Who should (and who shouldn’t) get the Amex Business Platinum?
Editor’s note: This post has been updated with new information.
There are few cards — for consumers or small-business owners — that capture the “wow” factor quite like The Business Platinum Card® from American Express.
A welcome bonus worth more than three times the card’s annual fee? Check. Exceptional rewards on common business expenses, airfare, and prepaid hotel bookings? Check. Massive travel perks, including an annual airline fee credit and exclusive airport lounge access? Check again.
Amex has just refreshed this popular card with all-new business-centered perks, so it’s no wonder this is a must-have card among business travelers. Still, that doesn’t mean every small business owner can justify carrying this card. It’s a great card, but it’s not the right one for everyone. So, let’s take a look at who should — and who shouldn’t — hold the Amex Business Platinum.
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The Business Platinum card is offering the following welcome offer of 120,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first three months of card membership.. Based on TPG’s most recent monthly valuations, this bonus is worth $2,400.
The spending minimum may be a tall order for many small-business owners. Still, if you have high inventory turnover or are growing your business, this card may help make your normal business activity much more rewarding.
The welcome offer is far from the only reason to consider this card. In fact, the new perks continue to set this card apart. Here's what you can get, including some benefits not available on The Platinum Card® from American Express (the personal version of this card):
- Earn 1.5 points per dollar on purchases of $5,000 or more and on eligible U.S. purchases for electronic goods retailers, software, cloud service providers, construction materials and hardware supplies and shipping providers (on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year).
- 35% rebate when you Pay With Points for a first-class or business-class ticket on a selected qualifying airline booked through amextravel.com (up to 1 million points per calendar year, or even more with greater annual spending).
- Up to $400 in annual Dell credits: Up to $200 in statement credits between January and June and up to $200 in statement credits between July and December for U.S. purchases with Dell on your enrolled Business Platinum.
- Up to $360 in annual Indeed statement credit. Enrollment required.
- Up to $150 in annual Adobe statement credit. Enrollment required.
- Up to $120 in wireless telephone services statement credit: Up to $10 in monthly credits for purchases made directly with any U.S. wireless telephone provider. Enrollment required.
- Up to $189 in annual Clear membership statement credit. Enrollment required.
Just like the personal version of this card, you’ll enjoy these benefits, too:
- 5x on flights and prepaid hotels (through Amex Travel without the annual spend cap that the Platinum Card has).
- Annual up to $200 annual airline fee statement credit. Enrollment required.
- Access to Centurion Lounges, Delta Sky Clubs (when flying Delta), Priority Pass lounges (for you and two guests), along with Airspace lounges.
- You’ll also get up to a $100 Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application credit once every four years.
- Gold elite status in Hilton Honors and Gold elite status with Marriott Bonvoy. Enrollment required.
For all of these benefits, you’ll pay a $695 annual fee (see rates and fees).
Who should get the Amex Business Platinum?
Business travelers — especially overseas
This is a no-brainer, especially with all this card has to offer for the global traveler. One perk not mentioned above is no foreign transaction fees (see rates and fees), meaning you won’t get dinged for purchases made outside the U.S. Furthermore, the 5x on airfare and hotels booked via Amex Travel can prove extremely rewarding, as Membership Rewards points are worth 2 cents apiece according to TPG’s valuations.
Businesses with large expenses
Most cards offer 1 point per dollar on non-bonus spending. But if your business routinely makes large purchases of $5,000 or more, the 1.5x bonus on big purchases is better than you'll find elsewhere. And if your business makes thousands of dollars in card purchases monthly, that spend requirement on the welcome bonus won’t seem daunting.
Owners who value transfer partners
The most lucrative way to redeem Membership Rewards points is to transfer them to one of Amex’s 20+ partner airline or hotel programs. If you’re willing to put in the time and research, going the transfer route can increase the value of your points even above our valuations.
For example, The Points Guy himself transferred 68,000 points to British Airways to fly first class from London (LHR) to Accra (ACC) plus $462 in taxes/fees — a flight that would have cost him more than $11,669 to buy. That redemption netted 16 cents a point.
Someone who already owns the American Express® Business Gold Card
If you already have the American Express® Business Gold Card, this could provide a one-two punch when it comes to earning Membership Rewards. Use the Business Gold Amex to fill in the blanks left by the Business Platinum card. With the Business Gold, you’ll earn 4x on the two categories in which you spend the most each month from the following list:
- Airfare purchased from airlines
- U.S. purchases for advertising in select media
- U.S. purchases for shipping
- U.S. purchases at gas stations
- U.S. purchases at restaurants
- U.S. purchases made from select technology providers
While you’re capped at $150,000 in combined purchases per calendar year for this 4x earning (you only earn 1x after hitting that ceiling), that 8% return (based on TPG valuations) is pretty sweet and Amex will even recalculate your top spending categories each month to make sure you earn the maximum number of points possible.
Related: Card review: American Express Business Gold Card
Who shouldn’t get the Amex Business Platinum?
Businesses with more modest operating expenses
If you can't meet the spend requirement for the welcome bonus or justify paying the $695 annual fee, there are better options for you, including the no-annual-fee Ink Business Cash Credit Card.
Someone who already has the personal version of the card
Since there are so many similarities between the business and personal versions of this card, it can be hard to justify having both. First, you’ll need to figure out if you can spend enough to earn both bonuses. Outside of the bonus, another key consideration in whether or not to get the business version is keeping your personal and business expenses separate and whether or not you can stomach paying almost $1,400 in annual fees for your cards.
Businesses that need multiple employee cards
Although you can get up to 99 Platinum employee cards, Amex says it will charge you $199 annually for each additional Business Platinum card you request (see rates & fees) and $50 annually if you request Amex Business Gold cards for your employees to use (see rates & fees). That’s a pretty hefty price to pay, mainly when there are other business-card options that offer free employee cards, like the Capital One Spark Miles for Business.
TPG considers the Amex Business Platinum to be one of the best business cards with good reason: It has fantastic value for the heavy business traveler, and it’s currently offering one of the most valuable welcome offers on the market.
With the current welcome offer, you can earn an extraordinary 120,000 bonus points. If you’re able to meet the hefty spending requirement, you probably don’t need much more convincing to get this card. On the other hand, it’s a much more dicey proposition (alright, probably a bad idea) for a business owner who sticks to the ground — particularly when there are so many great options out there to earn points, miles and cash back on expenses that matter most to you.
Application link: The Business Platinum Card® from American Express available with a 120,000-point welcome offer after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first three months of card membership.
Additional reporting by Stella Shon.
For rates and fees of the Amex Business Platinum card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Business Gold, please click here.