Nestled right in the middle of the line, you may find this to be the Goldilocks card in the American Express Business Charge Card line-up. It offers a fuller package than the basic 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 have to pay for these benefits in the form of a £125 annual fee.
Credit Rating Requirement: Good/Excellent
What I like
Although the American Express Gold Business Charge Card does carry an annual fee of £125, this opens up a host of additional offers that could really reward you for your business spending.
- Welcome offer – American Express is offering 20,000 Membership Rewards points if you are approved for the card and spend £3,000 in the first three months of card membership. This is a decent sign-up bonus. Since the card is designed for businesses, £3,000 is likely to be an achievable amount to spend.
- Rewards programme – The main benefit of this card is access to the American Express Membership Rewards programme. The Gold Charge Card enables users to earn one membership point for every full £1 spent. There is no limit to the number of points you can earn, and points do not expire as long as the account is open and in good order. In addition to this, users can earn one additional point for every £1 spent when booking flights, hotels, car hire or experiences through American Express Travel.
It’s all well and good earning points, but what do you actually get in exchange for them? The programme allows you to use the points for rewards from brands such as House of Fraser, M&S, Laithwaite’s, Apple and PC World. You can also redeem your points for a statement credit to support your business. Or alternatively, the scheme enables you to transfer your points to one of the provider’s frequent traveller programmes.
- Payment period – As this card is a charge card, you will be required to pay your statement balance in full each month. However, the card does offer a little grace period of up to 54 days until the payment is due on purchases, enabling your business to have a slightly more flexibility.
- Protection – One of the big advantages of this card is the inclusion of purchasing and refund protection. Purchases made on business cards are not covered under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act. However, the American Express Gold Business Charge Card offers purchase protection on eligible items lost or damaged within 90 days, promising to repair, replace or refund up to £2,500 per item. Similarly, if a UK retailer does not allow you to return an item, if it is within 90 days of purchase, American Express will refund you up to a maximum of £300.
- Other benefits – Travel is a key aspect of the membership programme, and the card also offers travel accident insurance of up to £250,000 and travel inconvenience insurance up to £200. You will also get up to 99 free supplementary cards with your account.
- Worth knowing – You are not eligible for the welcome bonus if you hold or have held an American Express card with Membership Rewards in the past six months.
What could be improved?
While this card has a range of attractive offers, nothing is perfect and there are a few downsides.
- Annual fee – There is no getting around it, the rewards aren’t free. A £125 annual fee is a cost that you will need to budget for when applying for the card. It is useful that the fee for the first year is waived, but make sure you can afford the subsequent payments.
- Overseas usage – Strange for a card that offers additional rewards for booking travel and provides travel insurance and the option to redeem rewards for travel programmes, but it has a 2.99% non-sterling transaction fee. So just watch out if you do plan for this card to be used abroad.
How does it stack up?
If you can resign yourself to the annual fee attached to this card (which at £125 is definitely at the top end), then the American Express Gold Business Charge Card has a package full of features to help you make the most out of your business spending. Its sign-up bonus points and Membership Rewards scheme set it apart from more basic offerings, and the added bonus of purchase and refund protection gives it a unique selling point for a card of its type.
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 also 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 Gold Business Charge Card right for you?
If you are looking for a card that could potentially offer rewards for your business and are happy with and capable of paying an annual fee of £125, the American Express Gold Business Charge Card is an attractive option. With no limit on the quantity of rewards you can earn, plus a 20,000-point sign-up bonus (dependent on a spend of £3,000 in the first three months) and purchase protection, you are looking at getting something back for your business expenditure while also making sure that what you buy with your card is protected.
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