The 10 Best Benefits Of The Amex Business Platinum Card

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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.

One of the hottest credit card offers we’re seeing at the moment is on The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN, which recently received some new benefits, as well as a sign-up bonus of up to 100,000 Membership Rewards points upon completing minimum spend.

While a lot of people are familiar with the increased sign-up bonus and new perks on the card, I figured I’d look at the big picture, and talk about the 10 best benefits of the Amex Business Platinum Card:

1. A 100K point sign-up bonus

As mentioned above, the card has the best available sign-up bonus we’ve ever seen on it, and it’s awarded as follows:

  • 50,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $5,000 within three months
  • An additional 50,000 Membership Rewards points after spending another $10,000 within that same period

So while the minimum spend is big, the reward here is huge, especially for those who are big spenders. The 100,000 points can be redeemed for up to two cents each, so the bonus is potentially worth up to $2,000 in travel.

Even the 50,000 point bonus after spending $5,000 is bigger than the usual sign-up bonus on the card, so it could be worth signing up even if you’ll only be able to spend $5,000.

Etihad-A380-Apartment - 2

2. More valuable points

Historically the best way to redeem American Express Membership Rewards points is to transfer them to one of Amex’s airline partners, so you can redeem for first or business class.

Well, the biggest new perk that was announced for the Amex Business Platinum Card is that you now receive a 35% refund on points 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.

Essentially this means you can get up to 1.54 cents per point of value out of your Amex points, which is a bit lower than I otherwise value those points. Best of all, you can combine all your Amex Membership Rewards points at this rate, meaning that having this card increases the value of all your Amex points. This is a pretty good opportunity.

For more on this benefit, see my post about combining Amex Membership Rewards points to maximize their value, and my post about how you can use this benefit to get cheap first & business class tickets.

Qatar-Business-Class-A340 - 4

3. A $200 airline fee credit ($400 before second year’s annual fee)

The card offers a $200 annual airline fee credit, calculated per calendar year. Technically these are airline fee credits (meaning they can’t be used towards ticket purchases, etc.), which can be used for the following, per the terms & conditions:

Airline tickets, upgrades, mileage points purchases, mileage points transfer fees, gift cards, duty free purchases, and award tickets are not deemed to be incidental fees.

However, for years the purchase of airline gift cards has been reimbursed as well under the airline fee credit offer, assuming you purchase them in fairly small increments. For example, earlier in the year I had two $100 American Airlines gift cards automatically reimbursed under this benefit:

Amex-Plat-1

Also, since this benefit is on a per-calendar year basis, you can pick up $200 in airline credits through December 31, and then another $200 in airline credits starting January 1. In other words, that’s $400 in airline credits before your second year’s annual fee is due.

4. Access to Centurion Lounges

American Express has their own proprietary lounges, which are available to those with the Platinum Card. US locations include Dallas, HoustonLas Vegas, MiamiNew York, San Francisco, and Seattle.

These lounges are significantly nicer than what you’ll typically find from other US airlines, as Centurion Lounges have free premium cocktails and legitimate food. I’d pay a couple of hundred dollars a year for access to these lounges, so this nicely helps offset the annual fee, in my case.

AmEx-Centurion-Lounge-Miami-Airport-12

5. Access to Delta SkyClubs & Priority Pass lounges

The Platinum Card gets you access to Delta SkyClubs. While you’re not allowed to bring in guests for free, SkyClubs really have gotten significantly better the past few years, so being able to get in with this card is fantastic.

Delta-SkyClub-San-Francisco - 13

The card also comes with access to Priority Pass lounges, which is the largest independent network of lounges in the world.

6. Access to Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts

Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts is a program that gives you special perks at 800+ hotels around the world. For booking through Fine Hotels & Resorts you receive the following:

  • Daily breakfast for two people
  • Room upgrade upon arrival, when available
  • A unique property amenity (usually a $100 property credit, free massage, car transfer, etc.)
  • Guaranteed 4PM check-out
  • Noon check-in, subject to availability
  • Complimentary in-room wifi (exclusions apply)

Amex-FHR

Virtuoso and Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts have a lot of overlap, though there are situations where I find it more beneficial to book through one program rather than the other.

7. 10 free Gogo wifi passes

This is a benefit that’s exclusive to the business version of the card, and it’s not available on the personal version. For having this card you receive 10 free Gogo wifi passes each calendar year, each valid for a single flight. This benefit is easily worth $150+ per year, in my opinion. If you’re eligible, you can request your Gogo passes here.

Inflight-wifi

8. Boingo hotspot access

Just for having this card you receive complimentary Boingo wifi access at over a million hotspots around the world. When this was first announced I figured it would be useless, but I’ve actually found it to be very useful. For example, many airports, cafes, etc., have Boingo hotspots, so this is an easy way to access fast and free wifi around the world. Once you have the card, you can sign-up for a Boingo account here.

9. Free Starwood & Marriott Gold status

Those with the Amex Platinum Card receive free SPG Gold status for as long as they have the card. This earns you benefits like room upgrades, a 50% points bonus, a welcome gift, and more. Once you have the Amex Platinum Card, you can request your SPG Gold status here.

Perhaps best of all, once you have SPG Gold status you can match it to Marriott Gold status, which is even more valuable. That comes with things like room upgrades, lounge access, free breakfast, etc.

marriott-astana-hotel-29

10. Free Hilton Gold status

Those with the Amex Platinum Card receive free Hilton HHonors Gold status for as long as they have the card, which is Hilton’s mid-tier status. This earns you benefits like room upgrades, bonus points, lounge access, and free breakfast. That’s extremely valuable, given that you receive it just for having this card. Once you have the Amex Platinum Card, you can request your HHonors Gold status here.

Conrad-Hong-Kong-Club-Lounge

Bottom line

Not only are we seeing a great sign-up bonus on The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN at the moment, but the card is offering a new benefit that can greatly increase the value of your points long term. Add in the fact that the card offers lots of ongoing perks that more than justify the annual fee, including access to three kinds of lounges, three hotel status levels, an airline credit, and more, and this is a very compelling time to pick up the card.

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Comments

  1. I am loving the pay with points 50% rebate. AA saver awards are getting rarer and rarer and their anytime award levels are getting higher and higher. Almost every time I compare, it’s far cheaper to pay with Amex points than Advantage miles once the rebate is applied. And that’s not even factoring in the fact that I’m earning AA miles using Amex points.

  2. Any thoughts on whether it’s worth having both the personal and business Amex Plat at this point? For frequent fliers, 5x on airfare and 50% points refunded is a pretty huge combo.

  3. For someone who is retired with a lot of MR points who is unlikely to buy air tickets with cash, I am having trouble justifying keeping my personal Amex plat – this card seems to duplicate all the benefits I care about (since I’m unlikely to use the 5x on airfare, and I have trouble using the airline fee credits). Your thoughts?

  4. My wife was sent a targeted offer for the business platinum and it gives 100K for $5000 spend in 3 months and instead of 50% bonus points when redeeming MR, it gives 30%. Do you think this could be changed to the 50% offer but get 100K for $5000 rather than $15000?

  5. @ Jeremy — Hmmm, maybe that was an outdated ad, because the 50% refund is now a standard benefit on the card, so she should be eligible for that even with her targeted offer.

  6. @ Davythefatboy — If you’re not using the 5x points and also have the business version of the card, then I think you’re better off just holding onto the business version and not also the personal version.

  7. @ Dave — Great question. Shared my thoughts on that in this post:
    http://onemileatatime.boardingarea.com/2016/10/05/american-express-platinum-changes/

    In general if you spend enough on airfare it could be worth holding onto both. In my case, I think the business card is absolutely worth holding onto for the improved redemption opportunities. For the personal card, I view the “out of pocket” as being around $250 per year, due to the $200 airline credit. I also consider the card to have a ~3% better return on airfare spend than any other card. So based on that it’s pretty easy to crunch the numbers as to whether or not it makes sense for you to hold onto both.

    Hope that helps. 🙂

  8. Now for 7 reasons why this card is not worth it:

    1. A 100K point sign-up bonus
    Good luck trying to MS $15k with Amex, they will issue you the 100K points then quietly freeze them, (mind you, ALL of your MR points, not just the Platinum’s) so you’ll only find that out when you try to transfer them out for that amazing redemption you finally found availability for! And you get a error message..Then you try calling them and the helpless clueless agents give you 100 different reasons why your points are frozen before telling you to check back in 8 weeks. As the 8 weeks near you suddenly see a -100.000MR adjustment on your account. When you desperately call them back to find out more, they they you that your purchases of GCs didn’t qualify for the spending requirement and thus you were not eligible for the points even though they actually ISSUED you the points before clawling them back.
    Then you tell them that you will make the purchases organically but then you realize that the 3 month period has already passed and you are not longer eligible to meet the spending. So you call them to cancel the card immediately only to be told that Amex (as of September) no longer refunds the annual fee past the first 30 days after card receipt.

    The end result? Not only are you left with a $450 fee and 0 MR points, but you will also NEVER be eligible to get the signup bonus again on a future Platinum card. Great huh? (funny how this blogger that used to be a BONAFIDE MS’er (just read his early posts) never mentions any of this..oh my how money changes people 😉

    2. More valuable points
    Yes it’s great to get 50% of your points back but unless you have DOUBLE the points of your redemption in your account you won’t be able to take advantage of this since you will get the rebate AFTER you use your points. Hmm..funny they don’t mention that..

    3. A $200 airline fee credit ($400 before second year’s annual fee)
    Yes great..except you need to jump through hoops in order to get this credit and they are against Amex terms and conditions which means they may NOT award you the credit at they own discretion.

    4. Access to Centurion Lounges
    Yes they are great lounges…when you can actually fit in there! They’re so full and crowded that you can consider yourself lucky (pun intended) if you can find a free chair somewhere. Just try visiting Miami’s lounge on a sunny afternoon..

    5. Access to Delta SkyClubs & Priority Pass lounges
    Completely useless benefit if you live outside a Delta hub, which I’d guess is over 80% of the population.

    6. Access to Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts
    Yes they may sound good on paper, however expect to pay up to 100% more than what you’d pay for the same hotels if booking anywhere else (thus killing any $100 hotel credit). Visa Luxury Collection gives you roughly the same benefits for a lot, lot less

    10. Free Hilton Gold status
    Yes this is great however you can get the same status just by holding the $75 Hilton Surpass card thus saving you $375..

    So there you go folks..all solid to reasons to keep that $450 in your pocket and use it for a nice vacation somewhere. Damn..maybe I should write my own blog! 😉

  9. @Auron

    Isn’t trying to meet the spend requirement by purchasing gift cards always against the rules, regardless of whether it AmEx, or Cit, or Chase? Also, it seemed pretty clear to me when I’ve used it that you have to have the standard number of points in your account. That’s why it’s called a REBATE, not a 50% off sale. You sound like you want to game the system, and then whine when you don’t get away with it.

  10. Does this mean that the selected airline for 50% more points for economy tickets needs to be Delta since the $200 credit can only be used for domestic airlines? Is my understanding correct?

  11. Questions:

    With Amex Fine Hotels…I must pay the stay with the Platinum or only book with it and can pay with
    any card?

    With Hilton Gold status the lounge access is guaranteed?

    Where can I buy American with cards?

    Thanks!

  12. @Mark – Hilton Gold status only gets you the lounge if you’re upgraded to the executive floor, otherwise you’re SOL. Diamond gets the lounge, regardless.

  13. @Auron – This is a business card, and businesses usually have high monthly spend anyways. If you don’t have a business then this card is not for you.

    If I didn’t already have a $450 AF card I’d be all over this.

  14. I just got my AX enhanced business Platinum, and wonder which airline to select for the $200 airline fee credit. Any suggestions, especially which Airlines’ gift card purchases would AX approve ? Thank you !

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