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- The Business Platinum® Card from American Express offers more travel perks and benefits than almost any other business credit card out there today, yet a $695 annual fee applies.
- To determine if this business card is worth it or not, consumers need to consider which categories they tend to spend the most in and whether they could maximize the card’s numerous perks.
- Also remember to take the welcome offer into account, since it increases the first-year value of this card tremendously.
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express comes with a number of valuable benefits. Small-business owners can earn lucrative rewards for travel spending and other purchases — all while getting access to statement credits toward eligible purchases with Adobe, Dell, incidental purchases with a pre-selected airline, digital entertainment, Clear membership and more. This popular business credit card also comes with the broadest airport lounge membership available today, as well as other travel perks.
Is the Amex Business Platinum worth it when you take the $695 annual fee into account? At the end of the day, the answer to this question depends on which perks you can use and how much your business spends.
When is the Amex Business Platinum worth it?
While the $695 annual fee for this card seems steep at first glance, it’s possible to get considerably more value in return every year — and especially the first year. Here are some scenarios where paying this fee makes sense.
You have a plan to use some of the statement credit offers
If you can use even some of the statement credits that come with this business credit card each year, paying the annual fee is a solid investment. Here’s a rundown of the most notable offers that come with the Amex Business Platinum:
- An average of $600 in perks with a Fine Hotels and Resorts program property when you book through American Express Travel
- Up to $400 in statement credits per year on Dell purchases (up to $200 semi-annually)
- Up to a $360 statement credit on Indeed hiring and recruiting products and services (up to $90 per quarter)
- Up to $300 in onboard credits on participating cruise lines with select room bookings through the Cruise Privileges Program (per new cruise booking)
- Up to $200 per year in statement credits for qualifying airline fees, such as baggage fees, with one selected airline
- Up to a $189 statement credit annually toward the cost of a Clear Plus membership when using your card
- Up to a $150 statement credit annually on select Adobe purchases, including the Adobe Creative Cloud and Acrobat Pro DC
- Up to $120 in statement credits per year for telephone service purchases made directly with a U.S. wireless provider (up to $10 back per month)
- Up to a $100 statement credit every four years to cover a Global Entry application or up to an $85 statement credit every four and a half years to cover TSA PreCheck application fees
Although this list of credits is impressive, it’s important to read the fine print and understand exactly how you can take advantage of them. If you don’t follow the requirements for these credits, you may not be eligible to receive them.
You want luxury travel benefits and consumer protections
Of course, you can’t talk about the Amex Business Platinum without talking about additional card benefits like airport lounge access. Amex has, arguably, the best airport lounge access on the market. The Amex Business Platinum includes a Priority Pass Select membership that provides access to over 1,300 airport lounges worldwide, not to mention access to Centurion Lounges, Delta Sky Club lounges (when you fly Delta), Escape lounges, Airspace lounges and more.
Cardholders also qualify for a 35 percent airline bonus, which lets them earn up to 1,000,000 bonus points per calendar year. Essentially, this bonus makes it possible to receive 35 percent of your points back when you use the Pay with Points feature for all or part of an eligible flight booked with American Express Travel. Eligible flights include first or business-class flights, or flights on your selected qualifying airline.
There are quite a few Amex Business Platinum benefits to know about as well. Travel protections that come with the card include trip cancellation and interruption insurance, trip delay insurance, baggage insurance and car rental loss and damage insurance. Cardholders also get extended warranty coverage on eligible items, purchase protection, return protection and cellphone protection (terms apply).
You can spend enough to earn the welcome offer
One stand-out card feature is the generous welcome offer of 120,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $15,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months of card membership.
Just remember that you need to spend an average of at least $5,000 per month for three months in a row after account opening to qualify.
Your business spends a lot on travel and key business purchases
Business Platinum cardholders earn 1.5X points on eligible purchases in key business categories and 1.5X points on eligible purchases of $5,000 or more, on up to $2,000,000 per calendar year. Eligible business categories include U.S. construction material and hardware suppliers; electronic goods retailers; software and cloud system providers; and shipping providers.
In addition, you can earn 5X Membership Rewards points on flights and prepaid hotels booked through AmexTravel.com. All other eligible purchases earn 1X points.
You want to earn and redeem flexible points
Finally, keep in mind that this card earns flexible points within the American Express Membership Rewards program. This means you can redeem your points for airfare, hotels, cruises and other travel.
You can book most types of travel through American Express if you prefer, but you can also transfer points to Amex transfer partners to get up to 2.0 cents per point in value for premium travel redemptions (or potentially more) with airlines or hotels, according to Bankrate’s points and miles valuations.
Other redemption options include statement credits, paying with points at select retailers, shopping at partner merchants, gift cards and more. However, you could get less than 1 cent per point in value when you redeem rewards in these categories.
When is the Amex Business Platinum not worth it?
While we’ve shown that the Amex Business Platinum can be worth much more than the $695 annual fee, there are scenarios where another card might leave you better off. These include the following:
You want to redeem rewards for cash back, hotels or car rentals
If you want to redeem your rewards for cash back, statement credits or other non-travel options, the Amex Business Platinum is not for you. After all, this card only gives you 0.6 cents per point in value for statement credits, 0.7 cents per point when you pay with points at checkout and 0.5 cents per point when you use rewards directly for merchandise.
And while Membership Rewards value is at 1 cent per point when you redeem for airfare through AmexTravel.com (with the chance to earn the 35 percent airline bonus), you’ll only get 0.7 cents per point if you redeem for hotels, cruises or car rentals through the platform.
You rarely travel
Many of this card’s benefits are centered around travel, including the airline incidental credit, the fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck membership, the credit toward Clear Plus Membership and the included airport lounge access.
If you rarely travel and cannot easily use these perks, it will be difficult to maximize value with the Amex Business Platinum.
Your business spending is on the low side
If your business doesn’t spend at least $5,000 per month on average, you won’t be able to earn this card’s generous welcome offer. You may also struggle to earn enough in rewards with this card to make up for the high annual fee.
You plan to carry a balance when you need to
Finally, remember that the Amex Business Platinum does not have an intro APR offer, and that the regular variable APR is 19.49 percent to 27.49 percent. With interest rates anywhere in this range, you won’t end up ahead with the rewards you earn should you carry a balance.
If you need a business credit card that won’t penalize you for carrying a balance for a while, consider cards in this niche that offer an intro APR on purchases. Both the American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card and The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express fall into this category.
Should you get the Amex Business Platinum?
At the end of the day, you’ll need to decide if the Amex Business Platinum is worth it, based on the scenarios above, before signing up and paying the annual fee. After all, $695 is quite a bit of cash for your business to spend, so you should only commit if you know you’re getting more than that in value.
Fortunately, anyone who can earn the welcome offer can easily come out ahead for the first 12 months. After all, the welcome offer of 120,000 Membership Rewards points (earned after spending $15,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months) can be worth a substantial amount if transferred to high-value Amex transfer partners.
The bottom line
Over the years, the American Express Business Platinum card has evolved as needed to make benefits more accessible to cardholders. All of the Amex Business Platinum’s perks and benefits can absolutely outweigh the annual cost of holding it. If your spending and business needs align with the card’s perks, these features make this one of the best business credit cards you can have in your wallet.