Annual fee is $0 for the first year than $175/year for the Business Gold Card. Note that you are not obligated to continue using the card beyond the free year.
The Business Gold Rewards Card also gives you 2-3x on airfare, advertising, shipping and gas (though note the fine print on Amex’s website including a max qualifying spend of $100k/category/year). You pick one of the following for 3X and the remainder are 2X
Includes airfare purchased DIRECTLY from a passenger airline.
Computer Hardware, Software, and Cloud Computing
Includes ONLY direct purchases from companies on this list: Apple, CDW, Dell, HP, IBM, Intuit, Lenovo, Microsoft, Newegg, Oracle, Rackspace, Sage Software, Salesforce.com, Symantec, Tiger Direct
Includes shipping services directly purchased in the US. Includes (but not limited to): Fedex, UPS, USPS
Includes advertising services directly purchased in the US. Examples include (but are not limited to): Google, Facebook, Yahoo, NBC, CBS.
Includes on pure gas stations. Does not include gas purchased at Costco or at a supermarket. Does not include aviation or marina fuel.
Note that you must have a business to apply for this card. You business does need any revenue yet. It also may be a sole-proprietorship simply using your name and social security number for the business name and tax id. There is also no required length of business history, you can start it today! Note that Amex will primarily look at your personal credit rating and personal income anyway. So all of your entrepreneurial dreamers out there, kick start your new business with a free business trip courtesy of American Express Business Gold!
The points can be very useful if you want to fly on one of Delta’s Skyteam partners. I find Delta a bit difficult to use points on, but their partners seem to be much more obliging, though less so over the past few years. And you don’t end up with huge fuel surcharges like you do when OneWorld (American) puts you on a British Airways connection to get you to your final destination in the Old World. I did very well in 2011 using 80,000 Delta points for a trip to Africa on KLM and another 80,000 for a trip to Israel on Air France. I also like Membership Rewards points for using on Jet Blue.