Amex Business Platinum Card Review: 25,000 Bonus Ending- Worth It?

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Update: The offer mentioned below for the Platinum Card from American Express has expired. View the current offer here

Update: The offer mentioned below for the Business Platinum Card from American Express has expired. View the current offer here.

Offer expired October 29, 2012:

The Business Platinum Card from American Express OPEN

  • Welcome Offer: Get 25,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $5,000 in the first three months of Card Membership
  • Enroll and select a qualifying airline to receive up to $200 annually in statement credits for incidental fees, such as checked bags and in-flight refreshments, charged by the airline
  • 20% Travel Bonus when using Membership Rewards® Pay with Points
  • Take advantage of 40 premium benefits to help power your business
  • Complimentary access to 600+ participating airport lounges through Priority PassTM Select
  • Business Platinum Concierge is like your own assistant, ready to help you with just about anything personal or professional, 24 hours a day
  • Purchasing power that can adjust as your business evolves
  • Terms & Restrictions Apply*

While 25,000 points isn’t the most earth shattering sign-up bonus, for most of 2011 American Express’ didn’t even have a public sign-up bonus for the Business Platinum card. It’s been 25,000 points after $5,000 spent within the first 3 months since February, but I just got an email that the current offer expires on October 29, 2012 and my gut tells me that it won’t be increasing. I’ve been meaning to switch to a Business Platinum card, because it comes with more perks than the personal (including Open Savings and 20% rebate when using Pay With Points). The key benefits of the card are:

Open Savings Vendors

Discounts
The Business Platinum has most of the same perks as the personal Platinum, but it’s also entitles cardmembers to the American Express Open Savings program, which gives automatic discounts with certain vendors, such as up to 10% at Hertz and Office Max, 5% at Courtyard by Marriott and 3% at Hyatt.

$200 Airline Credit
Cardmembers also get $200 a year in airline rebates on the airline of their choice. So if you select American Airlines, all fees like baggage and in-flight snacks/food will be refunded- up to $200. See this post for maximizing that benefit. The credit resets on January 1 so if you got the card now, you’d get $200 and then another $200 on 2013- almost completely outweighing the $450 annual fee. In my eyes, this brings the real cost of the card down to $250 a year- which is a steal for lounge access to American, Delta, US Airways and Priority Pass Select.
 Lounge Access

Update: Beginning March 22, 2014, American Express Card Members will no longer have access to American Airlines Admiral Club and US Airways Club airport lounges through Airport Club Access / Airport Lounge Program. This means that Card Members will no longer be able to gain complimentary access to the American Airlines airport lounges (known as Admirals Club lounges) or the US Airways Club airport lounges as a benefit of their Platinum Card Membership. Cardmembers will continue to receive access to participating Delta Sky Club lounges, Priority Pass Select (enrollment is required), and Airspace lounges in JFK, CLE and BWI airports.

The card gives lounge access to American Airlines Admirals Clubs when flying American, Delta SkyClubs when flying Delta and US Airways Clubs- in addition to Priority Pass Select lounges, like the Oasis at JFK.

Points
Points earned on the Business Platinum are earned in Membership Rewards First, which means they can be transferred to partners like Delta, British Airways, Virgin America, Virgin Atlantic and Hilton- often at lucrative transfer bonuses, like the most recent 40% bonus to British Airways.

Points can also be used to purchase any flight with Pay With Points and Business Platinum cardholders will continue to get a 20% rebate (this benefits is being discontinued for personal Platinum cardholders), so points are worth 1.25 cents to purchase travel through Amex Travel. So the 25,000 point sign-up bonus would equate to $312.50. Amex purchases the airline tickets, so you earn miles and elite miles.

Other Benefits
-No foreign transaction fees
– Complimentary access to Regus office lounges
– $100 Global Entry fee rebate
– Fine Hotels & Resorts- premium perks like early check-in and upgrades at upscale hotels around the world
– 24/7 Concierge service
– National/ Avis/ Hertz preferred status
– Purchase protection of $10,000 per occurrence and up to $50,000 per calendar year. Good for up to 90 days from your date of purchase.
– Extended warranty extends the terms of the original manufacturer’s warranty up to one year. Up to $10,000 per item, $50,000 per calendar year. Good for eligible U.S. purchases with warranties of 5 years or less.
– Roadside assistance
– Global Travel Assist (Emergency services)

Worth It?
If you were to get the card now, you’d get a $200 airline credit now, $200 on January 1 and the 25,000 points for the sign-up bonus are worth at least $312.50, so in my opinion it’s a no brainer, at least for the first year. Going forward, if you value lounge access, in my opinion its worth the $250 out of pocket to get American, Delta, US Airways and Priority Pass coverage. If you value the $100 Global Entry credit as well, you are looking at $812.50 in value from the points and benefits/rebates in the first year.

I have the personal Platinum, but I’m thinking about getting the Business Platinum for the bonus and additional Open Savings benefits. However, the T&C state “Welcome bonus offer not available to applicants who have had this product or any other Business Gold or Green Card account within the last 12 months”. I just got the Business Gold in February, so technically I wouldn’t be eligible for this sign-up bonus, but I’ve heard of people still getting Amex bonuses even when they technically don’t qualify, so I may roll the dice. Does anyone have any personal experience recently getting an Amex bonus, when they technically don’t qualify?

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