American Express Basic Business Charge Card

By: Kate Anderson | Updated: 13th April 2019.

The American Express Basic Business Charge Card has no annual fee and no pre-set spending limit. The only catch is that because it is a charge card, you need to pay your balance in full each month – but this card eases your cash flow by offering a payment period on purchases of up to 42 days. That and the benefit of no interest rates to worry about, and this type of card could be a good fit for your business.

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.

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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.

Bottom line

This 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 cash flow 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.

Credit Rating Requirement: Good/Excellent

What I like

The American Express Basic Business Charge Card keeps it simple but has features that fulfill the brief of being a business charge card.

  • No annual fee – This card has no annual fee – zilch – which, compared with its sister cards, is quite a difference. Obviously, cards with an annual fee often include additional rewards and benefits, but if you are just looking to keep it simple, then not having a price tag attached to taking the card out is definitely an advantage.
  • No preset limit – One of the major benefits of having a charge card rather than a credit card is that charge cards typically do not apply a limit to how much you can spend. The American Express Basic Business Charge Card does not disappoint in this area: it has no preset spending limit. The only caveat is that you need to pay your balance in full each month, so while there may not be a limit on how much you can spend, you do need to spend what you can afford to repay.
  • Payment period – This card offers a little grace period, with a payment period of up to 42 days. Basically, this means that compared with an invoice or a cheque payment, where the money would leave your account immediately, with this card you have up to 42 days until your payment is due, leaving money in your account for a bit longer and providing you with a bit more flexibility.
  • Supplementary cards – One of the key aspects of having a business card is allowing other employees or partners to use the account. The American Express Basic Business Charge Card allows you to have 99 supplementary cardmembers free of charge.
  • Other benefits – As this card is under the American Express umbrella, it comes with certain benefits. It offers emergency card replacement if the card is lost or stolen anywhere in the world, plus 24-hour business account management online or through its mobile app.

Why trust me


Kate Anderson
I worked on the front line of personal-finance best buys for over eight years at one of the world’s largest research companies, Nielsen. I reported daily on the developments of the 2008 financial crisis and beyond, keeping up with the changing financial landscape and providing insights to all the major banks in the UK. I know the key players in the market and the tactics behind how they behave. All of which I will apply to highlight the best deals and give honest reviews to help you in your search.

What could be improved?

While the simplicity of this card could be seen as its main selling point, it does mean that there are some areas where it falls down in comparison with other cards of its type on the market.

  • No rewards – The Basic Business Charge Card offers nothing in terms of rewards. This is understandable, as its main selling point is the lack of annual fee, but it does make it a basic package.
  • Overseas usage – The card has a 2.99% non-sterling transaction fee, which for a card aimed at businesses is definitely a downside. You will incur a charge for any foreign transaction made using this card.

How does it stack up?

‘Basic’ is the best way to sum up this card’s offering. It is simplistic in that there is no annual fee, but this also means that there are no additional rewards. If you are looking for a straightforward charge card, then this card certainly fulfills that brief, with the main positives being no preset spending limit and its payment period on purchases. However, other cards on the market which do carry some form of annual fee offer a lot more in terms of reward points and other benefits.

Credit score

In order to be eligible to apply for this card, your business must have a UK bank or building society account. Additionally, you and the business must not have any county court judgments (CCJs) for non-payment of debt. You, the applicant, must be aged 18 or over and a UK resident.

How do you apply?

Applications can be made through the American Express website. As part of the application, you will be required to provide personal details as well as details about your business and your company structure.

Is the American Express Basic Business Charge Card right for you?

If you are looking to keep things simple and are after a charge card that ‘does what it says on the tin’, then the American Express Basic Business Charge Card could be a good option. It offers everything you would expect from a business charge card, no preset spending limits and free supplementary cards, with the added bonus of no annual fee. However, if you are looking for a bit more in terms of rewards and the lack of a foreign transaction fee, then it may be worth considering a card that does have an annual fee but includes additional benefits.

See the Best Business Credit Cards


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