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There’s one very good reason why the Business Platinum® Card from American Express stands out as a best-in-class pick among the top business cards: It offers unparalleled travel perks. From airport lounge access to hotel elite status to significant points earnings on select airfare and hotel spending, this is a card the frequent business traveler really could use to his or her benefit.

The Business Platinum Card offers excellent benefits, but the hefty annual fee and travel-focused benefits mean it won’t make sense for every business — especially ones that don’t accrue major travel expenses or whose primary spending categories are more in line with the bonus categories offered by other business rewards credit cards. So, let’s consider whether the Business Platinum Card is a good fit for you.

Who is this card for?

The Business Platinum Card is best suited for business people who charge thousands of dollars of monthly business expenses to their cards; who are heavy travelers; and who can take advantage of the card’s premium benefits. For these types of card holders, the card’s benefits and earnings can justify the card’s massive $595 (see rates & fees) annual fee.

For many card holders, the best perk is access to the issuer’s Centurion Lounges. Centurion Lounges are some of the nicest lounges in the US, and card holders of the American Express Centurion Card, The Platinum Card® from American Express and the Business Platinum Card get access for themselves and up to two guests regardless of their airline or class of service. However, the lounges have recently tightened up access policies — so you won’t get access more than three hours before departure nor upon arrival without a connecting boarding pass. But, the dining and drink options will still provide value if you live near or frequently travel to the eight US airports that currently feature these lounges.

Amex offers access to hundreds of locations, beyond its own Centurion Lounge network. Photo by Zach Honig.
The entrance to the Centurion Lounge in Miami. (Photo by Zach Honig/The Points Guy).

There are a number of travel-related distinctions between the personal and business versions of this card that should be considered. Perhaps the most important of these distinctions is a 35% rebate available to Business Platinum members who book a business or first-class ticket — or any class flight with their selected qualifying airline — through American Express Travel using Membership Rewards points. Rebates are capped at 500,000 points a year, which may be too low for companies looking to offset more of their travel expenses. Likewise, only personal Platinum members have access to $200 of annual Uber credits, $100 of annual Saks credits and 5x earning on flights booked directly with airlines.

Consider each card’s benefits when deciding if the business or personal version of the Amex Platinum is better.

Welcome Offer

You’ll earn 50,000 points after you spend $10,000 in the first three months and an extra 25,000 points after you spend an additional $10,000 also within the first three months from account opening. Based on TPG’s valuations, Membership Rewards points are worth 2 cents apiece. So, if you can manage the hefty $20,000 spend requirement to earn the full 75,000 bonus, you’ll earn points worth about $1,500. You’ll also get one year of Platinum Global Access to WeWork when you sign up for the Business Platinum Card and enroll for the WeWork benefit by Dec. 31.

The Business Platinum Card welcome offer is more rewarding than the welcome offer on the personal Amex Platinum card, which offers 60,000 points after you spend $5,000 within the first three months from account opening. But, that slight downgrade in bonus value comes with a significantly reduced spend requirement. Your typical monthly business expenses and whether you’ll utilize the WeWork benefit may help you determine which card is the more valuable choice.

image courtesy of wework
The Business Platinum Card offers a year of Platinum Global Access to WeWork to new cardholders. (Photo courtesy of WeWork.)

Earning

Rewards on most spending with the Business Platinum Card are pretty average at 1 point per dollar spent, which is a 2% return based on TPG’s valuations. For businesses that have significant expenses, Amex will add a slight incentive to coax you to use its card: All purchases of $5,000 or more earn 1.5 points per dollar, up to one million extra points per year.

Everyday office spending is not the reason to get this card, though. You’ll earn 5x points when you purchase airfare and prepaid hotel rooms on AmexTravel.com (including Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts). That’s the same 10% return as you’ll see on the personal Platinum Card, though with the personal Amex Platinum Card you also get 5x points on airfare booked directly with airlines.

(Photo by Katie Genter/The Points Guy)
Earn 5x Membership Rewards points when you book a prepaid Fine Hotels and Resorts stay at a property like the Park Hyatt Beijing. (Photo by Katie Genter/The Points Guy)

Redeeming

You can redeem your points for gift cards, through Amazon or other online retailers, to pay for charges on your bill or even to pay your taxi fare in New York City, but these options all significantly devalue your earned points to 1 cent per point or less, and we wouldn’t recommend using your points this way.

The most lucrative way to redeem points is to transfer them to one of 21 partner airlines or hotels. Going this route may take a bit of sleuthing, but a little work can help increase the value of your points significantly above the TPG valuation. Regardless of whether you want to fly on Oneworld, Star Alliance or Sky Team airlines — or stay at Choice, Hilton or Marriott properties — there are many sweet spots that can be unlocked with Amex Membership Rewards points.

(Photo by Katie Genter/The Points Guy)
Choice Hotels points can provide excellent value in Europe, Japan and even New York City. (Photo of Gowanus Inn and Yard, a Choice Ascend Property in Brooklyn, New York by Katie Genter/The Points Guy)

Want the easiest redemption option that still offers decent value? If you redeem your points via American Express Travel Pay with Points, they’re worth about 1.54 cents per point toward first and business-class flights on any airline as well as economy-class flights on your selected airline because of the 35% Pay with Points rebate. That’s a higher return than you’ll earn booking travel on Amex with the personal Platinum card (1 cent per point), and it’s about on par with what you’d get with the Chase Sapphire Reserve when using Chase Ultimate Rewards to book travel through the issuer’s portal (1.5 cents per point). But, note that the 35% rebate is capped at 500,000 points per calendar year.

Perks

Rewards and redemption limitations aside, the Amex Business Platinum really shines when it comes to travel perks. When your travels don’t take you to an airport that offers a Centurion Lounge, you’ll have wider access to The American Express Global Lounge Collection, which includes more than 1,200 Priority Pass lounges worldwide, as well as Delta Sky Club lounges, which you can access when you’re flying Delta. You’ll also have access to Airspace lounges, Escape lounges and American Express International Lounge locations.

The SkyTeam Lounge at YVR is an excellent Priority Pass lounge.
The SkyTeam Lounge in Vancouver is an excellent Priority Pass lounge. (Photo by Katie Genter/The Points Guy)

 

Any premium travel rewards card worth its fee also offers reimbursement for a Global Entry ($100) or TSA PreCheck ($85) application fee every four to five years. The Business Platinum Card is no exception, giving you a reimbursement for your application fee once every four years for Global Entry and once every 4.5 years for TSA PreCheck. Card members also receive 10 free Gogo inflight Wi-Fi passes per calendar year. (You’ll also get free Boingo Wi-Fi access inside airports and at locations throughout the country, even though this benefit was recently removed from the personal Platinum Card.)

You’ll also earn an annual $200 airline fee credit that can be used for incidentals such as baggage fees or seat selection fees on that same carrier as you chose for the 35% Pay with Points rebate. The airline fee credit can’t be used to purchase airfare though, so you’ll want to select an airline where you’ll incur some fees each year.

You’ll also have access to up to $200 in statement credits each year for any Dell technology purchases. This credit works like the $100 Saks Fifth Avenue credit on the personal Amex Platinum Card in that it’s split into two different statement credits. So, you’ll get a statement credit for up to $100 of Dell purchases between Jan. and June and another statement credit for up to $100 of Dell purchases between July and Dec.

Amex American Express Business Platinum Credit Card
Even if you’re a Mac user, you can likely still find something to purchase from Dell with your biannual statement credit.

 

As for benefits that come in handy once you reach your destination, this card gives you Gold status with Hilton Honors and Gold Elite status with Marriott, which provides better earnings and benefits during stays with these two brands. You can find other places to stay, too, with Amex’s Fine Hotels & Resorts program. When you book a stay at a Fine Hotels & Resorts property through Amex Travel, benefits include noon check-in if available, guaranteed 4 pm checkout, a room upgrade if available, daily breakfast for two and a unique amenity valued at $100 or more. And if you book a prepaid stay online, you’ll earn 5x points and (sometimes) get elite benefits during your stay. Cardmembers also have access to the Hotel Collection, which offers a $100 on-site credit at select properties when you book a stay of two nights or longer through Amex Travel.

(Photo by Katie Genter/The Points Guy)
Hilton Gold status will unlock some benefits when you stay at Hilton properties, like the DoubleTree Resort by Hilton in Penang, Malaysia. (Photo by Katie Genter/The Points Guy)

 

The Amex Business Platinum Card also features extended warranty protection that matches eligible US manufacturer warranties of two years or less and extended eligible US manufacturer warranties of two to five years by two years. Additionally, purchases on your card are protected from accidental damage or theft for up to 120 days from the moment you purchase them.

Besides these benefits, there are also many other benefits including the International Airline Program, Cruise Privileges Program, Premium Roadside Assistance, Upgrade with Points and access to the Auto Purchasing Program.

What Cards Compete With the Amex Business Platinum?

The Amex Business Platinum Card is a premier travel rewards card, offering top-of-the-line travel perks. Its closest competitor is the personal version of the card, the Platinum Card from American Express. Although some of the benefits and earning categories differ between the cards, they both offer excellent membership benefits for frequent travelers.

Is the personal or business version of the Platinum Card a better fit for you?

 

As for business credit cards, American Express® Business Gold Card offers similar redemption options to the Business Platinum, but at a lower annual fee of $295 (see rates & fees). This card offers six bonus categories (one of which is airfare purchased directly from airlines) and allows you to earn 4 points per dollar on the two categories where you spend the most each month (up to $150,000 in combined purchases for these two categories per calendar year; then 1x point thereafter).

(Photo by Eric Helgas/The Points Guy)
The Business Gold Card offers solid earning and similar redemption options at a lower annual fee. (Photo by Eric Helgas/The Points Guy)

If travel isn’t a big part of your business, there’s no reason to have the Amex Business Platinum Card. Look instead to top business cards that offer great rewards in categories like office supplies, internet service or computer equipment. A solid choice here is the Ink Business Cash Credit Card.

Bottom Line

The Amex Business Platinum Card is a niche card that’s perfect for the big traveler, but not worth the money for business owners who don’t count airfare and hotel stays among their largest business expenses. As far as business cards go, though, its travel perks are difficult, if not impossible, to beat. One other thing to keep in mind: This is a charge card, meaning you have to pay your bill off in full at the end of each billing cycle. If you tend to carry a balance on your business credit card, you’ll want to find another option. Amex does offer a Pay Over Time feature on this card, which allows you to carry some balances after you enroll, but you’ll pay a variable annual percentage rate of 20.24%, which is fairly high (see rates & fees).

Here’s the link to apply for the The Business Platinum® Card from American Express with up to a 75,0000-point bonus.

For rates and fees of the Amex Business Platinum Card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Business Gold, please click here.

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The Business Platinum® Card from American Express

Aside from the 75,000 points welcome bonus, Amex recently made huge improvements to the Business Platinum Card, including the fact that you will now earn 50% more points on purchases of $5,000 or more, earn 5x on flights and eligible hotels at Amextravel.com and cardholders will receive a $200 airline fee credit each year.

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More Things to Know
  • Welcome Offer: Earn up to 75,000 Membership Rewards® points.
  • Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10,000 and an extra 25,000 points after you spend an additional $10,000 all on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com.
  • Get 50% more Membership Rewards® points. That's 1.5 points per dollar, on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more. You can get up to 1 million additional points per year.
  • 35% Airline Bonus: Use Membership Rewards® Pay with Points for all or part of a flight with your selected qualifying airline, and you can get 35% of the points back, up to 500,000 bonus points per calendar year.
  • Enroll to get up to $200 in statement credits annually by getting up to $100 semi-annually for U.S. purchases with Dell. Terms apply.
  • Get one year of Platinum Global Access from WeWork. With this membership, you can access 300+ premium, inspiring workspaces in 75+ cities. To get this exclusive offer, enroll between 2/15/2019 and 12/31/2019.
  • Terms Apply
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Annual Fee
$595
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

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.

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