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 American Express Platinum cards — The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Business Platinum® Card from American Express — provide excellent membership benefits as well as strong earnings on some travel purchases.

Airfare is one of the spending categories where you can earn 5x Membership Rewards points, which equates to a return of 10% based on TPG’s latest valuation of Membership Rewards points at 2 cents each. However, what’s sometimes overlooked is exactly when you’ll earn those 5x points on airfare with each card.

Here’s how the earning on airfare purchases breaks down for each of the two Platinum cards:

Note that you can’t earn those valuable 5x Membership Rewards points with the Business Platinum Card if you book directly with the airline. However, if you have the personal card, you have more flexibility with your airfare purchases and when you’ll earn the 5x points.

Keep in mind the difference when thinking about which card to apply for and which better fits your (or your company’s) spending patterns. If you have both cards in your wallet, pay attention when booking airfare — be sure to use the personal card if you’re purchasing directly with the airline, as the earning each Platinum card offers isn’t equal.

Want to learn more about the benefits of The Platinum Card or The Business Platinum Card? Here’s more information on both cards:

Know before you go.

News and deals straight to your inbox every day.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the 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.