This might be the best Amex card combo: Amex Gold and Amex Business Platinum
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Given how volatile points and miles programs can be, we often advise in favor of diversifying the types of travel rewards you earn. After all, you wouldn’t want to spend years saving up rewards points only to see that dream award flight or night slip out of reach when a program suddenly devalues (or eliminates) its award chart. And that’s happening a lot these days.
However, it can sometimes make sense to double down with a specific rewards program – especially if it’s one where the points are transferable to a number of different airlines and hotels, in addition to being useful for other types of redemptions.
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One such program is American Express Membership Rewards. Not only do these points transfer to 18 airline and three hotel loyalty partners, but they are also redeemable in any number of other ways. The cards that participate in the program are also some of the best in the rewards space.
Among them, The Business Platinum Card® from American Express and the American Express® Gold Card are currently offering phenomenal, introductory welcome offers that might have you considering whether to apply for one, the other, or both.
In fact, pairing the Amex Business Platinum and Amex Gold cards might be the best Amex card duo possible, thanks to their highly complementary earning structures and benefits packages.
By having and using both for different purposes, you can rake in even more points, even faster, while still enjoying all the outsize benefits the Amex Business Platinum confers and the statement credits that come with the Amex Gold.
Here are the details on each card’s current terms and some of the reasons you might want to keep both in your wallet.
Business Platinum Card from American Express details
This excellent small-business card is currently fielding one of its highest-ever introductory bonuses.
Current welcome offer
With our TPG-exclusive offer, you can earn up to 125,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $15,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months of card membership. That’s 40,000 more points than the previous public offer.
$595 (see rates and fees)
The Amex Business Platinum earns points at the following rates:
- Earn 5 points per dollar spent on flights booked through Amex Travel.
- Earn 5 points per dollar on prepaid hotels booked through Amex Travel.
- Earn 1.5 points per dollar on purchases of $5,000 or more, up to 1 million additional points per calendar year.
- Earn 1 point on other eligible purchases
There are three key statement credits cardmembers can count on.
- Annual airline fee credit of up to $200 on charges by the airline you select per calendar year*
- Annual credit of up to $200 with Dell on U.S. purchases per calendar year*
- Up-to-$100 fee credit for Global Entry or an $85 fee credit for TSA PreCheck every four years (4 1/2 years for PreCheck).
*Enrollment required for select benefits.
Where to even begin? Like The Platinum Card® from American Express, the Amex Business Platinum comes with many value-added perks. Among the most significant are:
- Access to the American Express Global Lounge Collection, which includes Centurion Lounges, Priority Pass lounges, Delta Sky Clubs on same-day Delta flights, and Airspace and Escape lounges.*
- Register for complimentary Gold elite status with Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy.*
- Complimentary memberships in Hertz Gold Plus Rewards, Avis Preferred and National Car Rental Emerald Club Executive.*
- Ability to book stays through Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts with value-added perks.
- International Airline Program airfare purchase discounts.
- No foreign transaction fees (see rates and fees).
- Cardholders receive a 35% rebate when they use 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).
- Various travel and purchase protections.
*Enrollment required for select benefits.
American Express Gold Card details
Plenty of bonus categories plus some valuable statement credits make this one of the most well-rounded rewards cards available.
Current welcome offer
The current best public offer is for the American Express Gold Card is 60,000 points after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first six months of card membership.
Apply here for the American Express® Gold Card with a 60,000-point welcome bonus.
However, via CardMatch, you may be able to earn up to 75,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $4,000 within the first six months (offer subject to change at any time) if you are a lucky targeted individual.
$250 (see rates and fees)
This card is a spectacular all-around earner. It accrues points at the following rates:
- Earn 4 points per dollar on dining at restaurants (including takeout and delivery).
- Earn 4 points per dollar on up to $25,000 per calendar year in spending at U.S. supermarkets; then 1x
- Earn 3 points per dollar on flights booked directly with airlines or through Amex Travel.
- Earn 1 point per dollar on other eligible purchases.
This card comes with two particularly attractive statement credits, too.
- Up-to-$120 annual dining credit per calendar year: Earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the Gold Card at participating dining partners, including Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, some Shake Shack locations and Boxed.*
- Up to $120 in annual Uber Cash per calendar year: Earn up to $10 in Uber Cash monthly for Uber Eats and Uber rides in the U.S. Must add the card to the Uber app to receive Uber Cash benefit.*
*Enrollment required for select benefits.
All told, that’s $240 in potential value each year.
Like the Amex Business Platinum, this card waives foreign transaction fees (see rates and fees) and provides certain travel protections.
Combining the Amex Business Platinum and Amex Gold cards
Let’s get the awkward part out of the way. Both cards charge pretty high annual fees – $595 for the Amex Business Platinum (see rates and fees) and $250 for the Amex Gold (see rates and fees). That’s up to $845 in fees each year, which is nothing to ignore.
Despite that, there are numerous reasons to consider combining the Amex Business Platinum and Amex Gold cards. Here are the most important ones.
Two cards, two bonuses
These two cards are currently fielding some of their best-ever introductory offers.
With the special deal for TPG readers, the current Amex Business Platinum welcome offer lets you earn up to 125,000 bonus points by spending $15,000 on purchases in the first three months. Get the Amex Gold and spend $4,000 in the first six months, and you nab another 60,000 bonus points.
Without even taking their bonus spending categories into account, you’d be looking at an overall points haul of at least 185,000 Amex Membership Rewards points by hitting those requirements. TPG currently values Amex points at 2 cents apiece, so that’s around $3,700 in value – though potentially much more, depending on how you redeem them.
Sure, that’s a lot of money to lay out, but if you’re strategic and have some work and personal expenses coming up that you can leverage to meet a new card’s minimum spending requirement, this could be an excellent one-two option.
Another reason you might want to consider applying for these two cards, in particular, is if you already have, or even if you had in the past but have subsequently closed, another Amex product, like the Amex Platinum Card or the American Express® Business Gold Card, you might be ineligible to earn its welcome offer again per Amex’s application eligibility rules. So these two cards could be some of your best bets to keep on accruing Amex points at a healthy clip.
Keep things professional
Speaking of card combinations, there are a lot of great reasons why you might want to get both a personal and business card. Doing so can help you separate your work and personal expenses. Putting higher, work-related spending on a business card can keep that activity off your personal credit report – which can, in turn, help raise your personal credit score by lowering your debt-to-credit utilization ratio.
One of the biggest selling points to getting both the Amex Business Platinum and the Amex Gold Card is how you can mix and match their bonus earning opportunities to maximize your everyday spending.
Use the Amex Gold Card to rack up 4 points per dollar on dining at restaurants and groceries at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 a year, then 1 point per dollar), but hold the Amex Business Platinum in reserve for those $5,000-plus purchases, on which you can earn 1.5 points per dollar.
To get a bit more granular, if you tend to book airline tickets directly with the airline, you can continue doing so with the Amex Gold Card, since it earns 3 points per dollar whether you use it to pay through the airline or Amex Travel. But if you can shift some of your travel bookings to Amex Travel, you can leverage the Amex Business Platinum’s 5 points per dollar earning rate not just on airfare but also on prepaid hotels.
You can book hotels through Amex’s Hotel Collection with either card. The Amex Gold Card earns 2 points per dollar, while the Amex Business Platinum earns 5 points per dollar instead. With the Amex Business Platinum, you also have access to even higher-end properties and more valuable perks through Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts.
Stretch your points further
Amex has a feature called Pay with Points, where you can redeem Membership Rewards for reservations made directly through Amex Travel. You get 1 cent per point toward flights, and less than that for other types of bookings, such as hotel stays.
However, Amex Business Platinum cardmembers receive a 35% rebate using Pay with Points in two circumstances:
- For a first- or business-class ticket on any airline.
- For a ticket in any cabin on the same airline, they designate for their annual up to $200 airline fee credit.
This benefit is capped at 500,000 points per calendar year (so you’d have to redeem around 1.43 million points to max it out). By using points from your Amex Business Platinum account for qualifying flights, you get 35% of your points back, and that automatically ups their value from 1 cent apiece to 1.54 cents – a 54% premium.
While Pay with Points isn’t for everyone, there are a few great reasons to use it. First, you get a solid value of 1 cent per point redeemed this way (or more with the Amex Business Platinum). Second, you don’t have to worry about transfer partners or times or award availability with a particular airline. Finally, when you redeem via Pay with Points, it’s basically like paying cash for your ticket, so you still earn elite miles and credit for your travel.
Statement credits galore
The final reason to consider carrying both the Amex Business Platinum and the Amex Gold Card is to stack their various statement credits.
The Amex Gold Card provides up to $10 per month in Uber credits toward either rides or Uber Eats orders in the U.S., plus a further $10 per month in dining credits as enumerated above for a potential total of $240 in statement credits.
For its part, the Amex Business Platinum comes with up to $200 per year in statement credits toward Dell purchases, up to $200 in airline fee credits, and up to $100 toward Global Entry or TSA PreCheck periodically.
Maximize all these in the first year, and you’re looking at $740 in potential value. What’s more, none of these statement credits overlap from card to card, so you don’t sacrifice anything by carrying them both.
While the Amex Gold Card is short on other perks, the Amex Business Platinum includes the same full array of benefits as its personal counterpart, the Amex Platinum Card.
Those include advantages like access to various airport lounges – Amex Centurion Lounges, Delta Sky Clubs, Priority Pass, Airspace and Escape lounges among them – plus the ability to register for Gold status with both Marriott and Hilton as well as various rental car agencies and the International Airline Program discounts for folks who fly premium cabins.
Earning aside, these benefits alone can make carrying the Amex Business Platinum worth it.
It’s usually a good idea to diversify the types of travel rewards points you earn. However, it can also make sense to double down with one program or another, including Amex Membership Rewards, given how versatile they are.
The right combination of Amex cards will depend on your needs and spending habits. But the Amex Business Platinum and Amex Gold Card make a winning combination thanks to their corresponding perks portfolios and bonus spending categories. You can get both to leverage not only lucrative introductory offers but also excellent everyday earning rates and other benefits to take advantage of when you start traveling again in a serious way.
Featured photo by The Points Guy.
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