The Business Platinum Card from American Express OPEN

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This card packs the perks for frequent business travelers.

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Frequent travelers stand to benefit the most from the The Business Platinum Card from American Express OPEN.

Even though it’s geared toward small business owners — all purchases must be for business purposes — this card’s real value is in the access travelers get to some of the most high-end lounges.

There are several travel perks, but none as exclusive as the access to Amex’s own Centurion lounges, which is only available to Platinum and Centurion cardholders at no extra charge. With this card you also get a Priority Pass Select membership,  which admits you to more than 1,000 lounges at airports around the world.

Cardholders can also get up to $200 in airline incidental credits, but it’s restricted to just one airline that you have to choose in advance. And, unlike other travel cards, airfare is not eligible for the credit.

Review

The wow factor in this card is the luxury travel benefits owners get. Namely the almost unlimited access to airport lounges around the world, regardless of the airline or class in which they fly. Even with the steep $450 annual fee, this single perk can make the card worthwhile for frequent travelers who want to avoid airport fatigue.

The basic rewards are average, earning members 1 point per dollar spent. For business purchases over $5,000, cardholders will get 1.5 points. The big rewards are offered on eligible purchases on the American Express Travel website, where cardholders can earn an impressive 5 points per dollar spent on flights and prepaid hotels.

You can also get some of your points back, up to 35%, when you book a business or first-class ticket using your Membership Rewards Points on American Express Travel. The maximum gain here is 500,000 bonus points per year.

It’s easy to see how frequent fliers can take advantage of this card’s perks and easily recoup the annual fee, especially if cardholders are diligent about the travel credits and 5x rewards spending.

But if your business spends more on office supplies than airfare, there are a bunch of business credit cards that would be a better fit for you and your company.

Because it’s a charge card, owners are obligated to pay the full amount each month — unless they’re enrolled in Amex’s “Pay Over Time” feature. The plus is that charge cards typically have higher spending limits than credit cards, which might be beneficial to business owners. American Express determines charge limits based on card usage, payment history, credit record, known financial resources and other factors.

Who should get this card

Long considered the premier travel card, Business Platinum still holds its own in the now competitive travel card market — especially for those who want to be pampered while waiting for flights. This is truly a card designed for the luxury traveler.

Even with its steep annual fee, the lounge perks are unrivaled. Access to the exclusive Centurion Lounges, which boasts everything from meals prepared by celebrity chefs to shower suites, is only available to Platinum and Centurion members and $50 per day for all other American Express members. In just nine visits, Platinum cardholders will have covered the annual fee.

Advantages
  • There’s a generous sign-up bonus of 75,000 rewards points after you spend $20,000 within the first three months.
  • For luxury-minded travelers, free access to more than 1,000 global airport lounges, including the exclusive Centurion Lounge, is a big plus.
  • Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check members will receive one Global Entry statement credit worth $100 or one TSA Pre-Check statement credit worth $85 every 4 years.
  • Cardholders have access to 24/7 complimentary concierge service.
  • There are no foreign transaction fees.
  • Terms apply.
Disadvantages
  • Along with premium perks, you’ll pay a premium annual fee.
  • Because this is a charge card, the balance must be paid in full each month.
  • All purchases must be business-oriented.

Fees and APR

  • You’ll pay a $450 annual fee.
  • There is no foreign transaction fee for purchases made outside the U.S.
  • Since this is a charge card, your balance is due in full each month. There is no finance charge.
  • If you enroll in the Pay Over Time feature, the standard APR is a variable 19.24%.
  • See Rates & Fees.

Extras, perks, and using points

This card comes with access to Platinum Travel Service concierge counselors who can create custom itineraries based on your preferences.

You’ll also get 10 Gogo Inflight internet passes annually and unlimited Wi-Fi at Boingo hotspots.

Cardholders also receive purchase protection, which covers items up to $10,000 in value if they’re stolen, accidentally damaged, or lost within 90 days of purchase.

With the baggage insurance feature, each checked bag is insured for up to $2,000 or a total of $3,000 for a checked bag and one carry-on.

Points can be redeemed for travel, gift cards or to pay down a portion of your bill through the Membership Rewards website.

How this card compares

Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business
Card Details
  • Earning unlimited 1.5% cash back could mean thousands of dollars each year going back into your business
  • Plus, a one-time $200 cash bonus once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • Save on interest with 0% intro APR on purchases for 9 months; 13.99%-21.99% variable APR after that
  • No annual fee
  • Use Spark Cash Select across all your business spend, with no categories to limit your purchasing
  • Rewards won't expire for the life of the account, and you can redeem your cash back for any amount
  • Get employee cards at no additional cost, and earn rewards from their business spend
Credit Needed Excellent
Regular APR 13.99% - 21.99% (Variable)
Annual Fee $0
Purchase Intro APR 0% on purchases for 9 months
Balance Transfers Intro APR N/A

The Capital One Spark Cash Select for Business ranks among the best on the market, particularly because of its unfussy rewards program that doesn’t pay different rates for different categories of spending. To us, that kind of program is the most flexible.

Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card

This card offer is currently unavailable on Bankrate. To see more cards in this category, please visit our business category page.

Card Details
  • 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent annually at office supply stores, and on cellular phone, landline, internet, and cable TV services.
  • 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent annually at gas stations and restaurants.
  • 1% cash back on all other card purchases with no limit to the amount you can earn.
Credit Needed Excellent
Regular APR 0% fixed Intro APR for the first 12 billing cycles that your Account is open. After that, 14.24% to 20.24%, based on your creditworthiness. These APRs will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate..
Annual Fee No Annual Fee.
Balance Transfers Intro APR 0% fixed Intro APR for the first 12 billing cycles that your Account is open. After that, 14.24% to 20.24%, based on your creditworthiness. These APRs will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate.

If you’re just starting out and you aren’t sure what your spending patterns will be, the Ink Business Cash Credit Card may be the flexible rewards card you need. It’s among our favorite business credit cards. The no-fee card will reward you for spending in the areas you’ll most likely need to get your business off the ground and gives you a full year break on interest for purchases and balance transfers.

SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express
Card Details
  • Special Offer: Earn up to $400 cash back
  • Earn a $200 statement credit after you spend $5,000 in qualifying purchases on your Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Plus, earn an additional $200 statement credit after you spend an additional $10,000 or more in qualifying purchases on your Card within the first year of Card Membership.
  • No Annual Fee. Plus, more buying power and more cash back. Get cash back on business purchases, even those above your credit limit.
  • 5% cash back on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. office supply stores.
  • 3% on the category of your choice from a list of eight and 1% cash back on other purchases.
  • 5% and 3% apply to the first $50,000 in purchases per calendar year, then 1% applies thereafter. Cash back received is automatically credited to your statement.
  • Terms and limitations apply
Credit Needed Excellent
Regular APR 13.24% - 20.24% Variable
Annual Fee $0
Purchase Intro APR 0% on Purchases for 9 months
Balance Transfers Intro APR N/A

In just about every respect — from rewards to the annual fee — the SimplyCash Plus Business Credit Card from American Express stands tall among the elite business cards on the market.

The only reasons to shy away from this card would be if your work requires significant overseas travel or if your biggest expenses don’t match up with the bigger cash-back savings categories.

EDITORIAL NOTE

Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.