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Travel Big price, big perks: A review of the Business Platinum Card from American Express

21:45  03 october  2020
21:45  03 october  2020 Source:   thepointsguy.com

Choosing the best American Express credit card for you

  Choosing the best American Express credit card for you Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information. Choosing the best credit card for your needs is a tricky proposition, especially with so many great options from multiple issuers. Some of the best cards on the market are offered by American Express and its partners. Amex has a card available for pretty …Choosing the best credit card for your needs is a tricky proposition, especially with so many great options from multiple issuers. Some of the best cards on the market are offered by American Express and its partners. Amex has a card available for pretty much anyone, from credit card beginners to casual travelers to road warriors.

  Big price, big perks: A review of the Business Platinum Card from American Express © Provided by The Points Guy
MSN has partnered with The Points Guy for our coverage of credit card products. MSN and The Points Guy may receive a commission from card issuers.

Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information.

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express Overview

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express is one of the most expensive credit cards on the market. Thankfully a lengthy list of luxury travel and lifestyle perks can help you recoup that cost, but it still takes a bit of work to truly maximize your usage of this card. Card Rating*: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
*Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG’s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.

With premium credit cards becoming the norm these days, many people are getting more comfortable with the idea of paying $400+ in annual fees to hold the right credit card. The Business Platinum Card® from American Express stands out above that pack thanks to its record-setting $595 annual fee (see rates and fees), but I still jumped at the chance to apply for this card because of its sweet welcome offers. The deal has now gotten even sweeter, with the Business Platinum offering a welcome offer of 75,000 points after you spend $15,000 on qualifying purchases within the first three months of account opening.

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Amex also added some new limited-time cardholder benefits during the coronavirus pandemic.

Just be warned — between a high minimum spending requirement and several business-focused perks, this card certainly won’t be right for every business, especially ones that don’t accrue major travel expenses or whose primary spending categories are more in line with the bonus categories offered by other business credit cards. So, let’s consider whether the Business Platinum card is a good fit for you.

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In This Post

Who is this card for?

(Photo by Isabelle Raphael / The Points Guy) © The Points Guy (Photo by Isabelle Raphael / The Points Guy)

The Business Platinum Card is best suited for small business owners who charge thousands of dollars in monthly business expenses to their cards, are heavy travelers and can take advantage of the card’s premium benefits. For these types of cardholders, the benefits and earnings can justify the $595 annual fee (see rates and fees).

Select Amex cardholders have access to a $295-per-year travel discount program

  Select Amex cardholders have access to a $295-per-year travel discount program Travel is slowly beginning to rebound from its lows earlier in the spring. Whenever you plan on moving about again, it’s important to remember to take advantage of all your travel card benefits. There’s one complimentary Amex card benefit that is not often mentioned — and it caught my attention recently. That perk is a membership …That perk is a membership to a little-known program called the Travel Collection, and its accompanying $295-per-year set of benefits. Don’t be confused by the name. This is, in fact, different than Amex’s similarly branded Hotel Collection program.

For many cardholders, the best perk is access to the issuer’s growing collection of Centurion Lounges. Centurion Lounges are some of the nicest lounges in the U.S. and cardholders of the American Express Centurion Card, The Platinum Card® from American Express and the Business Platinum Card get access for themselves and up to two guests, regardless of their airline or class of service. While they’ve been closed the past few months, some will begin reopening in early October.

a screen shot of a living room: The entrance to the Centurion Lounge in Miami. (Photo by Zach Honig/The Points Guy). © The Points Guy The entrance to the Centurion Lounge in Miami. (Photo by Zach Honig/The Points Guy).

That being said, the lounges have tightened up access policies — so you won’t get access more than three hours before departure nor upon arrival without a connecting boarding pass. But the dining and drink options will still provide value if you live near or frequently travel to the airports that currently feature these lounges. You also have access to Priority Pass and Delta Sky Clubs (on same-day travel on Delta flights), along with Airspace and Escape lounges.

The ultimate guide to Amex Membership Rewards

  The ultimate guide to Amex Membership Rewards Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information. American Express issues several dozen different credit cards, including cobranded hotel and airline cards, as well as two editions (personal and business) of the invite-only Centurion card. That’s a dizzying array to choose from, but there are only a handful of publicly available Amex …American Express issues several dozen different credit cards, including cobranded hotel and airline cards, as well as two editions (personal and business) of the invite-only Centurion card.

Related: Which airline lounges in the U.S. are currently open?

There are several travel-related distinctions between the personal and business versions of this card that should be considered. Perhaps the most important of these distinctions is a 35% rebate available to Business Platinum members who book a business or first-class ticket — or any class flight with their selected qualifying airline — through American Express Travel using Membership Rewards points. Rebates are capped at 500,000 points a year, which may be low for companies looking to offset more of their travel expenses.

Likewise, only personal Platinum members have access to up to $200 in annual Uber credits, up to $100 in annual Saks credits and 5x earning on flights booked directly with airlines and prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.

Related: The different flavors of American Express Platinum — which one is right for you?

a close up of a logo: Consider each card’s benefits when deciding if the business or personal version of the Amex Platinum is better. © The Points Guy Consider each card’s benefits when deciding if the business or personal version of the Amex Platinum is better.

A welcome offer worth $1,500

Based on TPG’s valuations, Membership Rewards points are worth 2 cents apiece. So, if you can manage the hefty $15,000 spend requirement to earn the 75,000-point offer, you’ll earn points worth about $1,500.

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The Business Platinum Card welcome offer is more rewarding than the welcome offer on the personal Amex Platinum card, which offers 60,000 points after you spend $5,000 within the first three months from account opening. You can also check the CardMatch Tool to see if you’re targeted for a 100,000-point Platinum Card offer (offer is subject to change at any time).

But, that slight downgrade in bonus value comes with a significantly reduced spend requirement. Your typical monthly business expenses may help you determine which card is the more valuable choice. If you have a smaller business but are still interested in opening the Business Platinum card, you might want to consider prepaying as many expenses as you can afford to during your first three months to help earn your welcome offer.

Benefits and perks

After you get over the initial shock of the $595 annual fee (see rates and fees), the Amex Business Platinum really shines when it comes to travel perks. When your travels don’t take you to an airport that offers a Centurion Lounge, you’ll have wider access to The American Express Global Lounge Collection. It includes more than 1,300 Priority Pass lounges worldwide, as well as Delta Sky Club lounges you can access when you’re doing same-day flying Delta. You’ll also have access to Airspace lounges, Escape lounges and American Express International Lounge locations.

Personal or business: Which flavor of Amex Platinum and Amex Gold is best for you?

  Personal or business: Which flavor of Amex Platinum and Amex Gold is best for you? Two of the most popular American Express cards each have a business card and personal card variant. The Platinum and Gold family of cards earn lucrative Membership Rewards points in various categories and are currently offering generous welcome bonuses to boot. First, there is the premium Platinum duo of The Platinum Card® from American Express …First, there is the premium Platinum duo of The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Business Platinum Card® from American Express.

While Centurion lounges are generally well-regarded for the improved experience they offer over the average Priority Pass lounge, there have been two long-standing complaints about the program: There aren’t enough lounges, and the existing ones often get incredibly crowded.

Amex is actively addressing both of these concerns and is set to open three new Centurion lounge locations by the end of 2020 (including its second-ever international location at London Heathrow). In terms of the overcrowding issue, Amex has imposed limits so you can only access the lounges three hours before your flight and only on arrival if you have a connecting boarding pass.

a room filled with furniture and a large window: The SkyTeam Lounge in Vancouver is an excellent Priority Pass lounge. (Photo by Katie Genter/The Points Guy) © The Points Guy The SkyTeam Lounge in Vancouver is an excellent Priority Pass lounge. (Photo by Katie Genter/The Points Guy)

Any premium travel rewards card worth its fee also offers reimbursement for a Global Entry ($100) or TSA PreCheck ($85) application fee every four to five years. The Business Platinum Card is no exception, giving you a reimbursement for your application fee once every four years for Global Entry and once every 4.5 years for TSA PreCheck.


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You’ll earn an annual $200 airline fee credit that can be used for incidentals such as baggage fees or seat selection fees. You’ll have to designate a single airline, which will be the same one you will get a 35% Pay with Points rebate for. The airline fee credit can’t be used to purchase airfare, so keep that in mind.

The 3 different flavors of American Express Platinum — which one is right for you?

  The 3 different flavors of American Express Platinum — which one is right for you? Editor’s note: This story has been updated with the latest information. The premium rewards card market is crowded, with customers paying $400 or more in annual fees to get luxury perks. However, the pandemic has shifted many of those benefits to non-travel credits. It’s crazy to think that there was really only one premium card …The premium rewards card market is crowded, with customers paying $400 or more in annual fees to get luxury perks. However, the pandemic has shifted many of those benefits to non-travel credits.

You’ll also have access to up to $200 in statement credits each year for any U.S. Dell technology purchases. This credit works like the $100 Saks Fifth Avenue credit on the personal The Platinum Card® from American Express (see rates and fees) in that it’s split into two different statement credits. So, you’ll get a statement credit for up to $100 on U.S. Dell purchases between January and June and another credit for up to $100 off U.S. Dell purchases between July and December.

However, due to the pandemic, Amex bumped the value of this benefit and is now offering up to $100 in additional statement credits for U.S. purchases with Dell through Dec. 31, 2020. Amex is also offering up to $20 in statement credits per month on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers through December, as well as up to $20 in statement credits per month on U.S. purchases for shipping.

Related: The latest credit card benefit changes you need to know about

a person sitting at a table with a cup of coffee: Even if you’re a Mac user, you can likely still find something to purchase from Dell with your biannual statement credit. © The Points Guy Even if you’re a Mac user, you can likely still find something to purchase from Dell with your biannual statement credit.

As for benefits that come in handy once you reach your destination, this card gives you Gold status with Hilton Honors and Gold Elite status with Marriott Bonvoy, which provides better earnings and benefits during stays with these two brands. You can get elite-type perks at other hotels through Amex’s Fine Hotels & Resorts program.

When you book a stay at a Fine Hotels & Resorts property through Amex Travel, benefits include noon check-in if available, guaranteed 4:00 p.m. checkout, a room upgrade if available, daily breakfast for two and a unique amenity valued at $100 or more.

If you book a prepaid stay online, you’ll earn 5x points and (sometimes) get elite benefits during your stay. Cardmembers also have access to the Hotel Collection, which offers an up to $100 on-site credit at select properties when you book a stay of two nights or longer through Amex Travel.

Guide to lounge access with the Amex Platinum and Business Platinum

  Guide to lounge access with the Amex Platinum and Business Platinum Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, updated with current information. When you think of The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Business Platinum Card® from American Express — two of the top travel rewards cards — you probably associate the cards with the long list of benefits that come from being a cardholder. …When you think of The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Business Platinum Card® from American Express — two of the top travel rewards cards — you probably associate the cards with the long list of benefits that come from being a cardholder.

a river running through a city: Hilton Gold status will unlock some benefits when you stay at Hilton properties, like the DoubleTree Resort by Hilton in Penang, Malaysia . (Photo by Katie Genter/The Points Guy) © The Points Guy Hilton Gold status will unlock some benefits when you stay at Hilton properties, like the DoubleTree Resort by Hilton in Penang, Malaysia . (Photo by Katie Genter/The Points Guy)

The Amex Business Platinum Card also features extended warranty protection that matches eligible U.S. manufacturer warranties of two years or less and extended eligible U.S. manufacturer warranties of two to five years by two years. Additionally, purchases on your card are protected from accidental damage or theft for up to 120 days from the moment you purchase them.

Besides these benefits, there are also many other benefits, including the International Airline Program, Cruise Privileges Program, Premium Roadside Assistance, Upgrade with Points and access to the Auto Purchasing Program.

Related: 10 Things To Do When You Get the American Express Business Platinum Card

Earning

Rewards on most spending with the Business Platinum Card are pretty subpar at 1 point per dollar spent, a 2% return based on TPG’s valuations. For businesses with significant expenses, Amex will add a slight incentive to coax you to use its card: All purchases of $5,000 or more earn 1.5x points per dollar (a 3% return), up to one million extra points per year.

Everyday office spending is not the reason to get this card, though. You’ll earn 5x points when you purchase airfare and prepaid hotel rooms on AmexTravel.com (including Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts). That’s the same 10% return as you’ll see on the personal Platinum Card, although with the personal Amex Platinum Card you also get 5x points on airfare booked directly with airlines.

a hotel room filled with furniture and a large window: Earn 5x Membership Rewards points when you book a prepaid Fine Hotels and Resorts stay at a property such as the Park Hyatt New York. (Photo courtesy of Park Hyatt New York) © The Points Guy Earn 5x Membership Rewards points when you book a prepaid Fine Hotels and Resorts stay at a property such as the Park Hyatt New York. (Photo courtesy of Park Hyatt New York)

Simply put, the Business Platinum card is not going to be the one you want to use for a majority of your purchases. This card excels when it comes to travel spending and perks, but don’t feel like you have to keep it at the front of your wallet just because you’re paying more for it.

Related: Everything You Need to Know About American Express Membership Rewards

Redeeming

You can redeem your points for gift cards, through Amazon or other online retailers, to pay for charges on your bill or even to pay your taxi fare in New York City. However, these options all significantly devalue your rewards to 1 cent per point or less and we strongly recommend against using your points this way.

The most lucrative way to redeem points is to transfer them to one of 22 Amex partner airlines or hotels. Going this route may take a bit of sleuthing, but a little work can help increase the value of your points significantly above the TPG valuation. Regardless of whether you want to fly on Oneworld, Star Alliance or Sky Team airlines — or stay at Choice, Hilton or Marriott propertiesmany sweet spots can be unlocked with Amex Membership Rewards points.

a living room filled with furniture and a large window: Choice Hotels points can provide excellent value in Europe, Japan and even New York City. (Photo of Gowanus Inn and Yard, a Choice Ascend Property in Brooklyn, New York by Katie Genter/The Points Guy) © The Points Guy Choice Hotels points can provide excellent value in Europe, Japan and even New York City. (Photo of Gowanus Inn and Yard, a Choice Ascend Property in Brooklyn, New York by Katie Genter/The Points Guy)

Want the easiest redemption option that still offers decent value? If you redeem your points via American Express Travel Pay with Points, they’re worth about 1.54 cents per point toward first and business class flights on any airline as well as economy class flights on your selected airline because of the 35% Pay with Points rebate. That’s a higher return than you’ll earn booking travel on Amex with the personal Platinum card (1 cent per point) and it’s about on par with what you’d get with the Chase Sapphire Reserve when using Chase Ultimate Rewards to book travel through the issuer’s portal (1.5 cents per point). But, note that the 35% rebate is capped at 500,000 points per calendar year.

You’ll also want to keep an eye out for transfer bonuses, which Amex runs with some regularity. In the last year, we’ve seen a 40% bonus for transfers to British Airways Avios and a 30% bonus for transfers to Virgin Atlantic, which can help you score dirt cheap premium cabin awards on Delta and ANA.

Related reading: Redeeming American Express Membership Rewards for maximum value

Is the Amex Business Platinum a good fit for your business?

The Amex Business Platinum Card offers one of the most valuable welcome offers on the market right now. As such, any business that can hit the $20,000 spending requirement should seriously consider this card. But if we dig a little deeper, we can see that when Amex redesigned this card in February 2019, they had a specific type of customer in mind.

Everything about this card screams, “loud, established businesses.” For starters, a smaller and newer company might struggle to meet the $20,000 minimum spending requirement and the last thing you would ever want to do is jeopardize your company’s finances in the name of travel rewards. Add in the limited bonus categories (and the fact that one of the biggest bonus-earning options comes from making large purchases of $5,000 or more) and many small businesses out there will have trouble maximizing this card.

If you feel that your business might be too small to get the full value out of the Business Platinum card, you might want to consider other options. For instance, the American Express® Business Gold Card offers similar redemption options to the Business Platinum, but at a lower annual fee of $295 (see rates and fees).

This card offers six bonus categories, one of which is airfare purchased directly from airlines. It allows you to earn 4x points per dollar on the two categories where you spend the most each month (up to $150,000 in combined purchases for these two categories per calendar year; then 1x point thereafter).

a close up of a sign: The Business Gold Card offers solid earning and similar redemption options at a lower annual fee. (Photo by Eric Helgas/The Points Guy) © The Points Guy The Business Gold Card offers solid earning and similar redemption options at a lower annual fee. (Photo by Eric Helgas/The Points Guy)

Alternatively, if you like the American Express Membership Rewards ecosystem and want to keep your cost as low as possible, take a look at The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express instead. This no-annual-fee credit card (see rates & fees) earns 2x Membership Rewards points (a 4% return) on your first $50,000 of annual purchases (then 1x), with no bonus categories to worry about. You’ll earn 2x points whether you’re spending $1 or $1,000, whether you’re booking travel or buying furniture for your office. While you won’t find many perks on a free credit card, the simplicity it affords will give you more time to focus on growing your business.

Finally, if travel isn’t a big part of your business, look instead to top business cards that offer great rewards in categories like office supplies, internet service or computer equipment. A solid choice here is the Ink Business Cash Credit Card.

Bottom line

The Amex Business Platinum Card is a niche card that’s perfect for the big traveler. While it might not be worth the money for business owners who don’t count airfare and hotel stays among their largest business expenses, its travel perks are difficult, if not impossible, to beat. Even assuming the Amex Business Platinum’s travel perks won’t be useful for the time being, Amex is offering a variety of limited-time perks to retain cardholder value.

Here’s the link to apply for The Business Platinum Card® from American Express with up to a 75,000-point bonus.

Benji Stawski contributed to this post.

For rates and fees of the Amex Business Platinum card, please click here.

For rates and fees of the Amex Business Gold, please click here.

For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum card, please click here.

For rates and fees of the Blue Business Plus card, click here.

SPONSORED: With states reopening, enjoying a meal from a restaurant no longer just means curbside pickup.

And when you do spend on dining, you should use a credit card that will maximize your rewards and potentially even score special discounts. Thanks to temporary card bonuses and changes due to coronavirus, you may even be able to score a meal at your favorite restaurant for free.

These are the best credit cards for dining out, taking out, and ordering in to maximize every meal purchase.

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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Guide to lounge access with the Amex Platinum and Business Platinum .
Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, updated with current information. When you think of The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Business Platinum Card® from American Express — two of the top travel rewards cards — you probably associate the cards with the long list of benefits that come from being a cardholder. …When you think of The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Business Platinum Card® from American Express — two of the top travel rewards cards — you probably associate the cards with the long list of benefits that come from being a cardholder.

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