American Express Business Card

My monthly spend: 
$5,000
 
offer
card features
rewards program
earn rate
sign up bonus
your earnings
Earn 1 Membership Rewards point for each dollar spent.
No pre-set spending limit means more flexibility.
Extend your cash flow up to 51 days.
Add to comparison
Membership Rewards Ascent
Membership Rewards Ascent
1 pt
per $1 spent
-

Pros & cons

What's good?

What's not so good?

Earn 1 Membership Rewards point for each dollar spent.
Redeem points across 9 airline programs and leading frequent guest partner programs at hotels.
No pre-set spending limit means more flexibility.
Extend your cash flow up to 51 days.
Receive monthly statements that provide a detailed, itemised list of business expenses.
Cards are Chip, PIN and Contactless enabled providing enhanced security, speed and convenience when making a purchase.
$80 p.a. enrolment fee to join the Membership Rewards program.
American Express is not as widely accepted as other cards and some businesses add a surcharge.
You cannot transfer your balance onto this card.

Review

Our review of the American Express Business Card

The iconic, tried and true, green American Express card is recognised everywhere as one of the world’s original charge cards, and it has now been adapted to suit the needs of business owners in the shape of the American Express Business Card. When you use this card you make a statement implying a well-established business history, but it is a card focused on the future, not the past, with plenty of useful business-related features backed by world class service and security. Optional rewards points are the icing on the cake.

A flexible charge card, not a fixed limit credit card

Although it resembles a credit card in many respects, this is in fact a charge card. Unlike a credit card, it’s not a revolving line of credit. You will be expected to clear your outstanding purchase balance on the due date for payment each month, instead of being encouraged to make only a minimum payment if you have temporary liquidity problems. Consequently, there are no interest rates quoted for overdue purchase balances. But you will want to make sure you pay on time and in full, to avoid being liable for penalty payments called ‘liquidated damages’, which can be very substantial.

You can take advantage of Up to 51 days on purchases each month, because the due date for payment falls 21 days after the statement closing date. That’s significantly more generous than the many credit cards which offer only 44 interest-free days, but not as open-handed as the cards extending up to 55 days interest free.

Another charge card feature which may come as a surprise is the lack of a rigid credit limit. That doesn’t mean that your spending power is unlimited. American Express will keep an eye on your balance and assess your ability to repay based on your credit record, payment history and access to funds.

Packed with features to help the small business owner

The word ‘business’ appears in this card’s name for a good reason: it’s a package designed to benefit anyone who is self-employed or running a small business. (However, you don’t need to be a business owner or sole trader in order to be approved for this card.) The specific attributes which make it particularly suitable for business use include the following:

  • Monthly account statements itemising business expenses with separate GST details to assist speedy BAS and income tax return preparation
  • Statements and transaction details can be downloaded to Excel, Quicken and MYOB, for extra flexibility in keeping track of expenses
  • Cost-free instant alerts, by SMS or email, for balance updates, advice when payment is due or payment confirmation
  • An online fraud protection guarantee, as long as you advise Amex of any fraudulent transactions you discover
  • Global emergency card replacement system
  • Time saving contactless technology providing PIN-free convenience for purchases under $100
  • Card is eligible for use with Apple Pay, turning your iPhone or Apple watch into a digital wallet
  • Business trip completion insurance cover (see below)
  • Amex global contact centre is available 24/7 and has won customer service excellence awards, including winning the Customer Service Institute of Australia’s 2015 award for service excellence in a contact centre with more than 100 employees

Complimentary insurance cover

There’s no international travel insurance with this card, or even domestic travel cover for flight delays and lost luggage, but you will get some useful policies when you pay your full trip fare using the card:

  • Transport accident cover: You will receive a cash compensation if you (or your immediate family travelling with you) suffer loss of life or limb while travelling in a plane or public transport, both in Australia and overseas.
  • Account balance waiver cover: If you make a successful transport accident claim, Amex will also cancel your liability to pay off the existing balance of your card account, up to a maximum of $10,000.
  • Business trip completion cover: Covers expenses of an alternative employee to complete your business trip, if during your trip you suffer serious injury, severe illness, or you die, or a close relative dies.

Optional Membership Rewards Ascent points

Not everyone is interested in collecting rewards points, but with many cards there is no choice because they are built into the cost structure in the form of a higher annual fee. But this American Express card is unusual in that it does give you a choice. If you want to earn points you can opt in for an additional cost (i.e. on top of the annual fee) of $80 per year. The earning rate is 1 pt per $1 spent, except for spending on utilities, non-Amex insurance premiums and transactions with government bodies. Purchases which fall into these last three categories earn only 0.5 pts pts per $1 spent.

Points are not capped and never expire, so they will still be there no matter how much or how little you use your card.

Redeeming Membership Rewards points

Amex does not have its own merchandise catalogue, where points can be exchanged for consumer goods. However, this does not limit the ways in which points can be redeeme, and it’s possible that not having a catalogue keeps costs down and improves the redemption benefits. This is what you can do with your points:

  • Shop online at davidjones.com.au, for just about anything you can buy instore
  • Get the best sporting, concert or theatre tickets through Ticketmaster
  • Transfer your points to nine airline frequent flyer programs (Virgin Australia, Air New Zealand, Singapore Airlines, Emirates, Etihad, Cathay Pacific, Thai Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Malaysian Airlines)
  • Transfer your points to Hilton HHonors or Starwood Preferred Guest programs
  • Purchase gift cards to use at leading Australian retailers, cinemas and petrol stations (starting at 1,400 points for a $10 retail card, or 3,500 points for a $25 cinema card)
  • Buy foreign currency from American Express
  • Pay off your card account balance with points (starting at 8,000 points for a $50 credit)

The longer you can wait to redeem, the more value you will get. For low denomination rewards, the value is about 0.7 cents per point ($10 worth of goods or services for 1,400 points), but the higher denominations deliver $100 of value for 13,500 points (0.75 cents per point).

Most of these redemption methods come with a ‘Points + Pay’ option if you need to redeem before you have accumulated enough points: use points for part of the payment and cash for the rest.

You get what you pay for

With an annual fee of $109 p.a., plus $79 p.a. for each supplementary card, this isn’t exactly the cheapest card around. And you’ll need to add a further $80 a year if you want to participate in the rewards program. (But it’s well worth opting in, since you only need to spend $10,800 per year to recover the program fee, and every point after that is free.)

So you’re paying $109 p.a. per year for Up to 51 days on purchases, some useful insurance cover, the option to make it a rewards card if you wish, and a package tailored for business or tax purposes. You’ll need to be comfortable with the fact that some retailers either don’t accept American Express or add a surcharge.

Why should I want the American Express Business Card?

You’ll want this card if you have trouble keeping track of your expenses for tax purposes, whether you’re running a business or just need to make deduction claims against your personal income. Since you plan to always pay your account balance in full, the fact that it’s a charge card will not trouble you because you’ll still be able to take advantage of Up to 51 days on purchases each month. If you want to say goodbye to the shoe box full of dog-eared receipts and hello to rewards points, while making good use of the high level of security and customer service, you may have found the perfect match.

User reviews

3.3 out of 5.0 based on 16 reviews88% of reviewers would recommend this card.

Rates and fees
Rewards
Customer service
Convenience
Trust
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed about credit cards are the reviewer's alone, and do not reflect the views of Credit Card Compare or the credit card issuer. Reviews have not been approved or otherwise endorsed by Credit Card Compare.

Great service, pity about low acceptance rate

Reviewed and recommended by Genevieve on 28 Oct 2016

This card was awarded to me for my business banking. I found it simple to make purchases with. However, not many companies accept this credit card so at times it was an inconvenience as I would be caught out trying to buy simple household items such as milk.

The customer service was fantastic — the hold waiting time was kept to a minimum and the service provided was friendly and helpful. The phone help was able to clearly communicate with me and I felt cared for and understood.

Don't like the surcharges

Reviewed and recommended by Karin on 09 Oct 2016

Great when accepted, but not all businesses do. Businesses should not be allowed to charge you when using this card. An extra three per cent is over the top, when that cost is probably already incorporated into the account.

There’s nothing else to say when you are reasonably happy with the card.

Great card for large transactions

Reviewed and recommended by ella on 20 Sep 2016

I do business with this card every day, and have a good response from others. When shopping for items worldwide, it is a great card for transactions involving large sums of money.

The bonuses and rewards are by far some of the nicest out there in the land of credit cards. When ii gets to be as big as this, then you have to go for it.

Good card

Reviewed and recommended by Cesar on 04 Jul 2016

The one thing you have to remember about this card is that while the $450 is high if you don’t use the benefits (Priority Pass, airline charges, TSA pre check, etc.), if you travel it offers so much value. $450 is a joke because one trip will eat that up. The customer service is super, plus the use of it with international travel is superb.

I highly recommend this card and just cant say enough!

Good credit

Reviewed and recommended by Jason on 01 Jul 2016

It is very convenient to buy things. Secondly, it does not cost very much when you get a surcharge or go over the limit. I like it very much and would recommend it to my friends.

Limited acceptance with surcharges

Reviewed and not recommended by Magicabbie on 19 Jul 2015

This was my original credit card and was useful when I took my first trip to Europe in 1983. However, since then it seems to be accepted in less places and even when it is accepted, most retailers prefer you to use another type or apply a surcharge to pay with it.

Fabulous card - never leave home without it!

Reviewed and recommended by Annette on 14 Jul 2015

I have had my plain old green AmEx card for 21 years. It doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles, but it has reliability. I use it to purchase large items and pay for travel. I know exactly what I have spent and when it is due for payment.

When overseas, if I need help, it is simply a phone call to customer service and help is there. If I need, as has happened, to purchase a new ticket, it is done without a drama.

I am never worrying about internet glitches, changes of bank policy etc. AmEx customer representatives are friendly, knowledgable and wonderfully helpful – and I can always understand them.

My AmEx card is a friend in the wallet and like all good friends I never abuse it!

Glad to finally get an emergency credit card!

Reviewed and recommended by Jules on 01 Apr 2014

The American Express card, although a tad on the costly side, is nonetheless an easy card to obtain. This is very re-assuring to have for an emergency such as a major car breakdown. My card was very difficult to begin operation with, due to the poor set of instructions and financial information that it came with. Nonetheless, I eventually activated it and am glad that I have it, although I have not as yet needed it, due to my good budgeting skills! I also like that it is widely accepted at shops and businesses.

Cannot fault the service

Reviewed and recommended by Daniel B55 on 31 Mar 2014

The American Express card for which I have been a member of since 1994 has proven to be universally accepted and customer service is second to none. I never use another card due to its convenience, credibility and security aspect having had an experience where my card was debited in the US for a transaction. Amex rectified this with one call. That’s efficiency.

Trash or treasure

Reviewed and recommended by Guggzie on 01 Nov 2013

A credit card can be a trap for the unwary, but if used judiciously as an emergency measure, it does have a benefit. The interest rate charged for this card, and in fact for all the credit cards is pure usury as the credit itself is nothing more than a few computer keystrokes.

Show 6 more reviews

Basic details

About this card

Card setup
Single
Card tier
Standard
Card type
American Express
Card use
Business
Credit rating
No bad credit history
Gambling transactions allowed
N/A
Joint application
N/A
Minimum age
18 years old
Minimum income
$24,000
Minimum income for pensioners
Same as standard
Pensioners
N/A
Rewards program
Membership Rewards Ascent
Temporary residents
N/A

Cardholders

Additional cardholders
N/A
Additional card fee
$79 p.a.

Credit limits

Minimum credit limit
N/A
Maximum credit limit
$25,000

Repayments

Interest charged from
N/A
Interest free period
Up to 51 days on purchases
Minimum repayment
N/A

Rates & fees

Ongoing interest rates

MonthlyAnnually
Cash advances N/A N/A
Purchases N/A N/A

Fees

Annual fee
$109 p.a.
Cash advance fee
N/A
Dishonour fee
N/A
Duplicate statement fee
N/A
Foreign exchange fee
3%
Late payment fee
n/a
Over limit fee
N/A
Overseas ATM balance fee
N/A
Overseas ATM withdrawal fee
N/A
Overseas emergency card replacement fee
N/A
Transaction verification fee
N/A

Rewards

Rewards program basics

Reward points expiry
No expiry as long as you keep your account active
Rewards program
Membership Rewards Ascent
Sign up bonus
N/A
Spend required for bonus points
N/A

Earning points with this card

ATO payment earns rewards
0.5 pts pts per $1 spent
Frequent flyer points
N/A
Overseas earn rate
Same as standard earn rate
Points cap per month
N/A
Points cap per year
N/A
Reward points
1 pt per $1 spent

Additional benefits

Airport lounge access
N/A
Complimentary flight voucher
No
Concierge service
No

Minimum criteria for this card

What you need before applying

Be over 18 years old
You are a resident or citizen of Australia
Earn a regular income of more than $24,000 per year
Have no history of bad credit
You have your personal details ready to complete the online application
Have not applied for multiple credit cards recently
Disclaimer: The minimum criteria pointers are intended only to be a guide. Your application may still be rejected by the bank even if you can answer 'Yes' to all the minimum criteria. The final decision regarding your application is up to the bank.

Similar cards

More cards like this one

This card is listed in these comparisons

Still need help? Ask us a question

Fire away
We welcome your questions but we cannot help if you need personal financial advice or if have lost your card or need to resolve a dispute with your bank.
as seen in
Compare these cards: