The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN is now offering a sign-up bonus of 50,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $5,000 within the first 3 months.

Some perks that make the card standout include that you can choose your bonus earning categories to help maximize your points earnings and the annual fee is waived the first year ($175 after that).

amex-business-gold-rewards-card-sign-up-bonus-01

Remember that American Express has a rule that you can only earn the sign-up bonus once per lifetime per card, so you always want to apply for their cards when the sign-up bonus is the highest.

If you have never had this card before now is a great time to apply.

Normally the bonus offered on the card is only 25,000 points, which makes this current offer double the normal one.

50,000 Points Sign-Up Bonus

Right now the Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN is offering 50,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $5,000 within the first 3 months.

The 50,000 points sign-up bonus is worth worth ~$950 when you value Membership Rewards points at roughly 1.9 cents each. This is one of the highest publicly available sign-up bonuses offered on this card in a long while.

Remember, you’ll get the maximum value from Membership Rewards points when you transfer them to valuable airline and hotel transfer partners (see here for a full transfer guide).

Earning Membership Rewards Points

A unique feature of the card is that you can choose your 3x and 2x bonus earning categories. This allows you to maximize your points earning based on your spending habits.

amex-business-gold-rewards-card-sign-up-bonus-02

Here is a breakdown of the card’s earning structure:

  • 3x Membership Rewards points on 1 out these 5 categories (you choose):
    • Airfare purchased directly from airlines
    • U.S. purchases for advertising in select media
    • U.S. purchases at gas stations
    • U.S. purchases for shipping
    • U.S. computer hardware, software, and cloud computing purchases made directly from select providers
  • 2x Membership Rewards points on the 4 remaining categories.
  • 1x Membership Rewards points on all other purchases.

The 3x and 2x bonus points earnings apply to the first $100,000 in purchases in each of the 5 categories per year. After that you will earn 1x Membership Rewards point per dollar.

One of the strongest selling points of this card is the fact that you can customize your bonus earning categorizes in order to maximize your points earnings.

If you are a big spending in any of the 5 bonus category options this is definitely a card you should consider to make sure you’re earning top rewards per dollar.

How To Use Membership Rewards

The Business Gold Rewards Card earns Membership Rewards points which are flexible bank points that can be transferred to many different airline and hotel programs or redeemed to directly purchase any flight.

This flexibility gives you ultimate freedom to choose how you want to use your rewards points and helps you get the most out of them.

In total you have 17 different airline and 3 hotel programs to transfer points to. Remember, you’ll get the most out of your points when you transfer points to travel partners vs. purchasing travel directly through Amex’s travel portal.

You can transfer Membership Rewards points to any of the airline programs connected to the Amex Membership Rewards icon in the middle (below).

Airline_Transfer_Partner_Guide_Update_6.23.2016

What Are Membership Rewards Points Worth?

Given that you have several options for redeeming your Membership Rewards points you’ll get different values per point depending on your redemption.

In general you will get the most value from Membership Rewards points when you transfer them to airline programs at a ratio of 1:1 and use them to book award flights. Even more so, you can maximize the value per points by specifically booking business and first class flights using points.

You also have the option to transfer points to hotel programs and purchase flights directly through Amex at a value of 1.0 per point—however, these options are not as valuable as the airline transfer option.

Expect to get 1.8 to 2.0 cents per point in value from Membership Rewards points when used for a high-value redemption. Ultimately this value range should be your minimum target value for any use of Membership Rewards points, however it really comes down to what works best for you.

Should You Apply?

One important thing to remember is that American Express now limits each person to earning the sign-up bonus once per lifetime per card.

This means that that if you have ever has the Business Gold Rewards Card in the past you will not qualify to earn for the sign-up bonus. If you have had other American Express credit cards, such as the personal Amex Gold or Platinum cards you will can still earn the bonus on this card.

This means you should always apply for America Express cards when they are offering a higher sign-up bonus. The best way to get the highest offer is to either 1) apply for a higher public offer or 2) apply for a targeted offer that you receive in the mail or online.

That said, the current increased 50,000 point offer on the Business Gold Rewards Card is the highest public offer we’ve seen in a long while.

Other Card Features & Fees

It’s worth noting that the card does have a $175 annual fee, but this is waived the first year.

The card does not have any foreign transaction fees, which makes it ideal for traveling outside the US. You can also use the card’s chip technology when you are in countries that require this.

The card is technically not a credit card. It’s a charge card, which essentially means that there is no pre-set credit limit and you are of course expected to pall off your balance in full every month.

The Bottom Line

The increased 50,000 Membership Rewards points offer on the Business Gold Rewards Card is a great publicly available offer on the card. This offer is double the standard 25,000 point sign-up bonus.

If you have never had this card before, now may be a good time to apply to earn a higher bonus on it since Amex has a rule limiting you to earn only a bonus only once per card.

The major draw to this card is that it’s flexible rewards earning structure allows you to customize your bonus category.

You can choose to earn 3x points from 5 different bonus categories and will earn 2x points on the other 4 bonus categories. Leveraging the bonus categories can be a great way to maximize your Membership Rewards points earnings.

Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®


Bonus: 40,000 miles after spending $3,000 in the first 90 days.

Benefits:
-- 2X points per dollar spent on all purchases.
-- Get 5% of your miles back when you redeem your points, to use on your next redemption.
-- Chip+PIN technology, which can be useful for international travel.
-- Complimentary online FICO® Credit Score
-- No foreign transaction fees.

Annual fee: $89

Quick review: The Arrival Plus card is one of my favorite all-around 2X earning cards. The 50,000 mile sign-up bonus is worth $525 in free travel and easy to redeem!