Is The Amex Business Platinum Card Worth It?

In the interest of full disclosure, One Mile At A Time earns a referral bonus for anyone that’s approved through some of the below links. These are the best publicly available offers that we have found for each card. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Please check out my advertiser policy for further details about our partners, including American Express, Chase, and Citi, and thanks for your support!

Update: This offer for The Blue for Business® Credit Card from American Express is expired. Learn more about the best available offer here.

Update: The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN has exciting new benefits, and a great new limited time offer. Learn more about the current offer here.

Update: This offer for The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN is expired, but there’s currently an opportunity to earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $5,000 in purchases on the Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership. Learn more about the special offer here.


Link: The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN

Reader Carl emailed me the following question:

I’m looking for a business credit card, and was pondering the Amex Business Platinum Card for the perks? Is the card worth it, or is there another card I should get instead?

Now, that’s not much information to work with, but I figured I’d answer the question in general — who should consider the Amex Business Platinum Card?

As the name suggests, this is the business version of The Platinum Card® from American Express, so it has a $450 annual fee.

What are the benefits of the card? In very broad terms:

Let’s take a closer look at some of the “big” things to consider when applying for the card — sign-up bonus, perks, and return on everyday spend:

Amex Business Platinum sign-up bonus

The sign-up bonus on this card is 40,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $3,000 on the card within the first three months. That might not sound huge, but in general American Express hasn’t been offering huge publicly available sign-up bonuses lately.

Per the terms, the sign-up bonus isn’t available to those who have or have had this product within the last 12 months. Conversely, if you’ve had this card before but not in the past year, you should be eligible for the bonus.

We’ve definitely seen bigger targeted sign-up bonuses on the card, though I don’t recall seeing a better publicly available one for a while now.

How does that compare to the sign-up bonuses on other American Express small business cards?

So as you can see, the Amex Business Platinum Card does offer one of the bigger Amex small business card sign-up bonuses, even if 40,000 points might not sound huge.

Amex Business Platinum perks

It’s the perks where this card really shines, and where I think it’s well worth the annual fee. Just to address a few specific perks:

$200 annual airline fee credit

The card offers a $200 annual airline fee credit. It’s based on calendar years. In other words, if you applied for the card now you could use your $200 airline fee credit shortly after receiving the card, and then you’d have another new credit coming January 1. In other words, you’d get $400 in airline fee credits within a few months of applying for the card, which helps quite nicely to offset the card’s annual fee.

Amex-Reimbursements

Lounge access!

This card offers access to Delta SkyClubs as well as a Priority Pass membership. Now, you don’t have guesting privileges with either, meaning only the cardmember can enter.

Delta-SkyClub-San-Francisco - 9
Delta SkyClub San Francisco

But what makes this card super awesome is that it gives you access to Centurion Lounges, which are in my opinion among the best airline lounges in the US. And you have guesting privileges at Centurion Lounges, as you can bring either your immediate family or two guests.

AmEx-Centurion-Lounge-Miami-Airport-12
Amex Centurion Lounge Miami

Admittedly the network of lounges is fairly limited as of now — they’re just in Dallas, Las Vegas, MiamiNew York, and San Francisco, and then there’s a Centurion Studio in Seattle — but if you transit any of those airports frequently, access to these lounges can more than justify the annual fee in no time. I transit Dallas, Miami, and New York all the time, which is part of why I value access to these lounges so much.

Heck, the Centurion Lounge LGA is possibly the only redeeming quality of the airport.

AmEx-Centurion-Lounge-LGA-Airport-11
Amex Centurion Lounge New York LGA

Wifi on the ground and in the air

The Boingo hotspot benefit was announced a while back, and at first I assumed it was a gimmick. Not the case. I can’t even begin to say how often I’ve used the benefit over the past couple of years.

AmEx-Platinum-Boingo-1

Furthermore, the 10 Gogo wifi passes are pretty awesome as well, especially given how expensive onboard wifi has become. These are even valid on international Delta flights, which a Gogo all-access membership doesn’t even get you wifi on.

Fine Hotels & Resorts

This is an awesome perk that I use all the time, and it’s available exclusively to those with the Business or Personal Platinum Card. It gets you complimentary breakfast, room upgrades, guaranteed late check-out, and a property specific amenity at many luxury hotels. Typically Amex has access to the “best available” rates offered by the hotels directly.

Sunset-Tower-Hotel - 3

For example, I recently booked through FHR at the Sunset Tower Hotel and the Ritz-Carlton Marina Del Rey.

Sunset-Tower-Hotel - 22
Heck of a room upgrade at the Sunset Tower Hotel on an FHR booking!

Amex Business Platinum return on spend

As far as I’m concerned, this is the weak point of the card, as it offers one Membership Rewards point per dollar spent in most categories. So while I hold onto this card for the perks, it’s not one I personally put much spend on.

If you’re looking for a card which maximizes return on everyday spend, I’d be focused instead on The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN. It has the following rewards structure:

  • 3x points on one category of your choice from the following:
    • Airfare purchased directly from airlines
    • US purchases for advertising in select media
    • US purchases at gas stations
    • US purchases for shipping
    • US computer hardware, software, and cloud computing purchases made directly from select providers
  • 2x points on the 4 remaining categories
  • 1x points on other purchases

As you can see, that’s quite a rewards structure, and might be worth looking into if you spend a lot on your business credit card. It’s worth noting that the card has a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, and then $175 after that.

Amex Business Platinum bottom line

As far as I’m concerned, the Amex Business Platinum Card is one of the most compelling business credit cards out there when it comes to the perks it offers. While the return on everyday spend isn’t noteworthy, the card offers a nice sign-up bonus and fantastic perks, which more than offset the annual fee, in my opinion.

And now is a great time to apply, given you can take advantage of the airline fee credits for both 2015 and 2016 within the next few months.

Do you consider the Business and/or Personal versions of the Platinum Card to be worth the annual fee?

About lucky

Ben Schlappig (aka Lucky) is a travel consultant, blogger, and avid points collector. He travels about 400,000 miles a year, primarily using miles and points to fund his first class experiences. He chronicles his adventures, along with industry news, here at One Mile At A Time.

More articles by lucky »

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Comments

  1. Hey Lucky if we have the gold business rewards card now would we get the platinum business bonus as well?

  2. As a recent Biz Plat cardholder, I’ve been disappointed.

    While I’ve been able to find a seat in the lounges, it’s always in a remote area, the place is super crowded (MIA). FHR doesn’t go beyond year end, concierge has been very inefficient.

  3. I’m curious about the Boingo benefit. I find the app difficult to use and I haven’t found the benefit useful. That said, I feel like it *should* be useful. What are some of the situations in which you’ve used it? Do you use the app? Maybe off topic or an idea for a future post…

  4. Quick question – I got the card this july, got my points and have also received the $200 airline credit (GCs)

    If I take the $200 again in January/Feb and then cancel in June (before the annual fee comes due again) will I get dinged for take the airline incidental twice?

    I don’t need the card past one year

    Thanks and enjoy your blog

  5. I have been a cardholder for 8 or more years and I find that this card may be redundant. There are other cards that offer the $200 credit for this and that….. and I agree with the one comment (BeachFan) on the Centurion Clubs in DFW and MIA (only ones Ive visited). These clubs are super crowded…. service is great but they are tight spaces with too many people. I travel once a month to Asia or California from MIA… typically have tight connections so finding my way to the Centurion Lounge is more of a struggle than an ease.
    AMEX doesnt link itself to AA- so thats a negative (for me).
    AMEX does have an amazing customer service in place. I think that THIS is the main reason I continue to keep the card.

  6. We have recent received a 100,000 mile bonus offer for this card and plan to accept it shortly.

  7. I am not sure what the Boingo benefit is worth (if anything). The last “away” airport I went through was LAX. LAX wifi is operated by Boingo. It’s free (although it’s limited to 45 minutes and has ads). My “home” airport – JAX – has unlimited free wifi. Guess the value of this benefit will vary person to person.

    In terms of maximizing AMEX Membership Rewards points on a continuing basis – I find it hard to beat the AMEX Everyday Preferred Card ($95/year). Where you get 50% bonus points on everything you buy if you make 30 purchases a month – regardless of the size of the purchase. A free alternative is the AMEX Everyday Card – where the bonus is 20% if you make 20 purchases a month.

    Bonuses on new cards are always nice though – especially if you fly Delta (I do). Because most front of the plane reward tickets on Delta cost a ton of of points/miles these days. Think I would hold out for more than 40k miles though (like that 100k bonus Bruce Solomin got – that’s a great offer!). For people who aren’t that familiar with AMEX cards – as of today – you can only get one sign up bonus on any particular card (for the rest of your life). So it makes sense to hold out for the best bonus offer you can possibly get before signing up for any particular card.

  8. Hi Lucky! I am flying EK First out of Dallas… should I go to the Amex Centurion Lounge? Or is there any other offer better option offered by EK? Thanks!!

  9. I would also add that holders of the AMEX Business Platinum card receive two additional benefits that (I don’t believe) were mentioned in this post:

    1) You are automatically eligible to receive Gold status with Starwood’s Preferred Guest loyalty program (although you must actually call AMEX Customer Service to take advantage of this benefit); and
    2) You can go online to the AMEX website and register to automatically receive Gold status with Hilton HHonors.

  10. I don’t think this card is very good given the AF. I have the personal version of the plat, but I picked it up for the 100k offer (which made the card worth it for one year). If you fly delta or use one of the few airports with the centurion lounges then the card may have some value for the lounge access. Hilton gold status you can come by pretty easily with some hilton cards where you can get two free nights as a signup bonus. SPG gold isn’t really amazing. If someone is staying at SPG properties on a somewhat regular basis it wouldn’t be too difficult for them to make gold status, especially if they have the SPG credit card with those night credits.The priority pass membership isn’t as good as the one you get with the citi prestige (I think the prestige card is light years better than the plat). I have the boingo account setup but it doesn’t work properly most the time. The passes in the air may work better and those can have some value, but not enough to justify this card. Bottom line this card is only really useful for people who fly delta and want to use their lounges or those that frequent airports with a centurion lounge. The only other time I’d recommend this card is if there is an outstanding signup offer like the 100k.

  11. Hmm..they talked me into this saying I would get more miles because I could book through their site and get airline miles with the purchase, but I had a feeling they were wrong. Looks like they were wrong. I will keep it and try the perks for a year anyways to see if its worth the $450, but I probably don’t travel enough to make it worthwhile.

  12. Thanks for the tip on the gift card. Think I’m too late for the $400 but can at least get the $200 and the global pass credit along with delta lounge access in PDX just might be worth it after all.

  13. Hi.
    Unfortunately I am not payed blogger .
    200.00 only if you fly select airline.
    Fine hotel and resort only if you book thru Amex travel agency which most the time more expensive than other travel site like orbitz, expedia , kayak…for the same hotel, date…
    They may trick you with non sense of upgrade ..
    Airport lounge only selected airport and select terminals….
    40000 point only one time than 450 annually. ..
    WiFi is become almost completely free worldwide or free coverage from your carrier .
    So once you get this card , you will start hearing ..but ,but and all those exemption …
    If you don’t travel dozen of time annually …and use their own preferred airline…than think again.

  14. Shame on me for not performing more thorough customer sentiment research before signing my team up for our American Express Business Platinum cards.

    I run an eCommerce startup in the apparel space and like many, was dazzled by the prestige and membership “benefits” that American Express is supposedly known for. I applied for this card, which was a much easier process than I anticipated (a facade…keep reading). I was approved almost instantly and signed my CFO up for a Platinum Business card as well.

    We made it through 2 weeks of card use before the issues started rolling in.

    I am not naive enough to believe an unlimited monthly spending limit is truly possible. What I do expect is for my spending projections, annual revenue and personal income to be considered intelligently by a rational human being and not solely by a computer algorithm that is clearly flawed. Despite indicating a minimum monthly requirement of $10,000 (a pretty modest limit, all things considered) we were assigned a $6000 limit. Unknowingly, I might add. It wasn’t until my CFO was mid-travel that we discovered this to be the case.

    After a hour on the phone I was informed that we needed to “prove a track record” of spending and payment before they could increase the limit. I paid the entire balance instantly. The card was up and running again once the payment posted (remember, we’re 2 weeks in here). Total monthly spend and payment month 1: $16000. Multiple payments were made in the first month, all before they were even close to being due.

    This behavior repeated during month 2 as well. We had the same issues with the card being shut off for spending that we advised them of in advance during the application process and the same behavior of making multiple payments early to try to “prove our track record” as they say.

    Furthermore, when you ask their customer service representatives how the calculation for credit limit increase is performed they will not be able to tell you. I asked what we could expect our increase to be for the next month if our spending/payment behavior was as they suggested and was told that there wasn’t any real way of telling. You are American Express! You don’t know how your algorithms work?!

    Month 3 rolled around and we were at our wits-end. The second week of month 3 I was in the middle of business travel and took out my card to pay for something. Declined. This was not only impressively inconvenient, it was also mortifying. We paid all of our bills early and made multiple payments per month. This was the last straw.

    I called American Express Business Platinum “customer service” to find out what the issue was now. News to me, they do a “financial review” on month 3. Now the easy application process made sense. They were requesting 2 years of income statements, tax returns…everything I expected they would have handled upfront.

    This is the shadiest customer acquisition process I have had the displeasure of being unknowingly subjected to. Whatever was required for card approval should have been handled at the genesis of the engagement. Period.

    Mind you, I am in another state traveling for work. This came without any warning. I pleaded with customer service to turn the card on until I could return home from business to gather the requested documents. They said this could not be done. That was it. I cancelled the card on the spot. I was never confident that when I took the card out it would actually work. I could not keep running my business with a card so unreliable.

    But wait, there’s more!

    Over the course of the very brief time we had the cards we accrued close to 90,000 points. Imagine my surprise when I logged into my account a few days later to find they were gone.

    To make an already long story a bit shorter, American Express is not required to disclose to you when you are cancelling your card that they will wipe the points from your account immediately upon account closure. Why, you might ask.

    Several phone calls and multiple hours of my time speaking with the American Express Business Platinum “customer service” team led me to the following discovery.

    Do you remember that brick of a contract that they packaged so beautifully with your American Express Business Platinum card when you first got it? READ IT CAREFULLY. Memorize it. That discloses every shady thing that American Express will be doing to you over the course of your time as their client. Because it is stated in there, they were not required to advise me of the point seizure upon account closure.

    This is easily the worst tool any startup could get locked into. American Express should be ashamed of the way they treat small business owners. We were impeccable customers to them. I will NEVER give my business to them or anything they stand to benefit from ever again. Nor will anyone who asks about my opinion of American Express, I can assure you.

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