Big benefits, high price tag: Review of the Amex Business Platinum with a 120,000-point welcome bonus

4d ago

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The Business Platinum Card® from American Express overview

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express is not only one of the most expensive business cards, but also one of the most expensive rewards cards on the market, in general. Thankfully, a lengthy list of luxury travel and lifestyle perks can help you recoup that cost, but it still takes quite a bit of work to truly maximize your usage of this card.
Card rating*: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
* Card rating is based on the opinion of TPG’s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.

With premium cards becoming the norm these days, many people are getting more comfortable with the idea of paying annual fees of over $400. The Business Platinum Card® from American Express stands out above even that, though, thanks to its $595 annual fee and starting on Jan. 13, 2022, a higher $695 fee (see rates and fees).

In October 2021, Amex revealed a significant refresh to this card with over $800 in added statement credits. Additionally, the card is currently offering an introductory bonus of 120,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend a hefty $15,000 on eligible purchases in the first three months of account opening. That’s worth $2,400 according to TPG’s latest valuations.

Just be warned — between a high minimum spending requirement and a handful of business-focused perks, this card certainly won’t be suitable for every small business. Especially ones that don’t log major travel expenses or whose primary spending areas are more in line with the bonus categories offered by other business cards.

So, let’s consider whether the Business Platinum Card is a good fit for you.

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In This Post

Who is this card for?

The Amex Business Platinum is best suited for small-business owners who charge thousands of dollars in monthly business expenses to their cards, are frequent travelers, and can take advantage of all the card’s premium benefits.

For these types of cardholders, the benefits and earning rates can more than justify the card’s annual fee. And remember — qualifying for a business card may be easier than you think.

One of the best perks for many cardholders is access to the issuer’s growing collection of Centurion Lounges and Amex’s Global Lounge Collection. Centurion Lounges are some of the nicest airport lounges in the U.S. and cardholders of the American Express Centurion Card, The Platinum Card® from American Express and the Business Platinum Card get access.

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).

Related: Guide to lounge access with the Amex Platinum and Business Platinum

Welcome offer

Based on TPG’s valuations, the Membership Rewards points this card earns are worth 2 cents apiece. So, if you can manage the $15,000 spending requirement within the first three months to earn the card’s current 120,000-point offer, you’ll earn points worth about $2,400 toward travel.

Your typical monthly expenses may help you determine if another business card might be a better fit for you. If you have a smaller business with fewer expenses, but are still interested in opening the Business Platinum Card, you might want to consider prepaying as many expenses as you can afford during your first three months to help earn your welcome offer.

Benefits and perks

First, Amex has introduced a host of new statement credits that can help you potentially offset the initial shock of that high annual fee, which is being raised by $100 to $695 per year starting on Jan. 13, 2022. That means new cardholders and existing ones with a renewal before Jan. 13, 2022, will be charged the old $595 rate until the changeover date.

There were four new credits launched in 2021, with the existing Dell credit increasing by $200. In total, that tallies up to over $800 in additional benefits for a net $100 increase in the card’s annual fee.

Here’s a closer look at the new and existing statement credits on the Business Platinum.

Credit  Annual amount   New or existing How it works
Dell Up to $400 Existing but up from $200 as of Oct. 2021 Annual statement credit on all U.S. Dell purchases, up to $200 semi-annually. This is a $200 increase from the existing Dell benefit.
Indeed Up to $360 New as of Oct. 2021 Annual statement credit on all Indeed hiring and recruiting products and services to post open positions and find talent, up to $90 per quarter.
Adobe Up to $150 New as of Oct. 2021 Annual statement credit on select purchases, including Adobe Creative Cloud and Acrobat Pro DC.
Wireless telephone services Up to $120 New as of Oct. 2021 Annual statement credits for purchases made directly from any US wireless telephone provider, up to $10 per month.
Clear Up to $179 New as of July 2021 Statement credits toward an annual Clear membership for expedited airport security.
Airline fee Up to $200 Existing Annual airline fee credit of up to $200 on charges by the airline you select per calendar year.
Global Entry or TSA PreCheck Up to $100 Existing Statement credits for Global Entry ($100) or TSA PreCheck ($85) every four years (4.5 years for PreCheck).

Besides a plethora of statement credits you may (or may not) be able to use, the Amex Business Platinum shines through with its travel perks.

Even if your travels don’t take you to an airport that offers a Centurion Lounge, you’ll have access to the extensive American Express Global Lounge Collection. It comprises more than 1,300 lounges worldwide including Delta Sky Club lounges you can access when you have a same-day flight on that airline.

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

As for benefits that come in handy once you reach your destination, this card allows you to enroll in complimentary Gold status with Hilton Honors and Gold Elite status with Marriott Bonvoy, which provide better earnings and benefits during stays with these two brands. You can get elite-type perks at other hotels by booking stays through 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, 4 p.m. checkout, a room upgrade if available, daily breakfast for two, and a unique amenity valued at $100 or more.

If you book a prepaid stay online, you’ll earn 5x and (sometimes) get elite benefits during your stay. Cardmembers also have access to The Hotel Collection, which offers an up-to-$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, such as 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 extends eligible U.S. manufacturer warranties of five years or less by an additional year. Additionally, purchases on your card are protected from accidental damage or theft for up to 90 days from the moment you purchase them.

Besides these benefits, there are also a handful of other benefits:

  • Cellphone protection, for a maximum of $800 per claim with a limit of two approved claims per 12-month period. Note that a $50 deductible will apply.
  • Access to the Cruise Privileges Program and the International Airline Program.
  • Upgrade with Points to request an airline ticket upgrade on select airlines.
  • A 35% rebate when you Pay With Points for a first or business class ticket on any airline or an economy ticket on one airline of your choice (up to 500,000 points per calendar year).
  • Premium Private Jet Program: Access to a 20% discount on Wheels Up Connect and a 40% discount on Wheels Up Core memberships. Plus, a $500 or $2,000 credit added to Wheels Up account to use toward an initial flight within the first year, depending on selected Wheels Up membership.
  • Global Dining Access by Resy: Exclusive reservations at some of the world’s top restaurants, access to premium events, and other perks like priority notify and VIP status.

Earning

In October 2021, Amex introduced a new category bonus to entice everyday office spending on this card. Cardholders will now earn 1.5 points per dollar on up to $2 million in eligible purchases in the U.S. per calendar year of:

  • Electronic goods retailers
  • Software
  • Cloud service providers
  • Construction materials and hardware supplies
  • Shipping provider
  • Purchases of $5,000+

Cardmembers also earn 5x points when on airfare and prepaid hotel purchases with American Express Travel (including Amex Fine Hotels + Resorts). That’s the same 10% return as you’ll see on the personal Platinum Card. However, with the personal Amex Platinum Card, you also get 5x on airfare booked directly with airlines (on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year).

Related: Everything you need to know about Amex Membership Rewards

Redeeming

You can redeem your points for merchant gift cards or to cover charges on your bill. However, these options all significantly devalue your rewards to 1 cent per point or less and we don’t recommend using your points this way.

The most worthwhile way to redeem points is to transfer them to one of Amex’s airline and hotel partners. 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.

Whether you want to fly on Oneworld, Star Alliance or Sky Team airlines — or stay at Hilton or Marriott propertiesmany sweet spots 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. (Photo 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. Note that the 35% rebate is capped at 500,000 points per calendar year.

You’ll also want to keep an eye out for transfer bonuses, which Amex runs with some regularity.

Is the Amex Business Platinum a good fit for your business?

The Amex Business Platinum Card offers one of the most valuable welcome bonuses on the market right now. As such, any business that can hit the $15,000 spending requirement should seriously consider this card. But if we dig a little deeper, we can see that only specific types of customers will really benefit in the long run.

Although qualifying for this card may be easier than you think, much about this card screams “established businesses.” For starters, a smaller and newer company might struggle to meet the $15,000 minimum spending requirement and the last thing you would ever want to do is jeopardize your company’s finances in the pursuit of travel rewards.

If you feel that your business might be too small to get the full value out of the Business Platinum Card, you might want to consider other options. For instance, the American Express® Business Gold Card offers similar redemption options to the Business Platinum but at a lower annual fee of $295 (see rates and fees).

The Amex Business Gold card also offers six bonus categories, one of which is airfare purchased directly from airlines. It allows you to earn 4 points per dollar on the two categories you spend the most on each month (on up to $150,000 in combined purchases for these two categories per calendar year, then 1x).

(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)

Alternatively, if you like the American Express Membership Rewards ecosystem and want to keep your cost as low as possible, take a look at The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express instead. This no-annual-fee credit card (see rates and fees) earns 2 Membership Rewards points per dollar (a 4% return) on your first $50,000 in purchases per calendar year (then 1x), with no bonus categories to worry about.

You’ll earn 2x whether you’re spending $1 or $1,000, whether you’re booking travel or buying furniture for your office. While you won’t find many perks on a no-annual-fee credit card, the simplicity it affords will give you more time to focus on growing your business.

Bottom line

The Amex Business Platinum Card is a niche card that’s excellent for the big-business traveler with expenses in the new statement credit categories. While it might not be worth the money for all business owners, its travel perks are difficult, if not impossible, to beat.

Remember, if you apply before Jan. 13, 2022, you’ll be locked into the current $595 annual fee for a full year, then $695 per year.

Here’s the official link to apply for the refreshed Business Platinum Card from American Express with a 120,000-point welcome bonus.

Additional reporting by Chris Dong, Benji Stawski, and Stella Shon.

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.
For rates and fees of the Blue Business Plus card, please click here.

Featured photo by Ryan Patterson/The Points Guy.

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express

Aside from the 120,000-point 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 (up to a cap amount), earn 5x on flights and eligible hotels at Amextravel.com and cardholders will receive an up to $200 annual airline fee credit each calendar year (enrollment required).

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Welcome Offer: Earn 120,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with your Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Plus, 0% Intro APR for 12 months from the date of the account opening on purchases eligible for Pay Over Time. After that, your APR will be 14.24% to 22.24% based on your credit worthiness and other factors as determined at the time of account opening.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com.
  • Earn 1.5X Membership Rewards® points on eligible purchases in key business categories, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else. Cap applies.
  • Unlock over $1,000 in value per year for statement credits on select purchases with your Card, including up to $400 with Dell Technologies, up to $360 with Indeed, up to $150 with Adobe and up to $120 on wireless telephone purchases. Enrollment required.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year toward baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • $179 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $179 back per year on your CLEAR® membership.
  • Access to more than 1,300 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting with The American Express Global Lounge Collection®. More lounge options than any other credit card on the market as of 8/2020.
  • $595 Annual Fee ($695 if application is received on or after 01/13/2022).
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
See Pay Over Time APR
Regular APR
14.24% - 22.24% Variable
Annual Fee
$595 (10/14-1/12/22)
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Good, Excellent
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.

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.