The American Express Platinum cards are some of the most well-known premium cards out there. Many people are familiar with The Platinum Card® from American Express (review), 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 business version of the card (as the name suggests).
Amex Business Platinum Card Basics For January 2021
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 Amex Business Platinum welcome bonus, annual fee, return on spending, and perks, including the incredible lounge access benefits. I’ll also talk a bit about how this compares to other business cards out there.
While the Amex Business Platinum has a hefty annual fee, it’s also a card that can make sense for many small businesses, in my opinion.
Welcome Bonus: 85K Points & 5x Points
The Amex Business Platinum Card is offering an exceptional new two-part welcome bonus. First of all, the card is offering a bonus of 85,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $15,000 on qualifying purchases within the first three months.
Additionally, for the first three months you can earn 4x additional Membership Rewards points per dollar on eligible purchases in five select business categories. These categories include the following:
- advertising purchased in the U.S. to promote your business online, on television, or on the radio
- wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers
- gasoline at gas stations located in the U.S. (superstores, supermarkets, and warehouse clubs that sell gasoline are not considered gas stations)
- shipping services purchased in the U.S. for courier, postal, and freight
- office supplies purchased directly from U.S. office supply stores (supplies purchased at other retail stores are excluded)
You’re capped at earning a total of 80,000 bonus points in each of the categories, for a total of up to 400,000 bonus points.
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. Anecdotally speaking, I find Amex business cards to be quite easy to be approved for, at least for those with excellent credit.
$595 Annual Fee
The Amex Business Platinum Card has a $595 annual fee (Rates & Fees). 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 Amex Business Platinum 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 the Amex Business Platinum is $300 (Rates & Fees), which is steep.
Authorized users receive the lounge access perks of the card, as well as most of the hotel perks. However, authorized users don’t get an additional airline fee credit or Dell 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, aside from the temporary bonus categories being offered by 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 Select Flights & Hotels Through Amex Travel
The Amex Business Platinum 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 Amex Business Platinum 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 Amex Business Platinum 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 Amex 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 Amex 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. It’s actually the best rate you’ll get through any Amex card.
Transfer Points To Airline & Hotel Partners
The best way to redeem your Amex 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:
|Aer Lingus Aer Club||Choice Privileges|
|Aeroméxico Club Premier||Hilton Honors|
|Air Canada Aeroplan||Marriott Bonvoy|
|Air France/KLM Flying Blue|
|ANA Mileage Club|
|British Airways Executive Club|
|Cathay Pacific Asia Miles|
|Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles|
|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.
Redeem 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 through American Express Travel using the Membership Rewards Pay with Points feature, 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 excellent.
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, with the following choices:
- 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.
This is useful for airline ticket change fees (though there are fewer of these than in the past), 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. Registration is required, and the way this is broken down, 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 eligible purchase.
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 headphones through Dell
Hilton Honors Gold Status
- 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 Amex Business Platinum. That status offers the following perks, among other things:
- 25% bonus points on hotel stays
- 2PM late check-out
- A room upgrade, subject to availability
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.
Since I have quite a few cards offering this perk, I simply use it for friends and family members.
Get a TSA Pre-Check credit with the Amex Business Platinum
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
- 12PM check-in, subject to availability
- Complimentary in-room Wi-Fi (exclusions apply)
Best of all, the rate is typically in line with the best available rate. Having the Amex Business Platinum Card gets you access to this, and if you prepay your reservation you even earn 5x points. Then again, Virtuoso offers similar perks, and doesn’t require any specific credit card.
Receive extra benefits at luxury hotels
Travel Delay, Interruption, And Cancellation Protection
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.
Amex Business Platinum Card Lounge Access
The Amex Business Platinum Card offers one of the most comprehensive lounge access benefits of any card. This perk is called 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. 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 Charlotte, Dallas, Houston, Las Vegas, Miami, New York JFK, 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 at no cost. However, guests are not complimentary.
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
Escape Lounge Access
The Amex Platinum offers access to the growing network of Escape lounges. Just present your Amex Platinum Card and you’ll be admitted, and you can even bring in guests.
Access the 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 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, 2021, though it will likely be extended beyond that.
Access Lufthansa Lounges with the Amex Platinum
Is The 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 in the long run 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 makes $5,000+ purchases, or if you can take advantage of the current limited time bonus categories. Other than that, there are better cards for everyday spending.
The card offers big benefits, but also has a steep $595 annual fee.
When 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?
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 (review). 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 (review) is excellent. The card has a $295 annual fee (Rates & Fees) and offers up to 4x Membership Rewards points in select categories.
Specifically, the Amex Business Gold 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 (review). The card has a bonus of 100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points, has a reasonable $95 annual fee, offers 3x points in useful categories, offers great cell phone and car rental coverage, 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 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.
Personally, if I were looking for a single well-rounded business card that maximizes value 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.
The following links will direct you to the rates and fees for mentioned American Express Cards. These include: American Express® Business Gold Card (Rates & Fees), and The Business Platinum® Card from American Express (Rates & Fees).