Review: Amex Business Platinum Card

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Last week I reviewed The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN, and earlier this week I reviewed The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express. I consider both of these to be incredibly compelling — the Business Gold Rewards Card has bonus categories that will help a lot of people maximize the points they can earn, while the Blue Business Plus Card offers an almost unheard of 2x points per dollar on the first $50,000 spent annually.

In this post I wanted to look at The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN, which is one of the few “true” premium business credit cards. While there have been a couple of new $450 annual fee personal cards introduced in the past few years, this remains the only business card that I know of in that space.

Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of the card:

Amex Business Platinum Card sign-up bonus

The Amex Business Platinum Card has a tiered sign-up bonus of up to 75,000 Membership Rewards points, as follows:

  • Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $10,000 within the first three months
  • Earn an additional 25,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend an additional $10,000 within the first three months

That’s a significant minimum spend requirement, though it can be worth getting this card even if you only make it to the first spend “threshold.”

Amex Business Platinum Card annual fee

The Amex Business Platinum Card has a $450 annual fee. This annual fee is $100 lower than on the personal version of the card, The Platinum Card® from American Express.

Amex Business Platinum Card return on spend

While both of the Amex business cards I recently reviewed offer a great return on spend, the Amex Business Platinum Card isn’t quite as generous. It offers:

  • 1.5x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on purchases of $5,000 or more that are processed in one transaction, for a total of up to a million bonus points per year
  • 5x Membership Rewards points on flights and prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com

As far as the 5x points category goes, generally I wouldn’t book prepaid hotels through amextravel.com, since I’d be forgoing loyalty program points by doing so. The 5x points on airfare can be a good deal though, since you are able to book most flights through the Amex portal, and you still earn miles as usual.

Personally, my go to card for airfare is the Amex Personal Platinum Card, which offers 5x points on airfare purchased directly with airlines.

Amex Business Platinum Card perks

The real reason you want to get this card is because of the incredible perks it offers, which more than justify the $450 annual fee, in my opinion. Specifically, the Amex Business Platinum Card offers:

That annual fee pretty quickly pays for itself. I value the $200 annual airline fee credit at pretty close to face value. Keep in mind that it’s also awarded based on the calendar year rather than the cardmember year. That means if you signed up now you’d get a $200 credit now, and another $200 credit on January 1.

If you’re like me and value that at close to face value, your real “out of pocket” on the card is $250 per year. Personally I value Gogo wifi passes significantly, and I think most people would value those at $15 each, at a minimum, since that’s less than the cost of a Gogo day pass. So that’s another $150 of value.

So using that calculation, it’s like having an “out of pocket” of $100 and getting access to Amex Centurion Lounges, Delta SkyClubs when flying Delta same day, a Priority Pass membership, free Hilton and Starwood Gold status, and much more. And your authorized users are also eligible for lounge access and elite status perks, which can be a compelling option for small businesses with employees who travel.

That math doesn’t even account for how the credits are disproportionately rewarding the first year, since they’re awarded based on calendar years.

Amex Business Platinum Card redemption perks

In addition to being able to transfer the Membership Rewards points earned on this card to all of Amex’s airline and hotel transfer partners, this card also comes with a benefit that can help you maximize the value of all your Amex points. Specifically, when you have the Amex Business Platinum Card and use the Membership Rewards Pay with Points feature, you can get 35% of the points back.

This is only valid either on your designed airline, or when booking first or business class on any airline.

Typically you get one cent of value per Membership Rewards point towards the cost of an airline ticket when using Pay with Points. So when you consider that you’d get 35% of the points refunded, that’s like getting up to 1.54 cents of value per Membership Rewards point, which is pretty solid. Using this benefit you can get up to 500,000 points back per year.

Amex Business Platinum Card approval odds

The Amex Business Platinum Card is a charge card, meaning you have to pay your balance off in full each month. While Amex typically limits you to five credit cards, that limit doesn’t include charge cards. So if you’re otherwise maxed out in terms of the number of Amex credit cards you can get, this is a fantastic card to consider.

On top of that, for those with excellent credit, I find Amex business cards to be easy to be approved for. Anecdotally most people I’ve heard from have reported instant approvals on this card, so it really shouldn’t be very tough to be approved for, even if you haven’t gotten many business cards in the past.

Amex Business Platinum Card best complement

As I said above, to me the Amex Business Platinum Card is about the awesome perks you get, rather than the return on spend. The great thing is that the Amex Business Platinum Card earns Membership Rewards points, so you can pool any points you earn on this card with the points you earn on other cards.

The easiest complement to this card is the Amex Blue Business Plus Card, which has no annual fee and offers 2x Membership Rewards points on the first $50,000 spent every calendar year. That’s a great way to supercharge your points earning.

If you’re a business that spends a lot, it could also make sense to add the Amex Business Gold Rewards Card, which offers bonus points in the following five categories:

  • Airfare purchased directly from airlines
  • U.S. purchases for advertising in select media
  • U.S. purchases at gas stations
  • U.S. purchases for shipping
  • U.S. computer hardware, software, and cloud computing purchases made directly from select providers

You can choose one category in which you want to earn 3x points, and then you earn 2x points in the remaining four categories. The bonus points apply to the first $100,000 spent annually in each of the five categories, so that’s potentially a lot of bonus points.

Amex Business Platinum Card best substitute

The way I see it, the Amex Business Platinum Card doesn’t really have a direct substitute. While there are quite a few cards now competing in the premium card space for personal cards, that’s not really the case with business cards. So there’s not another business card I’m familiar with that offers as many perks as this one does.

Bottom line

Personally the Amex Business Platinum Card isn’t one I’d put all that much spend on, but rather it’s a card that’s worth getting for the perks. If you frequently make huge purchases, then it could be worth it for the 1.5x points when spending $5,000+ per transaction. But the perks of this card are fantastic, and in my opinion more than justify the annual fee for most.

The best strategy is to get this card for the perks, and then use the Amex Blue Business Plus Card and Amex Business Gold Rewards Card to maximize your points earning.

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Comments

  1. “Personally the Amex Business Platinum Card isn’t one I’d put all that much spend on”

    Bingo. I’d go a step further – MR partners are greatly degraded, and if you ever travel with a companion. the lounge benefit sux.

    Amex, you listening?

  2. AMEX dumped all resources into the incredibly heavy metal card. Doesn’t really matter to me that it weighs so much, the only reason to carry the card is for lounge access…

    If they’d fix the lounge access for immediate family I’d be MUCH more enthusiastic about this card. As of now it’s a tough sell for me to keep paying $450 for it…

  3. Biz Platinum gives you 5X MR on airfare, put everything else on the Blue Biz Plus at 2X MR. Since my business is a consultancy, our expenses are airfare, hotels, rental cars and dining. The combo of Biz Plat and Biz Plus is awesome for us.

  4. Are gogo Wi-Fi passes even useful anymore? Many airlines are using their own Wi-Fi service – which airlines use gogo as a Wi-Fi supplier ?

    GP

  5. Its all great until AMEX cheats you out of your bonus points on this card. I get the card earlier this year, call a few months after finishing bonus spend, they say “they are in the works, takes time”. I call a few months later to check once again, they say “how did you sign up for this, we don’t see a bonus associated with it”. I would never have signed up without access to the bonus. Unbelievable, feel like they are just bald face lying about it… I will hound them till I get my points but my trust in AMEX fell through the floor.

  6. What do you use the $200 airline fee credit for? Someone who flies as much as you (and I) do doesn’t really face airline fees. There used to be a method to apply this towards United flights, but that’s been offline for awhile. Hard for me to value it at face value given that I can’t really use it for anything.

  7. If you fly AA transcons often, the gogo perk could be a fairly lucrative benefit as flight passes are ~$40 each.

    Also, I used the $200 credit on a paid international upgrade on AA (at the airport).

  8. I’m also curious on what to spend the $200. on. My chosen airline is Alaska and buying a AS gift card didn’t work; I get free baggage, and get to pick premium seats with my status. Besides occasionally buying a meal I can’t think how to use it and would welcome suggestions.

  9. I will get this card when they have a higher signup offer and they drastically lower the spend requirement. I’ll do 5k on the card but 10k is pushing it unless they will do it over six months.

  10. Wait, did you really just discuss this card and *not* bring up the 35% points back benefit? That’s about the only thing that distinguishes this card from the Platinum — for most churners, the question isn’t whether or not to keep the business platinum — it’s the business platinum *or* the platinum as a long-term holding.

  11. I value the Airline Credit really low, as it’s only for _fees_ and you have to pick a specific airline to credit to and can’t change that. Everywhere I fly, I have status or I’m flying paid C/F, so I don’t have any baggage fees. Occasionally I need to change a ticket so the change fees get covered, but that’s if I know in advance what airline as you can’t change it after you pick it for the year. I fly a variety of airlines on domestic paid F — depends on price.

    I think what you should play up more is the hotel status in Hilton and SPG. That’s a huge benefit for me, as often where I stay is dictated by work (conference hotels), so I don’t put all my stays on one or the other — wouldn’t stay enough to earn status.

    I’ve found that with status, I usually get free breakfast, and room upgrades. Just the free breakfasts pay off the cost of the card every year easily.

  12. I designate Alaska as my airline for the $200 travel credit. 1-2 times a year my wife and I will fly for personal travel on Alaska, where I have no status. Takes care of drinks, food, checked bags.

  13. Pretty sure for employees to get lounge access they would need to be designated as Platinum AUs which comes with a hefty fee (I think $350 or so) rather than the no-fee green card AU designation.

  14. One benefit that is often overlooked is the fee waiver for wire transactions through Amex FX International Payments, which is actually a great service.
    Wire transfers are done at pretty good exchange rates (better than your average bank), you earn 1MR per every $30 wired and with the Business Platinum Card the transaction fees are waived.
    For a business doing a lot of international payments, this benefit alone pays for the card.

  15. As a Canadian, my membership with the Amex Bus Platinum does not offer the $200 airline credit plus I get only 1.25 points for using the card. It sucks after I found out when I became a member. Annual fee is C$399. Total bonus mileage was 40,000 pts with $3000 spending.

  16. I received an offer in the mail for AMEX Business Card promotion where I would get 75000 points after spending $5000 in 3 months. I applied online with the promotion code and got approved. After receiving the card and before activating it, I called AMEX to verify my bonus eligibility since I had the similar card in the past. and they confirmed that I am eligible (since I didn’t have the same card in last 5 years).

    I have spent almost $3200 in first 2 months already and now they are telling me, I will not eligible for the promotion even I spent $5000 in 3 months since I has the card in the past.

    I am very upset and don’t know what to do next. These people are outright dishonest.

  17. Question: I was under the impression that when you book a flight on AmexTravel.com and use your card you get the 5x points. And after you can call them to use points at a rate of .01/point to later on get a redemption of 50% of the points used.

    I just tried that exact same scenario, and the rep said that you get one or the other. Either 5x or the 50% redemption.

    Anyone have some clarification on that?

  18. The Fine Hotels and Resorts is a huge benefit. We have stayed at great hotels from San Francisco to Sydney to Auckland with this program :A $ 100 food and beverage credit, 2 full breakfasts, early check in, late checkout. It makes the room rate very inexpensive. This is how we look for hotels. Going to Tuscon, staying at the Lowes Ventana Inn for $ 159/night. This becomes about $20 for the room as we get $ 100 for meals and 2 breakfasts worth about $30-40!!!

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