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Earlier this week American Express confirmed new earnings structures for both the The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Enhanced Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN.
- The Personal Platinum Card will earn 5x points on airfare purchased directly with airlines
- The Business Platinum Card will offer 1.5x Membership Rewards points on purchases of at least $5,000
- The Business Platinum Card will offer 50% points back when using Membership Rewards Pay with Points to book a flight with your selected airline, or when booking a flight in first or business class on any airline
While the 5x points on airfare for the personal card is exciting, the potential for a 50% rebate with the Business Platinum card means you can get two cents per point out of all your Membership Rewards points towards a travel purchase. That’s a fantastic return, and one that makes the business card particularly compelling.
Even better, there is a new limited time offer to earn up to 100,000 Membership Rewards points on the Business Platinum card.
You can earn 50,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $5,000 and then an extra 50,000 points after you spend an additional $10,000 all on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership.
That’s a significant spending requirement, but keep in mind the Business Platinum card is also offering 1.5 points per dollar on purchases of $5,000 or more, for up to 1 million additional points per year.
If you’re a small business owner with upcoming large purchases, that can be a pretty great deal.
Keep in mind that American Express bonuses are “once per lifetime” — I’ve had the Business Platinum card in the past, so while I might get the card again to take advantage of the improved benefits, I wouldn’t be eligible for the sign-up bonus. You must apply by the 25th of January 2017 to be eligible for the bonus.
The card has a $450 annual fee, though comes with all kinds of perks which help offset it, including, a $200 annual airline fee credit.
On top of that, you can add up to 99 additional card members (and can set spending limits for each). You can add basic “Green” employee cards for no fee, but you can also secure Platinum versions for your employees. If you do, they receive all the same benefits, including:
- Access to Boingo hotspots
- 10 Gogo passes
- Access to American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts
- Access to Delta SkyClubs
- Priority Pass Select membership
- Access to the American Express Centurion Lounges in Dallas, Las Vegas, Miami, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, etc.
- A Global Entry fee credit
- Gold elite status in both Hilton HHonors and Starwood Preferred Guest
You’ll have to crunch the numbers for yourself, but depending on your business situation the additional card member perks could be well worth the fees. And being able to offer lounge access at airports and hotels (with Hilton HHonors) is a super nice perk for employees who travel.
Ben values Membership Rewards points at ~1.7 cents each, so 100,000 points are worth $1,700. Even when you subtract the $450 annual fee, that translates to a value of $1,250. And that doesn’t account for all the perks you get, or the improved redemption rate through Pay With Points.
The new benefits for are pretty compelling, particularly if you’re getting 50% of your points back when you use Membership Rewards points for a Pay with Points flight booking on your selected airline, or on Business/First tickets.
Combine that with the potential to earn up to 100,000 miles for new cardholders, and there’s really never been a better time to pick up The Enhanced Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN.