As many hilarious things are, the "no-limit" card was conceived of -- allegedly -- by Jerry Seinfeld. In an episode of his Netflix show Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, Seinfeld told guest John Mulaney how things unfolded.
"I was waiting for [the crew] to move some cameras, and the crew guy comes up to me, he says, 'You got the Black Card?' And I go 'No, what's the Black Card?' He says, 'There's only three in the world. The Sultan of Brunei has one, the president of American Express has one, and I thought you would have the third one.' Next morning I call the president of American Express. I go, 'Is there a Black Card?' He says, 'It's just a rumor. It doesn't exist.' He said, 'But you know what? It's not a bad idea.' And so they developed it, and they gave me the first one."
Whether or not that story is apocryphal, the Centurion Card from American Express*, also known as the Black Card, now exists. But it's available by invitation only -- and comes with a $5, annual fee and a $10, initiation fee. Cardholder benefits include elite status upgrades on flights, hotels and events worldwide. And there's also the 50% back in Membership Rewards as a statement credit when you use points to book any portion of a flight, access to the Centurion Lounges (which includes chef-made food, cocktails, child play spaces, showers, and spa services). Reimbursement for gym memberships and streaming services. A dedicated guide through customs on international trips. Complimentary upgrades and insurance coverage on car rentals. A personal concierge to assist in just about everything, from shopping to sorting out travel snags. The list goes on.
But you don't need to be a sultan, CEO or celebrity to get this type of card -- and it's possible to score one without paying $15, in fees upfront. I applied for a different card with similar perks, The Platinum Card® from American Express, five years ago after a harrowing flight from Seattle to Indianapolis with a squirmy seven-month-old. The card has a hefty $ annual fee (see rates and fees), but I decided after some research that the significant travel benefits would eclipse the costs. I opened an account before my return flight, upgraded to first-class with my welcome bonus and never looked back.
(Note: The current welcome bonus on The Platinum Card from American Express is , points after spending $6, on purchases in the first 6 months of card membership. Terms apply.)
Sound interesting? Here's everything you need to know.
What is a 'no-limit' card?
First off, the "no limit" part is misleading. It's true that a no-preset-spending-limit card doesn't have a fixed limit like a traditional credit card, but there is a monthly limit based on your specific credit score and how often you pay your monthly bill on time. While writing this piece, I tested my limits by using my online account's American Express Check Spending Power tool. Since the pandemic began, I've used my Platinum Card only for smaller expenses like groceries and Hulu, so I'd never checked my spending power. After entering a few figures, I found my "unofficial" limit: A whopping $85,
There's a good reason American Express gives its NPSL cardholders so much room to run: qualifying for an account typically requires good to excellent credit and an above-average income. According to Tommy Lee, a FICO principal scientist, there are two types of NPSL accounts, open and revolving. An open card, sometimes referred to by the credit bureaus as a charge card, "typically has no preset spending limit and requires you to pay the balance in full each month," Lee said. A revolving account acts more like a traditional card, allowing you to carry a balance from month to month and pay over time.
So there's actually a limit?
Officially, yes, NPSL cards have limits. But they aren't typically disclosed. In theory, your card may get declined if you spend thousands on a single purchase -- but maybe not. While a typical credit card limit maxes out around $25,, NPSL card limits are much higher. But there are no fees for exceeding a credit limit, since you likely won't even know what it is.
NPSL cards and credit scoring
When I opened my Platinum Card, I assumed the new account was the reason my TransUnion, Experian and Equifax credit scores each gained 10 to 20 points. But, according to Lee, that may just have been a coincidence. "Since a charge card has no credit limit, they are typically bypassed in revolving utilization rate calculations in FICO Scores," he said.
It's true. I checked my credit reports on Annualcreditreport.com (where you can get free access to your reports once a year) and found no credit-limit associated Amex account. A credit score check confirmed that my current Amex balance wasn't factored into my credit score.
How to protect your credit score when using an NPSL card
Even though the balance on your NPSL card isn't included in your credit score's utilization ratio, it can still make an impact. "The amount of debt owed is considered by the FICO Score and charge card balances can factor into these calculations," Lee said. "Furthermore, the payment history and length of time you've had the account are also considered, so paying your charge card balances as agreed is extremely important."
Although your balance isn't technically factored into the math of utilization, FICO could lower your score if you make an expensive purchase (like a Tesla). But where's the line? Here are some ways to protect your credit score while using a NPSL card (or any card).
Pay off your balance each month
Although we understand the general guidelines, we don't know all the specific details about how each credit bureau calculates our scores. That noted, a NPSL card should not be used as a bottomless bank account. Spend only what you can afford and pay off the balance at the end of every month. This will help you stay within your budget and avoid racking up debt with accruing interest.
Check your spending power
Sticking with the example above, if you buy a Tesla with an NPSL card and have enough cash to pay off the balance, go for it: Rack up those airline miles! But before making a large purchase, check to see if your card issuer offers an online tool like the Platinum Card to check your spending limit, or call customer service and ask them to approve a large purchase verbally. Reaching out ahead of time could safeguard your score from an unnecessary ding.
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For rates and fees of The Platinum Card from American Express, click here
*All information about the Centurion Card from American Express has been collected independently by CNET and has not been reviewed by the issuer.
Best credit cards with no preset spending limits
Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information.
When comparing different travel rewards cards, most are nearly identical when it comes to the mechanics of making purchases and paying off your balance. The most notable exception would be cards with no preset spending limits, a category that has been popularized by American Express.
These cards differ from credit cards in that they don’t come with preset spending limits. Unlike a traditional card with a set limit, the amount you can spend adapts based on factors such as your purchase, payment, and credit history. And, you can generally either pay your balance in full every month (which shouldn’t be a problem if you’re responsible with your credit) or use pay-over-time features. Today I’ll walk through everything you need to know about no preset spending limit cards and name my top picks for
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In This Post
Best no preset spending limit cards for
The information for the Business Green and Amex Green has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
American Express also issues two other valuable cards, the Amex Centurion card and the Business Centurion card. These exclusive products are available on an invite-only basis to top spending Amex customers. Given their hefty fees (a $10, initiation fee plus an ongoing $5, annual fee), I’ve chosen to leave them off this list.
Before we dive in, here’s a comparison of the best no preset spending limit card offers and bonuses available right now.
Comparing the best no preset spending limit cards
|Card||Best for||Travel rewards rate||Bonus value*||Annual fee|
|The Platinum Card from American Express||Lounge access||5x points on airfare booked directly with the airline or through Amex Travel (on up to $, in purchases per calendar year) |
5x on prepaid hotels booked through Amex Travel
(see rates & fees)
|The Business Platinum Card® from American Express||Large purchases||5x on airfare and prepaid hotels booked through Amex Travel |
50% bonus on purchases over $5,, up to one million extra points per calendar year
|$2,||$ (see rates & fees)|
|American Express® Gold Card||Dining at restaurants||4x at restaurants |
4x at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25, per calendar year, then 1x)
3x on airfare booked directly with airlines or through Amex Travel
(see rates & fees)
|American Express® Business Gold Card||High spending businesses||Earn 4x points on your top two spending categories each month from the following list, up to $, total per calendar year (then 1x): ||$1,||$ (see rates & fees)|
|American Express® Green Card||Broadly defined bonus categories||3x points on dining, travel and transit||$||$ (see rates & fees)|
|Business Green Rewards Card from American Express||Low annual fee||2x points on eligible purchases at amextravel.com||$||$95, waived the first year|
|The Plum Card® from American Express||Paying your bills early||Unlimited % cash back when you pay within 10 days of your statement closing date||N/A||$ (see rates and fees)|
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer.
More details on the best no preset spending limit cards
Now let’s look at the details of each of these cards, including their welcome offers, bonus categories and some of the ways I’ve been able to put their benefits to use. American Express has also added several limited-time perks to help customers deal with the ongoing impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
American Express added a new program for several of its cards with no preset spending limits called Amex Pay Over Time. It allows cardmembers to carry a balance from one month to the next, with variable interest rates applied.
These perks won’t move the needle on whether or not you should add a new credit card to your wallet, but they’re a great way for existing cardholders to save money during these difficult times, so make sure to take note.
The Platinum Card® from American Express: Best for lounge access, airfare and hotel elite status
Why it’s the best card for lounge access, airfare and hotel elite status: The Amex Platinum comes with access to the American Express Global Lounge Collection, which includes Centurion Lounges, Priority Pass, Airspace and Escape lounges and Delta Sky Clubs (on same-day Delta flights). No other card (other than the business version) offers this kind of access. The card also offers an industry-leading five points per dollar on airfare booked directly with the airline or Amex Travel and automatic Gold elite status with both Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors.
Current welcome offer: Earn , Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6, on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership (valued by TPG at $2,). Plus, earn 10x points on eligible purchases on the Card at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the U.S., on up to $25, in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of Card Membership.
Rewards rate: Earn 5x points on airfare purchased directly with the airlines or through Amex Travel (on up to $, on these purchases per calendar year) and 5x points on prepaid hotels booked through Amex.
Perks and benefits: The Amex Platinum stands alone when it comes to luxury travel benefits. Cardholders get up to $ in annual airline fee credits, up to $ in Uber credits, up to $ in credit at Saks Fifth Avenue and up to $ credit for your Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee once every four to years. Plus, you’ll get unparalleled lounge access, automatic Gold status with Hilton and automatic Gold Elite status with Marriott. Enrollment required for select benefits.
Annual fee: $ (see rates and fees)
Why it’s worth it: The massive bonus alone would be enough to land this card near the top of our list, but it doesn’t stop there. Platinum cardholders receive more than $1, in annual statement credits to offset the card’s annual fee, as well as enjoying a luxurious travel experience with comprehensive airport lounge access and elite status with two of the largest hotel chains.
Among the Membership Rewards program’s travel partners is Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, which is the only way to book the ultra-premium Singapore Suites using miles. Other card highlights include an amazing 5x points per dollar spent on airfare purchased directly with the airline or through Amex Travel (equal to a 10% return on these purchases) and the ability to add three authorized users for a total of $ (see rates and fees).
Further reading: American Express Platinum review
Apply here: Platinum Card from American Express
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express: Best for large purchases
Why it’s the best card for large purchases: While the Business Platinum doesn’t have quite as many bonus categories as the personal version, it does offer Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on purchases more than $5,, up to one million bonus points per year.
Current welcome offer: Earn , Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15, on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
Rewards rate: Earn 5x points on airfare and prepaid hotels booked through Amex Travel and x points on purchases over $5,
Perks and benefits: The Amex Business Platinum carries one of the highest annual fees of any publicly available card. It also comes with a long list of benefits to match. You’ll enjoy many of the same benefits as the personal Platinum card, including the up to $ annual airline incidental fee credit, comprehensive airport lounge access (including a Priority Pass membership and Centurion lounge access) and Gold elite status with both Hilton and Marriott. Enrollment required for select benefits.
The Business Platinum Card also offers several unique perks to stand out. Instead of Uber and Saks Fifth Avenue credits like the personal Platinum, cardholders get up to $ in annual statement credits for Dell technology U.S. purchases (split into $ each for the first and last six months of the year). The Business Platinum also offers a 35% rebate on eligible flights when you pay with points to book airfare through the Amex Travel portal (up to , points back per calendar year).
Annual fee: $ (see rates and fees)
Why it’s worth it: The ,point bonus on the Business Platinum is the largest publicly available Amex welcome bonus, making this card a great choice to pad your Membership Rewards balance. While Amex already has one of the best collection of airline transfer partners, the 35% rebate when using your points to pay for first or business class flights or economy flights with your selected airline adds another valuable layer of flexibility to your redemption strategy.
Further reading: American Express Business Platinum review
Apply here: The Business Platinum Card from American Express
American Express® Gold Card: Best for dining at restaurants
Why it’s the best card for dining at restaurants: When Amex rebranded the Gold card a few years back, it did so with a heavy focus on eating in and dining out. You see this reflected in the card’s bonus categories, which include 4x points at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (up to $25, per calendar year; then 1x) and the card’s up to $10 monthly statement credit at eligible dining partners (up to $ annual credit).
Current welcome offer: Earn 60, Membership Rewards points after spending $4, in the first six months.
Rewards rate: Earn 4x points per dollar on dining at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets (U.S. supermarkets capped at $25, per calendar year, then 1x), 3x on flights booked directly from the airline or Amex Travel and 1x everywhere else
Perks and benefits: If you can max out both of the Amex Gold card’s annual statement credits, you can lower your effective out-of-pocket cost to just $ a year. The card offers an up to $10 monthly dining credit valid at the following merchants: Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, some Shake Shack locations and Boxed. Enrollment required for select benefits.
Cardholders also receive baggage insurance, trip delay reimbursement and benefits, including double points and an up to $ property credit on eligible hotel stays booked through The Hotel Collection.
Annual fee: $ (see rates and fees)
Why it’s worth it: While many cards are offering limited time grocery bonuses during the coronavirus pandemic, the Amex Gold has long been the reigning card for foodies and chefs. The 4x points per dollar at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (up to $25, per calendar year; then 1x) make this one of the most consistently rewarding card for people who like to eat, and the two annual statement credits can drop your out-of-pocket cost to a very manageable $30 a year.
Further reading: American Express Gold Card review
Apply here: American Express Gold Card
American Express® Business Gold Card: Best for high-spending businesses
Why it’s the best card for high spending businesses: The Amex Business Gold is one of the most unique cards when it comes to earning rates. Instead of offering fixed bonus categories, Amex will award you 4x points per dollar in your top two spending categories each month from a set list so that your bonus categories can change month to month to reflect your businesses changing needs.
Current welcome offer: Earn 70, bonus points after you spend $10, on eligible purchases in the first three months of account opening.
Rewards rate: Earn 4x points per dollar on your top two spending categories each month from the following list, up to $, per calendar year (then 1x):
- Airfare purchased directly from airlines
- U.S. purchases for advertising in select media
- U.S. purchases for shipping
- U.S. purchases at gas stations
- U.S. purchases at restaurants
- U.S. purchases made from select technology providers of computer hardware, software, and cloud solutions
Perks and benefits: The Business Gold card is relatively light on perks, with its primary benefits being expense management tools, access to book hotels through the Hotel Collection and a 25% bonus on select flights booked through Amex Travel using Membership Rewards Pay with Points.
Annual fee: $ (see rates and fees)
Why it’s worth it: The lack of any statement credits make the Business Gold card’s annual fee a bit harder to swallow. Still, the flexible 4x bonus categories are very tempting for any large business. Amex takes the effort out of earning rewards, allowing you to swipe a single card and trust that the bonus points will follow so you can focus more on growing your business and less on which credit card to use for which purchase.
Apply here: American Express Business Gold Card
American Express® Green Card: Best for broadly defined bonus categories
Why it’s the best card for broadly defined bonus categories: One frequent complaint from Amex cardholders is that the bonus categories on the Platinum and Gold (as well as other cobranded products) have too many restrictions, causing customers to miss out on bonus points they thought they should have earned. The Amex Green is a perfect answer to this complaint, offering 3x points per dollar on broadly defined travel, dining and transit categories.
Current welcome offer: Earn 45, Membership Rewards points after spending $2, in the first six months.
Rewards rate: Earn 3x points per dollar on dining, travel and transit and 1x everywhere else. It’s important to note that these categories are much more broadly defined than on other Amex cards.
Perks and benefits: The Amex Green card is clearly trying to find its own niche in an otherwise crowded field, offering an up to $ annual statement credit for Clear expedited security in place of the now-ubiquitous TSA PreCheck/Global Entry application fee credit. This credit drops the out-of-pocket cost for a Clear membership to $79 a year, but TPG readers can use the promo code TPG to get a discounted membership of $ for the first year or the promo code TPG2M to get a two-month free trial membership.
The Amex Green also offers an up to $ annual LoungeBuddy statement credit, allowing you to buy access to up to three lounges a year. This can be a great option if you’re traveling through an airport with limited Priority Pass options or if you don’t already have a credit card that offers a complimentary Priority Pass membership. Enrollment required for select benefits.
Annual fee: $ (see rates and fees)
Why it’s worth it: The Amex Green card gives the premium Chase Sapphire Reserve a run for its money on earning rates, offering the same 3x on travel and dining but pulling ahead with 3x on transit as well. It does all of this while charging an annual fee that’s $ less than the Sapphire Reserve’s, before you even account for the $ in annual statement credits. For many people, the Amex Green is a great way to unlock powerful earning rates without paying a premium annual fee.
Apply here: American Express Green Card
Business Green Rewards Card from American Express: Best for low annual fee
Why it’s the best card for a low annual fee: The Amex Business Green card is one of the only Amex cards with no preset spending limits to waive its annual fee for the first year, and in subsequent years customers will enjoy that the annual fee is a very reasonable $95 a year.
Current welcome offer: Earn 15, Membership Rewards points after you spend $3, in eligible purchases on the card within your first three months of card membership.
Rewards rate: Earn 2x points per dollar for purchases made through Amex Travel and 1x everywhere else.
Perks & benefits: N/A
Annual fee: $95, waived the first year
Why it’s worth it: With a low earning rate and no meaningful perks to speak of, the Amex Business Green card is a tough sell. Still, it’s the cheapest way to get your hands on a card with no present spending limit and the inherent expense management benefits it offers. If you’re looking to increase your business’s spending power without committing to a more expensive premium card, this might be a good option for you.
The Plum Card® from American Express: Best for paying your bills early
Why it’s the best card for paying your bills early: While many people use cards with no preset spending limits to increase their spending power, the Amex Plum Card will reward you with % cash back when you pay your bill within 10 days of the statement closing date.
Current welcome offer: N/A
Rewards rate: No rewards on purchases. Earn % cash back when you pay your bill within 10 days of the statement closing date.
Perks and benefits: N/A
Annual fee: $ (see rates and fees)
Why it’s worth it: The $ annual fee on the Amex Plum Card makes this quite an expensive card, considering that it doesn’t offer rewards on normal purchases. At best, you’ll be looking at a % earning rate on all purchases if you pay your bill within 10 days of your statement closing, but there are plenty of no-annual-fee, cash-back cards that offer better earning rates without any hoops to jump through.
Further reading: The Plum Card from American Express review
Apply here: The Plum Card from American Express
Frequently asked questions
Some people actively seek out cards with no preset spending limit to manage their credit and expenses. In contrast, others pick them for the benefits and earning structure, without knowing (or caring) about what makes them different. I’m going to address a few of the most common questions about these cards.
What’s the difference between a no preset spending limit card and a credit card?
No preset spending limit cards function almost exactly like credit cards do, but with one key difference: credit cards come with a preset spending limit. Purchases are approved on a case-by-case basis, meaning a business with a good track record can spend more than usual one month without getting in trouble.
How can you pick the best no preset spending limit card?
There are many good cards on the market, and which one is best for you will depend on your travel goals and financial needs. If you’re looking for a luxury travel lifestyle, you’ll want the Amex Platinum. But if you’re looking to earn solid rewards on everyday purchases, the Amex Gold or Amex Green may be a better choice.
How do no preset spending limit cards affect your credit score?
One of the benefits of using these cards is how they’re reported to credit bureaus. Normally your utilization ratio accounts for roughly 30% of your credit score. Because the cards described in this guide don’t have a preset spending limit, it’s impossible to calculate a utilization ratio (since there’s no denominator in the equation). This means that while the balances on your no preset spending limit cards are reported to the credit bureaus, they don’t actually impact your score, which is ideal for high spending businesses and individuals.
What are the pros and cons of using a no preset spending limit card?
The cards on this list offer some of the best welcome offers, bonus categories and benefits of any cards on the market. Using them can help you earn points at a faster rate or enjoy new luxurious travel experiences, all while marginally improving your credit score.
Who should use a no preset spending limit card?
If you’re in the market for a new Amex welcome offer, these cards offer some of the best ones out there. If you frequently have large expenses that you pay off every month (either for personal or business reasons), using a no preset spending limit card can help avoid the temporary impact to your credit score.
When we talk about the top travel rewards cards, we often lump no preset spending limit cards and credit cards together because their similarities outweigh their differences. Once you understand the few small things that set them apart, you’re ready to start using the former cards to improve your credit score and increase your points earning abilities.
For rates and fees of Amex Platinum card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Business Platinum card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Gold Card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Business Gold, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Green Card, please click here.
For rates and fees of The Plum Card from American Express, click here.
Additional reporting by Katie Genter
Featured image by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy.
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Best American Express cards with a flexible spending limit
In recent years, American Express was a go-to issuer for the best charge cards. However, Amexs decision to expand the Pay Over Time and Pay It Plan It alternative payment programs to these cards in means premium choices like The Platinum Card® from American Express are no longer considered true charge cards. Although you can now carry a balance for certain charges, these Amex cards still offer the same purchasing power with no preset spending limit (more on this later).
If youre someone who loves the benefits of credit cards, including the convenience factor and the potential to earn rewards on all your spending, upgrading to a card with a flexible spending limit truly makes sense. Just remember that youll have a lot less flexibility in terms of repayment.
Best American Express cards with no preset spending limit for personal use
American Express has some of the best card options for flexible spending among all issuers, and each of these lets you earn rewards and enjoy cardholder perks. The following cards are available for individuals:
American Express® Gold Card
- Welcome bonus: 60, Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4, on eligible purchases with your new card within the first six months
- Earning rate: 4X Membership Rewards points at restaurants
4X points at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25, per year in purchases, then 1X)
3X points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com
1X points on all other purchases
- Other perks: Up to $ each year in Uber Cash cash for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders
Up to $ in dining credits each year via for participating restaurant purchases
Up to 12 months of complimentary Uber Eats Pass, worth up to $ annually (must enroll by Dec. 31, )
- Annual fee: $
The Platinum Card® from American Express
- Welcome bonus: , Membership Rewards points when you spend $6, on your card within six months
10X points on up to $25, of combined eligible restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the U.S. for the first six months
- Earning rate: 5X Membership Rewards points for flights booked with airlines or through American Express Travel and for prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel
- Other perks: Up to $ in airline fee credits each year
Up to $ each year in Uber Cash cash for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders, plus complimentary Uber VIP status
Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck
Up to $ in Equinox fitness membership credits (up to $25 per month) toward eligible in-club or digital membership fees
Up to $ each year in digital entertainment credits (up to $20 in total statement credits per month) toward eligible subscriptions (Enrollment required)
American Express Global Lounge Collection airport lounge access
Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status and Hilton Honors Gold Status
- Annual fee: $ (effective Jan. 1, , for existing cardholders)
American Express® Green Card
- Welcome bonus: 30, Membership Rewards points when you spend $2, on your card within three months
- Earning rate: 3X points on travel including transit
3X points on dining worldwide
1X points on other purchases
- Other perks: Up to $ in LoungeBuddy credits
Up to $ credit toward CLEAR membership
- Annual fee: $
Best American Express cards with no preset spending limit for business
The following American Express business cards are available to qualifying small business owners:
The Business Platinum® Card from American Express
- Welcome bonus: Earn , Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15, on eligible purchases with your Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
- Earning rate: 5X points on airfare and prepaid hotels booked through amextravel.com
2X points on prepaid rental cars booked through AmexTravel.com
X Membership Rewards® points on eligible purchases in key business categories, as well as on purchases of $5, or more everywhere else (Up to $2 million
of these purchases per calendar year ).
- Other perks: Up to $ annual airline fee credit
-Up to $ in annual statement credits toward your CLEAR membership for expedited airport security screening (starting July 1, )
-Up to $ in credits for Dell (Get up to $ in statement credits between January and June and up to $ in statement credits between July and December for U.S. purchases with Dell Technologies on your Business Platinum Card when enrolled).
- American Express Global Lounge Collection airport lounge access
- 35 percent airline bonus via pay with points (up to , bonus points per year)
Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status and Hilton Honors Gold Status
- Annual fee: $ ($ if application is received on or after 01/13/)
American Express® Business Gold Card
- Welcome bonus: 70, Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10, on eligible purchases with the Business Gold Card within the first three months of Card Membership
- Earning rate: 4X points on up to $, in combined spending each year in two categories your business spends the most in
2X points on rental cars booked through amextravel.com
1X points on other purchases
- Other perks: 25 percent airline bonus (up to , bonus points per year)
- Annual fee: $
The Plum Card® from American Express
- Welcome bonus: n/a
- Earning rate: Earn an unlimited percent discount when you pay within 10 days
- Other perks: Take up to 60 days to pay
- Annual fee: $
Business Green Rewards Card from American Express
- Welcome bonus: 15, Membership Rewards points when you spend $3, within three months
- Earning rate: 2X points on travel booked through amextravel.com
1X points on other purchases
- Other perks: Free employee cards
- Annual fee: $0 the first year; then $95
The information about the Business Green Rewards Card from American Express has been collected independently by Bankrate.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.
How to choose an American Express card with no preset spending limit
Any of the cards listed above could work well for your personal or business finances, but there are plenty of factors to think about before you make a selection. Here are some of the most important factors to mull over before you pull the trigger on one of these premium American Express cards:
- Type of rewards earned: While almost every card on this list earns rewards in the flexible American Express Membership Rewards program, one only offers cash back. If you want to be able to use rewards for travel or transfer points to airline and hotel programs, youll definitely want a card that earns American Express Membership Rewards.
- Cardholder perks: Do you want airport lounge access from a credit card? How about an annual credit for incidentals like checked bags and in-flight meals with your favorite airline? While the American Express cards above that offer the most perks tend to pose higher annual fees, these fees can be worth it if you use the cardholder benefits regularly.
- Annual fees: Speaking of annual fees, youll want to choose a card from this list that has a fee you can live with. Make sure to compare each cards fees in terms of its benefits and whether or not youll take advantage of those perks.
- Personal or business: American Express cards for business are only good for small business owners or individuals who earn money outside of regular employment. If you dont have a traditional business setup, you may qualify for an American Express card with no preset spending limit as a sole proprietor.
Why choose a charge card over a credit card?
If youre curious about the benefits of a charge card over a traditional credit card, some of them depend on how you use your balance. If youre someone who always pays your balance in full each month and never carries a balance, you may not even notice a difference between the two since you pay your balance regardless. If you typically fall behind on regular bills and need to carry a balance from time to time, on the other hand, a traditional credit card will come with more flexibility, albeit along with a pricey APR.
Also note that charge cards dont have a preset spending limit. This can make them highly advantageous if you have large random expenses and like to pay with plastic for rewards or convenience. A traditional credit card, on the other hand, comes with a spending limit that can be inconvenient or even unworkable during months where your spending is higher than normal.
At the end of the day, charge cards and credit cards can help you reach your goals and earn rewards. But they both have pros and cons, so make sure to compare all your options before you decide which new card will work best.
Frequently Asked Questions About Charge Cards
What is a charge card?
A charge card is a type of card that requires full payment of your balance each month. For that reason, charge cards do not come with preset spending limits. This also means that charge cards dont have an annual percentage rate (APR) and they dont have a minimum payment amount.
Charge cards typically come with annual fees and are generous in terms of the rewards and cardholder perks they offer.
Whats the difference between a charge card and a credit card?
A charge card requires full payment of your balance each month, thus it doesnt come with an interest rate or a credit limit. A credit card, on the other hand, comes with a limit on the total balance you can carry. You can also carry debt from one month to the next with a traditional credit card, on which youre charged interest. Credit cards also come with a minimum payment amount you have to pay each month if you decide not to pay your balance in full.
Whats the difference between Amex cards with no present spending limit and charge cards?
Since cards like The Platinum Card from American Express usually also dont have fixed spending limits and must be paid in full each month, telling them apart from traditional charge cards can be tricky. The explanation is simpler than you might think; the Pay Over Time and Pay It Plan It features allow you to carry select charges over instead of paying in full.
Eligible cardmembers can use Pay Over Time to carry a balance and pay interest month-to-month. Pay It Plan It is another alternative payment program that is only available for personal Amex cards (in this case, the Platinum, Gold and Green cards). Pay It allows you to immediately pay off small purchases below $ with the American Express mobile app, and Plan It allows you to set aside purchases above $1oo into plans with fixed monthly installment payments. This can be helpful for avoiding interest on large unexpected purchases, but make sure the plan fees dont exceed the interest you wouldve normally accrued.
Although American Express cards without defined spending limits operate very similarly to charge cards, the ability to carry over certain charges if need be is a valuable trademark.
Why should you choose a charge card over a credit card?
A charge card can make sense if you like the rewards, perks and purchasing power you receive in exchange for the annual fee youll pay. Before you sign up for a charge card, however, you should make sure you plan to pay your balance in full each month. If you want access to a line of credit you dont have to repay in full each month, you should opt for a traditional credit card instead.
American Express Business Gold Card Vs. The Business Platinum Card From American Express: Which Is Better For Your Business?
Earning Maximum Membership Rewards Points as a Frequent Traveler
If you are interested in earning maximum Membership Rewards for your business spending, you might be interested in having both cards. If you are a business owner who can purchase your airline and hotel bookings through American Express Travel and have a lot of other spending in categories eligible for the American Express® Business Gold Card’s increased point categories, you could stand to accumulate a ton of American Express Membership Rewards points
In addition to earning a mountain of Membership Rewards points from strategically spreading your spending across the two cards, as a frequent traveler you would enjoy the travel benefits of the Platinum Card. Holders of The Business Platinum card enjoy hotel status, airline lounge access plus the many other travel benefits offered by the card.
Consider Neither the American Express® Business Gold Card nor The Business Platinum Card from American Express For:
Maximizing Rewards at Specific Hotels or Airlines
If you are loyal to a single airline or hotel chain, often the best way to maximise your experience is to hold one of your preferred brand’s co-branded credit cards. Many airlines and hotel chains offer small business credit cards that grant additional points on spending at their specific brands, discounts, additional perks like free checked luggage or fast tracks to elite status.
If you are looking to increase your rewards from your favorite airline or hotel, consider one of the best business travel cards.
Everyday Business Rewards and No Annual Fee
If you are interested in everyday business rewards with no annual fee, either because you value simplicity, your spending doesn’t match up well with category bonuses or you don’t want to pay an annual fee, consider one of the other best business credit cards for a credit card that might be a better fit. Several business credit cards offer % or greater rewards on everyday business purchases and there are a number of small business credit cards available for no annual fee.
The American Express® Business Gold Card and the The Business Platinum Card from American Express are generally designed to be paid off each month. Both cards offer a “Pay Over Time” option, which allows card members to finance eligible purchases similar to a traditional credit card. Interest rates are competitive when compared to other business credit cards, but small business owners looking for a way to finance purchases would be better served by other cards or other financial products.
The Business Platinum card is currently offering a limited time 0% intro APR for 12 months from the date of the account opening on purchases eligible for Pay Over Time, followed by a regular APR of % to % based on credit worthiness and other factors as determined at the time of account opening.
The strength of Membership Rewards is that it is a transferable points currency and many American Express cardmembers can get substantial value out of transfers to airline partners. While you can get substantial value out of transferable points, they are not the right rewards system for everybody.
If you prefer your rewards as cash back, you might want to consider one of the best cash back business credit cards.
Is amex what spending power
I see this in my account on line but don't know what it is. Can someone tell Me?
If you have a revolving account, you can see if a purchase over your credit line will be approved. It's also a good way to let the Amex computers know if a larger-than-usual purchase will be coming (this can help prevent an out-of-pattern large purchase from being flagged as fraudulent). Thanks to Pooka for this hint.
If you have a charge card (Green, Gold, or Platinum) you can use the spending ability button to see if a purchase that's outside your normal spending pattern will be approved (and also for the fraud flag prevention reason mentioned above).
Note that you're limited to how many times you can use the spending ability button in certain time period (if I'm not mistaken, the limit is per 24 hours).
Also note that the talk about using the button causing a FR is urban myth if somebody had a FR after using the spending ability button, they had it coming anyway American Express has better things to do than request the tax records of people who check their spending ability "too many" times.
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