There’s some mind-boggling welcome bonuses showing up on the US-issued American Express small business cards:
These offers either match or surpass previous all-time-highs, and are primarily available via refer-a-friend links generated from the Business Platinum Card. Let’s take a look at all the details.
Amex US Business Platinum Card: 150,000 US MR Points
In the past, the Amex US Business Platinum Card has historically carried a welcome bonus that hovered around 75,000 US MR points.
Right now, however, the card will offer a staggering 150,000 US MR points by applying via select refer-a-friend links, but only upon spending an onerous US$15,000 in the first three months. The offer is therefore only suitable for business owners with large expenses or individual with high spending capacities.
(If a refer-a-friend link doesn’t reveal the 150,000 US MR points at first, try opening it in incognito mode or a different browser.)
Remember, because Amex US enforces a strict once-in-a-lifetime rule on welcome bonuses, the dominant strategy for all Amex US cards is to only apply when there are historically high offers on the table.
150,000 US MR points on the US Business Platinum Card most certainly fits that bill, so if you’ve never held this card before and are prepared to dive into the high spending threshold, now’s the time to do so.
150,000 US MR points would be more than enough for the following redemptions:
The US Business Platinum Card commands an annual fee of US$695, which is the highest annual fee among the major Amex US products. That certainly appears very intimidating at first glance, but the card also boasts a series of credits that can lower the annual fee.
Each calendar year, you’ll get US$200 in airline incidental fee credits and US$400 in Dell US credits (US$200 from January through June, and US$200 from July through December). If you can maximize these credits, your net annual fee can be reduced to US$95.
(Loading funds into a United Travel Bank is a popular way to use the airline incidental fee credits, allowing you to spend these funds on United-operated flights within five years’ time. Meanwhile, the Dell US credits have proven to work on purchases made on the Dell Canada website as well.)
If you’d prefer to treat the US Business Platinum as a one-year love affair, you could even come out far ahead against the US$695 annual fee in the first year. By applying now, in June 2022, you could earn:
- US$200 in airline incidental fee credit for 2022
- US$200 in airline incidental fee credit for 2023
- US$200 in Dell US credit in June 2022
- US$200 in Dell US credit in July 2022
- US$200 in Dell US credit in January 2023
- US$200 in Dell US credit in July 2023
By July 2023, you’d still be within one month of your second year’s annual fee posting to the account, so you’d be able to cancel the card without paying another US$695 annual fee if you wanted.
That would also mean that you’ve come out ahead by US$505 in value during your one year of holding the card – on top of the incredible 150,000 US MR points that you earn as a welcome bonus.
Amex US Business Gold Card: 130,000 US MR Points
In addition, the US Business Platinum’s lower-end counterpart, the Amex US Business Gold Card, is also putting on the best welcome bonus we’ve ever seen: 130,000 US MR points, upon spending US$10,000 in the first three months.
(Again, if a refer-a-friend link doesn’t reveal the 130,000 US MR points, open it in incognito mode or a different browser for best results.)
While the US$10,000 spending requirement is still high, it’s arguably a better offer compared to the Business Platinum Card if your spending capacity is more constrained: the welcome bonus is only lower by 20,000 US MR points, but you need to spend US$5,000 less to earn it.
130,000 US MR points would be enough for a round-way flight in ANA First Class (via Virgin Atlantic Flying Club) or a one-way flight on Emirates First Class (via Emirates Skywards) as outlined above, in addition to many powerful premium redemptions via ANA Mileage Club, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, Air France/KLM Flying Blue, and so on.
The US Business Gold Card has an annual fee of US$295, without much in the way of credits to offset the fee.
Instead, the card’s value proposition lies in its unique 4x earn rate in the categories of US technology purchases, shipping, advertising, dining, gas, and airfare. The 4x earning rate applies to the two categories with the highest spend on each billing statement, up to a combined total of US$150,000 per calendar year.
In particular, the US Business Gold is a very popular card for businesses who spend lots of money on online advertising. Canadian-based online vendors, for example, would do well to get the US Business Gold and generate 4x US MR points on their ad spend.
If you can’t maximize these spending categories, however, I’d say that the US Business Gold is also best suited to a one-year holding period, with the main prize being the staggering welcome bonus of 130,000 US MR points.
Applying for Amex US Business Cards for Canadians
While Amex US personal cards are straightforward for Canadians to apply for even if they’re completely new to US credit cards, the situation is less clear-cut with Amex US business cards.
In the United States, business credit cards do not report to your personal credit file, meaning that they won’t be useful for building your US credit history over time.
If you’re contemplating getting your first US credit card, you’d ideally want to choose a personal card to get started with, so that it’ll continue to support your credit history and build your Average Age of Accounts (AAoA) over time.
Even if you wanted to start with a business credit card, it may not be feasible to do so. Amex US allows Canadian applicants to use Nova Credit to apply for their first US card on the basis of their Canadian TransUnion credit profile, but this only works for personal cards, not business cards.
If you’ve already gotten started on your US credit card journey, then you can apply for the Amex US Business Platinum or Business Gold cards either by inputting your Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), or by applying over the phone using a foreign passport as your documentation.
On the other hand, if you’re just getting started with US credit cards, then I’d recommend choosing a personal card and applying via Nova Credit as the first step, and then applying for one of the Amex US business cards once you’ve held your personal card for six months or so.
The Amex US business cards have charted all-new record-high levels, offering those of us who are involved with US credit cards a few bountiful opportunities for racking up the points.
The Amex US Business Platinum Card is offering new applicants 150,000 US MR points, which is the biggest single chunk of a welcome bonus that I’ve ever seen on any credit card in the US or Canada.
Meanwhile, the Amex US Business Gold Card is offering new applicants 130,000 US MR points, which is outrageously high compared to the card’s US$295 annual fee, and also easily the best bonus we’ve ever seen on this product.
Both offers come with onerous spending thresholds of US$15,000 and US$10,000, respectively, so you’ll either need to channel your true business expenses, plan around your biggest purchases of the year, or leverage some creative spending strategies to capture these mouthwatering bonuses for yourself.