 1/5Fees
  • N/AAPR

HIGHLIGHTS

  • 1 Membership Rewards point per £1 spent
  • 40,000 bonus Membership Rewards points after spending £6,000 in first 3 months
  • Access to 1,200+ airport lounges
  • Access to Platinum Business Service and dedicated concierge and travel team
  • Up to 99 supplementary cards for employees
  • 1 additional Membership Rewards Point per £1 spent through American Express Travel for flights, hotels and car hires
  • Travel Accident and Travel Inconvenience insurance
  • Purchase protection for up to £2,500 on items purchased on card and stolen or damaged within 90 days, plus refund protection up to £300

REPRESENTATIVE EXAMPLE

Not applicable. This is a charge card, so there's no credit offered.

* This is an offer from one of our affiliate partners. Click here to learn more about why and how we work with partners.

Great for: Earning rewards while charging business expenses
4 stars question mark
Apply Now!

On American Express's Secure Website

* Affiliate partner

The American Express Gold Business Charge Card offers a fuller package than the basic charge card, with a payment period of up to 54 days on purchases, the Membership Rewards programme, travel insurance, purchase protection, and refund protection. However, you do have to pay for these benefits in the form of a £125 annual fee.

Read full review >

CREDIT RATING req:

  • Poor/No credit
  • Fair/Average
  • Good/Excellent

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Earn 1 Amex Membership Rewards point per £1 spent
  • 20,000 rewards points bonus (after spending £3,000 in first 3 months)
  • No annual fee for the first year
  • Up to 99 supplementary cards for employees
  • 1 additional Membership Rewards Point per £1 spent through American Express Travel for flights, hotels and car hires
  • Travel Accident and Travel Inconvenience insurance
  • Purchase protection for up to £2,500 on items purchased on card and stolen or damaged within 90 days

REPRESENTATIVE EXAMPLE

Not applicable. This is a charge card, so there's no credit offered.

* This is an offer from one of our affiliate partners. Click here to learn more about why and how we work with partners.

what we like

  • Earn 1 Amex Membership Rewards point per £1 spent
  • 20,000 rewards points bonus (after spending £3,000 in first 3 months)
  • No annual fee for the first year
  • ANNUAL FEE:

    £125 (£0 in first year)
  • REPRESENTATIVE APR:

    N/A
  • INTRO OFFER:

    20,000 rewards points bonus (after spending £3,000 in first 3 months)
    £0 Annual Fee in First Year

KEY SCORES:

  • 3/5 Perks
  • 1/5Fees
  • N/AAPR

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Earn 1 Amex Membership Rewards point per £1 spent
  • 20,000 rewards points bonus (after spending £3,000 in first 3 months)
  • No annual fee for the first year
  • Up to 99 supplementary cards for employees
  • 1 additional Membership Rewards Point per £1 spent through American Express Travel for flights, hotels and car hires
  • Travel Accident and Travel Inconvenience insurance
  • Purchase protection for up to £2,500 on items purchased on card and stolen or damaged within 90 days

REPRESENTATIVE EXAMPLE

Not applicable. This is a charge card, so there's no credit offered.

* This is an offer from one of our affiliate partners. Click here to learn more about why and how we work with partners.

Great for: Easy, no-fee business charge card
2.5 stars question mark

The American Express Basic Business Charge Card is basic in name and basic in nature, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to like about it. With no costly annual fee and no preset spending limit, the card can ease your business cashflow without you shelling out to do so. It also offers a little breathing room with an up to 42-day payment period on purchases, plus up to 99 supplementary cardmembers.

Read full review >

CREDIT RATING req:

  • Poor/No credit
  • Fair/Average
  • Good/Excellent

HIGHLIGHTS

  • No annual fee
  • Up to 99 additional cardholders
  • No pre-set spending limit

REPRESENTATIVE EXAMPLE

Not applicable. This is a charge card, so there's no credit offered.

what we like

  • No annual fee
  • Up to 99 additional cardholders
  • No pre-set spending limit
  • ANNUAL FEE:

    £0
  • REPRESENTATIVE APR:

    N/A
  • INTRO OFFER:

    N/A

KEY SCORES:

  • 1/5 Perks
  • 5/5Fees
  • N/AAPR

HIGHLIGHTS

  • No annual fee
  • Up to 99 additional cardholders
  • No pre-set spending limit

REPRESENTATIVE EXAMPLE

Not applicable. This is a charge card, so there's no credit offered.


American Express Business Cards

The likelihood is that you have heard of the American Express brand, known for its premium packages and perks. Starting life as a freight forwarding company in 1850, the card provider is now known across the globe for its financial and card products. Since its humble beginnings it has built itself up to be one of the largest global payment networks available today.

While it has an extensive UK credit card portfolio, its business offering is more streamlined with only three options available. However, they cater for every budget, ranging from a basic no-fee card up to the premium Platinum card targeted at the more affluent business customer.

One important difference to note is that all of the American Express Business cards are charge cards, not credit cards. This means that there are no pre-set spending limits, but that the balance will need to be paid in full at the end of each month.

What do American Express Business Cards do well?

With a brand like American Express you know you are likely to receive good service. One of the key elements you will find is 24/7 customer support and online business account management. Which means you can access your account at any time and even request an emergency card replacement if need be.

With these cards there is also the bonus of no preset spending limit, which, when running a business, could be a distinct advantage. While most charge cards require you to pay the balance in full at the end of each month, American Express does allow a little wiggle room on this. The basic card has a slightly longer period in which to repay the balance, while the fee-paying cards offer a significantly larger window in which to make repayments.

There is also the well-known American Express Membership Reward scheme included on the cards carrying an annual fee. This scheme enables cardholders to earn points on whatever they spend and then redeem them for vouchers from a wide selection of partners. There is an added bonus that typically the provider offers some sort of welcome award to new cardmembers in order to get your rewards off to an encouraging start.

What American Express does well is a premium package. If you are willing to pay for it. Assuming you are one of the lucky ones that can afford to do so, you could potentially open the door to airport lounge access, hotel upgrades and concierge services, alongside travel insurance and purchase protection. The bottom line is that if you pay an annual fee, you stand to benefit from a host of perks and rewards.

Where do American Express Business Cards fall down?

If you have a less than perfect credit score then an American Express card is not one for you. The provider is very much focused on borrowers who have a good or excellent credit score, including with its business charge cards.

Meanwhile, the top perks are saved for the cards with annual fees. And the higher the annual fee, the more benefits you receive. In regard to business cards, it is worth checking how many of your supplementary cards qualify for the benefits that are on offer, as you may be restricted to only two premium cards on the account. Which could make a big difference in the value you draw from the benefits on offer.

Finally, there is the issue that American Express is not as widely accepted as cards operating on the Visa and Mastercard networks. How much that impacts your business depends on where you are likely to spend and on what. If most of your business is conducted in large cities or with mainstream retailers, you’re unlikely to notice a difference. American Express is accepted at tens of millions of merchants worldwide. But if you think that your employees may need to use their cards at smaller outlets, there’s a chance of your card not being accepted.

What will you find in American Express’s Business card portfolio?

You will find cards suited to every budget, from a fee-free card which simply offers a basic business charge card package, a middle of the road card which offers some perks but keeps costs in check, all the way to the premium charge card which comes with a high price tag but a bucketful of rewards.

What you won’t find are any cashback opportunities. Where American Express does offer rewards, its business cards offer them in the form of Membership Reward points. If you are looking for cold hard cash, you won’t find it here.

How to apply

You can access the application form by clicking the ‘Apply Now’ links above, which will take you directly to American Express’s website where you can complete your application. The application must be completed by an authorised signatory of the business e.g. the sole trader, a partner in the partnership, a director in the limited company or a member of the LLP. You will need to provide personal details as well as details about your business and your company structure.

American Express requires that your business has a current UK bank or building society account and that neither you, nor the business, have any CCJs for the non-payment of debt.

If you have chosen a card with an annual fee, then you will be required to pay this at the time of application.

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