Amex Business Platinum Card Review (2020)

Filed Under: American Express, Business
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5x points
on airfare
$200
annual airline fee credit
no foreign
transaction fees
Annual Fee: $595
| The card details for the Business Platinum Card have been collected independently by OMAAT and have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

American Express’ Platinum Cards — both the business and personal versions — are among the most well known and popular premium cards out there.

I recently reviewed The Platinum Card® from American Express, which is the personal version of the card. In this post, I wanted to take a close look at The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, which is the popular business version of the card.

Amex Business Platinum Card Basics For May 2020

The Amex Business Platinum Card offers some outstanding perks, though the card also has a steep annual fee.

In this post, I’ll take a detailed look at the welcome bonus on the card, the annual fee, the return on spending that it offers, the perks that it offers (including an incredible lounge access benefit), and then compare it to other cards.

While the card has a hefty annual fee, it’s also a card that can make sense for many small businesses, in my opinion.

Welcome Bonus Of Up To 85,000 Points

The Amex Business Platinum Card currently has a welcome bonus of up to 85,000 Membership Rewards points as a part of a two-tier spend requirement. Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10,000 and an extra 35,000 points after you spend an additional $10,000 all on qualifying purchases on the Business Platinum Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership.

Redeem your Amex points for travel in Lufthansa business class

Once In A Lifetime Rule

The welcome bonus on the Amex Business Platinum Card isn’t available to those who currently have the card, or those who have had the card in the past. If you’ve had the card in the past you’re still eligible to be approved, you just won’t get the bonus.

The standard rules of applying for Amex cards apply as well.

$595 Annual Fee

The Amex Business Platinum Card has a $595 annual fee. This is one of the highest annual fee cards out there, and the annual fee is also steeper than on the personal version of the card. However, the card also comes with a different set of perks, which some may find more worthwhile.

$300 Authorized User Fee

While some cards let you add authorized users at a reasonable cost, unfortunately, this card isn’t one of them. The cost per authorized user on your business account is $300, which is steep.

The Amex Business Platinum Is A Charge Card

The Amex Business Platinum Card is a charge card. What’s the difference between a credit card and a charge card?

  • The basic distinction is that a credit card allows you to finance charges over time, while a charge card requires you to pay off your balance in full each month
  • While credit cards have a credit limit, charge cards don’t

A charge card can be useful if you’re making a big purchase, since it’s more likely to be possible on a charge card than a credit card where you have a defined limit.

There’s another important distinction here if you’re considering applying for this card:

  • Typically you can have at most five American Express credit cards at a time
  • Typically you can get approved for at most two American Express credit cards in a 90 day period

American Express charge cards are not subjected to this limit. This means that you could be approved for the Amex Business Platinum Card even if you already have five American Express credit cards, and even if you’ve already applied for two American Express credit cards in the past 90 days.

Lastly, in my experience charge cards are often easier to be approved for than credit cards, so you may be pleasantly surprised by how easy it is to get approved. Just because this is a premium card doesn’t mean it’s that difficult to be approved for, assuming you have excellent credit.

Earning Points With The Amex Business Platinum Card

Personally, I think the Amex Business Platinum Card may be worth having for the benefits it offers, though there are fairly limited circumstances under which it actually makes sense to spend money on the card.

Some other Amex cards offer big bonus categories, and I’ll talk more about those cards in a bit.

So, in what categories does this card offer bonus points?

5x Points On Flights & Prepaid Hotels Through Amex Travel

The card offers 5x Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels and flights that are booked through Amex Travel. This is fairly restrictive.

It could make sense to book flights through Amex Travel to earn 5x points, though for many small businesses that might not be the best option.

The downside to booking prepaid hotels through Amex Travel is that you generally won’t earn points with your preferred loyalty program for third party bookings, which includes Amex Travel bookings.

The one exception is Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts, where prepaid reservations earn 5x points. That can be a good deal because of the perks you get, and also because you still earn points with your preferred hotel loyalty program. I’ll talk more about that in a bit.

The card offers up to 5x points on hotel stays

1.5x Points On Purchases Of $5,000+

The Amex Business Platinum offers 1.5x Membership Rewards points for purchases of $5,000 or more in a single transaction.

You can earn a maximum of one million bonus points per year through this benefit, meaning that it’s capped on two million dollars of big purchases.

This will be useful for some small businesses, though for others won’t add much value.

1x Points On Other Purchases

The above are the only bonus categories — otherwise, the card offers 1x points per dollar spent, which isn’t especially good. There are other Amex cards offering 1.5-2x points per dollar spent, so I would much rather put my spending on those cards, or on another card that’s best for everyday spending for small businesses.

No Foreign Transaction Fees

The American Express Business Platinum Card offers no foreign transaction fees (Rates & Fees), should you find yourself making purchases abroad.

Redeeming Points With The Amex Business Platinum Card

The American Express Business Platinum Card earns Membership Rewards points. This is one of the four major transferable points currencies. There are two best ways you can redeem these points — you can transfer them to an airline or hotel partner, or you can redeem them as cash towards the cost of an airline ticket.

Let’s look at those two options below. One awesome thing about the Amex Business Platinum is that having the card gives you special redemption rates when redeeming the points as cash towards an airline ticket.

Transfer Points To Airline & Hotel Partners 

The best way to redeem your points is to transfer them to one of the Membership Rewards airline or hotel partners. Points can be transferred to the following 22 partners, including 19 airline partners and three hotel partners:

AirlinesHotels
Aer Lingus Aer ClubChoice Privileges
Aeroméxico Club PremierHilton Honors
Air Canada AeroplanMarriott Bonvoy
Air France/KLM Flying Blue
Alitalia MilleMiglia
ANA Mileage Club
Avianca LifeMiles
British Airways Executive Club
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
Delta SkyMiles
El Al Matmid
Emirates Skywards
Etihad Guest
Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles
Iberia Plus
JetBlue TrueBlue
Qantas Frequent Flyer
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

The reason this represents such a good option is that you can get outsized value towards premium airfare, especially for travel in first and business class. These tickets are often super expensive if paying cash, while they can be a good deal with points.

On top of that Amex often has transfer bonuses, which can get you even better value.

Singapore SuitesRedeem your points for Singapore’s incredible Suites

Redeem Points For Over 1.5 Cents Each Towards Airfare

Ordinarily, you can redeem Membership Rewards points for about a cent each towards the cost of an airfare purchase, which isn’t that great. However, if you have the Amex Business Platinum Card you can redeem points at a special rate.

If you book your flight American Express Travel using Membership Rewards Pay with Points, you get 35% of those points back:

  • You need to either be booking a first or business class flight, or book any cabin on your selected qualifying airline
  • You can get up to 500,000 points back per year using this redemption method

In other words, you could book a $1,000 ticket for 100,000 points, and then you’d get 35,000 points back, meaning, in the end, you’re paying 65,000 points. That’s a value of ~1.54 cents per point, which is pretty great.

Redeem points towards the cost of an airline ticket

Amex Business Platinum Card Benefits

The Amex Business Platinum Card offers so many benefits just for having the card, which is the main reason you want to have this card. So let’s take a close look at the benefits.

In this section, I’ll cover most of the benefits, and in the next section, I’ll cover all of the lounge access perks.

$200 Annual Airline Fee Credit

The card offers a $200 annual airline fee credit, which can be used towards airline incidentals and fees. One is offered every calendar year, so it follows a strict January 1 through December 31 calendar.

Every year you can designate on which airline you want to receive the credit, of the following:

  • Alaska Airlines
  • American Airlines
  • Delta Air Lines
  • Frontier Airlines
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • JetBlue Airways
  • Spirit Airlines
  • Southwest Airlines
  • United Airlines

You can change your airline selection in January of each year. If you don’t change your selection then you automatically keep the same airline choice as the previous year.

Unfortunately, you can’t use your credit towards the following:

Airline tickets, upgrades, mileage points purchases, mileage points transfer fees, gift cards, duty free purchases, and award tickets are not deemed to be incidental fees.

So this is useful for airline ticket change fees, baggage fees, and other costs you may incur with an airline. Personally, this is something I have no trouble maxing out.

You can designate Frontier as your airline of choice

$200 Dell Statement Credits

For having the Amex Business Platinum Card you get up to $200 in Dell credits annually. The way this is broken up you get a $100 statement credit between January and June, and an additional $100 statement credit between July and December.

There’s no minimum required to activate this (you could make exactly a $100 purchase, for example), and the statement credits should post within 2-4 weeks of an eligible purchase. If you have the card, registration is required at this link.

Note that Dell sells a surprising number of items from other companies. For example, you can buy Bose headphones through Dell, so this is more useful than you might assume.

Buy Bose’s newest headphones through Dell

Hilton Honors Gold Status

You receive complimentary Hilton Honors Gold status for as long as you have the card. This status is useful, and offers the following perks:

  • Free breakfast and/or executive lounge access
  • Late check-out, subject to availability
  • Preferred rooms
  • 80% points bonus
  • Fifth night free on award stays

Receive complimentary breakfast as a Hilton Gold member

Marriott Bonvoy Gold Status

You receive complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold status for as long as you have the card, which offers the following perks, among other things:

  • 25% bonus points on hotel stays
  • 2PM late check-out
  • A room upgrade

Receive upgraded rooms as a Marriott Gold member

TSA Pre-Check/Global Entry Credit

The Amex Business Platinum Card offers a Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check credit once every four years. Just charge the $85-100 membership fee to your card, and it will automatically be reimbursed. It doesn’t matter who the fee is being paid for, as long as you charge it to your eligible card.

Amex International Airline Program

With the Amex International Airline Program, you can save on the cost of international first class, business class, and premium economy airfare, on nearly two dozen airlines. This typically provides discounts even on already discounted tickets, so is a spectacular value.

If you book paid international premium cabin travel with any frequency, this could cover the card’s annual fee over and over.

I’ve saved big money on Qatar Airways business class tickets with this perk

Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts

With the Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts program, you can receive extra perks for stays at over 1,000 luxury hotels around the world. These benefits include the following:

  • Daily breakfast for two people
  • Room upgrade upon arrival, when available
  • A unique property amenity (usually a $100 property credit, free massage, car transfer, etc.)
  • Guaranteed 4PM check-out
  • Noon check-in, subject to availability
  • Complimentary in-room wifi (exclusions apply)

Best of all, the rate is typically in line with the best available rate. I get a lot of value out of this program. Having the Amex Business Platinum Card gets you access to this, and if you prepay your reservation you even earn 5x points.

Receive extra benefits at luxury hotels

Travel Delay, Interruption, And Cancellation Protection 

New as of 2020, the Amex Business Platinum offers coverage in the event of travel delays, interruption, or cancellation:

  • If you’re delayed by at least six hours, you can be reimbursed up to $500 per trip for necessary expenses, like hotels, meals, and other essentials
  • In the event of trip interruption or cancellation, you can be reimbursed for up to $10,000 in non-refundable travel expenses per trip, up to $20,000 per 12 consecutive month period
    • This applies to covered reasons, which includes accidental bodily injury, inclement weather, military orders, terrorist action, call to jury duty, one’s dwelling made uninhabitable, and a quarantine imposed by a physician for health reasons

For all of these benefit:

  • This is valid for roundtrip tickets paid for entirely with your eligible Amex card (“roundtrip travel may consist of roundtrip, one-way, or combinations of roundtrip or one-way tickets”)
  • Paying taxes on an award ticket with your card would qualify for this, as would using the Amex Pay With Points feature to pay for your ticket
  • Coverage applies to you and your family members (including domestic partners) and traveling companions who purchase a trip with your card
  • You must file your claim within 60 days of the covered event

As always, consult the cardmember agreement for all the details.

Temporary 2020 Business Platinum Card Benefits: Up To $520 In Additional Credits

Given the constantly-evolving landscape in 2020, American Express is adding some limited-time benefits to select travel cards, including The Business Platinum Card.

$160 on US shipping purchases

Cardholders can get a $20 monthly credit on US shipping purchases, which even includes buying stamps from USPS.com.

$160 on select wireless telephone services

Cardholders can also get a $20 monthly credit on their US cell phone bill, as long as you have service with certain providers. Learn more about this benefit in our guide to Amex cell phone credits.

$200 in additional Dell credits

This is added to the existing Dell benefit, so cardholders can now receive up to $200 in credits in the first half of the year, and an additional $200 in the second half. Be sure to stack with a shopping portal to maximize this perk!

Amex Business Platinum Card Lounge Access

The Amex Business Platinum Card offers one of the most comprehensive lounge access benefits of any card. They call this the Global Lounge Collection, and it offers access to over 1,200 lounges in over 130 countries. This includes proprietary Amex lounges, as well as access to lounges run by other airlines and companies.

Amex Centurion Lounge Access

Amex is well known for its Centurion Lounges, which is their collection of airport lounges. These are significantly better than what you’ll find in most US airline lounges.

The lounges have hot food, cocktails, and some even have complimentary spa treatments.

Currently, US locations include Dallas, Houston, Las Vegas, Miami, New York LaGuardia, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Francisco, and Seattle, with more to come. There’s also a Centurion Lounge in Hong Kong, and some other American Express branded lounges at other airports.

When accessing Amex Centurion Lounges you can bring two guests, and you can access the lounges up to three hours before departure of your flight.

Access Amex Centurion Lounges with the Amex Business Platinum

Delta SkyClub Access

When flying Delta same day you can access Delta SkyClubs. You aren’t allowed to bring in guests for free.

Access Delta SkyClubs with the Amex Business Platinum

Priority Pass Membership

The Amex Business Platinum Card offers a Priority Pass membership, which gives you access to 1,300+ lounges around the world. Do note that those with the Amex Business Platinum don’t get access to Priority Pass restaurants.

Access 1,200+ Priority Pass lounges around the world

Air Space & Escape Lounges

The Amex Platinum offers access to the growing network of Air Space and Escape lounges. Just present your Amex Platinum Card and you’ll be admitted, and you can even bring in guests.

Rendering of the new Escape Lounge Phoenix

Select Lufthansa Lounge Access

The Amex Platinum Card also offers access to select Lufthansa Business & Senator Lounges in Frankfurt and Munich. Cardmembers will receive access to the following lounges when flying on a Lufthansa Group flight (Lufthansa, SWISS, and Austrian):

  • Platinum cardmembers have complimentary access to Lufthansa Business Lounges (regardless of ticket class) and Lufthansa Senator Lounges (when flying business class) in the Satellite area of T2 in Munich Airport, and T1 Concourse B in Frankfurt Airport
  • Centurion cardmembers have complimentary access to Lufthansa First Class, Senator and Business Lounges in the Satellite area of T2 in Munich Airport, and T1 Concourse B in Frankfurt Airport, regardless of ticket class

As of now this is only valid through March 31, 2020, though it may be extended beyond that.

Amex Business Platinum Card Worth It?

Like most cards, the answer here is that it depends on the circumstances.

In general, I would say that the Amex Business Platinum Card is a business card that you get for the benefits that it offers, rather than for the return on spending that it directly offers. It could make sense to spend money on the card if your business consistently make $5,000+ purchases, but otherwise, this isn’t a card I would be spending much on.

The card offers big benefits, but also has a steep $595 annual fee.

Ehen it comes to accounting for the value of the card, I recommend considering the following:

  • How much do you value the $200 airline fee credit and $200 Dell credit?
  • How much do you value the Marriott and Hilton Gold status?
  • How much value will you get from Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts and the International Airline Program?
  • How much do you value the incredible lounge access perks offered by the card?

Personally I don’t think the card is as valuable as it used to be — the card used to offer Gogo wifi passes and a WeWork benefit, though those have been cut as of 2020.

The Best Amex Business Cards For Spending

If you want to rack up as many Amex Membership Rewards points as possible through business spending, then there are two best cards you should be considering.

The first is The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express. The card has no annual fee and offers 2x Membership Rewards points on the first $50,000 spent every calendar year. This is the single best card out there for non-bonused spending up that limit, in my opinion.

Then if you’re looking for an Amex card with big bonus categories, the American Express® Business Gold Card is excellent. The card has a $295 annual fee and offers up to 4x Membership Rewards points in select categories.

Specifically, the card offers 4x points on the two categories in which you spend the most in each month, on a total of up to $150,000 in combined purchases per year. The eligible categories are as follows:

  • Airfare purchased directly from airlines
  • U.S. purchases for advertising in select media
  • U.S. purchases at gas stations
  • U.S. purchases at restaurants
  • U.S. purchases for shipping
  • U.S. computer hardware, software, and cloud computing purchases made directly from select providers

The Best Business Credit Card For Spending

If you’re looking for the single best and most well-rounded business credit card out there, I highly recommend the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card. The card has a bonus of 100,000 points (and these points are much more valuable than Marriott points), has a reasonable $95 annual fee, offers 3x points in useful categories, and more.

You simply can’t go wrong with this as your business rewards card.

Amex Business Platinum Card Summary

The Amex Business Platinum Card is a perks-rich card that also has one of the highest annual fees of any business credit card.

If you’re considering applying for this card, I’d do so if you think you’d get value out of the perks. This includes an incredible lounge access benefit, a $200 annual airline fee credit, $200 annual Dell credit, hotel elite status, and much more.

Unfortunately, this card has lost some valuable benefits as of 2020, so I don’t think it’s quite as good of a deal as it used to be.

Personally, if I were looking for a well-rounded business card that maximizes the value you get with everyday spending, I’d instead consider something like the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card, which has a more reasonable annual fee, better rewards structure, and bigger welcome bonus.

If you want to learn more about the Amex Business Platinum Card or apply, follow this link.

Apply Now

The following links will direct you to the rates and fees for mentioned American Express Cards. These include: The Business Platinum® Card from American Express (Rates & Fees).

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Comments
  1. Can you use your $100 Dell credit for a gift certificate, then wait 6 months and combine it with the other $100 credit?

    I wish I hadn’t read this article. My first reaction was that I’m not going to get another premium card for $600. But, now, I’m thinking up reasons to go hang out in WeWork offices around the world and around the corner.

  2. I can see this card making sense if it is the primary care you use. But if one has a dozen cards from various programs, then simply remembering when the Amex Business Platinum is the best one to use becomes a headache. The WeWork benefit is nice, but that will be a dead unicorn someday with the amount of debt and huge losses they have.

  3. @Lucky, you don’t mention which of these benefits extend to the Authorized User, if any. For example, this could be worth it if the AU gets WeWork access, or any of the airline credits, or the Gogo passes.

  4. The 1.5x points is by far the most valuable benefit for us. We get the full 1M extra points per year, which is well worth the annual fee!

  5. Thanks for recapping all these benefits. Forgot about some of them. I’ve been using the WeWork access and it is amazing.

  6. @upstater it’s actually quite simple: this card is *almost never* the best card to use. Really, you only need to use it when you are booking flights or hotels through Amex Travel (which I use for almost all my flights). If you make a lot of purchases >$5,000 then use it for that, otherwise, you are probably better off using a different card.

  7. you don’t mention the cost charged for points transfers to partners.

    The Dell credits were ok, but I ended up picking up things I wouldn’t have purchased otherwise so it’s tough to say it was worth $200.

    I canceled my Plat Biz card last month, they immediately pulled hotel status and my remaining gogo passes. They offered me nothing to reconsider my cancel request, they said I didn’t spend enough on the card (very true since the card offers little benefit to spending). I’m glad I’m done with that card, certainly not worth the cost.

    AMEX is losing its edge, I think it has to do with the Centurion Lounge problem…costs are high and lounges are very crowded, even after the access changes. Limiting benefits and raising the AF were the only route AMEX could take and it has hurt the bottom line enough that now they’ve made the 100k points signup bonus publicly available.

    I’ll stick with Chase…I can stomach a $450 – $300 travel credits = $150 AF and no points transfer costs.

  8. are the benefits standard for each country..I live in italy and just got one but from what I can see the cost is the same but the benefits seem to be a lot less..I may be wrong .I have not used it yet…

  9. I gave up this Plat Business card and changed to the Gold Business version. I was making mistakes by thinking if I put all my travel purchases on the card, I would get 5X points. Just found out that it only works if you book travel through the AMEX website. Only the Gold Business card gets me the 5X points when I book directly with the airlines- so that was a good change I made last month.
    It was an expensive card with great customer relations. The only benefit I tried to use was the Lounge access…..although, the Centurion Lounges and Priority Pass Lounges were always uncomfortably packed.

  10. You should note you can add authorized users as Gold card members for free, only AUs that want to have the Platinum card (which includes a Priority Pass and Centurion lounge access) are required to pay the $300/each.

  11. This is a fair review, and I appreciate it. However, my experience with this card has been neutral-to-negative. In short, for this high of an annual fee, this must be an absolute best-in-class business card, and for me it has fallen short:

    -I have been NOPE-ed at Centurion Lounges a few times now. It’s not NOPE, and here’s some MR points, or access to another lounge – it’s just NOPE. This approach makes the lounges useless for actual business travel purposes. I have followed up twice with AmEx about being turned away, and received no response.

    -The WeWork access was quite useful for me, and I would probably keep the card if it continued for another year. This is an example of a best-in-class benefit.

    -AmEx seems to struggle with the airline credits. I chose Frontier for my airline the first year, and my charges just sat there until I contacted AmEx to request reimbursement. Then, they would simply ask me what the breakdown was between airfare and fees, and then in one case credited the incorrect amount.

    -As others have noted, some of the other benefits are fiddly. Sure, $200 at Dell is nice, but really it has to be split into bi-annual purchases? I have attempted to use the “Fine Hotels & Resorts” benefit, only to find comparable or better deals from the properties themselves.

    As a result, I would not keep this card for another year unless there is a substantial new benefit.

  12. Agree with @ Robert. AMEX lounges are a mess and why I dumped the cards. They need to fix this by either charging a fee over membership for access, limiting number and length of visits, and no guests.

    While their other benefits are good, they can no longer command a premium over other cards due to the lounge issue.

  13. Had this card for a year. Didn’t bother keeping it. Tried to use the wework membership but in busy locations where they is only one place to go it can fill up days in advance and you have to reserve a spot. I guess that is fine for people who know their schedule a week in advance, but for me I don’t necessarily know when I’ll need the space until a couple of days before by which point all the space is gone. Yea you can be a jerk and blindly reserve the entire week, but that probably is exactly why they never have any available space because people are doing that exact thing and cancelling last second or not showing up. If people are in areas with lots of wework locations nearby or locations that don’t book out completely every week I can see the value. Given the high AF I don’t see the card being worth it. The personal plat is more useful IMO, unless you have very specific niche needs for this card like points back on flights or maybe large amounts of spend in bonus categories

  14. Lucky, it would be helpful in the review if you highlighted which benefits apply to authorized users, and which don’t.

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