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), especially in light of the recent changes that were made to the card. This could be a great time to apply for the card, as I’ll explain below.
Amex Business Platinum Card Basics For January 2022
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 offer, annual fee, return on spending, and perks, including the incredible lounge access benefits, as well as the variety of credits that the card offers. 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 Offer: 120,000 Membership Rewards Points
The Amex Business Platinum Card is offering a great welcome offer of 120,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $15,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months. Personally, I value Membership Rewards points at 1.7 cents each, so to me those points are worth $2,040.
Once In A Lifetime Rule
The welcome offer 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.
Annual Fee: $695
The annual fee of the Amex Business Platinum Card is $695 (Rates & Fees). This is one of the highest annual fee cards out there.
Authorized User Fee: $300
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 do not receive additional credits (for airline fees, Dell, CLEAR, etc).
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 makes sense to spend money on the card if you’re looking to maximize your return on spending.
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.
1.5x Points In Select Categories
The Amex Business Platinum offers 1.5x Membership Rewards points for purchases that meet specific criteria. These include the following:
- Eligible purchases in key business categories that include:
- U.S. Construction material and hardware suppliers
- U.S. Electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers
- U.S. Shipping providers
- As well as each purchase of $5,000 or more everywhere else
The earning rate of 1.5x points is valid for up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year. 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 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 19 partners, including 16 airline partners and three hotel partners:
Aer Lingus AerClub
Aeromexico Club Premier
Air Canada Aeroplan
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 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 calendar 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.
Amex Business Platinum Card $1,409 In Credits
The Amex Business Platinum Card offers so many benefits just for being a cardmember, and some of the most valuable benefits are credits. The card potentially offers up to $1,409 in credits annually. Of course most cardmembers aren’t going to be able to maximize every single one of those, though hopefully on balance cardmembers use enough of these perks to more than justify the annual fee.
If you’re smart about how you use the card, this alone could make the card worthwhile. Let’s take a look at those benefits, in no particular order.
$200 Annual Airline Fee Credit
The Amex Business Platinum offers a $200 annual airline fee credit, which can be used towards airline incidentals and fees (enrollment required). 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.
$400 Dell Statement Credits
For having the Amex Business Platinum Card you get up to $400 in Dell credits annually. Enrollment is required, and the way this is broken down, you get a $200 statement credit between January and June, and an additional $200 statement credit between July and December.
There’s no minimum required to activate this (you could make exactly a $200 purchase, for example), and the statement credits should post within two to four weeks of an 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.
$179 CLEAR Credit
The Amex Business Platinum Card offers an annual credit of up to $179 towards a CLEAR membership. CLEAR offers expedited security at select airports in the United States — instead of lining up to have your ID checked, you can instead have your biometric data taken, and then you’re escorted to the front of the line.
Simply charge the 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.
$360 Indeed Credit
The Amex Business Platinum offers up to $360 in annual credits for Indeed purchases (enrollment required). This is broken up into a $90 per quarter credit. This can be used for all Indeed hiring and recruiting products, and products and services to post open positions and find talent.
$150 Adobe Credit
The Amex Business Platinum offers up to $150 in annual statements for Adobe purchases (enrollment required). This includes purchases for Adobe Creative Cloud, and Acrobat Pro DC with e-sign.
$120 Wireless Credit
The Amex Business Platinum offers a $120 annual wireless credit (enrollment required). This comes in the form of a $10 monthly statement credit towards purchases made directly from any U.S. wireless telephone provider. For most cardmembers, this credit should be (almost) good as cash.
Amex Business Platinum Travel & Purchase Benefits
The Amex Business Platinum Card offers a variety of valuable travel and purchase protection perks, ranging from hotel elite status, to discounts on premium airfare, to travel protection, to cell phone protection. Let’s go over these below.
Hilton Honors Gold Status
- Free breakfast, a hotel credit, and/or executive lounge access
- Late check-out, subject to availability
- Preferred rooms
- 80% points bonus
- Fifth night free on award stays
Marriott Bonvoy Gold Status
- 25% bonus points on hotel stays
- 2PM late check-out
- A room upgrade, subject to availability
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 $70-100 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.
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.
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.
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 benefits:
- 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.
Cell Phone Protection
The Amex Business Platinum offers a valuable cell phone protection benefit:
- If a cell phone is stolen or damaged, including a cracked screen, card members can be reimbursed for the repair or replacement costs
- The fact that this covers screen damage is noteworthy, since many other cards offering a similar benefit explicitly exclude cosmetic damage (which this is typically considered to be)
- This coverage is valid for up to two approved claims, for a maximum of $800 per claim, and $1,600 per 12-month period
- There’s a $50 deductible per claim
- The cell phone line needs to be listed on a wireless bill, and the prior month’s wireless bill needs to be paid with the card
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 which 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, Los Angeles, Miami, New York JFK, New York LaGuardia, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Francisco, and Seattle, with more to come. There are also Centurion Lounges in Hong Kong and London, 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.
Delta SkyClub Access
When flying Delta same-day you can access Delta SkyClubs at no cost. However, guests are not complimentary.
Priority Pass Membership
The Amex Business Platinum Card offers a Priority Pass membership (enrollment required), which gives you access to lounges around the world. Do note that those with the Amex Business Platinum don’t get access to Priority Pass restaurants.
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.
Select Lufthansa Lounge Access
The Amex Platinum Card also offers access to select Lufthansa Business & Senator Lounges. Cardmembers receive access to lounges when flying on a Lufthansa Group flight (Lufthansa, SWISS, and Austrian).
In addition to access to lounges in Frankfurt and Munich, several other lounges are also part of this agreement, including in North America and Europe. You can find all the eligible lounges through Amex’s lounge finder webpage.
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, other than that, there are better cards for everyday spending.
The card offers big benefits but also has a steep annual fee. When it comes to accounting for the value of the card, I recommend considering the following:
- How much do you value the various credits?
- 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 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 (1x after that). This is the single best card out there for non-bonused spending up to 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 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 billing cycle, 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, $400 annual Dell credit, $179 CLEAR credit, hotel elite status, and much more (some benefits require enrollment).
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 offer.
Still, business cards don’t come with better perks than this…
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).