The Business Platinum Card® from American Express review: A bigger return on investment than ever
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The Business Platinum Card® from American Express Overview
With the Business Platinum Card® from American Express, applicants should know they’ll need to pay their balance off in full each month. Other than that, this card works like any other business credit card that rewards business owners with points for their spending while extending important perks and protections most of us have come to expect.
The rewards structure is geared toward frequent business travelers, with 5X points on flights and prepaid hotel bookings through Amex’s travel portal. However, purchases of $5,000 or more will net business owners with 1.5X Membership Rewards points for each dollar spent plus on eligible purchases in key business categories, which can add up quickly if you have pricey business expenses to cover every month (on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year).
Now with the Business Platinum’s upgraded rewards and benefits, you can reap the value from your everyday business expenses faster than ever before. You’ll keep all of the important perks you already receive, including up to $200 in airline fee credits each year, up to $189 back per year on a CLEAR® membership, elite Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors status and more. However, its primarily travel-leaning perks are now rounded out with credits and rewards catered for day-to-day business expenses.
The Business Platinum card revamp delivers up to $830 in new credits each year across popular expenses like eligible Dell, Adobe and Indeed products—not to mention any U.S. wireless telephone provider. In addition to the 1.5X rewards on eligible purchases in key business categories and purchases of over $5,000, this previously flat rate is now extended to up to $2,000,000 per year in qualifying purchases you make in a wide range of popular categories, including electronic goods, software, hardware supplies, shipping providers and more (the $2,000,000 per calendar year spending limit is shared between business category and $5,000 and above purchases that earn 1.5X-point purchases). Your first year could also be graced with an impressive new welcome offer and the surprising addition of a 12-month 0 percent intro APR from the date of the account opening on eligible Pay Over Time purchases (14.99 percent to 22.99 percent variable APR thereafter).
Like how the energizing update to the consumer version of The Platinum Card® from American Express breathed new life into the card, this upgrade to the Amex Business Platinum makes it a much more valuable option to a wider audience of business owners willing to invest in it. In fact, the additional perks packaged in this new version of the Business Platinum aren’t as niche as the credits added to the personal Platinum card and can be much easier to take advantage of. This makes the $695 annual fee simpler to offset.
What are the advantages and disadvantages?
- $695 annual fee (was $595 until Jan. 13, 2022)
- Some cardmember perks can be hard to use and you may not squeeze the full value out of certain benefits, like the private jet discount program or the eligible hotel and cruise booking credits
- You need to plan on paying off your balance each month in most cases
- Although the new update makes it more accessible for non-traveling business owners, they may still find it harder to justify the annual fee without using the travel perks
A deeper look into the current card offer
- Rewards rate: Earn 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 up to $2,000,000 per calendar year) on both purchases of $5,000 or more and on select category purchases (electronics goods, retailers, software, and cloud service providers; construction materials and hardware supplies; shipping providers) and 1X points on all other purchases
- Welcome offer: Earn 120,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months of card membership
- Annual fee: $695
- Purchase intro APR: 0 percent from the date of the account opening for 12 months (on eligible Pay Over Time purchases)
- Balance transfer intro APR: None
- Regular APR: 14.99 percent to 22.99 percent (variable Pay Over Time APR)
Current welcome offer
The Amex Business Platinum gives new cardholders the chance to earn 120,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $15,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months of card membership.
The previous 100,000-point offer for the same spending requirement was already a great value, but depending on how you redeem your points, this updated version can be one of the best business card intro bonuses available. Your best bet through Amex is to redeem your points for a First or Business class flight through the American Express Travel portal’s Pay with Points option. This method will qualify your bonus for the 35 percent Airline Bonus feature, stacking an extra 42,000 points onto your welcome offer (you can receive up to 500,000 bonus points this way annually) for a total of $1,620 toward your airfare instead of $1,200. However, the spending requirement may be a bit tough to meet within three months if your business doesn’t require too much spending.
Frequent travelers might get the most out of the Amex Business Platinum due to its travel-oriented rewards and perks. However, cardholders who make a lot of business purchases can also come out ahead thanks to the card’s boosted points on select category expenses and on purchases that are $5,000 or higher.
How you earn
Unlike other general travel cards, the Business Platinum requires you to purchase flights and prepaid hotels through the American Express Travel portal in order to earn 5 points per dollar spent—otherwise, you’ll earn 1 point per dollar like other non-bonus category purchases. This could limit your rewards potential compared to other cards depending on your business’ travel booking needs, but 5X points is an excellent rate no matter how you slice it.
If your business has big expenses or you don’t travel as often, you still have an excellent opportunity to earn major rewards. Purchases that ring up to $5,000 or more will earn 1.5 points per dollar, but the card’s latest update allows eligible purchases in the following categories to also earn 1.5 points for each dollar spent (on up to $2,000,000 in combined purchases per year for both 1.5X reward methods):
- Electronic goods and associated retailers
- Cloud service providers
- Construction materials and hardware supplies
- Shipping providers
How you redeem
Amex provides a broad spectrum of redemption options, but you should probably focus on redeeming your rewards for booking travel—including flights, hotels, cruises, and more—through American Express or its travel transfer partners to at least squeeze a 1:1 value out of your points.
Your mileage will vary with any other option, but these alternate ways to redeem your rewards may provide a bit more flexibility if you’re not planning to travel. However, you may be better off building up your rewards bank since they often exchange beneath your earning rate at less than 1 cent per point.
- Using points to cover card charges, like a statement credit
- Pay with points at checkout with select merchants and prepaid rental cars booked through American Express Travel
- Redeeming points for gift cards
- Shopping with points at partner merchants
How much are the rewards worth?
Although there’s a wide scope of reward options, many of those methods’ subpar redemption values may drop your points’ value to as low as 0.5 cents apiece, so you’ll probably want to stick to using your points for travel.
According to Amex’s rewards calculator, the few major ways to get at a guaranteed 1:1, 1-cent point value is to use your rewards for flights, stays at the Fine Hotels and Resorts properties and flight upgrades (when available). Luckily, you can book First and Business class flights with the travel portal’s 35 percent Airline Bonus feature to get the best rewards value with virtually 1.35 cents per point. The Airline Bonus rate should last a long while since you can earn up to 500,000 points this way each year, which would take redeeming a whopping 1,428,572 points—from an additional $285,715 annual spend on airfare and hotels through American Express Travel, at the least—to approximately maximize this offer.
To get the best value for your points, you can step outside Amex and put in a little elbow grease to net up to 2 cents per point with the right transfer travel partner, according to The Points Guy’s latest valuation.
Other cardholder perks
The Amex Business Platinum comes with a dizzying number of benefits that can more than make up for the annual fee. These benefits may come in the form of credits to your account, but you’ll also get a rich selection of travel perks and insurance. And since the Oct. 14, 2021, update, you’ll receive even more yearly credits that bring a bit more everyday value to the table for business owners that don’t travel as often. These perks are arrived on the heels of a previous wave of new features last July, making this one of the deepest benefit pools you can find on a business card.
Credit and annual reimbursements
It can be difficult to discern how much value the Business Platinum card actually offers each year on account of how many moving parts the terms are packed with, but you can expect to potentially earn more than $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 $189 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)
This total is already incredible, but considering the most recent update added $830 in additional yearly value—thanks to its doubled Dell reimbursement and new credits for eligible Adobe, Indeed and U.S. telephone provider expenses—and the annual fee will only increase by $100 next year, these ongoing offers for common business expenses should more than justify the card’s cost.
Travel benefits that come with this business credit card include perhaps the best airport lounge access on the market, with recently expanded Amex Centurion lounge access to now include more than 40 Centurion Lounges and Studio locations worldwide. Thanks to additional major partnerships in the American Express Global Lounge Collection—including Priority Pass Select lounges, Delta Sky Club lounges, Airspace Lounge locations, Escape Lounges, Plaza Premium lounges, Lufthansa Lounges and more—you’ll be able to rest in over 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and more than 500 airports.
You can smooth out your air travel further with an annual $200 airline fee credit with a select airline, a fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, up to $189 back in annual statement credits toward your CLEAR® membership for expedited airport security screening and no foreign transaction fees. If you’re looking to travel in style (and have the funds to back it up), you can also take advantage of Resy’s Global Dining Access program and discounts on the Wheels Up Premium Private Jet Program.
As of the offer’s Jan. 10, 2021, addition, you’ll be able to receive a complimentary night/$150+ property credit after booking an eligible stay at participating Hotel Collection locations through American Express Travel, or another a complimentary night/$250+ property credit for doing the same at a participating Fine Hotels + Resorts property (terms apply). The Business Platinum card also provides a variety of other benefits with the Fine Hotels + Resorts and The Hotel Collection properties, including an up to $100 experience credit for hotel activities (like spas), room and amenity upgrades and more. If you often stay at Marriott or Hilton properties, you’ll have a leg up on their loyalty programs as well since the Business Platinum also offers complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status and Hilton Honors Gold Status.
Your card also opens the doors to a wealth of other travel benefits that can come in handy but are a bit more under-the-radar. For example, the Business Platinum Travel Service provides personal assistance to coordinate your custom travel plans, which pairs well with other booking benefits you’ll find with the American Express Experiences ticket access program, car rental privileges (via the Avis, Hertz and National rewards programs), Platinum Destinations Vacations program and the Cruise Privileges Program (grants room upgrades and credits).
Travel and purchase protections
American Express’ Business Platinum Card is deemed one of the best cards for travel insurance if you’re a frequent flyer for business, thanks to the layers of security it can protect your travel plans with. You’ll get standouts like trip cancellation and interruption insurance, trip delay insurance, return protection and baggage insurance along with staples like car rental loss and damage insurance (secondary coverage), extended warranty coverage and purchase protection.
In a more unique twist, you and your employees’ mobile phones can be protected by Amex’s cellphone protection plan, which is one of the best you’ll find on a business card since it provides a high $800 coverage maximum per claim (up to two per year with a $50 deductible) in cases of eligible damage or loss.
Rates and Fees
The most glaring cost you’ll face with the Amex Business Platinum Card is its $695 annual fee. The Business Platinum isn’t a particularly fee-filled card otherwise since there are no foreign transaction fees if your company takes you abroad.
What’s interesting is that although the card isn’t a traditional credit card since there is no defined spending limit, there is a 12-month 0 percent from the date of the account opening intro APR period for eligible Pay Over Time purchases (Pay Over Time APR currently 14.99 percent to 22.99 percent variable) if you decide to carry a balance. That’s exceptionally rare for what resembles a charge card since you’d normally have to pay off your balance each month, but keep in mind that missing a payment can trigger a 29.99 percent variable penalty APR and a $39 late payment fee (or 2.99 percent of the past due Pay in Full amount, whichever is greater).
First-year value vs. ongoing value
The $695 annual fee can seem intimidating at first glance. Depending on how you plan to use the card, you can fortunately recoup the annual fee with the cards’ valuable features with relative ease. The $830 of new credits added for office-centric expenses like computer hardware, software and employee cell phones can recoup the cost if you won’t be using the travel features as much, but frequent business travelers will wring much more value out of the features. For instance, the free airport lounge access and the possible guest passes alone outweigh the annual fee based on how much yearly membership for a few of the lounge programs costs.
Once you break it down, you’ll receive up to $1,030 each year in purely non-travel-related credits, which jumps to $2,534 in annual credits once you account for at one stay each through the Fine Hotels and Resorts program, The Hotel Collection and the Cruise Privileges Program. Factoring in the airport lounge value makes your yearly benefit value skyrocket up to $3,508.
Making up for the annual fee solely through rewards is a bit more challenging, but doable if you or your employees travel often. Based on the 1.35-cent point value, you’d have to spend about $859 per month on qualifying American Express Travel purchases to break even on the annual fee, or a much steeper $2,861 per month in your 1.5X category purchases otherwise.
Luckily, most—if not all—of the Business Platinum card’s benefits outside the welcome offer and the intro APR are recurring, so you won’t have to worry about diminishing returns after your first year.
|Benefits and Costs||First-year value||Ongoing value (no welcome offers)|
|Welcome offers||+$1,620 (Membership Rewards sign-up bonus points redeemed through American Express Travel with 35% Airline Bonus)||—|
|Perks (of monetary value)||
|Total value of intro purchase APR**||
*Based on our formula used to calculate each card’s average rewards rates and average ongoing rewards value, using Bureau of Labor Statistics spending data and an assumed $48,000 yearly spend over three years ($1,325 per month).
**Based on average credit card interest rate at the time of writing.
How the Amex Business Platinum Card compares to other business cards
The Business Platinum may be ideal if your business spends a lot on travel, but since not many issuers offer premium business cards with flexible spending limits like American Express does, you can consider other Amex business credit cards that offer more rewards in different categories.
Amex Business Platinum vs. The Business Green Rewards Card from American Express
No matter which way you slice it, The Business Green Rewards Card from American Express is lean on value. Comparing it with the American Express Business Platinum card is a no-contest in terms of rewards and benefits. The Amex Business Green only earns 2X points on eligible purchases through the American Express Travel portal—which is a bit more flexible than the portal’s flights and prepaid hotels you’re relegated to with the Business Platinum—plus 1X points on all other purchases, and the only valuable perks of any note outside the standard issuer-based features are its baggage insurance plan and other purchase protections.
However, the two cards are geared toward two different businesses. The Business Platinum is inarguably the better card, generally speaking, but the Amex Business Green’s major draw is that it charges no annual fee its first year and $95 after that. The Business Green is a much more cost-effective card and will win against the Business Platinum every time if you only have a startup or side hustle that lets you travel occasionally. The Amex Business Platinum is packed to the gills with top-tier features and luxury benefits, but the premium price tag may not suit many small businesses’ needs.
Amex Business Platinum vs. American Express® Business Gold Card
As is the case with the Business Green card, the American Express® Business Gold Card competes with the Business Platinum on a different playing field. The Business Gold doesn’t focus on travel—although it does offer decent travel rewards and benefits—and instead specializes in rewarding domestic business expenses.
Although the Amex Business Gold is in a different weight class, it can actually outperform the Amex Business Platinum rewards-wise if you don’t frequent airports or hotels. In fact, its bonus categories actually pose a higher average rewards rate than the Business Platinum—1.69X points compared to 1.135X points—and the Business Gold’s $295 annual fee bites a less noticeable chunk out of your rewards for smaller-spending businesses. The Business Gold card’s 4X points structure on your two biggest spending categories each billing cycle could reward common business expenses like select advertising channels, eligible computer hardware and software, shipping and even dining or gas stations. The Business Gold can also earn solid 4X rewards on travel if need be, via airfare purchased directly from airlines, plus a permanent 2X points on eligible travel purchases through the American Express Travel portal.
In terms of benefits, the Business Gold doesn’t come close to offering the same roster as the Business Platinum does, but they add up to make it a more valuable alternative for small business owners that stay stateside or travel by car more often. You’ll receive quality perks like 25 percent bonus points on First and Business class airfare redemptions through American Express Travel (you can earn up to 200,000 bonus points each year this way), the same flexible spending limit with Pay Over Time functionality, and several protections like trip delay and baggage insurance.
Best cards to pair with the Amex Business Platinum
As a general-purpose travel card, you could shore up your rewards strategy by supporting the Amex Business Platinum with cards that earn rewards on your other major business expenses. In fact, the American Express Business Gold card would be a good option that could pool your points from everyday spending for travel rewards—if you’d earn more than enough to justify the hefty annual fees both would pose, that is.
The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express is also a prime partner for the Business Platinum since it would earn a flat-rate 2X points on all of your other spending (up to $50,000 in purchases each year, then 1X points). However, depending on which brands you typically travel with, you may want to consider pairing a co-branded airline or hotel card from Amex for boosted rewards, or even another issuer’s card for potentially better transfer rates on specific travel partners, like Chase’s Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card.
Bankrate’s Take: Is the Amex Business Platinum worth it?
Businesses that spend big and seek luxury hotel and airline perks for their frequent travels will find the American Express Business Platinum one of the most worthwhile cards on the market—especially now that it has a plethora of new credits and reward opportunities for popular non-travel expenses.
The annual fee can certainly carry some pressure, but the Business Platinum’s annual credits alone can easily offset the cost while your rewards generate even more value. Although these day-to-day benefits can be tempting, small businesses that aren’t sure they’ll take advantage of the additional features may want to consider another travel card considering those factors are the Business Platinum’s main value.
Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by Amex Assurance Company.
All information about The Business Green Rewards Card from American Express has been collected independently by Bankrate and has not been reviewed or approved by the issuer.