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Last week I reviewed The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN, and earlier this week I reviewed The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express. I consider both of these to be incredibly compelling — the Business Gold Rewards Card has bonus categories that will help a lot of people maximize the points they can earn, while the Blue Business Plus Card offers an almost unheard of 2x points per dollar on the first $50,000 spent annually.
In this post I wanted to look at The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN, which is one of the few “true” premium business credit cards. While there have been a couple of new $450 annual fee personal cards introduced in the past few years, this remains the only business card that I know of in that space.
Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of the card:
Amex Business Platinum Card annual fee
Amex Business Platinum Card return on spend
While both of the Amex business cards I recently reviewed offer a great return on spend, the Amex Business Platinum Card isn’t quite as generous. It offers:
- 1.5x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on purchases of $5,000 or more that are processed in one transaction, for a total of up to a million bonus points per year
- 5x Membership Rewards points on flights and prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com
As far as the 5x points category goes, generally I wouldn’t book prepaid hotels through amextravel.com, since I’d be forgoing loyalty program points by doing so. The 5x points on airfare can be a good deal though, since you are able to book most flights through the Amex portal, and you still earn miles as usual.
Personally, my go to card for airfare is the Amex Personal Platinum Card, which offers 5x points on airfare purchased directly with airlines.
Amex Business Platinum Card perks
The real reason you want to get this card is because of the incredible perks it offers, which more than justify the $450 annual fee, in my opinion. Specifically, the Amex Business Platinum Card offers:
- A $200 annual airline fee credit
- Access to Amex Centurion Lounges
- Access to Delta SkyClubs when flying Delta same day
- A Priority Pass membership
- Free Hilton Honors and Starwood Preferred Guest Gold status
- Access to American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts
- Access to the Amex International Airline Program, which can save you a ton on premium airfare
- A TSA Pre-Check or Global Entry free credit, once every four years
- 10 Gogo wifi passes each calendar year
That annual fee pretty quickly pays for itself. I value the $200 annual airline fee credit at pretty close to face value. Keep in mind that it’s also awarded based on the calendar year rather than the cardmember year. That means if you signed up now you’d get a $200 credit now, and another $200 credit on January 1.
If you’re like me and value that at close to face value, your real “out of pocket” on the card is $250 per year. Personally I value Gogo wifi passes significantly, and I think most people would value those at $15 each, at a minimum, since that’s less than the cost of a Gogo day pass. So that’s another $150 of value.
So using that calculation, it’s like having an “out of pocket” of $100 and getting access to Amex Centurion Lounges, Delta SkyClubs when flying Delta same day, a Priority Pass membership, free Hilton and Starwood Gold status, and much more. And your authorized users are also eligible for lounge access and elite status perks, which can be a compelling option for small businesses with employees who travel.
That math doesn’t even account for how the credits are disproportionately rewarding the first year, since they’re awarded based on calendar years.
Amex Business Platinum Card redemption perks
In addition to being able to transfer the Membership Rewards points earned on this card to all of Amex’s airline and hotel transfer partners, this card also comes with a benefit that can help you maximize the value of all your Amex points. Specifically, when you have the Amex Business Platinum Card and use the Membership Rewards Pay with Points feature, you can get 35% of the points back.
This is only valid either on your designed airline, or when booking first or business class on any airline.
Typically you get one cent of value per Membership Rewards point towards the cost of an airline ticket when using Pay with Points. So when you consider that you’d get 35% of the points refunded, that’s like getting up to 1.54 cents of value per Membership Rewards point, which is pretty solid. Using this benefit you can get up to 500,000 points back per year.
Amex Business Platinum Card approval odds
The Amex Business Platinum Card is a charge card, meaning you have to pay your balance off in full each month. While Amex typically limits you to five credit cards, that limit doesn’t include charge cards. So if you’re otherwise maxed out in terms of the number of Amex credit cards you can get, this is a fantastic card to consider.
On top of that, for those with excellent credit, I find Amex business cards to be easy to be approved for. Anecdotally most people I’ve heard from have reported instant approvals on this card, so it really shouldn’t be very tough to be approved for, even if you haven’t gotten many business cards in the past.
Amex Business Platinum Card best complement
As I said above, to me the Amex Business Platinum Card is about the awesome perks you get, rather than the return on spend. The great thing is that the Amex Business Platinum Card earns Membership Rewards points, so you can pool any points you earn on this card with the points you earn on other cards.
The easiest complement to this card is the Amex Blue Business Plus Card, which has no annual fee and offers 2x Membership Rewards points on the first $50,000 spent every calendar year. That’s a great way to supercharge your points earning.
If you’re a business that spends a lot, it could also make sense to add the Amex Business Gold Rewards Card, which offers bonus points in the following five categories:
- Airfare purchased directly from airlines
- U.S. purchases for advertising in select media
- U.S. purchases at gas stations
- U.S. purchases for shipping
- U.S. computer hardware, software, and cloud computing purchases made directly from select providers
You can choose one category in which you want to earn 3x points, and then you earn 2x points in the remaining four categories. The bonus points apply to the first $100,000 spent annually in each of the five categories, so that’s potentially a lot of bonus points.
Amex Business Platinum Card best substitute
The way I see it, the Amex Business Platinum Card doesn’t really have a direct substitute. While there are quite a few cards now competing in the premium card space for personal cards, that’s not really the case with business cards. So there’s not another business card I’m familiar with that offers as many perks as this one does.
Personally the Amex Business Platinum Card isn’t one I’d put all that much spend on, but rather it’s a card that’s worth getting for the perks. If you frequently make huge purchases, then it could be worth it for the 1.5x points when spending $5,000+ per transaction. But the perks of this card are fantastic, and in my opinion more than justify the annual fee for most.