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- The Business Platinum Card® from American Express offers thousands of dollars in statement credits and reimbursements per year, making it an ideal choice for frequent travelers.
- Card members get access to more than one thousand airport lounges around the globe with Priority Pass Select membership and access to the Centurion Lounge network.
- The Amex Business Platinum card may not be worth it if you don’t travel often or redeem your rewards for something other than travel.
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The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, also known as the Amex Business Platinum, has a long-standing reputation for being popular among small and large businesses alike. In recent years, the card has become even more useful for small business owners.
If you’ve ever wondered if getting the Amex Business Platinum Card is right for your small business, it’s helpful to know about the perks and benefits that make this card ideal for small business owners. Essentially, the rewards structure is ideal for frequent business travelers and offers multiple perks and credits geared toward for small business owners.
Here’s what you should know about this business credit card to help you decide if it could work for you.
When is the American Express Business Platinum card worth it?
Small business owners who travel frequently will get the most value out of the Business Platinum card. From generous rewards and credits to lounge access and elite hotel status upgrades, Amex helps travelers offset the annual fee and enjoy the best travel perks. Here’s a look at the top features that can help you decide when the Amex Business Platinum is worth it.
The Amex Business Platinum currently comes with a generous welcome offer of 120,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $15,000 on eligible purchases with your card within the first three months of account opening. You can get a larger welcome offer if you use a referral link from a friend or family member who already has an American Express card.
Redeem your points for qualifying first or business class flights with any airline or with any class flights with a pre-selected airline booked through American Express Travel and you’ll receive 35 percent of your points back for a future redemption (up to 1 million points back per year). That effectively boosts the value of your welcome offer from 1 cent per point to 1.35 cents per point. As a result, your 120,000-point welcome offer could be worth up to $1,620 in airfare bookings.
The first thing to note here is that the rewards earning opportunities are highly favorable toward travel, especially when booked through AmexTravel.com. So, if your business model relies heavily on travel, you stand to rack up plenty of rewards for your travel spending. What’s more, you’ll also get better redemption ratios for your points when redeeming them for airfare through Amex.
You should also take special note of the boosted earnings (1.5X) for purchases over $5,000, which could occur fairly often for small business owners. Additionally, you’ll get 1.5X points on up to $2 million spent in select categories per year, including those with U.S. construction material and hardware suppliers, at U.S. electronic goods retailers and software and cloud system providers, and at U.S. shipping providers.
Small business owners can also earn more points 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 offer.
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 Travel or Amex travel transfer partners to get at least a 1 cent per point value out of your points. (And don’t forget that you get a 35 percent bonus for qualifying airfare purchases through Amex Travel up to an annual cap).
Other redemption options include getting statement credits, paying with points at checkout with different retailers, gift cards and more. However, you could get less value when redeeming rewards in these ways.
Credits and reimbursements
If you can take advantage of all the credits the Amex Business Platinum offers, you can get up to $2,519 in value from the card in your first year alone. Here’s a quick rundown of the card credits:
- Up to $600 in perks for booking with a Fine Hotels and Resorts program property through Amex Travel
- Up to $400 in statement credits for Dell purchases (up to $200 semi-annually)
- Up to $360 in statement credits 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 $100 experience/amenity credit for qualifying stays The Hotel Collection properties
- Up to $200 in statement credits annually for qualifying airline fees, such as baggage fees, with a pre-selected airline
- Up to a $189 statement credit each year on the annual cost of a CLEAR airport security membership when using your card
- Up to $150 in annual statement credit on select Adobe purchases, including the Adobe Creative Cloud and Acrobat Pro DC
- 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 for Global Entry and every 4.5 years for TSA Precheck)
- Enrollment required for some benefits. Terms apply
Make sure you read the fine print and understand exactly how you can take advantage of these credits, otherwise you’ll be leaving a ton of value on the table. Plus, missing out on using them means you may not justify the annual cost of card ownership, which is a hefty $695.
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 and travel and purchase protection.
Amex has been increasing its presence in the airport lounge space. As a result, the issuer now offers Amex Business Platinum card members access to over 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries at more than 500 airports with Priority Pass Select membership. Additionally, you get access to Amex’s luxury Centurion Lounges, 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
- Cellphone protection (terms apply)
When is the Amex Business Platinum card not worth it?
There’s a lot to love about the Amex Business Platinum card. But it won’t be the right card for everyone. Before taking on a premium credit card with a $695 annual fee, make sure you can squeeze as much value out of the card as possible. Otherwise, it could just be a debt trap that makes it harder for you to successfully manage your business. Here are a few common reasons why the Amex Business Platinum card may not be worth it.
If you don’t travel
Small business owners that don’t travel won’t earn rewards in Amex’s highest bonus category. If that’s the case and you want a business credit card to maximize your rewards, a flat-rate business credit card that charges no annual fee (or low annual fee) and earns 1.5 points on all purchases is a solid alternative.
If you don’t redeem your rewards for travel
The card also may not be worth it if you don’t redeem your rewards for travel. American Express offers great value when redeeming rewards through American Express Travel or transferring your points to Amex airline and hotel partners. But Amex Membership Rewards points are only worth 0.6 cents for statement credits (100 points = 60 cents).
If you’re an occasional traveler on a budget and want to use your business credit card rewards to reduce your balance, you may be better off with a different business credit card. With some cards, including Chase business credit cards, points are worth 1 cent each (100 points = $1) when redeeming for statement credits.
If you don’t take advantage of as many benefits as possible
The Amex Business Platinum card offers thousands of dollars in annual credits and reimbursements. But many of the credits are either travel related or niche credits that won’t appeal to every business owner.
For example, most business owners will have an easy time earning the $120 wireless credit because you can choose any wireless provider in the U.S. But if you want a $400 credit for upgrading your computers and other tech, you’re limited to one company: Dell. And if you want to use an online job site to help with hiring, you have to use Indeed if you want the $360 in annual statement credits.
Before applying, you’ll need to look carefully at the available credits to see if there are enough that actually fit your business and can help offset the annual fee.
The bottom line
For the right business, the Amex Business Platinum can provide recurring value in the form of rewards and credits. In the end, you’ll have to decide if your business spending is a good match for the rewards and credits the Amex Business Platinum offers. If it is, then you’ll likely be very pleased with your choice for a small business credit card.