Is the Amex Business Platinum worth the annual fee?

Mar 21, 2022

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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with new information. 

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express is one of the best travel rewards cards — in addition to being one of the best business rewards cardson the market. 

Plus, the current welcome offer is 120,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $15,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months of card membership. Those points are worth $2,400 by TPG’s latest valuations, which is reason enough to consider applying.

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(Photo by The Points Guy)

However, there’s a $695 annual fee (see rates and fees), which might have you wondering whether the card is worthwhile. Thanks to its many premium perks — both ongoing and recently introduced ones that have added more than $800 in annual statement credits to its potential — the card’s value might be worth much more than the cost of its annual fee.

Beyond the first year of card membership, you’ve got to make sure you’ll maximize its specific benefits. Here are a few of the ones you should evaluate to make sure that the Amex Business Platinum is worth the annual fee for you and your business needs.

Official application link: The Business Platinum Card from American Express with up to 120,000 bonus points after $15,000 in spending in the first three months of account opening.

In This Post

Welcome offer

(Photo by The Points Guy)

The Amex Business Platinum is currently available with 120,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $15,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months of card membership.

Welcome bonus value: Up to $2,400.

Related: Who is eligible for the Amex Business Platinum Card?

Fixed-value perks

Clear kiosks at the airport
(Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

The Amex Business Platinum has conferred a number of perks with a fixed-dollar value for many years. But back in October 2021, the issuer added or enhanced multiple new statement credits to the card’s benefits package.

Here is a roundup of both the new and existing statement credits that Amex Business Platinum cardmembers can receive. 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 annually as of October 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 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 incidental fees. 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).

If you’re able to leverage the full extent of each of these perks, you’re looking at more than $1,400 worth of value each year (and that’s even amortizing the Global Entry perk over four years).

However, the card carries a few other lucrative benefits that can reap you even more value each year if you’re able to use them.

Annual statement credits’ value: Over $1,400.

Lounge 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 (MIA). (Photo by Zach Honig/The Points Guy)

If you travel frequently, one of the card’s perks you might get the most use of is access to the Amex’s ever-expanding network of Centurion Lounges. 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 can enter while traveling. So if you travel for work, this benefit alone might make the card worthwhile.

Cardmembers can also register for a Priority Pass Select membership, which grants access to more than 1,300 lounges worldwide for both the cardholder and up to two guests. This type of membership would cost $429 annually if you purchased a Prestige membership directly from Priority Pass — and that doesn’t even include the $32-per-guest entry fee.

Cardmembers can also get into Delta Sky Clubs when flying on a same-day Delta ticket, which equates to a Delta Sky Club individual membership at $545 per year.

Finally, the Amex Business Platinum will get you into Airspace lounges (between $20 and $35 per visit) and Escape lounges ($40 per visit when booked in advance and $45 at the door).

Even if you only use the card’s lounge access benefits a few times a year, you’re looking at $30 to $50 in value per visit. Let’s say you hit the lounge about 10 times a year and bring a guest, so you’re looking at around $600 to $1,000 in value.

Lounge access value: At least $1,000 per year.

Hotel elite status

white, airy hotel room with bed, desk, couch and chair
(Photo courtesy of Marriott)

Carrying the Amex Business Platinum allows you to register for both Marriott Bonvoy Gold elite status and Hilton Honors Gold elite status.

For full-fledged members of each program who earn status the old-fashioned way — through stays — we value Hilton Gold at $1,255 per year thanks to benefits like free breakfast or dining credits on most stays, and Marriott Gold at $855 per year thanks to perks like bonus points earning and room upgrades.

Let’s split the difference since cardmembers have two programs to choose from and take half our value from each. In those terms, you’re looking at…

Hotel elite status annual value: $1,055 per year.

Related: Guide to Marriott and Hilton elite status with the Amex Platinum and Business Platinum

Car rental elite status

Rental cars at STL airport
The rental car facility at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport (STL). (Photo by Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Cardmembers can enroll for automatic Avis Preferred status as well as complimentary enrollment in Hertz Gold Plus Rewards and National Car Rental Emerald Club Executive status.

It’s difficult to assign a specific dollar value to these perks, but they come with valuable benefits such as category upgrades, discounts, guaranteed availability and return grace periods, depending on the program. We’ll estimate the total value at $200 per year.

Car rental elite status value: $200 per year.

Bonus points for airfare and hotels

view from inside airplane out of window with clouds and blue sky
(Photo by Jonathan Barton/Getty Images)

When booking airfare and prepaid hotels through American Express Travel, cardholders earn 5 Membership Rewards points per dollar — otherwise a 10% return on these purchases.

So, let’s say you spend at least $10,000 on airfare and hotels per year for yourself and your business. You’re looking at earning 50,000 points, worth around $1,000 in value by TPG’s estimations.

Potential yearly value: Around $1,000.

Pay With Points rebate

Delta One business class from Atlanta to Johannesburg. (Photo by Katie Genter/The Points Guy)

The Amex Pay With Points program lets you redeem Membership Rewards points directly for flights booked through Amex Travel at a flat rate of 1 cent each.

However, with the Amex Business Platinum, you’ll receive rebate of 35% of your points when redeeming for first- or business-class ticket on any airline, or economy tickets on one airline of your choice. That brings your per-point value on eligible redemptions to 1.54 cents.

But, let’s say your business redeems about 500,000 points per year (worth $5,000 in travel) on eligible flights, you’re looking at receiving 175,000 points back. In our book, that’s worth…

Potential yearly value: $3,500.

Fine Hotels and Resorts

Amex Fine Hotels and Resorts (FHR) can provide lots of benefits during your stay ranging from upgrades to late check-out. (Photo courtesy of Amex FHR Banyan Tree Mayakoba)

Business Platinum cardmembers can make hotel reservations through the American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts (FHR) program.

When you book a room at one of more than 1,000 premier properties around the world, you’ll receive the following benefits:

  • Daily breakfast for two.
  • Room upgrade, when available.
  • Guaranteed 4 p.m. checkout.
  • Noon check-in, when available.
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi (some restrictions apply).
  • An amenity such as a $100 dining or spa credit.

Best of all, you can take advantage of special FHR deals for free nights on three- and four-night stays. American Express estimates the value of these benefits at $550 per stay, which seems reasonable when you consider all of the perks that’s included. For this estimate, let’s assume that you book an average of two FHR stays per year.

Yearly value: $1,100.

Purchase bonuses and discounts

Hispanic Manager in Warehouse
(Photo by stevecoleimages/Getty Images)

The Amex Business Platinum card earns a 50% bonus on specific purchase. In other words, you can earn 1.5 points per dollar on up to $2 million in eligible purchases in the U.S. per calendar year for:

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

If you or your business spends $50,000 on purchases each year that qualify for the bonus points, you’re looking at an extra 25,000 points per year. That’s worth…

Yearly value: $500.

International Airline Program

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

The Amex International Airline Program extends discounts to certain cardholders, including those with the Amex Business Platinum, on up to eight tickets per booking in premium economy, business class or first class. The only stipulations are that the cardmember must be traveling and there’s a $39-per-ticket booking fee.

TPG has found the average savings to be nearly 10% per ticket. So let’s say you book two round-trip tickets each year at a cost of $3,000 each, you’re looking at around $600 in savings.

(Conservative) Yearly value: $600.

Additional travel benefits

cell phone on desk
(Photo by Omar Prestwich via Unsplash)

Carrying the Amex Business Platinum card bestows additional perks like the help of the Amex Concierge, baggage and travel accident insurance, cell phone protection, purchase protection and more.

For our purposes, we’re going to leave these out since we hope you’ll never have to use them. Still, it’s good to know you can count on hundreds or thousands of dollars worth of protection if things go wrong for you on the road.

Value recap

Let’s sum up the potential yearly benefits of the Amex Business Platinum, not counting its current welcome offer (which we value around $2,400).

Amex Business Platinum Perk Calculated Value annuallY
Lounge access. $1,000.
Airline fee credit. $200.
Car rental elite status. $200.
Hotel elite status. $1,055.
Bonus points for airfare and hotels. $1,000.
Pay with Points rebate. $3,500.
Fine Hotels and Resorts. $1,100.

Purchase bonuses and discounts.

International Airline Program. $600.
Dell statement credits. $400
Indeed statement credits. $360.
Adobe statement credits. $150.
Wireless phone statement credits. $120.
Clear statement credits. $189.
Global Entry or TSA PreCheck statement credits. $20.
Total $10,384.

Bottom line

The Amex Business Platinum card costs $695 per year to carry, but frequent travelers and business owners who can maximize the card’s various statement credits and travel-related perks stand to gain a lot more value than that from it year after year.

In the first year, make sure you can meet the spending requirements to fulfill the terms of its welcome offer. After that, consider your travel and spending habits, whether and how you’re likely to utilize its key benefits to estimate how much value you can get from the card year after year. If you can take full advantage of those benefits, it’s not hard to reap potentially tens of thousands of dollars worth of value from the card and more than offset the annual fee.

Application link: The Business Platinum Card from American Express with up to 120,000 bonus points after $15,000 in spending in the first three months of account opening.

For rates and fees of the Amex Business Platinum, please click here.

Additional reporting by Benet Wilson, Mark Spivak and Jennifer Yellin.

Featured photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy.

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.