For the third year in a row, American Express has ranked first in customer satisfaction among national issuers, according to the J.D. Power 2022 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study. This is one of the reasons why the issuer’s credit cards are frequently at the top of must-have lists, including mine.

I’ve wanted an American Express business card for a while, and I’ve narrowed it down to two cards: The American Express® Business Gold Card and The Business Platinum Card® from American Express.

Both are charge cards, not credit cards, which means they don’t have preset credit limits and the bill must be paid in full each month. Both also offer excellent rewards and welcome offers, not to mention an impressive set of perks (some of which overlap). So, how do you decide between the two?

Main details

Cards American Express Business Gold Card The Business Platinum Card from American Express
Welcome bonus 70,000 points after spending $10,000 on eligible purchases within the first 3 months of card membership 120,000 points after spending $15,000 on eligible purchases within the first 3 months of card membership
Rewards rate
  • 4X points (on up to $150,000 per year, then 1X points) in 2 select categories your business spends the most in each billing cycle (categories include directly-purchased airfare; select U.S. advertising purchases; U.S. gas stations; U.S. restaurants; U.S. shipping costs; and directly-purchased U.S. computer software, hardware and cloud data from select providers)
  • 2X points on rental cars booked through American Express Travel
  • 1X points on all other eligible purchases
  • 5X points on flights and prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel
  • 2X points on prepaid rental cars booked through American Express Travel
  • 1.5X points on eligible purchases of $5,000 or more (on up to $2,000,000 per calendar year)
  • 1.5X points on eligible purchases in key business categories (including electronic goods retailers; software and cloud service providers; construction and hardware suppliers; and shipping providers)
  • 1X points on all other eligible purchases
Annual fee $295 $695

Amex Business Gold vs. Amex Business Platinum highlights

Welcome bonus winner: Amex Business Platinum

Welcome offers entice new cardholders by rewarding them with a large number of points after meeting a spending requirement. But it’s important to consider not only the benefit you’ll receive but also whether you can comfortably meet the minimum spend required during the given time period.

For the Amex Business Gold, you can earn 70,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $10,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months of account opening. According to our points valuations, this welcome bonus could be worth up to $1,470 when redeemed through American Express Travel. For the Amex Business Platinum, you can earn 120,000 points — worth up to $2,520 — after spending $15,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months.

If spending (and paying off) $15,000 every month will be tough or impossible, that’s an automatic “no” for the Amex Business Platinum. That said, the Amex Business Platinum still wins in this category since it offers a higher bonus.

Rewards rate winner: It depends

The winner in this category depends on your business’s spending needs. You’ll want to focus on rewards structures that reward your specific spending habits, rather than picking the card that offers the most possible rewards. Even the best rewards rates won’t be much use if your typical spending doesn’t match a card’s bonus categories.

The Amex Business Gold earns 4X points (on up to $150,000 in combined purchases per year, then 1X points) in two select categories your business spends the most in each billing cycle. Categories include directly-purchased airfare; select U.S. advertising purchases; U.S. gas stations; U.S. restaurants; U.S. shipping costs; and directly-purchased U.S. computer software, hardware and cloud data from select providers. You’ll also earn 2X points on rental cars booked through American Express Travel and 1X points on all other eligible purchases.

The Amex Business Platinum earns 5X points on flights and prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel and 2X points on prepaid rental cars booked through American Express Travel. You’ll also earn 1.5X points on eligible purchases of $5,000 or more (on up to $2,000,000 per calendar year) and 1.5X points on eligible purchases in key business categories. Business categories include electronic goods retailers; software and cloud service providers; construction and hardware suppliers; and shipping providers. You’ll earn 1X points on all other eligible purchases.

Annual fee winner: Amex Business Gold

The Amex Business Gold comes with an annual fee of $295, while the Amex Business Platinum includes a much higher annual fee of $695. The Amex Business Gold card costs $400 less per year to hold than the Amex Business Platinum, but if you make the most of the latter’s many benefits, it will pull ahead in this race.

Foreign transaction fee winner: Tie

Neither card charges foreign transaction fees, so you won’t pay more when traveling internationally.

Which card earns the most?

As you use either card, you’ll earn points. But the best Amex business card for you will depend on which card better matches your spending habits. For example, if you’re a small business that spends more in certain business categories than on travel, then you’ll likely earn more with the Amex Business Gold than the Amex Business Platinum.

Additionally, you’ll want to take redemption methods into account. According to our points valuations, Amex Membership Rewards points are worth up to 2.1 cents each (on average) when you transfer your points to high-value airline and hotel partners. Other redemption methods like paying with points at checkout or gift cards might only net you around 0.7 cents per point.

Spending example

Let’s imagine that you travel a lot for business each month. Say you spend $2,000 on airfare, $1,000 on hotels and $500 on car rentals. With the Amex Business Gold, you’ll earn 4X points on directly-purchased airfare, 1X points on hotels and 2X points on rental cars booked through American Express Travel. Assuming airfare is one of your top spending categories, you’ll earn 8,000 points on airfare, 1,000 points on hotels and 1,000 points on car rentals, for a total of 10,000 points.

For the Amex Business Platinum, you’ll earn 5X points on flights and prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel and 2X points on prepaid rental cars booked through American Express Travel. If you book everything through American Express Travel, you’ll earn 10,000 points on airfare, 5,000 points on hotels and 1,000 points on car rentals, for a total of 16,000 points.

Why should you get the Amex Business Gold?

Additional benefits

Some of the Amex Business Gold’s benefits include:

  • Twenty-five percent of your points back when you book an eligible flight through American Express Travel (capped at 250,000 points back per calendar year)
  • Up to $100 credit for qualifying dining, spa and resort activities when you book at least two consecutive nights with The Hotel Collection through American Express Travel
  • Business perks like free employee cards, QuickBooks integration and year-end summaries
  • Protections like baggage insurance, car rental loss and damage insurance, trip delay insurance, extended warranty coverage and purchase protection

Redemption options

You can redeem your Amex Membership Rewards points for travel through American Express Travel, transfers to Amex airline and hotel partners, statement credits, gift cards, shopping with merchant partners or paying with points at checkout with retailers like Amazon or Best Buy.

Recommended credit score

A good to excellent credit score is recommended for the Amex Business Gold.

Why should you get the Amex Business Platinum?

Additional benefits

The Amex Business Platinum offers many perks that are not associated with the Amex Business Gold card, including:

  • Thirty-five percent of your points back when you book an eligible flight through American Express Travel (capped at 1,000,000 points back per calendar year)
  • Free access to over 1,400 global airport lounges
  • Up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck
  • Up to $120 in credits per year (up to $10 per month) for direct purchases with any U.S. wireless telephone provider
  • Up to a $150 credit per year on select Adobe purchases
  • Up to a $189 credit per year for Clear membership
  • Up to $200 in credits per year for qualifying airline fees with an airline of your choice
  • Up to $250 in credits per year for eligible stays at The Hotel Collection properties
  • Up to a $360 credit per year on Indeed hiring and recruiting products and services (up to $90 per quarter)
  • Up to a $400 credit per year on Dell purchases (up to $200 semi-annually)
  • Up to $550 in credits or complimentary perks per year for Fine Hotels and Resorts bookings
  • Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status and Hilton Honors Gold Status
  • Avis, National and Hertz car rental upgrades

Other card benefits include trip delay insurance, trip cancellation and interruption insurance, car rental loss and damage insurance, baggage insurance, free employee cards, QuickBooks integration, year-end summaries, cellphone protection, extended warranty protection and purchase protection.

Redemption options

Like the Amex Business Gold, you can redeem your points for travel, transfers to Amex airline and hotel partners, statement credits, gift cards, shopping with merchant partners or paying with points at checkout with select merchants.

Recommended credit score

A good to excellent credit score is recommended for the Amex Business Platinum.

The bottom line

Both the American Express Business Gold Card and American Express Business Platinum Card provide some great perks and the same ability to charge what you need for your business. However, if most of your card’s activity will be for everyday business expenses instead of flights and hotels, the Amex Business Gold makes more sense. You’ll earn points quickly and you won’t pay more for services you won’t be using.

But if you’re on the road (or in the sky) frequently for work, the Amex Business Platinum offers an incredible number of benefits to make business travel more comfortable (while rewarding you along the way). Just make sure you’ll be able to use enough benefits to make up for the higher annual fee.