Big bonus, new benefits: Review of the Amex Business Platinum with 120,000 points
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The Business Platinum Card® from American Express overview
|The Business Platinum Card® from American Express is one of the best business rewards cards around thanks to its current elevated welcome bonus and the sheer number of value-added perks it offers cardmembers. While it requires some work to take full advantage of them, the effort can pay off with savings of hundreds or even thousands of dollars per year.
||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, with a $595 annual fee that will go up to $695 if your application is received on or after Jan. 13, 2022 (see rates and fees).
To counterbalance that fee hike, Amex revealed a significant refresh to this card in October 2020, with over $800 in added statement credits. The card is also 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 card membership. That’s worth $2,400 according to TPG’s latest valuations.
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 ones with primary spending areas more in line with the bonus categories offered by other business cards.
However, there are still plenty of great reasons to consider applying for the Amex Business Platinum — especially if you can get your application in under the wire and are only charged the current $595 annual fee before Jan. 13, 2022.
Here are the factors to consider when determining whether the Amex Business Platinum is a good fit for you.
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 network 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 Amex Business Platinum get access. So if you frequently travel for work, this one benefit might make the card worthwhile … though there are certainly a lot of other perks you can also maximize.
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.
While $15,000 in three months might not be a hard number to hit for businesses with a lot of cash flow, if your enterprise is smaller, you could consider prepaying as many expenses as you can afford during your first three months to help earn your welcome offer.
On the other hand, if this type of spending is out of your league, another business card with a lower bonus threshold, a smaller annual fee and more targeted earning categories might be a better fit for you in the long run.
Benefits and perks
Back in October, Amex added a raft of new statement credits to the Amex Business Platinum that can help cardmembers potentially offset the initial shock of that high annual fee. 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.
Amex added four all-new statement credit benefits to the card and increased the existing Dell credit by up to $200 per year. 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. Enrollment is required for select benefits.
|Statement credit||Annual amount||New or existing||How it works|
|Dell||Up to $400||Existing, but up from $200 as of October 2021||Annual statement credit on all U.S. Dell purchases, up to $200 semiannually. This is a $200 increase from the existing Dell benefit.|
|Indeed||Up to $360||New as of October 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 October 2021||Annual statement credit on select purchases, including Adobe Creative Cloud and Acrobat Pro DC.|
|Wireless telephone services||Up to $120||New as of October 2021||Annual statement credits for purchases made directly from any U.S. wireless telephone provider, up to $10 per month.|
|Clear||Up to $189||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).|
In addition to the plethora of statement credits you may (or may not) be able to use, the Amex Business Platinum shines through with its other travel perks as well.
Aside from access to Amex’s Centurion Lounges, your card will open the door to the extensive American Express Global Lounge Collection, which was recently crowned TPG’s 2021 editors’ choice award winner for best card perk. It comprises more than 1,400 lounges worldwide, including Delta Sky Clubs that you can enter when you have a same-day flight on that airline, as well as Priority Pass lounge access (excluding restaurant locations). Enrollment is required for select benefits.
As for benefits that come in handy once you reach your destination, this card allows you to register for complimentary Gold status with Hilton Honors and Gold Elite status with Marriott Bonvoy, both of which provide better earnings and benefits during stays with these two brands.
You can enjoy elite-type perks at other hotels by booking stays through Amex’s Fine Hotels + Resorts program. The portal’s cardmember 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.
Also, note that when you use your card to book a prepaid stay online through Fine Hotels + Resorts, you’ll earn 5 points per dollar and (sometimes) get elite benefits during your stay. Cardmembers also have access to Amex’s The Hotel Collection, through which bookings include an up-to-$100 on-site credit at select properties when you reserve a stay of two nights or longer.
The Amex Business Platinum Card is also great for business purchases, as you might imagine since it features extended warranty protection* that prolongs eligible U.S. manufacturer warranties of five years or less by an additional year, which can save business owners time and money in case something happens to an item they buy. This applies to warranties of five years or less. Coverage is up to the actual amount charged to your card for the item up to a maximum of $10,000; not to exceed $50,000 per card member account per calendar year.
Additionally, the card’s purchase protection covers accidental damage or theft for up to 90 days after purchase, up to $10,000 per covered purchase and $50,000 per card member account per calendar year, so it’s a great choice to use for expensive items.*
Aside from these two specific benefits, the card’s other notable perks include:
- 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. Coverage for a stolen or damaged eligible cellphone is subject to the terms, conditions, exclusions and limits of liability of this benefit.**
- Upgrade with Points to request an airline ticket upgrade on select airlines.
- A 35% rebate when you use Pay with Points to cover a first- or business-class ticket on any airline or an economy ticket on one airline of your choice (up to 1 million points back 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 your Wheels Up account to use toward an initial flight within the first year, depending on your 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.
*Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company.
**Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company.
In October 2021, Amex introduced new category bonuses to entice everyday work 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.
- Cloud service providers.
- Construction materials and hardware supplies.
- Shipping providers.
- Purchases of $5,000 or more.
Cardmembers also earn 5 points per dollar 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 5 points per dollar on airfare booked directly with airlines (on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year).
You can redeem the points you earn with this card 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, so 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 or 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.
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 1 million points back per calendar year.
You’ll also want to keep an eye out for transfer bonuses, which Amex runs regularly.
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. However, only specific types of customers will be able to reap this card’s full potential year after year.
Although qualifying for this card may be easier than you think, much about this card is geared toward established businesses. 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 1 point per dollar after that).
Alternatively, if you like the American Express Membership Rewards ecosystem but want to keep your out-of-pocket costs 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 1 per dollar), with no bonus categories to worry about.
You’ll earn 2 points per dollar 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.
The Amex Business Platinum Card is an excellent choice for business travelers with expenses in the new bonus categories and those that offer statement credits. 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 the first 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 offer.
Additional reporting by Chris Dong, Benji Stawski, Stella Shon and Eric Rosen.
Featured photo by Ryan Patterson/The Points Guy.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
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).
- 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.
- Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com, and 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
- Earn 1.5X points (that’s an extra half point per dollar) on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year.
- Unlock over $1,000 in annual statement credits on a curation of business purchases, including select purchases made with Dell Technologies, Indeed, Adobe, and U.S. wireless service providers.
- $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year for checked baggage fees, lounge day passes, and more at one selected airline.
- $189 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $189 back per year on your CLEAR® membership. CLEAR® is available at more than 50 U.S. airports and stadiums.
- The American Express Global Lounge Collection® can provide an escape at the airport. With more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, you have more lounge location options than any other credit card on the market as of 9/2021.
- $695 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.