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Recently, The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN underwent some significant changes were you are now able to pick your category that gives you the highest bonus. Up until now, this was one of the best cards for airfare purchases since it gave you 3x points, but now you can go ahead and chose which category works best for you to earn the 3x points. You are able to select 1 out of 5 categories, and the other 4 categories will give you 2x points (the 3x and 2x points are up to the first $100,000 in purchases per category per year, then 1x point per dollar thereafter). All other purchases will give you 1x point.
The 3x point category options include:
- 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
Which category is the best? Of course that depends on the type of purchases you make, but for the common person airfare and gas purchases are probably the highest on your list out of those five options. For someone owning their own business, however, advertising, shipping, and computer/software purchases could be quite high! I would look at what you commonly spend the most on and go from there. I also do not love using an American Express credit card to purchase my plane tickets since you do not get great protection if the flight is there are flight issues (delays, cancellations, etc. – Chase is the best when it comes to this).
How do I select my category? You can either make the selection on your AmericanExpress.com account or call the number on the back of your card. The 3x point category lasts for the entire calendar year, so which ever category you select will have that bonus tied to it until December 31. Come January 1 of next year you are able to select a different category if you desire.
Other card benefits… since this is an OPEN card, you’ll receive a discount at many popular merchants. My personal favorites are 10% at Office Max, 10% at Hertz, 5% at FedEx, 5% at 1-800-FLOWERS, and 5% at Barnes & Nobles. You can read more about these benefits here. Additionally, this card allows you to take advantage of Amex Offers where you can receive a statement credit after shopping at many participating merchants. This is one way to compensate for the annual fee.