The Best Non Bonus American Express Membership Rewards Earning Card

The other day, I started looking at the public credit card offers available for under my affiliate link (my affiliate link) and saw something that was interesting that isn’t talked about much.



The Card:

Sorry folks, it’s another business card, the American Express Blue For Business. The sign up bonus is comparable to the Chase Ink Cash. Chase is offering you 20,000 Ultimate Rewards points, but you must spend $3,000 in the first three months. Meanwhile, spend as low as $.01 and you would earn the sign up bonus for the Blue for Business. As with all the other American Express business cards, this one is also eligible for the OPEN savings.

OPEN Savings® Benefit
The OPEN Savings benefit is built in to Business Cards from American Express OPEN and provides either up to a 10% discount or up to 4 additional Membership Rewards® points for each eligible dollar spent at OPEN Savings merchants. To take advantage of this benefit, payment must be made with a Business Card from American Express OPEN at the time of purchase. All Cards under a particular Card Account (including the Basic Card as well as any Additional or Employee Cards) are combined for the purposes of calculating OPEN Savings benefits. All OPEN Savings benefits are credited to the Basic Card Member only. Please allow up to 12 weeks for your benefit to appear on your monthly statement. If your Card Account is not eligible to receive Membership Rewards points or is not enrolled in the Membership Rewards program, you will receive the OPEN Savings benefit as a discount that will be provided as a statement credit to that Card Account. If your Card Account is enrolled in the Membership Rewards program you have the option of receiving your OPEN Savings benefit either as a discount or as additional Membership Rewards points. The relative value of the benefit options will differ depending on how you use your Membership Rewards points. The redemption value of additional points that you receive under the Membership Rewards Points Benefit may be less than the dollar value of statement credits that you receive under the Discount Benefit. You can change your OPEN Savings benefit selection a maximum of once per calendar month. Changes normally take effect within 72 hours from the time you submit a change to your benefit selection. Purchases that are eligible for the OPEN Savings benefit that are returned or credited from an OPEN Savings merchant will result in a reversal of your statement credit or removal of Membership Rewards points depending on your benefit election at the time of the return or credit. The benefit may not be available at all OPEN Savings partner locations. For a full list of individual OPEN Savings merchants and benefit descriptions, please visit opensavings.com. The OPEN Savings benefit (including merchant participation and offers) is subject to change at any time without notice. Membership Rewards program terms and conditions apply. OPEN Savings offers may be subject to exclusions, benefit limits and other restrictions or limitations. For full terms and conditions including specific paragraphs on the Benefit Selection and How Returns Work, go to opensavings.com.


What Makes This Card Interesting:

The American Express Blue For Business earns Membership Rewards Express, but according to The Points Guy, if you have any of the cards that allow you to transfer to Hotel or Airline programs, the points earned from the Blue become regular Membership Rewards. Cards that earn “regular” Membership Rewards include, but not limited to:

  • Premier Rewards Gold
  • Business Rewards Gold

That being said, this card offers you a 30% annual bonus – think of it like the Chase Sapphire Preferred 7% dividend or the Freedom 10% back. That means the Blue for Business is earning you 1.3 points per $1 spent.

Annual Relationship Bonus
You will receive a relationship bonus in the form of Membership Rewards® points for eligible purchases made using your Blue for Business® Credit Card. The number of Membership Rewards points you receive will equal 30% of eligible purchases charged to your Card account during an anniversary year. Your relationship bonus will be posted to your Membership Rewards account no later than thirty days after the anniversary of your Card account occurs. Your account must be in good standing to receive your relationship bonus each anniversary year. An anniversary year is 12 billing periods in a row, beginning with the one in which the anniversary of your Card account occurs. Eligible purchases are purchases for goods and services minus returns and other credits. Eligible purchases do NOT include fees or interest charges, balance transfers, cash advances, purchases of travelers checks, purchases or reloading of prepaid cards, or purchases of other cash equivalents. Additional terms and restrictions apply. Terms and Conditions for the Membership Rewards® program apply. Visit membershiprewards.com/terms or call 1-800-AXP-EARN (297-3276) for more information. Participating partners and available rewards are subject to change without notice.

Owning a Blue for Business card could be like the 1-2 combo of Chase Freedom and Ink Bold/Plus or Sapphire Preferred. The combination allows you to squeeze out more value from your points and Blue for Business gives you an extra 30% in non-bonus categories.

Readers, now that you know about the card, what’s the best combination for the Membership Rewards? I do not know, I do not have any Membership Rewards earning cards, but do plan on adding it into my toolbox.

Do you think the new American Express Everyday card is better?  Personally, I rarely have more than 10 transactions on a card in a month. For me to hit 20 or 30 transactions is pretty tough, and I use my credit cards every where I go. Although if you could get the 30 transactions, obviously earning 1.5x from the Everyday Preferred is the best choice.




2 comments… add one
  • For the Amex Everyday, 20 or 30 transactions in a month isn’t tough. First of all, it’s easy enough to do 20 or 30 transactions in a month from regular spending and/or manufactured spending. Otherwise, you can do 20 or 30 transactions in a month by paying your electric bill 1 cent at a time. Or, you can do $1 Amazon Payments transactions. There are multiple options available if you have trouble getting 20 or 30 transactions in a month. So, I think 1.5 points per dollar spent with the Amex Everyday is better than the Blue for Business.

    • Personally, I split everything up among many cards for the bonus categories like Amazon, dining out, office supplies, etc. I’m sure I could hit 30 transactions every month, if I simplified and used one card.

      The 1.5 pts/dollar with an Amex Everyday costs $95/year while the Blue for Business is free. The Blue is probably more comparable to the plain Everyday card without the annual fee, and the bonus to pts/$ are comparable. Everyday gives you the points after the statement closes, while the blue is every 12 months


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