This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

The family of American Express Platinum cards has been under duress lately. Not only have they lost many of their lounge access benefits – including access to both American Admirals Clubs and US Airways Clubs, but also more limited access to Delta SkyClubs.

Screen shot 2015-03-24 at 9.45.17 PM

On the plus side, the Platinum cards have added unlimited complimentary access to Boing WiFi hotspots and a TSA application fee statement credit options worth $85, and 10 GoGo in-flight WiFi passes for The Business Platinum Card from American Express OPEN cardholders specifically.

It was probably only a matter of time, but like the personal card, The Platinum Card from American Express, the Business Platinum Card is going to discontinue the 20% points rebate when you redeem your Amex Membership Rewards points with Amex’s “Pay With Points “option on July 1, 2015.

That 20% rebate (or 25% bonus, depending on how you looked at it) meant that, instead of just 1 cent per point in value when redeeming points for airfare directly with Amex travel, you would actually get 1.25 cents per point in value if you were an Amex Business Platinum cardholder. In concrete terms, instead of redeeming 50,000 points for a $500 flight, you would only need to redeem 40,000 points.

That was one of this card’s selling points, in my opinion, and a reason to consider getting it instead of or in addition to another Membership Rewards points-earning Amex card like the Premier Rewards Gold or EveryDay Preferred cards.

However, unlike those other two cards, which offer some great category spending bonuses on things like airfare, gas and groceries, the whole reason to get a Platinum card is not the earning or redeeming opportunities, but rather the purchase protections and perks that come with being a cardholder.

I am a big fan of the Amex Centurion lounges, and can't wait to try out the Miami one (especially the new Michelle Bernstein menu)
The Platinum Cards still confer plenty of great benefits like access to the new Centurion Lounges.

Like the personal version, the Business Platinum Card offers a $200 airline fee credit per calendar year as well as access to Delta SkyClubs and the growing family of great Centurion Lounges. You also get the Global Entry application fee reimbursement (instead of TSA PreCheck), which is worth $100, and Amex Fine Hotels and Resorts has its perks, which I used for my recent visit to Bali, and will use again for an upcoming trip for a free night stay at the Ritz-Carlton in Seoul.

In addition, the Business Platinum Card carries all the OPEN Savings benefits including either a 10% discount or 4 bonus Membership Rewards points per dollar (although sometimes a lower 3% discount and 2 bonus points) automatically at certain merchants, a 5% discount or 2 additional Membership Rewards points for each eligible dollar spent up to $10,000 per calendar year with Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, discounts or bonus points on Hertz and FedEx purchases, and more.

In general, I get far more value out of the benefits that the Platinum and Business Platinum Cards confer than the $450 annual fee, and while I regard this redemption change as a devaluation, there are only a limited number of cases where I’d use the “Pay With Points” option anyway.

It is useful to have the “Pay With Points” option to redeem those Membership Rewards points at a value of 1.25 cents apiece and earn elite miles/credit on flights – for instance, when a domestic ticket is less than $312.50 roundtrip. But the whole point of transferable points as I see it is to have the flexibility to top up certain points or miles accounts when you need to, rather than redeeming points for airfare outright.

That said, I do know some folks like the simplicity of simply being able to redeem points at a set rate, so if that sounds like you, this might affect your credit card strategy. If you decide to cancel you card, your annual fee should be prorated, and you could potentially use this as a negotiating point if you intend to keep your card, but want another form of compensation such as points, a discount on the annual fee, or a higher airline fee reimbursement.

What are your thoughts on this change? Do you intend to keep your Business Platinum Card or negotiate for compensation? Share your strategies and experiences in the comments below.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

With great travel benefits, 2x points on travel & dining and a 50,000 point sign up bonus, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great card for those looking to get into the points and miles game.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Named Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, July 2016
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
16.49% - 23.49% Variable
Annual Fee
Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95
Balance Transfer Fee
5.00%
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.