Why you should consider having both the personal and business Amex Platinum cards
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The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Business Platinum Card® from American Express have established themselves as the cards to have if you’re interested in luxury travel benefits. With an overlapping rewards structure and similar benefits, it’s logical to question which of the two is the best for you. Or, if you already have one of the cards, you may be wondering whether you should also go for the other.
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It could actually work out in your favor to make room for both of the cards in your wallet — even with the $695 annual fee (see rates and fees) for the Amex Platinum and $595 annual fee (see rates and fees) for the Business Platinum. There are certain benefits of each card that complement the other, making them a great combination when it comes to getting the most out of your travel. Here’s why.
$4,500-plus in welcome offer value
Both cards come with pretty substantial welcome offers. The Business Platinum Card will net you a welcome offer of 100,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases in the first three months of card membership.
With the Amex Platinum, you’ll earn 100,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $6,000 on purchases in your first six months of card membership (although you may be targeted for a higher offer via the CardMatch Tool). And as part of the Amex Platinum’s current welcome offer, you’ll also earn 10x points on eligible purchases on the card at restaurants worldwide and when you “Shop Small” in the U.S., on up to $25,000 in combined purchases, during the first six months of card membership.
If you apply for both cards and earn the full spending bonuses, you’ll get a total of at least 225,000 Membership Rewards points. Based on TPG’s most recent valuations, that’s worth about $4,500 — more than double the combined cost of the annual fees.
Typically, one of the easiest perks to take advantage of with the Platinum cards is the annual airline fee credit.
Each card has an up-to-$200 annual airline fee credit, and while it isn’t as generous as the $300 travel credit you’ll get with the Chase Sapphire Reserve card (which can be applied to any travel purchase), the credit with the Amex Platinum cards is still very useful. (Here are some ways to use the airline fee credit.)
Aside from the airline fee credits, each card offers differing credits that make having both cards worth considering. The personal Platinum Card offers up to $200 in annual Uber credits (for use in the U.S.), up to $100 in annual Saks credits and up to $100 in credit for your Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application. The Business Platinum comes with up to $200 in Dell credits on U.S. purchases and a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit, up to $100 (which you can use to pay for a frequent travel companion’s application).
Together, these credits amount to $1,100 in value (which alone mostly offsets the cost of both annual fees).
Enrollment required for select benefits.
All American Express credit cards, including the Platinum and Business Platinum cards, come with access to Amex Offers. You can find your available offers if you scroll down to “Amex Offers & Benefits” on your online account page or click on the “Offers” tab on the Amex app. They are targeted for each cardholder and come from merchants including hotels, travel providers, restaurants, clothing and jewelry stores and more. These offers are usually either:
- Spend $X, get Y number of bonus points
- Spend $X, get $Y back
- Get additional points for each dollar you spend at a select merchant
While Amex Offers can be a great deal alone, you can do even better when you take them to double or even triple dip when you stack them with online shopping portals to earn extra cash back or bonus miles on your purchase. Be warned: Depending on the terms of the offer, using online portals, promo codes, etc., could cause your Amex Offer not to trigger, so always read the fine print on terms.
But the good news is that you can stack your Amex Offers with other popular Amex perks, including the annual statement credits at Saks Fifth Avenue and Dell that come with the Platinum and the Business Platinum cards, respectively. Eligibility for these offers is limited. Enrollment is required in the Amex Offers section of your account before redeeming.
Related: Your ultimate guide to Amex Offers
Both the personal and business Amex Platinum were among the cards that got a protections overhaul in January 2020. Cardholders have access to trip cancellation insurance, trip interruption insurance and trip delay insurance. With many cards recently eliminating these protections, the addition of these benefits is another reason to book your travel with an Amex Platinum. The move also makes these two cards more competitive with the Chase Sapphire Reserve, which comes with a plethora of travel insurance.
Because both the Amex Platinum and Amex Business Platinum will have these benefits, cardholders can rest assured both business and personal trips will be taken care of (so long as you’re using your Amex Platinum to book your travel).
Access to an array of hotel benefits is one of the areas where these two cards overlap. With both the personal and business Amex Platinum, you’ll receive complimentary Gold status at Hilton and Marriott and have access to Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts. Enrollment required for select benefits.
Gold status at Hilton comes with perks like complimentary breakfast, room upgrades when available, an 80% point bonus on paid stays and more. Marriott Bonvoy Gold status comes with priority late checkout, upgrades when available, a 25% point bonus and more.
Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts is a program that offers elite-like benefits at properties around the world. These perks include guaranteed late checkout, daily breakfast for two, room upgrades when available, a unique property amenity (valued at $100 or more) and more. Some properties in this program will also offer third, fourth or fifth nights free, which is a valuable benefit when you’re not booking your stay through Hilton.
While you only need one Platinum card to enjoy these benefits, having both ensures you’re taking advantage of benefits while you maximize earning no matter if your trip is for business or pleasure.
Let’s say you only had the personal Amex Platinum. While that card will give you all of these benefits on its own, you won’t want to pay for your and two employees’ hotel stays on your personal card, which means you’d lose out on 5x earning. The same logic applies if you only have the Business Platinum, but you want to book a family vacation. If you have both cards, you know you’ll get hotel benefits with any stay booked on American Express Travel while still earning 5x.
Maximizing personal and business spending
Perhaps one of the biggest benefits of having both the personal and business versions of the card is that you’re effectively earning 7.7% back on every airfare purchase you put on your personal Platinum Card (airfare booked directly with the airline or through American Express Travel on up to $500,000 spent on these purchases per calendar year).
You’ll also earn 5x on prepaid hotels booked on American Express Travel If you earn 5x points on eligible travel purchases and then redeem those points at a value of 1.54 cents apiece with Pay with Points through the Business Platinum, you’re getting a return of 7.7% — that’s hard to beat! Even if you don’t redeem your points that way, you could still get a 7.7% return, as TPG values Amex Membership Rewards points at 2 cents apiece in the latest valuations.
Something else to consider is the 50% points bonus for large purchases (over $5,000) with the Amex Business Platinum. Both the personal and business cards have no predetermined credit limit, meaning you have more freedom when it comes to making larger purchases. In addition, the Business Platinum earns you 50% more points on purchases of $5,000 or more, for up to 1 million additional Membership Rewards points every calendar year.
Say, for example, you’re making an $11,500 purchase that wouldn’t be eligible for a bonus with another card. In total, you’d earn 17,250 Membership Rewards points in return — worth about $345 based on TPG’s most recent valuations. If you were to use another card without a category bonus for what you’re buying, you’d earn 11,500 Membership Rewards points — worth about $230. Effectively, you’d be getting more than $100 extra in value by using the Business Platinum.
Using both the Amex Platinum Card and its business version can get you the maximum value on both your rewards-earning and redemptions, in addition to some great cardholder perks. Each is a great card on its own, but having both in your wallet can get you even more Membership Rewards points, and it can help you stretch those points further when it comes time to use them toward travel.
Additional reporting by Emily McNutt.
Featured image by The Points Guy
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