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While 2013 was a slow year for American Express with just a couple amazing deals interspersed throughout the year for a day here or a day there, 2014 is off to a bang. They announced two brand-new Membership Rewards credit cards launching in April (including the first ever no-fee full Membership Rewards card) and they recently increased the Platinum card’s sign-up bonus to 40,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months (up from 25,000 points). Note, there are often targeted offers of up to 100,000 points, but there’s no guarantee you’ll ever be targeted (I have not been), but always open your mail from Amex- you never know!
Today they’re making a similar increase to the Business Platinum card, offering 40,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $5,000 in purchases within your first 3 months of card membership. Details:
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN
- Welcome Offer: Get 40,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $5,000 in purchases on the Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership
- 20% Travel Bonus when using Membership Rewards® Pay with Points
- A Premium Card with access to over 40 benefits to help power your business
- Complimentary access to over 600 airport lounges worldwide
- Enjoy complimentary, unlimited Boingo Wi-Fi at more than 1,000,000 Boingo hotspots worldwide
- 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
Differences between the personal and business Platinum cards:
While they offer similar benefits, like access to Delta lounges and Priority Pass Select, Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts and a $200 yearly airline rebate, the Business Platinum card is different in a few key ways:
1) It is a business card, so once you get approved, your account information will sit on your business credit report. This means that your monthly balances won’t affect your personal credit score. Even if you pay off credit cards on time, the balance can still be reported before your payment is made and drive your score down. That being said, business cards generally have higher APRs and fees and do not offer consumer protections under the CARD Act. You will still receive a hard inquiry on your personal credit score when you open a business card and if you ever default on the account it is secured by you personally and not your business.
See: 10 Reasons to Get a Business Credit Card
2) Membership Rewards points are worth only 1 cent a piece when redeeming for travel through Amex Travel. With the Business Platinum, that ratio is 1.25 cents per point, so the 40,000 point sign-up bonus is worth $500 towards travel vs $400 on a personal Platinum card. While this isn’t the absolute best use of Membership Rewards points, flights and hotels booked via Amex Travel generally earn miles (including elite miles) and are upgradeable, which award tickets generally are not when transferred to a Membership Rewards transfer partner.
3) The cost of additional cardholders on the Business Platinum ($300 per additional card) is more expensive than with the personal Platinum card ($175 includes up to three additional cardholders, who all get lounge access benefits and $100/$85 Global Entry/Pre-Check reimbursements).
For more information, see these posts:
Is the Amex Platinum Worth the $450 Annual Fee?
Maximizing the Amex Platinum $200 Annual Airline Rebate
Understanding the Amex Platinum Lounge Access Benefit
The Amex Platinum Fine Hotels & Resorts Program
My Experience Getting Refunded for the Global Entry Application Fee With My Amex Platinum Card
Amex Platinum and Centurion Cards Now Available with SmartChip
The Amex Platinum Card Review
Membership Rewards Transfer Partners:
In the past couple of years, American Express Membership Rewards – the points program of cards like the Premier Rewards Gold, Business Gold Rewards, Platinum and Business Platinum cards – has gained (Virgin America and British Airways) and lost (Continental and Southwest) valuable partners, but the program is still one of the strongest travel points programs out there with 17 airline transfer partners and 4 hotel transfer partners among other redemptions. Transfer partners include:
Star Alliance: Air Canada Aeroplan, Singapore, All Nippon Airlines
Oneworld: British Airways, Iberia, Cathay Pacific
Skyteam: Delta, Air France/KLM Flying Blue, Alitalia, Aeromexico
Other: Virgin America, Virgin Atlantic, El Al, Frontier, JetBlue, Hawaiian Airlines, Emirates
Hilton 1: 1.5
Best Western 1:1.5
Choice Privileges 1:1
For more information, also be sure to check out these posts:
The Ultimate Guide to American Express Membership Rewards Airline Transfers
Analyzing Membership Rewards Star Alliance Partners
Top 10 Lesser Known Amex Membership Rewards Transfer Partners
Transferring Amex Membership Rewards to British Airways Avios Versus Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
ANA Award Taxes and Fees Roundup