American Express recently made quite a few updates to its consumer Platinum card, leaving many wondering if similar upgrades were on the way for the business version of the popular product.
The wait for such perks was over as of Oct. 14, 2020, when the issuer gave the The Business Platinum Card® from American Express a fresh slate of rewards, perks and benefits—an attempt to add more value and benefit for business owners who may not be traveling as much.
Whether you already have the Amex Business Platinum or are considering applying for one, you should know exactly what this rewards credit card offers. With a hefty annual fee of $695 starting January 13, 2022, it would be wise to know if you can justify the cost of owning this card. Here’s our take on whether or not the Amex Business Platinum is worth it.
What does the Business Platinum Card from American Express offer?
- Rewards rate: 5X Membership Rewards points on flights and prepaid hotels booked with AmexTravel.com, 2X points on prepaid rental cars booked through AmexTravel.com, 1.5X points per dollar spent on purchases of $5,000 or more, 1.5X points on up to $2 million in select category purchases per year (electronics goods, retailers, software and cloud service providers; construction materials and hardware supplies; shipping providers) and 1X points on all other purchases
- Welcome offer: 120,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months of card membership
- Annual fee: $595 ($695 if the application is received on or after Jan. 13, 2022)
Credits and reimbursements
In addition to revamped rewards categories, there are more credits offering more value and potentially appealing to different types of business owners. If you can take advantage of all the credits, you can get up to $2,534 in annual credits or reimbursements, including:
- Up to $550 in statement credits or complimentary perks for booking with a Fine Hotels and Resorts program property, including an up to $250 complimentary night/property credit (per eligible stay)
- Up to $400 statement credit on Dell purchases (up to $200 semi-annually)
- Up to $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 $250 in statement credits for eligible stays at The Hotel Collection properties, including a $150 complimentary night/property credit and a $100 experience credit for qualifying property activities (per eligible stay)
- Up to $200 in statement credits for qualifying airline fees, such as baggage fees, with a selected airline (annually)
- Up to a $179 statement credit on the annual cost of a Clear airport security membership when using your card (annually)
- Up to a $150 statement credit on select Adobe purchases, including the Adobe Creative Cloud and Acrobat Pro DC (annually)
- Up to $120 in statement credits for direct purchases from any U.S. wireless telephone provider (up to $10 per month)
- Up to a $100 statement credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fees (every four years)
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.
For instance, the credit for Adobe purchases only applies to “annual prepaid subscriptions for Creative Cloud All Apps or Single Apps for Teams or Acrobat Pro DC with E-Sign or advanced E-Sign for Teams.” For instance, if you’re vying for the Creative Clouds All Apps for Teams annual subscription, be prepared to pay $959.88 to start your subscription.
Also, the $120 in statement credits for direct purchases from any U.S. wireless telephone provider (up to $10 per month) only apply to your monthly wireless telephone service charges. Wireless company charges for things like hardware, equipment and bundled services are not eligible for the credit.
In any case, if American Express cannot verify what your transaction is for, then it’s deemed ineligible. So, you’ll want to make sure you make direct purchases and steer clear of intermediaries like PayPal or similar payment services when presenting your Amex for payment for these credits.
Card perks and benefits
Of course, you can’t talk about the Amex Business Platinum without talking about additional card benefits like airport lounge access as well as travel and purchase protection. Amex has been increasing its presence in the airport lounge space.
As a result, the issuer now offers card members access to over 1,300 airport lounges across 140 countries at more than 500 airports with the Priority Pass Select membership that comes with your Business Platinum card. That’s in addition to access to the luxury Centurion Lounges, as well as Delta Sky Club lounges (when you fly Delta), Escape lounges, Airspace lounges and more.
Travel protections include:
- Trip cancellation and interruption insurance
- Trip delay insurance
- Baggage insurance
- Car rental loss damage insurance (secondary coverage)
Purchase protections include:
- Extended warranty coverage
- Purchase protection
- Return protection
- Cell phone protection (terms apply)
One thing that stands for this card is the generous welcome bonus of 120,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $15,000 on eligible purchases with your card within the first three months of opening your account. You can get a larger welcome bonus if you use a referral link from a friend or family member who already has an Amex card.
If you decide to use your points for airfare through American Express Travel, you’ll get a 35 percent airline bonus for travel purchases through American Express’s travel portal. This can boost the value of your welcome bonus from 1 cent per point to 1.35 cents per point. So, your 120,000 points could be worth up to $1,620 through American Express Travel.
Thankfully, the new rewards structure caters to more spending categories that work well for business owners. Previously, Business Platinum cardholders could earn 1.5X points on purchases over $5,000. This is still in place, but now you can also earn 1.5X points on up to $2 million in the following categories: electronics goods, retailers, software, cloud service providers, construction materials and hardware supplies and shipping providers. You also earn 1X points on all other purchases.
In addition to earning rewards on spending categories, there’s plenty of opportunities to earn on travel bookings with 5X Membership Rewards points on flights and prepaid hotels booked with AmexTravel.com and 2X points on prepaid rental cars booked through AmexTravel.com.
Another way you can earn points is by referring friends and family members to open an American Express account. When this happens, you can earn a referral bonus, and the person who’s approved for an Amex account could also receive a larger welcome bonus.
Plus, for a limited time, eligible Amex cardholders can get boosted credit card rewards for referring friends and business owners (between now and Dec. 1, 2021). If your referral results in an approved account, you’ll earn 4X more rewards per dollar on eligible purchases for three months, on up to $25,000 in purchases, starting from the first date your referral’s account is approved.
As always, you get the most out of your Amex rewards when redeeming for travel accommodations, including flights, hotels and cruises. You can book through American Express or Amex travel transfer partners to get at least a 1:1 value out of your points.
Other redemption options include getting statement credits, paying with points at checkout with different retailers, gift cards and more. However, you could get less than the 1:1 redemption ratio when you redeem rewards in these categories.
Is the American Express Platinum worth it?
When asking this question, you essentially want to know if the card’s reward structure, perks and benefits are worth the annual fee. Of course, this really depends on your spending habits and how many of the card perks and credits you take advantage of.
Assuming you can use all the card’s credits and reimbursements ($3,508), meet annual spending of about $48,000 per year on the card ($654 in rewards) and use the welcome bonus for travel ($1,620), you’ll end with up with about $5,782 in value the first year. If you subtract the annual fee of $595, it’s down to $5,187 of value for the first year. Plus, if you decide to take advantage of the intro APR offer, you can add any interest you’ll save on purchases to this equation, too. (For the sake of simplicity, we’ll omit this from the equation.)
For the second year of card ownership and each successive year, all things remain the same, except there’s no welcome bonus and the higher annual fee of $695 kicks in, which brings your annual value to $3,467. In both scenarios, you are getting many more benefits than the cost of owning the card.
The American Express Business Platinum card has evolved over the years to make benefits more accessible to cardholders and change with the times. Like most card issuers, American Express’s goal is to provide value for those who are still traveling as well as those who are not.
All the perks and benefits of this business card can absolutely outweigh the annual cost of owning 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.