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A bit over a week ago we saw the introduction of a new limited time welcome bonus on The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN. The card is now offering up to 100,000 Membership Rewards points, though the spend requirement is significant:
- Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $10,000 within the first three months
- Earn a further 50,000 Membership Rewards points after spending an additional $15,000 within the first three months
If you’re a big spender then I think applying for this card makes a lot of sense, as I value 100,000 Membership Rewards points at ~$1,700 — that’s a huge reward. The card has a $450 annual fee, and several readers have asked if the card is actually worth the annual fee. In my opinion it absolutely is, and in this post I wanted to share eight benefits that make the Amex Business Platinum Card worth it.
In no particular order:
$200 annual airline fee credit
One of the biggest things that will help offset the card’s annual fee is the $200 annual airline fee credit. You get to designate a major US airline, and then money you spend on eligible fees and incidentals with that airline will be reimbursed, up to $200 per year. Based on how I’ve been able to use this credit in the past, I value it at pretty close to face value.
Furthermore, before your first account anniversary you should be able to use the $200 annual airline fee credit twice. While your annual fee is billed based on the cardmember year, the airline fee credit is available on a calendar year basis. In other words, if you applied for the Amex Business Platinum Card you’d get one fee credit now, and one fee credit come January 1.
10 Gogo wifi passes per year
The card also offers 10 Gogo wifi passes per year. These will be added to your Gogo account after you register, and can be used on virtually any Gogo equipped aircraft, including those equipped with the new high speed 2Ku technology. This benefit is exclusively available on the business version of the card, and personally I value it at $150+ per year.
This is also awarded on a calendar year basis, meaning before your first account anniversary you’ll receive two sets of these.
You can use your Gogo wifi passes on an international Delta flight
Amex Centurion Lounge access
The Amex Business Platinum Card gets you and up to two guests access to their excellent network of Amex Centurion Lounges. These are significantly better than any membership lounges operated by US airlines, and have complimentary alcoholic drinks and hot food. As of now their US locations include Dallas, Houston, Las Vegas, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Seattle, and they have lounges in the pipeline for Denver and New York JFK.
Amex Centurion Lounge Miami
Delta SkyClub access
In addition to access to Amex’s excellent Centurion Lounges, the card also offers access to Delta SkyClubs around the world. To access SkyClubs you have to be flying Delta same day. Furthermore, you’re not entitled to free guests — each guest beyond the cardmember will cost $29.
Delta SkyClub Seattle
A Priority Pass membership
In addition to access to Amex Centurion Lounges and Delta SkyClubs, the Amex Business Platinum Card also offers a Priority Pass membership, which which gets you access to the world’s largest network of airport lounges. When you use your Priority Pass membership to enter a lounge you’ll also be able to bring in two additional guests at no extra cost.
Priority Pass comes with access to over 1,000 lounges around the world, and in some cases will even get you free meals at airport restaurants. They now have nearly a dozen restaurants in US airports where cardmembers can get $28 worth of credit per person towards a meal or drink.
House Spirits Distillery Portland, where Priority Pass members can get a free tasting
Hilton Honors Gold & SPG Gold status
The card even comes with useful hotel status. Just for having the card you get Hilton Honors Gold status, which gets you room upgrades, free breakfast, and lounge access, subject to availability. The card also comes with SPG Gold status.
Access Hilton executive lounges, subject to availability
Redeem Amex points for 1.54 cents each towards the cost of a ticket
There are lots of great ways to redeem Amex Membership Rewards points. One way is to convert the points into airline miles through the Membership Rewards program. Otherwise points can be redeemed as cash towards the cost of an airline ticket.
One exclusive feature of the business version of this card is that you get 35% of your points back when you redeem using the Pay with Points feature.
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, and this is available on first and business class tickets on most airlines, as well as tickets on your designated airline.
Use this benefit to book discounted business class tickets on great airlines
Amex International Airline program
This is probably the most underrated benefit of the Amex Business Platinum Card. For having the card you get access to the Amex International Airline Program, which gets you discounted premium cabin airfare on almost two dozen airlines when departing the US. For example, earlier this year the benefit saved me $750 on the cost of a Qatar Airways ticket — that paid for the card’s annual fee and then some with one phone call.
Not only is the 100,000 point welcome bonus on the Amex Business Platinum Card huge, but this is a card that I find to be well worth the annual fee. Between the comprehensive airport lounge access, hotel status, airline fee credit, wifi passes, and savings on international airfare, it’s easy to get outsized value from this card.
The above doesn’t even cover all of the other perks, as you also get a Boingo membership, access to Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts, a TSA Pre-Check or Global Entry fee credit, and more.
I really do think the perks make this card well worth the annual fee.