Is The Amex Business Platinum Card 100K Bonus Worth It?

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

Yesterday American Express announced an incredible increased sign-up bonus of up to 100,000 points on The Enhanced Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN. This is the biggest publicly available sign-up bonus I ever recall seeing on the card.

Tiffany wrote about this great offer yesterday, as I was flying all day without wifi. While she did a great job covering the details of the card, I wanted to chime in with my overall thoughts on the value proposition of the card.

The Amex Business Platinum Card is offering the following welcome bonus:

  • 50,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $5,000 on qualifying purchases within your first three months
  • An extra 50,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend an additional $10,000 on qualifying purchases within your first three months

In other words, that’s potentially 100,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $15,000 within three months.

Keep in mind that the sign-up bonus isn’t available to those who have or have had this card in the past. However, you are eligible for this card if you have or have had The Platinum Card® from American Express or The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN, since those are considered different products.

The killer new perk this card offers

Not only are we seeing a huge sign-up bonus, but also as of yesterday there are some new perks on this card. Specifically:

  • Earn 1.5x Membership Rewards points on purchases of at least $5,000, up to one million additional points per year
  • Receive 35% of 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; this is an opportunity to redeem your Membership Rewards points for 1.35 cents each towards the cost of airfare

amex-travel
How Pay with Points works, before the 35% refund

That last point is really the most incredible, as having this card will increase the value you get out of your Membership Rewards points significantly. Typically Membership Rewards points can be redeemed for roughly one cent each towards the cost of an airline ticket, so with a 35% refund on points you’re essentially getting 1.54 cents of value out of each point. That’s just about the highest good-as-cash value you can get out of any transferable points currency.

The best part is that since you can pool Amex points, all your Amex points can be redeemed at that rate. My go to card for a lot of everyday spend is the Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card, so suddenly I’m able to get more value out of those points as well.

That means the 100,000 point sign-up bonus you earn on the Amex Business Platinum Card is potentially worth $2,000 in airfare.

Offsetting the card’s annual fee

The card has a $450 annual fee, though I tend to think the perks more than justify the annual fee:

On the most basic level you get a $200 annual airline fee credit, which I value at close to face value. So by my mental accounting, the real “out of pocket” on this card is $250 per year. Also keep in mind that the airline fee credit is issued on the basis of calendar years, so before your second year’s annual fee is due, you’ll have receive two $200 credits.

Amex-Plat-1

Using my valuation of ~$250 per year “out of pocket” on the card (and really only $50 the first year), you’re getting access to Amex lounges, Delta SkyClubs, Gogo wifi passes, Hilton Gold status, Starwood Gold status (and by connection Marriott Gold status), and much more.

Amex-Centurion-Lounge-Houston - 14
Access the Amex Centurion Lounge with the Platinum Card

Bottom line

The sign-up bonus on the Amex Business Platinum Card is the biggest publicly available bonus I’ve ever seen. The sign-up bonus alone makes this worthwhile, though now I especially consider this to be a card that’s worth holding onto long term, since it nicely increases the value of all the Amex Membership Rewards points you earn.

Also keep in mind that Amex is usually pretty generous about approving people for this card, especially since it’s a charge card and not a credit card, meaning you can’t finance charges over time. For more information on getting approved for an Amex small business card as a new business, see this post.

I know the minimum spend is big, but even the 50,000 point bonus after spending $5,000 is bigger than usual. Also keep in mind that if you have a big tax bill you can typically pay that by credit card, and you’d even earn a 50% bonus on transactions of over $5,000. That could be a good way to meet the minimum spend.

Anyone picking up the Amex Business Platinum Card with this incredible sign-up offer?


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Comments

  1. I already have the Amex PRG (targeted 65K offer), BRG (targeted 75K offer) and Personal Platinum (100K offer back in May).The 50% points redemption on the Amex Business Platinum is definitely worth it, I was holding out on a high bonus offer on this card and now that it’s available, My only concern is spending that $15,000 in 3 months to get the full bonus. I apply as a Sole proprietor and I can’t do MFG spending on these Platinum cards .

  2. Hi Lucky,

    I think it is worth pointing out that the mechanics of getting $2,000 value from the 100K points is not as straight forward. That is, if there was a $2,000 ticket and you only had 100K points you would have to cover the $1,000 balance but get 50K points back, correct? Technically not wrong to say that the potential is $2K. But as pointed out in other posts it works really well when you have a huge stash of MR to begin with.

    Still it’s a good perk. Do love reading OMAAT.

  3. I got targeted for up to a 250,000 Membership Rewards bonus with the Business Platinum earlier this year. I only got 160,000 bonus though, as part of the bonus was made up of 10,000 MR points for every $5000 and higher transaction charged in the first 6 months.

  4. Huge MEH. If you already have the card, this is only a modest improvement at best. Let’s review:

    $.02 value redeeming for some flights – I already get that with Cap 1 Spark on any flight, and its where I’m moving a lot of spend.

    $200 annual airline fee credit – ok. So the card ony cost $250 a year.
    Access to Boingo hotspots – rarely use
    10 Gogo passes – often use, this is nice.
    Access to American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts – rarely or never cost efficient
    Access to Delta SkyClubs – they won’t allow a guest any longer – and it was often my wife or daughter traveling with me – so I went from loving this to never using it anymore. In fact I also avoid Delta now in part because of this.
    Priority Pass Select membership – also meh, for some of the same reasons. The more premium membership available on other cards would be useful.
    Gold Starwood and Hilton – you decide how useful this is. Certainly I rarely or never move points there as the redemption rates are terrible.
    Access to the American Express Centurion Lounges in Dallas, Houston, Las Vegas, Miami, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, etc. last time i was in one it was packed to the gills and cleaned out at the buffet table. But it’s a free draft beer anyway.
    A Global Entry fee credit

    100k bonus is not nothing, but the overall value of this card is terribly diminished from just a few years ago, and this doesn’t really help much. As mentioned, in our portfolio the Cap 1 Spark Business card is becoming increasingly important and we’re moving the spend usually off AMEX.

  5. Can you (actually anyone) talk about their experiences getting the serve after being shutdown recently?

  6. Killer new perk? Not really.

    While getting 50% back sounds nice, you really need to have the full amount of points in place, so there is an opportunity cost there you are missing (and more importantly, not pricing). If a seat is available for 50,000 points I can’t really book it with 25,000 points, now can I? I need to put additional spend to get the additional 25,000.

    and there are many cards that give you 2% cashback or more, so you’re analysis makes no sense, since I don’t have to put additional spend on those to get the extra 1% back.

    No one with a mind for these things will think these changes are competitive in any sense or a perk, never mind a killer perk.

    I know you need to market and sell cards – which is great – but you need to have a more realistic and honest way to market and sell.

  7. If you consider the fact that the 50% rebated Membership Rewards points can be used to purchase more travel, you can actually earn almost 3% return on purchases of $5000 or more. Here is how the math works: Purchase $100,000 in product and earn 150,000 Membership Rewards points. You can then purchase a $1500 flight while getting 75,000 Membership Rewards points deposited back into your account. At that point, you can purchase a $750 flight while getting 37,500 Memebership Rewards points deposited backed in your account. Continue this forward multiple times, and you will earn close to $3,000 in travel for only $100,000 in purchases which looks like 3% return to me.

  8. Here is how the math works: Purchase $10,000,000 in product, and earn 15,000,000 MR points…..but I must admit, I’m not sure if Warren Buffet reads this blog. 😉

  9. question about the delta lounge perk: Do you need to be flying Delta? Can you get in the Delta lounge with the platinum card if you are flying another airline?

  10. @ bob — You do need to be flying Delta to use Delta SkyClubs. You can use Priority Pass lounges when flying any airline, though.

  11. The question is: under what type of spending does it make sense to get Business if one has the Personal Platinum and vice versa i.e. pay two $450 annual fees.

    Make it even more interesting: Under what type of annual spending does it make sense to have Personal and business Platinum, EDP and PGR.

    I have posted this on another blog before but Amex’s move is one of the smartest I have seen from any credit card company in a long long time.

    Amex has expanded their merchant network by more than 1.2 million new merchants globally just in 2015. From what I have read, they expect parity coverage with the other card networks in the U.S. in the next two or so years.

    They are putting pieces of the puzzle together….centurion lounges, Optblue, FHR, Amex Travel, Amex Offers, etc. The two Amex Platinum announcement is clearly another gap that Amex is filling — high rewards for premium cards.

    This post has a much more interesting perspective and I agree with him: http://www.travelcodex.com/2016/10/new-amex-platinum-50-rebate-end-of-miles/

    I am back with the Amex ecosystem and even more committed after experimenting with TY and UR. I have Business Platinum and am debating if I should get personal Platinum and/or Premier Gold. I am also seriously considering moving almost all of my spending to Amex is also because I am moving to Delta (or AS) next year from AA. IF I move to DAL, I may be getting Delta Reserve as well.

  12. For some, the effective return could actually be over 3%…remember you still earn airline miles, etc., because this is a paid ticket. Not to mention the elimination of hassles actually finding and securing award space. Ymmv.

  13. @steve I wouldn’t brag about moving any long-term spend on any card getting just 2% back. That’s the big reason no one plugs Capital One cards on any of these point blogs-so many cards get more than 2% in travel rewards.

  14. @_ar, but you have to remember that you can earn at more than 2% using some combination of other MR earning cards (ED, EDP, PRG etc) and then redeem at 2c. So I would say the 2% cash back example isn’t really valid.

  15. Couple things on the my comments about 2% cash/travel back:

    – i did say “portfolio” – not my only card
    – I think point redemptions or upgrades will be disappear or be nearly unobtainable, shortly. So I find myself buying more and more tickets with “cash”.

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