Quick hit: in defense of Blue for Business

Yesterday I dismissed the Blue for Business American Express credit card out of hand, writing that the "product earns 1 non-flexible Membership Rewards point everywhere, which isn't very interesting."

I was quickly corrected by reader Stvr, who commented, "Blue for Business is 1.3 MR per dollar."

What Stvr is referring to is the 30% bonus Membership Rewards points credited each year within 30 days of your account anniversary each year.

And Stvr is right! If you are willing to wait to receive 23% of your Membership Rewards points until the end of your cardmember year, you can think of the Blue for Business card as earning 1.3 points per dollar spent everywhere.

Does it matter?

The only situation in which I can imagine the Blue for Business card playing a useful role is if you also have a flexible Membership Rewards-earning credit card that isn't the EveryDay Preferred.

If you have a Business Platinum American Express, your Membership Rewards points are worth 1.43 cents each for paid airfare on a single airline you designate each year (the same airline you choose for your $200 statement credit). That makes your 1.3 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on the Blue for Business worth 1.86 cents towards paid airfare. That's not great, but it's not terrible for a fee-free American Express card and it's 30% better than putting spend on the Business Platinum card itself, which earns just 1 Membership Rewards point per dollar spent everywhere.

Similarly, if you use a Premier Rewards Gold (2 points per dollar spent at supermarkets) or Business Gold Rewards (3 points per dollar spent at gas stations) card to manufacture spend in their respective bonus categories in order to transfer those points to their airline partners like Air Canada's Aeroplan, Delta SkyMiles, or Singapore KrisFlyer, you might get so much value out of your airline transfers that 1.3 Membership Rewards points per dollar gives you more value than putting the same spend on a 2% cash back card.

Of course, if you have an Amex EveryDay Preferred, then you can already earn 1.5 flexible Membership Rewards points per dollar spent everywhere with the card, as long as you make 30 or more purchases per statement cycle, which makes that card strictly superior to the Blue for Business.