American Express and Amazon have partnered to launch a co-branded business credit card, available in two versions. Both the versions have no annual fee, although the more attractive of the two is available exclusively to Amazon Prime members, so you could view the $119 annual membership cost of Amazon Prime as the card’s annual fee. The signature benefits of these cards are as follows:
- 5% Back or 90-day payment terms for eligible Prime members (including Business Prime) on U.S. purchases at Amazon Business, Amazon Web Services, Amazon.com, and Whole Foods Market.
- 3% Back or 60-day payment terms for all other customers on U.S. purchases at Amazon Business, Amazon Web Services, Amazon.com, and Whole Foods Market.
American Express said in a press release that this card “empowers small businesses to make the best financing choice purchase by purchase.” The 90 or 60 day grace period (depending on prime membership status) will no doubt be useful to businesses with irregular cash flow or businesses who are making upgrades to their operation and want to finance a purchase over a few months. This partnership with Amex follows a trend of Amazon rolling out increasingly more products to attract small businesses to use their services.
In addition to the main selling point of the card detailed above, other benefits include:
- 2% Back on purchases at U.S. restaurants and gas stations, and on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers.
- 1% Back on other eligible purchases.
- Access to line-item details on purchases made on Amazon Business (U.S.) such as cost per item and quantity, giving more visibility into and trackability of business purchases.
Rewards earned on the card can be used to shop online with Amazon (including Amazon Business) or redeemed as a statement credit on the card. There is a sign up bonus of $100 for non prime members and $125 for Prime members after making their first purchase on the card. So if you are a prime member or open a Prime membership because you want the prime version of this card, you basically get one year of Prime membership ($119) for free.
Amazon is also using the card to promote their Business Prime Essentials plan, priced at $197 per year. Amex is running a year free trial of the plan for new card members, here is how it works:
For a limited time, select Amazon Business American Express Card Members can receive a complimentary year of the Business Prime Essentials plan – a $179 value from Amazon – when they sign-up for a free trial and add a workmate to their Amazon Business account within 30 days of card approval.
Source: American Express press release
With the personal Amazon cards getting a warm reception, a logical next step is an Amazon business credit card. In my opinion it is a solid offering. American Express generally provides the best customer service amongst credit card companies and for those who want to earn large amounts of cash back, earning 5% on everything you buy at Amazon (including Whole Foods) is certainly very competitive. Other cards with 5% cashback categories often limit spending to $1500 per quarter ($6000 per year). If you spend $10k per year, that is $500 in cash back statement credits or free items from Amazon, and business spending could be a lot higher than that. Not a bad card at all.