The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Business Platinum Card® from American Express are two of the most popular premium cards on the market, thanks in particular to all the perks they offer, ranging from airport lounge access to a variety of credits with retailers.
I often get questions about which card is better (aside from the obvious fact that one is a personal card and one is a business card). For many people, I think both cards can be part of a good Amex card strategy, while for others there’s a distinct advantage to one over the other.
In this post, I wanted to look more closely at the differences between the two cards, for someone who might be considering applying for one of the two cards. For the purposes of this post, I won’t factor in the welcome bonuses, since those can vary — rather I’ll be focused on the long-term perks offered by these cards.
In this post:
What both Amex Platinums have in common
Both the personal and business versions of the Amex Platinum have a lot in common, including the following (Enrollment is required for select benefits):
- A $200 annual airline fee credit
- A $189 annual CLEAR Plus credit
- A comprehensive airport lounge access program, including access to Centurion Lounges, Plaza Premium Lounges, Delta Sky Clubs when flying Delta same day, and a Priority Pass membership
- Hotel status, including Hilton Honors Gold status and Marriott Bonvoy Gold status
- Rental car status, including National Emerald Club Executive status, Hertz Gold Plus Rewards President’s Circle status, and Avis Preferred Plus status
- Access to the International Airline Program (IAP), which can save you money on airfare
- Access to Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts, offering extra perks at luxury hotels
- A TSA PreCheck or Global Entry credit (this benefit applies once every 4.5 years for TSA PreCheck, or once every four years for Global Entry)
- Access to the Amex Offers program
So, what’s different between the two versions of the Amex Platinum? First I’ll cover the advantages of the personal version of the card, and then I’ll cover the advantages of the business version of the card.
Amex Personal Platinum advantages
For some consumers the Amex Personal Platinum Card could make a lot more sense, especially given all of the credits that the card offers nowadays. While you can read a full review of the personal version of the card here, below are the highlights that set this card apart.
Lower authorized user fee
Perhaps more significant than the difference in annual fees for the primary cardmember is the difference in annual fees for authorized users:
- On the personal version of the Amex Platinum each authorized user costs $195 (Rates & Fees).
- On the business version of the Amex Platinum each authorized user costs $300 (Rates & Fees).
This can make a huge difference, especially when you consider the value of adding authorized users. Authorized users on the Amex Platinum get the full suite of lounge access perks, access to the International Airline Program, hotel elite status, and more.
$300 annual Equinox credit
The personal version of the Amex Platinum offers up to $300 in statement credits each year on a digital or club membership at Equinox. (Enrollment required)
$300 annual SoulCycle credit
This will likely be of limited use to most, but the personal version of the Amex Platinum offers a $300 credit toward the purchase of a SoulCycle bike for at most. You need to pay for the entire purchase with your card in order to qualify for the credit. (Enrollment required)
$240 annual digital entertainment credit
The personal version of the Amex Platinum offers a $240 annual digital entertainment credit. This is valid for eligible purchases or subscriptions with Peacock, Audible, SiriusXM, The New York Times, Disney+, The Disney Bundle, ESPN+, and Hulu. You’re given a $20 credit per month, so there are some limitations with using this. (Enrollment required)
$200 annual hotel credit
The personal version of the Amex Platinum offers a $200 annual statement credit valid for prepaid bookings at Fine Hotels & Resorts (no minimum stay required) or The Hotel Collection properties (two night minimum required), when booking through Amex Travel. This is great for those who stay at luxury hotels with any frequency, and you can use the entire credit at once.
$200 annual Uber Cash benefit
The personal version of the Amex Platinum offers a $200 annual Uber Cash benefit, which comes in the form of a $15 monthly Uber Cash credit, and then a $35 Uber Cash credit in December (good for use in the US only). I consider this to more or less be worth face value, especially since it can even be used toward Uber Eats.
$155 annual Walmart+ credit
The personal version of the Amex Platinum offers a $12.95 monthly credit toward a Walmart+ membership, which should cover the entire cost of the membership. This can save you a lot of money with Walmart, and offers everything from free shipping to free home delivery. Registration is required.
$100 annual Saks credit
The personal version of the Amex Platinum offers a $100 annual Saks credit, which comes in the form of a $50 credit in the first half of the year (January through June), and a $50 credit in the second half of the year (July through December). There’s no minimum purchase amount, so this could potentially get you up to $100 in value per year. (Enrollment required)
5x points on airfare
This is something I get tons of value out of. The personal version of the Amex Platinum offers 5x points on airfare purchased directly from airlines, as well as airfare purchased through amextravel.com (on up to $500,000 per calendar year). The business version of the card only offers 5x points on airfare purchased through amextravel.com, so that’s a major difference.
I value Membership Rewards points at ~1.7 cents each, so to me that’s like a return of 8.5% on airfare spending, which supercharges my Amex points earning. Add in the excellent travel protection offered by the card, and this is my go-to card for airfare spending.
Amex Platinum Business advantages
For some small businesses, the Amex Business Platinum Card could prove more lucrative. While you can read a full review of the business version of the card here, below are the highlights that set this card apart. (Enrollment is required for select benefits)
$400 annual Dell credit
The business version of the Amex Platinum offers a $400 annual Dell credit, which comes in the form of a $200 credit in the first half of the year (January through June), and a $200 credit in the second half of the year (July through December). There’s no minimum purchase amount, so this could potentially get you up to $400 in value per year.
While Dell isn’t exactly the most exciting retailer (at least in my opinion), the company sells all kinds of non-Dell branded merchandise, making this pretty easy to maximize.
$360 annual Indeed credit
The business version of the Amex Platinum offers a $360 annual Indeed credit. This comes in the form of a $90 quarterly credit that can be used on all Indeed hiring and recruiting products and services to post open positions and find talents.
Admittedly this is pretty niche, and is something most businesses likely won’t take advantage of.
$150 annual Adobe credit
The business version of the Amex Platinum offers a $150 annual Adobe credit. This can be used toward Adobe purchases, including Adobe Creative Cloud, and Acrobat Pro DC with e-sign. Again, this will be useful to some, but probably not to the average small business.
$120 wireless credit
The business version of the Amex Platinum offers a $120 annual wireless credit. This comes in the form of a $10 monthly statement credit toward purchases made directly with any U.S. wireless telephone provider. This should be easy enough to maximize if your business pays wireless bills.
50% bonus points on certain purchases
The business version of the Amex Platinum offers 1.5x points on the following purchases:
- Purchases of $5,000 or more per transaction
- U.S. electronic goods, retailers, software, and cloud service providers
- U.S. construction materials and hardware supplies
- U.S. shipping providers
You can earn up to a million additional points per year between all of these bonus categories. As you can tell, these bonus categories are either pretty niche, or require making purchases in big increments.
Keep in mind that The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express (review) offers 2x points on the first $50,000 spent annually (1x after that), making it one of the best cards for everyday spending. Therefore I wouldn’t necessarily be picking up the Amex Business Platinum because of the return on spending that it offers.
35% refund on Pay With Points bookings
When you redeem points using the Pay With Points method (which typically gets you one cent per point of airfare), you can get 35% of your points back, up to 500,000 bonus points per year. This is available for first and business class tickets with all airlines through American Express Travel, or on a designated US airline for economy travel. This can get you up to ~1.54 cents of value per Amex Membership Rewards point, give or take, which is quite solid.
Which version of the Amex Platinum is better?
There’s obviously not going to be a one-size-fits-all answer as to whether the Amex Personal Platinum Card or Amex Business Platinum Card is better. It all depends on whether you need a personal or business card, and which perks you value most.
That being said, very broadly I’d say that I think the personal version of the card is most compelling. Why?
- Adding authorized users is a much better value, and I consider the ability to add authorized users to the Amex Platinum at a reasonable cost to be a big selling point of the card
- The card offers more credits that will be more useful for the “average” consumer, helping to offset the annual fee
- Personally I find the 5x points on airfare to be a more useful bonus category than being able to earn 1.5x points on select purchases
There’s no doubt that the business version of the card will be useful to many. Personally I think the biggest selling point of the business version of the card is the 35% refund on “Pay With Points” bookings, which could prove hugely valuable for anyone with a big stash of Amex points.
I think both the Amex Personal Platinum Card and Amex Business Platinum Card are fantastic cards that can get you significantly more value than you’ll pay in annual fees. While many of the cards’ benefits overlap, there are also some significant differences. The major differences include the authorized user costs, the types of credits offered, and the spending bonus categories.
Personally, I think the personal version of the card is easier to justify in terms of the perks you get for the annual fee, especially in the form of credits, but this is very much a “your mileage may vary” situation.
Which version of the Amex Platinum do you consider to be more valuable?
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), and The Platinum Card® from American Express (Rates & Fees).