Amex Business Platinum Annual Fee Increasing To $595

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I’m a big fan of The Business Platinum® Card from American Express. The card has a $450 annual fee, and offers a bunch of benefits that help offset it.

This includes a $200 annual airline fee credit, Hilton Honors Gold status and Marriott Gold status, access to Amex Centurion Lounges, access to Delta SkyClubs when flying Delta, a Priority Pass membership, 10 Gogo wifi passes every calendar year, and more.

This is the lower cost version of the Amex Platinum Card, as The Platinum Card® from American Express has a $550 annual fee, though offers a couple of additional benefits, including a $200 annual Uber credit and $100 annual Saks credit.

Anyway, it looks like the business version of the card will soon be getting a refresh.

Changes coming to the Amex Business Platinum Card

Starting in February 2019 (this means for annual fees due as of then), the Amex Business Platinum Card annual fee will be increasing from $450 to $595. So, what improvements will be made to the card to make up for the $145 annual fee increase?

  • A complimentary year of access to WeWork
  • Up to $200 in statement credits each year for any Dell technology purchases
  • The hotel credit for Hotel Collection stays will be increasing from $75 to $100; this is a perk I’ve never used, as I’ve always found Fine Hotels & Resorts or Virtuoso to be a better value

I’ve gotta say, for me these changes are useless. I have no interest in WeWork, I think the last time I bought something from Dell was in 2003, and I’ve never used Hotel Collection.

I imagine those who use WeWork or buy stuff from Dell will find these changes to be really valuable, but for the rest of us, this is a $145 annual fee increase without any positive changes.

Amex has greatly adjusted their card portfolio

I guess these changes were inevitable, as American Express has already made major changes to three other charge cards earning Membership Rewards points:

Bottom line

I suppose these changes are positive for anyone who spends a lot of money with Dell or who values a WeWork membership, but otherwise this is a pretty negative development, since the features being added are niche.

Personally I quite liked the changes made to the Amex Personal Platinum Card when the fee increased from $450 to $550, as we’ve picked up both a $200 Uber credit and a $100 Saks credit, both of which I valued. Unfortunately these new additions aren’t nearly as valuable to me.

What do you make of these Amex Business Platinum Card changes? Will they impact whether or not you have the card?

(Tip of the hat to The Points Guy)

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Comments

  1. I hate Amex shoving all these statement credits down our throats.

    If they insist on statement credit benefits, at least make all of them annual and let the consumer decide their business of choice.

    Monthly credits are way too hard to use and hate being locked in to one vendor.

    Would rather see:
    -The Uber credit be $200 annual credit for ride share (Lyft, Uber, etc.)
    -The restaurant credit be annual $120 dining credit
    -The Dell $200 statement credit be annual $200 computer credit

  2. This wework thing looks like regus 2.0 totally useless. Dell do sell some OK stuff but I wouldnt pay $150 to have to spend $200 every year on dell…

  3. While AMEX adding monthly, quarterly and half yearly credits may seem annoying, it does make business sense. AMEX and other credit card companies should be rewarding customers that use cards continuously rather than those that may churn or otherwise take advantage of credits. If Amex offered Uber and dining credits up front, you know many would simply buy $200 of Uber credits and gift cards and then just cancel a card.

  4. Ben- It’s “WeWork”, not “WeWorks”

    – an uninterested party in a ridiculously overvalued company.

  5. Bizarrely enough, this particular set of perks aligns very nicely for me — I’m an independent, roving Mac Expert person in NYC. Having access to WeWork while out and about is huge, and $200 at Dell is easy (they also sell accessories like hard drives). And I’m not currently holding the card, so the timing is good for a triple dip on the flight credit. Thanks, Amex?

  6. Is the WeWork an annual membership, or only for the first year? Whats the point in the AF increase if its just for a year? I already have the personal, and while I was considering switching to the Biz for a little while, this seals the deal as a hard no for me. Pretty weak increase of perks to justify the hassle and slightly increased AF.

  7. With three of these cards if the Dell credit can be used in gift cards that’s a free mid-range laptop every year…

  8. Here in Australia, they have increased it to AUD1450 and even cutting the airline transfer rates in half from next April. So this is not much of a dealbreaker unless a bigger devaluation down the line.

  9. Yikes! Though, I already have an office with WeWork (I like them a lot). I am not sure what extra I am getting. If it is more credits to use other office space then that is worth the price increase. Seems an overly specific benefit. And Dell, who are they?

  10. I would have thought that of all people, you would be the target for the WeWork thing. Isnt it for people who travel a lot to have a space to sit down and work? Like an airline lounge but downtown? I know they have free drinks and snacks or whatever.

  11. @Anthony cry me a river for Amex. Amex already has the right to deny future signup bonuses so its not that. By making the credit monthly they make it much harder for people to use because people may spend the full credit on uber each year but they arent necessarily using uber every month.

  12. It’s WeWork, not WeWorks. For some entrepreneurs that have small companies or startups and rent desk space or individual offices at a WeWork, this is no doubt a great development (and I would assume that’s the type of people Amex tries to target with those changes). But for the vast, vast majority of people this is a terrible change. I considered picking up the card not long ago and I’m very glad I didn’t.

  13. Well this seals the deal.

    I will cancel the Business Platinum and get the Personal and hopefully the 100K MR sign up bonus! and save $45 as well

  14. The WeWork credit is huge if annual!
    A $6000/year desk for $595/year is amazing value. Not for everyone but this is a specific target segment. I might just pick it up to be able to pop-in/out as I am around the city. Add in free snacks/coffee/wifi at WeWork as well.

  15. Like to know a bit more on the access to WeWork. The monthly fee of using WeWork hotseat (as in simply access, but no permanent desk) is about $400~800 depending on the location. If this is unlimited access then its HUGE!

    Most WeWork have better atmosphere and location than hotels. You should give it a try.

  16. I can understand the appeal to AMEX of using credits but I think they’ve reached the point where they’re becoming too narrowly focused and this will end up being counter productive.

  17. If you’re going to call out the new benefits as being niche, then do the same with the Saks credit (and even the Uber credit) from the personal Platinum. Raising annual fees and claiming that you get value back from credits just gives me more incentive to move away from the high AF cards.

  18. @ Joeheg — Are you really suggesting that an Uber credit is anywhere close to being as niche as a WeWork or Dell credit?

  19. With the personal Amex, I get $200 use out of the Uber credit (I use Uber all the time), $100 out of the Saks credit, and $200 out of the Airline credit very easily. In addition, i use SkyClubs and Centurion clubs regularly. That is a pretty valuable card. The business platinum credits seem harder to use, unless you are a WeWork customer.

  20. Do the new benefits kick in at renewal date or as of Feb 2019? I can manage a Dell spend before I cancel in June. I had been on the fence about keeping this card and now they’ve helped me make my decision!

  21. to enhance AMEX about the experience with me, I am going to cut, shred, and flush the card into toilet. this is for the better of my beloved card. Oh I’ll cancel before that too.

  22. I think the key feature of the business Amex card for people with a lot of Amex points is the redemption of points towards Business/First and your selected airline airfare at a penny and a half value per point. I use that a lot, but I’ll have to do the numbers on the new cost of the card. I can probably find an external hard drive or something to buy from Dell if it’s a simple straight credit.

  23. I’ve added it to the cancellation list, none of the new benefits are useful to me and they’ve not addressed the persistent overcrowding issue at Centurion lounges, I’ve had the card for two years and only found a seat twice that could be considered an upgrade from general terminal seating. Also the 3x MR for airline purchases on the gold card has undermined the value of 5x from Platinum.

  24. The plan to reduce over crowding at Centurion Lounges = simply never go. Those small lounges will never be relaxed and rich.

  25. I was pretty put off by the whole increase in the AF but then I started wondering about the whole Wework Platinum Global Access. Does that include access to a conference room? I don’t need a work station but I certainly could use occasional access to a conference room around new york. I’m not overly optimistic though. Depending on how the dell credit is structured I could use it towards a new computer monitor and I do have to purchase several external hard drives over the course of a year although I am not sure Dell really offers the best price on such items. I’m starting to think I need more information about these added perks to see if they really help my business or not. When overseas and in need of a computer etc I usually use the hotel business center. A centurion lounge opening in JFK is appealing as well but all three of these benefits need to pay off to make it reasonable for me to consider keeping this card. If they try to game the offers with all these specific requirements to redeem then this card is going in the garbage can.

  26. Seems like I may need to switch to the personal platinum, as they changes to the business platinum do nothing for me.

  27. Going to cancel and stick with the Personal Platinum. Cannot justify the increased price versus the value of the credits given. The new perks have absolutely zero value for me. The difficulty in using the airline credits these days is annoying. The only real benefit is the 35% back on booking with points and that is irritating because it is down from the original offer of 50%. I put a lot of spend on the card (fortunate enought to be able to charge biz expenses) but I just cannot justify both the personal and the biz versions with the increased fees.

  28. Amex must really NOT want my business.

    Continually cutting benefits, raising rates, and making it constantly more complicated to get ANY value out of their crappy program is NOT the way to treat your customer. What the HELL are they thinking!?

    I’ll take $150K / month spend to Chase, then…

  29. I’ve had this card for several years, and never put any spend on it due to lack of lucrative bonus categories. Seems like instead of jacking up the annual fee, incentivizing more spend with better bonus cats would make more business sense. Wouldn’t increased transaction fee revenue be more lucrative than a flat annual fee increase that likely results in a lot of account closures?

  30. @Lucky WeWork will be active so long as you hold the card or one year from the enrollment date only? If it’s the latter, well, that sucks.

  31. Mine was coming due next month and I cancelled it today. Centurion lounges are overcrowded and food is not that good. I am retired and travel with my wife. I am not going into a Delta lounge without her. The Blue Bus. Plus gives me better UR points too. I will take the Ritz card over the Platinum one anyday.

  32. Not happy with the increase but I do find the 35% rebate on Pay with Points airline tickets to be a very valuable benefit. I don’t think that is available with the personal card.

  33. This is a bad move by them. I was already thinking about canceling this card… its increasingly irrelevant and while Centurion lounges are cool… they are not that amazing, I can always go to a PP lounge.

  34. Are you really suggesting that an Uber credit is anywhere close to being as niche as a WeWork or Dell credit?

    @Lucky – The Uber credit isn’t as niche as WeWork, but it still forces you to use a specific company’s services. What I was getting at is that some people don’t use Uber every month so AMEX is forcing them to change behavior just to get back money in credits that is supposedly used to offset the high annual fee. It’s the same principle, offer something that has a higher percentage of breakage to justify charging everyone a higher AF.

  35. What irritates me about the Uber credits is that Uber deducts the value of the credit from the price rather than treating it as a form of credit (meaning, the receipt for a $25 ride with a $15 credit says the cost is $10). So if you’re on a reimbursable trip, the credit is going to your customer/employer and not to offset the annual fee you’ve paid for the card.

    I only occasionally use rideshares at home, so this a major reason why I have not yet gone for the Platinum card. Eventually I might solely for the signup bonus.

  36. Adios Amex
    Only the foolish would buy into their self serving latest scam benefits for the increased fee
    150 dollar increase so I can I can get a 150 dollar dell credit if I were to buy from them? lol
    And lousy category spending other than buying airline tickets
    They just handed citi bank & chase 50k plus a year
    Buh Bye

  37. I had 0 interest in this card but as someone who works remote and travels a lot the WeWork credit is huge. I think I’ve changed my mind. The fee alone would pay for a desk to work when I’m traveling or want to get out of the house to work somewhere. Curious to see the specifics on WeWork before I make a decision. And people who complain about the credits don’t understand how a business works. They are incentivizing you to be a customer. The goal isn’t just a one time credit, it’s to help create a new customer for them. So don’t be mad they don’t play your game. Between the credits and Amex offers I get more value out of every Amex card then the AF, always.

  38. Definitely agree with those saying Uber credit is as niche as WeWork or Dell. My market doesn’t have Uber, but has WeWork.

    Dell credit is great. I’m a mac person but assuming the credit applies to everything in Dell’s online store, that’s at least a free pair of Bose earbuds per year, plus a cheap mouse or something.

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