8 reasons to keep your Amex Business Platinum card
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Many of the best premium travel rewards cards have high annual fees. But The Business Platinum Card® from American Express has one of the highest annual fees at $595 (see rates and fees). As such, when your annual fee comes due, you may wonder whether you should keep your card.
American Express charged the $595 annual fee (see rates and fees) to my account earlier this week. So, I needed to decide whether the Amex Business Platinum is worth its annual fee. In doing so, I considered the card’s many perks and created a list of reasons a cardholder might decide to keep their Amex Business Platinum card. Today, I’ll go through this list so you can decide for yourself.
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Airport lounge access
The Amex Business Platinum (and its counterpart, The Platinum Card® from American Express) provide the most extensive lounge access you’ll find on any card. As such, these cards usually rank at the top of our best cards for airport lounge access list. Specifically, here are the types of lounges you can access with the Amex Platinum and Amex Business Platinum:
- Centurion Lounges
- Priority Pass lounges (excluding Priority Pass restaurants)
- Delta Sky Club lounges (when flying Delta or its partner airlines on same-day flights)
- International American Express Lounges
- Escape lounges
- Plaza Premium lounges
- Airspace lounges
- Select Lufthansa lounges (currently through Mar. 31, 2021)
Airfare and hotels booked through Amex Travel
If you spend a lot on airfare and hotels booked through Amex Travel, it may be worth keeping your Amex Business Platinum card. After all, the Amex Business Platinum earns 5x Membership Rewards points on flights and prepaid hotels booked through amextravel.com. TPG values American Express Membership Rewards points at two cents per point. So, you’d get an approximate 10% return on purchases that earn 5x points.
Additionally, you’ll get a 35% rebate when you Pay With Points for select flights. Specifically, you’ll get 3.5 points back for every 10 points redeemed when you use Membership Rewards Pay with Points through Amex Travel for:
- First or business class flights on any airline
- Flights with your selected qualifying airline
You can get up to 500,000 points back per calendar year through this 35% rebate.
Finally, you can also book select international flights at a discounted price through Amex’s International Airline Program. Through this program, you can get discounts on first class, business class and premium economy tickets booked through Amex Travel. You can book discounted travel for you and up to seven passengers traveling on the same itinerary. However, you must originate in the U.S. or select Canadian cities and fly on participating airlines.
Hotel elite status
As a cardholder of the Amex Business Platinum, you may be enjoying Hilton Honors Gold status and Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status. After all, these two hotel loyalty program statuses are cardmember perks of the Amex Business Platinum. But, you’ll only keep these hotel elite statuses while you are an eligible American Express cardmember.
If you get a lot of value from either or both of these hotel elite statuses, you may want to keep your Amex Business Platinum card. But, it is relatively easy to earn hotel elite status in 2021. So, if you decide to cancel your Amex Business Platinum but still want elite status with Marriott or Hilton, you may be able to earn the status you want with relatively few nights in 2021.
Elite-like perks at select hotels
Amex Business Platinum cardholders can get elite-like perks at select hotels when they book through Amex’s Fine Hotels and Resorts program or Amex’s Hotel Collection program. Even if you book just a few stays with these programs each year, you may find the perks help justify keeping your card.
Specifically, you’ll get the following perks when you book through the Fine Hotels and Resorts program:
- Room upgrade upon arrival, when available at check-in
- Daily breakfast for two people
- Guaranteed 4:00 p.m. late checkout
- Noon check-in, when available at check-in
- Complimentary Wi-Fi
- Experience credit valued at $100 or more
And you’ll get the following perks on stays of two nights or longer that you book through Amex’s Hotel Collection program:
- $100 onsite credit to spend on qualifying dining, spa and resort activities
- Room upgrade upon arrival, when available at check-in
Best of all, you’ll earn 5x Membership Rewards points when you use your Amex Business Platinum to make prepaid bookings through these two programs.
Travel and shopping protection
As an Amex Business Platinum cardholder, you can access travel and shopping protection when you use your card. For example, when you purchase eligible items with your card, you’ll automatically get return protection, purchase protection and extended warranty protection for your purchases. However, extended warranty protection will end if you cancel or downgrade your card. So, maintaining extended warranty protection on currently covered items could be a reason to keep your Amex Business Platinum card.
Likewise, when you purchase eligible travel with your card, you’ll automatically get trip cancellation and interruption insurance, trip delay insurance, baggage insurance plan and car rental loss and damage insurance. However, especially if you frequently don’t book simple round-trip itineraries, be sure to read the benefits guides on Amex’s website to ensure you’ll be covered.
Finally, as an Amex Business Platinum cardholder, you get access to the card’s Premium Global Assist hotline. This hotline can help you plan your trip and provide assistance during your trip. One often overlooked benefit of the Premium Global Assist hotline is access to emergency medical transportation assistance. One of the primary reasons I rely on a premium credit card instead of purchasing travel insurance for most trips is this benefit.
As an Amex Business Platinum cardholder, you can take advantage of two types of statement credits every year. First off, you can get up to $200 in Dell statement credits each year. Amex provides these Dell statement credits as up to $100 between January and June and up to $100 between July and December.
You can also get up to $200 in incidental air travel fee credits each year. However, you must choose one qualifying airline, which you can change once a year. And only incidental fees on that airline will trigger credits. The credit only covers incidental air travel fees charged by the airline separately from airline ticket charges. In general, airline tickets, upgrades, mileage purchases, mileage transfer fees, gift cards, duty-free purchases and award tickets won’t trigger credits.
If you can fully utilize both of these statement credits, you can effectively chop $400 off your annual fee. Combined with the Amex Business Platinum’s other perks, you may find that these statement credits are enough to justify keeping your card.
Your company pays your annual fee
If your company pays for or reimburses your annual fee, you may be willing to keep your Amex Business Platinum card even if you’re not able to use many of the card’s benefits currently. For example, my employer reimburses part of my Amex Business Platinum annual fee since I frequently write about the card and its benefits. And my parents’ small business pays the annual fee on the small business card employees use for business expenses.
Especially if you are required to pay for business expenses and then get reimbursed or frequently travel for business, it’s worth checking to see whether your company is willing to cover part or all of your annual fee.
Amex gives you a retention offer
If you can’t justify keeping your Amex Business Platinum card, you’ll need to call the number on the back of your card to downgrade or cancel your card. However, before downgrading or canceling your card, it’s worth asking the representative if there are any retention offers on your account. By doing so, TPG senior reporter Victoria Walker recently snagged two retention offers on her Amex cards.
Your retention offer may not cover your entire annual fee. But, it could be enough to justify keeping your card open for another year.
To justify keeping the Amex Business Platinum card, you’ll usually need to get excellent value from several of the card’s perks. For example, I get significant value from the card’s lounge access, statement credits and hotel elite status. But, I’d have trouble keeping the card if my employer didn’t partially reimburse my annual fee.
Of course, the Amex Business Platinum offers many other perks that aren’t mentioned in this guide. For example, you can use Membership Rewards points to upgrade select flights. And you’ll get extra perks in the Delta Private Jets program when you sign up with your Amex Business Platinum card. Although these perks won’t provide any value to some cardholders, they may be the primary reason you decide to keep your card.
For rates and fees of the Amex Business Platinum card, please click here.
Featured image by Nikada/Getty Images.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Aside from the 85,000-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.
- Earn 85,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card plus earn 5x points on eligible purchases in 5 select business categories, up to 80,000 bonus points per category, all within the first 3 months of Card Membership.† Terms Apply.
- Get 50% more Membership Rewards® points. That's an extra half point 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 when you book on amextravel.com.
- Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com.
- 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.
- Pay Over Time Option: A flexible payment option to help manage cash flow on purchases of $100 or more.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees