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Why small businesses should consider the Amex Business Platinum

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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 hugely 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 ideal 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.

What does the Business Platinum Card from American Express offer?

Quick highlights

  • Rewards rate: 5X Membership Rewards points on flights and prepaid hotels booked with 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 key business 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: 120,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months of card membership
  • Regular APR: 16.49 percent to 24.49 percent (variable Pay Over Time APR)
  • Annual fee: $695

Welcome offer

The Amex Business Platinum is currently offering a very 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.

Using your points for airfare booked through American Express Travel means you’ll get a 35 percent bonus for airfare purchases, which effectively boosts the value of your welcome offer from 1 cents per point to 1.35 cents per point. As a result, your 120,000-point welcome offer is worth up to $1,620 in airfare bookings.

Earning rewards

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. Then, ​​you’ll get 1.5X points on up to $2 million in select category purchases per year, which include electronics goods, retailers, software and cloud service providers, construction materials, hardware supplies and 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.

Redeeming rewards

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 1:1 value out of your points. (And don’t forget that you get a 35 percent bonus for airfare purchases through Amex Travel).

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 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 $2,534 in value from the card each year. Here’s a quick rundown of the card credits:

  • Up to $550 in statement credits or complimentary perks for booking with a Fine Hotels and Resorts program property, including up to $250 in complimentary night/property credits (per eligible stay)
  • 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 $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 annually for qualifying airline fees, such as baggage fees, with a 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)

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 cardmembers 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)

Should small businesses get the American Express Business Platinum?

Businesses that consistently make purchases over $5,000 at a time or regularly purchase electronics goods, software and cloud services, construction materials, hardware supplies and use shipping services are poised to get the most rewards from their Amex Business Platinum.

The annual credits are geared toward business owners that rely on travel but could use a break on select expenditures like Adobe software, Dell electronics and cellphone service. The sizable welcome offer and zero-interest offer on purchases aren’t bad, either.

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.

Written by
Aja McClanahan
Personal Finance Writer
Aja McClanahan is an author, blogger and speaker on personal finance and entrepreneurship. Aja is the author of "How a Mother Should Talk About Money with Her Daughter."
Edited by
Editor, Product
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Part of  Introduction to the American Express Business Platinum Credit Card