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Premium credit cards continue to evolve in an attempt to attract and retain customers. In 2017, the annual fee on the personal Platinum Card® from American Express increased, but the card also began offering additional benefits like 5x earning on airfare purchased directly from airlines. Currently, the Citi Prestige is gradually rolling out improvements, such as 5x airfare and dining earning, as well as devaluations including raising the annual fee to $495 and restricting the popular fourth night free benefit.
The Business Platinum® Card from American Express has also now evolved, as it has increased its annual fee while adding benefits including a year of WeWork access (enroll between 2/15/2019 and 12/31/2019) and up to $200 annually in statement credits to offset Dell technology purchases. Although a number of the benefits offered by The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Business Platinum® Card from American Express overlap, there are important differences to consider when deciding which one is right for you. To make this decision easier, let’s take a look at the benefits offered by each card.
Before we dive into the details, here’s a simple comparison of the two cards:
|Amex Platinum||Amex Business Platinum|
|Welcome Bonus||60,000 points after you spend $5,000 in the first three months||50,000 points after you spend $10,000 and another 25,000 points after you spend an additional $10,000, all in the first three months|
|Travel Category Bonus||5x on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel
5x on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com
|5x on airfare and prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com
1.5x on purchases of $5,000 or more (up to 1 million additional points per year)
|Annual Fee||$550 (See Rates & Fees)||$595 (See Rates & Fees)|
Each card comes with a solid welcome bonus, but the minimum spend required to earn the bonus is where they really differ. While you can earn 60,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $5,000 on the Amex Platinum, the Business Platinum requires a much steeper minimum spend to earn its bonus.
In fact, the Business Platinum welcome bonus has two tiers: after spending $10,000 in the first three months, you’ll earn 50,000 points, but you’ll need to spend an additional $10,000 (also in the first three months) to earn the remaining 25,000 points. That’s $20,000 for the full 75,000 points.
Both cards earn 5x when you purchase airfare and prepaid hotel rooms from amextravel.com, but the personal Amex Platinum also earns 5x on airfare purchased directly with airlines and airfare purchased with American Express Travel over the phone. On the other hand, the Business Platinum card is great for business owners with significant expenses, since all purchases of at least $5,000 earn 1.5x points per dollar, up to 1 million extra points per year.
Both of these cards really excel when it comes to travel perks. Whether you choose the personal or business version of the card, you can be confident that traveling will be easier and more comfortable.
Benefits Offered By Both Cards
Each card offers up to a $100 credit for either Global Entry or TSA PreCheck every four years. This makes navigating security prior to your flight and during your return from international trips much less painful and time-consuming.
Another great benefit offered by both cards is the $200 airline fee credit, which covers baggage fees as well as other incidental charges. There are two important points to remember about this benefit. First, you must select an airline prior to using the credit. Second, it will not cover in-flight internet purchases or airfare — but sometimes gift cards can be covered.
As a holder of either card, you’ll also receive Gold status with Hilton Honors and Marriott Rewards, which can help you earn more points for your hotel stays as well as benefits during your stays. Cardholders technically get SPG Gold status, since Amex hasn’t updated this benefit since the Marriott/SPG integration, but the status is honored as Marriott Rewards Gold.
Speaking of hotels, you’ll also have access to Amex’s Fine Hotels & Resorts (FHR) program with either card. When you book a stay at one of these hotel properties through Amex Travel, you’ll receive benefits such as guaranteed 4pm late check-out, a room upgrade if available, daily breakfast for two and an amenity or credit worth at least $100 for your stay. And, prepaid FHR stays booked online will also earn 5x points.
Both cards also offer a $100 hotel credit on qualifying charges, plus a room upgrade upon arrival when available, when you book a hotel stay of two nights or longer through the American Express Hotel Collection at americanexpress.com/hc. Previously the Business Platinum only offered a $75 credit for Hotel Collection stays, but the credit jumped to $100 in Feb. 2019 to match the personal card.
To top things off, you’ll have access to Boingo land-based hotspots around the world through the Boingo American Express Preferred Plan. And, insurance benefits such as purchase protection, extended warranty, secondary rental car coverage, roadside assistance, baggage insurance, premium global assist and travel accident coverage are virtually identical across both cards. Plus, both cards allow you to add primary rental car coverage to your car rentals through American Express’ Premium Car Rental Protection.
With the personal Amex Platinum, you’ll also receive up to $200 in Uber credits each year. Each month, the card provides $15 in credit to use on Uber rides, with an additional $20 for the month of December. Keep in mind that if you don’t use the full credit in one month, it won’t roll over to the next month.
If you’re looking for a credit card with lounge access privileges, both of these cards give you tons of options.
American Express has become famous for its Centurion Lounges. Only those who have a Platinum or Centurion card are allowed into these lounges. With either the personal or business version of the Platinum card, you can also bring two guests with you. You’ll also have access to Airspace lounges and Escape Lounges.
For those who regularly fly with Delta, you’ll be excited to know that with either card, you’ll have access to Delta Sky Clubs. However, unlike the Centurion Lounges — which you can visit anytime you’re flying on any airline — you must be flying on Delta to access a Sky Club with a Platinum card.
Thanks to the Priority Pass Select membership that comes with both of these cards, you’ll also have access to lounges that partner with Priority Pass, With over 1,200 lounges around the world, Priority Pass is a great way to ensure you have a place to relax between flights.
Lounges are a great place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the airport. Some lounges even have showers, which can be amazingly refreshing after a long flight. Top it off with something to drink and a bite to eat, and you’ll quickly see why we love airport lounges.
American Express Membership Rewards points are one of the more valuable loyalty currencies out there. According to TPG’s valuations, they’re worth 2 cents apiece. With 21 transfer partners, the points you earn can help you travel to just about anywhere in the world.
|Amex Platinum||Amex Business Platinum|
|Redeeming for Flights via Amex Travel||1 cent per point||about 1.54 cents per point|
|TPG Valuation||2 cents per point||2 cents per point|
One benefit that’s exclusive to the Business Platinum card is that when you book any flight directly with points through Amex Travel on your pre-selected airline — or business or first class on any airline — you’ll receive a 35% rebate of the points you used. This is particularly useful if you don’t have flexible travel dates and award space isn’t available.
But if you plan to transfer your Membership Rewards points to an airline or hotel partner, you should shoot to get at least 2 cents per point in value when booking award flights or nights. If you book business or first-class flights such as Singapore Suites, you can expect to get even more value out of these points.
Which Card Is Right For You?
If you’re looking for a premium credit card loaded with travel perks and you don’t have a business or the substantial expenses that come with one, the personal Amex Platinum should be just what you need. The annual $200 airline fee credit and $200 Uber credit really take the sting out of the $550 annual fee. Throw in access to a ton of airline lounges, substantial travel benefits and the Membership Rewards you can earn with the card (especially when you book airfare and get 5x), and this really starts to look like an excellent choice. And, remember that you can add up to three authorized users to your Amex Platinum for just $175 per year (See Rates & Fees).
For business owners, the decision isn’t quite so simple. Both the personal and business versions of the Platinum come with the airline fee credit, Global Entry/TSA PreCheck credit, Boingo hotspot access, Hilton and Marriott elite status and more. But business owners and employees who require a good bit of travel will appreciate the 10 Gogo passes for free in-flight Wi-Fi and the 35% points rebate.
To make the best choice for your situation, you’ll also want to consider whether you’ll utilize the 1.5x points per dollar on purchases of at least $5,000 that comes with the Business Platinum. If your business frequently makes larger purchases, this will be a huge boost. Or, if you currently use WeWork or purchase Dell products, the benefits added to the Business Platinum card this February may look very tempting.
Finally, remember that the annual fees differ by $45, with the Amex Platinum carrying a $550 annual fee and the Business Platinum a $595 annual fee. Neither is cheap, but fortunately the benefits and the annual credits offset much of the fees on both cards, making either one a solid choice for the frequent traveler.
Which card would you pick: the personal or business Amex Platinum?
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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.
- 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