Amex Business Platinum Adding WeWork Access and Dell Statement Credits, Raising Fee to $595
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Amex seems to be rolling through its lineup of personal and business cards and making updates, first with the new American Express® Gold Card with dining-focused perks and more recently with the American Express® Business Gold Card and its revamped earning structure. Next up on the list: the Business Platinum Card® from American Express, which is adding some potentially useful benefits but also raising its annual fee by $145.
Starting in February, Amex Business Platinum card holders will be able to get a complimentary year of access to WeWorks around the world. Amex is valuing this perk, which is technically called Platinum Global Access, at $2,700. Card holders will also get up to $200 in statement credits each year for any Dell technology purchases.
On the travel side, the Business Platinum Card will be increasing the hotel credit for Hotel Collection stays from $75 to $100. This increase will take effect for reservations made after January 2019. The issuer also recently announced the option to use Pay With Points to book properties in its Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts collection, which gets you perks like free breakfast and room upgrades.
New benefits are always welcome, but just how welcome depends on their value relative to the inevitable increase in annual fee. The Business Platinum's annual fee used to be $450, but as of February 2019, it increased to $595 (See Rates & Fees).
Amex increased the personal Platinum Card® from American Express' annual fee by $100 to $550 (See Rates & Fees) in 2017, but perks like a 5x earning rate for airfare purchased directly from the airline (as opposed to 5x on prepaid travel booked through Amex Travel with the Business Platinum) helped ease the sticker shock. The Business Platinum Card's fee is increasing by even more, by $145, so you'll have to weigh the cost against the addition of complimentary WeWork access, a Dell statement credit and a higher Hotel Collection credit. Those benefits could certainly come in handy if you already rely on WeWork and frequently book through the Hotel Collection, but that's not everyone, and for those who can't reap value from these updates, the higher fee definitely stings.
Amex isn't announcing any changes to the Business Platinum's welcome bonus at this time, though we can't rule out a new one coming at some point. Currently, you can earn 50,000 points after you spend $10,000 and an extra 25,000 points after you spend an additional $10,000 all in the first three months. Earning the full 75,000 points would get you about $1,500 in value based on TPG's assessment of Amex Membership Rewards points redemption options. Meanwhile, the Amex Business Gold card forgoes a points-based bonus for complimentary ZipRecruiter and G Suite perks. For most award travelers, the points are far preferable, so hopefully Amex doesn't take that kind of welcome offer away on the Business Platinum.
Once the $595 annual fee takes effect, the Amex Business Platinum will move even further up the list of the most expensive business travel cards (behind the invite-only Business Centurion card). The addition of complimentary global WeWork access for a year could be great for card holders who use these workspaces, and we welcome the improvement to the Hotel Collection credit. Finally, up to $200 in statement credits with Dell is nice to have, but doesn't really move the needle. All in all, the annual fee increase may sting for most card holders.
That's not to say this card still doesn't deserve a place in your wallet, especially if you're a business owner and don't have the personal Amex Platinum. Both versions of the card offer a strong lineup of benefits, including access to Centurion Lounges among other airport lounges, a $200 airline fee credit and complimentary Gold status with Hilton and Marriott. Unlike the personal card, the Business Platinum also offers Gogo inflight passes and a 35% rebate when you pay with points to book airfare — the WeWork and Dell perks will add to the list of benefits only available on the business version of the card.
For rates and fees of the Amex Business Platinum Card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum Card, please click here.