Credit card showdown: Amex Platinum vs. Amex Business Platinum
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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with new information. It was originally published on Sept. 9, 2019.
Premium credit cards continue to evolve as they try to attract and retain customers. Two of the top cards for luxury travel benefits are The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Business Platinum Card® from American Express. Both have evolved over the years, revamping benefits and raising annual fees as more perks are added.
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Before we dive into the details, here’s a simple comparison of the two cards:
|Benefit/Perk||Amex Platinum||Amex Business Platinum|
|Welcome bonus||60,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.||75,000 points after you spend $15,000 on qualifying purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.|
|Total spend requirement for welcome bonus||$5,000||$20,000|
|Earning rates||5x on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel
5x on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com
1x on everything else
|5x on airfare and prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com
1.5x on purchases of $5,000 or more (up to one million additional points per year)
|Annual fee||$550 (see rates & fees)||$595 (see rates & fees)|
Let’s take a closer look.
Each card comes with a solid welcome bonus, but the minimum spend required to earn the bonus is where they really differ. You can earn the full 60,000 Membership Rewards points after spending just $5,000 on the Amex Platinum, but the Business Platinum requires a much steeper minimum spend to earn its 75,000-point bonus.
The Business Platinum welcome bonus is 75,000 points after you spend $15,000 on qualifying purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. Based on TPG’s valuation of Membership Rewards points at 2 cents each, the full Business Platinum bonus is worth $1,500, making it one of the most valuable offers on the market.
Some TPG readers have even been targeted for a 100,000-point welcome bonus on the personal Amex Platinum by using the CardMatch Tool (offer subject to change at anytime). This targeted offer also requires $5,000 of spending and is better than the publicly available offer on either Platinum card.
Winner: Amex Platinum. Although you’re getting 15,000 more points (worth $300, according to TPG valuations) with the full Amex Business Platinum bonus, it requires a significantly higher spend ($15,000 versus $5,000) to get there. Considering that some cardholders will have the chance to earn up to 100,000 points with the Amex Platinum after just $5,000 in spend (targeted offer; subject to change at anytime), it comes out ahead.
Both cards earn 5x points 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 who regularly make large purchases with the card, since all purchases of at least $5,000 earn 1.5x points per dollar, up to 1 million extra points per year.
Related reading: Redeeming American Express Membership Rewards for maximum value
Winner: Amex Platinum. This is a close one, and you might opt for the Business Platinum if you frequently make purchases of more than $5,000, but most people and companies will get more value out of the expanded 5x earnings on airfare, specifically tickets purchased directly with the airline.
Both of these cards 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 time-consuming.
Another great benefit offered by both cards is the credit of up to $200 for airline fees, 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 inflight internet purchases or airfare, so make sure you have a plan to use the card for an eligible expense such as bag fees or seat selection.
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 4 p.m. late check-out, a room upgrade if available, daily breakfast for two and an amenity or credit worth at least $100 for your stay. 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 February 2019 to match the personal card.
For those who want lounge access when they travel, both cards come with the American Express Global Lounge Collection. It includes Centurion Lounges, the International American Express lounges, Delta Sky Club access when flying Delta and Priority Pass Select, along with Airspace and Escape lounges.
Both of the cards added new trip delay and trip cancellation/interruption protection as of Jan. 1, 2020, and the coverage is identical across both cards. Other (existing) insurance benefits such as purchase protection, extended warranty, secondary rental car coverage, roadside assistance, baggage insurance, travel accident insurance and premium global assist are also virtually identical across both cards. Plus, both cards allow you to add primary rental car coverage through American Express’ Premium Car Rental Protection.
Although both cards offer a shopping credit, they are for different retailers. With the personal Amex Platinum, you’ll get up to $100 in statement credits at Saks Fifth Avenue ($50 to use between January and June; $50 to use between July and December). The Business Platinum, on the other hand, comes with up to $200 in Dell statement credits for U.S. purchases ($100 to use January and June; $100 to use between July and December) each year.
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. Also note that Uber now adds the monthly credits to your Uber Cash balance, and you need to select Uber Cash as your payment method to redeem your credits.
Winner: Again this one will depend on where you shop the most, but the personal Amex Platinum offers up to $300 in annual credits while the Business Platinum only offers $200. Assuming you can use the Saks and Uber credits, that gives the personal Platinum an edge, though businesses might get more value with the Dell credit instead.
American Express Membership Rewards is one of the most valuable loyalty currencies out there. According to TPG’s valuations, Amex points are worth 2 cents apiece. With 22 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 preselected airline — or business or first class on any airline — you’ll receive a 35% rebate of the points you used (up to 500,000 points each calendar year). This is particularly useful if you don’t have flexible travel dates and award space isn’t available, but note that you need the full amount of points in your account at the time of booking.
If you plan to transfer your Membership Rewards points to one of the program’s airline or hotel partners, you should try to get at least 2 cents per point in value when booking award flights or nights. Of course, if you book business- or first-class flights such as Etihad Apartments, you can expect to get even more value out of these points.
Winner: Tie. No matter which card you get, you know you’re getting excellent value out of your Membership Rewards points, though the Business Platinum card may have a small edge thanks to the flexibility of the Pay with Points redemption option.
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 (see rates and fees). 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 looks even better. And remember that you can add up to three authorized users to your Amex Platinum for just $175 per year (see rates and fees).
For business owners, the decision isn’t quite so simple. The Business Platinum card is currently offering a welcome bonus of 75,000 points after spending a total of $15,000 in the first three months, making it an incredibly attractive choice. However, the exact set of perks differs slightly.
Both the personal and business versions of the Platinum come with the airline-fee credit, Global Entry/TSA PreCheck credit, Hilton and Marriott elite status and more. But business owners and employees who require a good bit of travel will appreciate the the 35% points rebate.To make the best choice for your situation, you’ll also want to consider whether you’ll use the 1.5 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 boost.
Also remember that the annual fees differ by $45, with the Amex Platinum carrying a $550 annual fee (see rates and fees) and the Business Platinum a $595 annual fee (see rates and fees). Neither is cheap, but the benefits and the annual credits offset much of the fees on both cards, making either one a solid choice for the frequent traveler.
Of course, for some cardholders, it makes sense to have both in their wallet. A small-business owner who wants to maximize travel for both business and pleasure and take advantage of the full range of Platinum benefits can hold both cards. Just make sure your professional and personal spending habits make both annual fees worth it. Combined, these cards come with almost $1,200 in total fees.
- Earn up to 70,000 bonus miles. Earn 60,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Plus, earn an additional 10,000 bonus miles after your first anniversary of Card Membership. Offer Expires 4/1/2020.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free and Main Cabin 1 Priority Boarding on Delta flights.
- New! Get ready for your next trip - spend $10,000 in purchases on your card in a calendar year and receive a $100 Delta Flight Credit to get you there sooner.
- Earn 2X Miles on Delta purchases, at restaurants worldwide and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a 20% savings in the form of a statement credit after you use your Card on eligible Delta in-flight purchases of food, beverages, and audio headsets.
- Enjoy a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $99.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees