7 reasons you might want the Amex Business Platinum Card instead of the Amex Platinum Card
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The Business Platinum Card® from American Express is not only one of the best small-business cards, it’s one of the best cards for travel rewards in general. Cardmembers pay for all that excellence, though, since it charges a $595 annual fee, which will go up to $695 starting Jan. 13, 2022 (see rates and fees).
However, despite a plethora of valuable benefits — including some that were just introduced in October — and some excellent opportunities to earn bonus points, the Amex Business Platinum Card still tends to be overshadowed by its personal counterpart, The Platinum Card® from American Express, which imposes a $695 annual fee of its own (see rates and fees).
But with the recent launch of a new welcome offer of 120,000 points after spending $15,000 on eligible purchases in the first three months of card membership, you may be taking another look at the Amex Business Platinum. Here are seven reasons why you might want to get the Amex Business Platinum instead of the Amex Platinum, and how to make your decision.
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Amex Business Platinum Card details
First, a quick rundown of the Amex Business Platinum’s features.
Current welcome offer
Earn 120,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $15,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months of card membership. That’s 20,000 more points than the previous public offer. TPG values Amex points at 2 cents apiece, so the welcome bonus alone is worth $2,400.
The Amex Business Platinum earns points at the following rates, including some new bonus opportunities:
- 5 points per dollar spent on flights booked through Amex Travel.
- 5 points per dollar on prepaid hotels booked through Amex Travel.
- 1.5 points per dollar on up to $2 million in eligible purchases in the U.S. per calendar year of over $5,000 each as well as on electronic goods retailers, software, cloud service providers, construction materials and hardware supplies, and shipping providers.
- 1 point per dollar on all other eligible charges.
The Amex Business Platinum has a number of perks in common with the personal Amex Platinum Card, but it boasts the following unique perks, too (enrollment is required for select benefits):
- 35% rebate when you 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 back per calendar year).
- Up to $400 in annual statement credits per calendar year for U.S. Dell technology purchases – up to a $200 credit for January through June, and another $200 credit for July through December.
- Up to $360 in annual statement credits ($90 per quarter) on all Indeed hiring and recruiting products and services to post open positions and find talent.
- Up to $150 in annual statement credit on select Adobe purchases, including Adobe Creative Cloud and Acrobat Pro DC.
- Up to $120 in annual statement credits ($10 per month) for purchases made directly from any U.S. wireless telephone provider.
$595, then $695 starting on Jan. 13, 2022.
Amex Platinum Card details
Now for a look at the personal Amex Platinum Card, which has also undergone some major refreshes lately.
Current welcome offer
Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the card in the first six months of card membership. Plus, earn 10x points per dollar at restaurants worldwide and when you “Shop Small” in the U.S. (on up to $25,000 in combined purchases) during your first six months of card membership.
Also note that you could potentially score a welcome offer as high as 125,000 bonus points if you apply using the CardMatch tool (offer subject to change at any time).
This card earns points at the following rates:
- 5 points per dollar on airfare booked directly with airlines or through Amex Travel (on up to $500,000 per calendar year).
- 5 points per dollar on prepaid hotels booked through Amex Travel.
- 1 point per dollar on all other eligible purchases.
The personal Amex Platinum Card extends these specific perks that the business version does not (enrollment is required for select benefits):
- Up to $200 in Uber Cash for U.S. rides or Uber Eats orders each calendar year: Up to $15 per month, plus an extra $20 in December.
- Up to $100 in annual Saks Fifth Avenue statement credits per calendar year: $50 to use from January through June, and $50 to use from July through December.
- Up-to-$200 annual hotel statement credit: Must use for prepaid Amex Fine Hotels + Resorts or The Hotel Collection bookings made through American Express Travel.
- Up-to-$300 annual Equinox credit: Up to $25 in statement credits per month on select Equinox memberships or digital subscriptions to the Equinox+ on-demand fitness app.
- Up-to-$240 annual digital entertainment credit: Up to $20 in statement credits per month toward purchases or subscriptions to Audible, The New York Times, SiriusXM and Peacock.
- Up to $155 in annual statement credits to cover the cost of a monthly Walmart+ membership including taxes.
- Up-to-$300 statement credit when purchasing one SoulCycle at-home bike (must purchase in one transaction), up to 15 bikes per calendar year.
In terms of sheer volume of statement credits, this card far surpasses the Amex Business Platinum. However, these credits aren’t for everyone — far from it. For example, if you don’t live near an Equinox gym, or if you have no desire to pay for a digital membership via the Equinox app, this credit is largely useless to you. If you don’t regularly subscribe to one of the four participating digital entertainment merchants, that credit is not of much value, either. If you don’t travel frequently through airports that participate in the Clear security program, you might not get much mileage out of that perk, either.
Don’t let all the dollar signs persuade you to open the card if its benefits and perks won’t be applicable to your lifestyle.
$695 (see rates and fees).
Perks offered by both cards
For context, here are the main benefits that both cards offer their members in common (enrollment is required for select benefits):
- Annual airline fee statement credit of up to $200 on charges by the airline you select.
- Up-to-$100 statement credit for Global Entry or an $85 statement credit for TSA PreCheck every four years (4.5 years for PreCheck).
- Up-to-$179 annual Clear statement credit: Activated when using your card to pay for a Clear membership (doesn’t have to be for you).
- Access to the American Express Global Lounge Collection, which includes Centurion Lounges, Priority Pass lounges, Delta Sky Clubs on same-day Delta flights, Airspace and Escape lounges.
- Register for complimentary Gold elite status with both Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy.
- No foreign transaction fees (see rates and fees for the Amex Platinum and rates and fees for the Amex Business Platinum).
- Various travel and purchase protections.
Amex Platinum vs. Amex Business Platinum Comparison
This table provides a snapshot of the key differences between the two cards.
|The Platinum Card from American Express||The Business Platinum Card from American Express|
|Annual fee||$695||$595, then $695 starting Jan. 13, 2022|
7 reasons to choose the Amex Business Platinum over the Amex Platinum
Now that their similarities are out of the way, let’s focus on their differences and how those might sway you to choose the Amex Business Platinum Card instead of the Amex Platinum Card.
1. You have or already had the personal Amex Platinum
Like many other issuers, American Express has increasingly restricted who is eligible for the welcome bonuses on its cards. The offer terms for the Amex Platinum Card, for instance, say the following:
“Welcome offer not available to applicants who have or have had this Card or previous versions of the Platinum Card. We may also consider the number of American Express Cards you have opened and closed as well as other factors in making a decision on your welcome offer eligibility.”
So if you already have the Amex Platinum, or even if you carried it in the past but have since closed it, you might be precluded from taking advantage of its current welcome offer. If you want to regain some of its benefits, as well as the chance of scoring tens of thousands of more Membership Rewards points, you might have to opt for the Amex Business Platinum instead.
2. You can spend enough to earn the Amex Business Platinum’s higher welcome offer
The Amex Business Platinum’s introductory terms are fairly straightforward: Earn 120,000 bonus points after spending $15,000 within the first three months. That’s a considerable amount, but not outside the budget of many small businesses. After meeting the minimum spending requirements, you’d end up with at least 135,000 points.
By contrast, the Amex Platinum Card currently offers a two-step bonus: 100,000 points after spending $6,000 within the first six months, plus 10x points per dollar on up to $25,000 in purchases at restaurants worldwide and when you “Shop Small” in the U.S. during the first six months of account opening.
On the surface, the personal card’s terms might seem better. Not only do you have twice the time to reach less than half the amount of spending to earn 100,000 bonus points, but if you leveraged the full spending potential of those bonus categories, you could snag an extra 250,000 points.
How likely is it that you’ll lay out $25,000 at restaurants and U.S. Shop Small businesses within the next six months, though? You’d have to spend $3,500 in those categories to achieve the 135,000 points you could earn outright with the Amex Business Platinum. So you’re really looking at around $9,500 in minimum spending at the very least. Think about how probable that is, and whether you would be better off just hitting a general spending requirement with the Amex Business Platinum.
To look at it another way, the extra 20,000 points the Amex Business Platinum is offering are worth around $400 more based on TPG’s most recent valuation of Membership Rewards points.
3. You spend a lot on flights and hotels
The two cards have very similar earning structures with two subtle (but significant) differences.
First, the personal Amex Platinum Card earns 5x on flights booked not just through Amex Travel but also directly with airlines, while the Amex Business Platinum only earns 5x on flights booked through Amex Travel. The personal card’s bonus earning on flights is capped at $500,000 in spending per calendar year, while the business version has no such ceiling. Both accrue 5x on Amex Travel prepaid hotel bookings.
If you tend to just book flights directly with airlines, the personal card is a better choice. However, if you actually use Amex Travel for a lot of your travel plans – or if you have that option – then you at least won’t be missing out by charging your reservations to the Amex Business Platinum.
Plus, if you book a lot of travel – more than $500,000 worth per year – with your card, then you’re definitely better off with the business card, since its bonus-qualifying spending isn’t capped at that amount.
4. You can maximize the Amex Business Platinum’s large-transaction and business category bonuses
The Amex Business Platinum has a unique earning structure thanks to some new bonus categories. Previously, you could earn 1.5x on purchases of $5,000 or more, up to 1 million bonus points per year (so $2 million in spending). Now, however, the card also earns 1.5x on U.S. purchases on electronic goods retailers, software, cloud service providers, construction materials and hardware supplies, and shipping providers. There is the same combined $2 million annual spending cap with these purchases and the large-transaction bonus.
If you make these types of business purchases, or regularly use your card for $5,000-plus buys, then the Amex Business Platinum blows the personal version out of the water.
You might also find some creative ways to leverage this purchase bonus on one-off expenditures. For example, TPG contributor Jason Steele leveraged this perk to earn 1.5x points on the purchase of a new car.
5. You use Pay with Points for premium travel
One of the major ways the two cards diverge is that the Amex Business Platinum offers cardmembers a refund of 35% of the points they redeem through Amex’s Pay with Points feature, while the personal version does not. There are a few stipulations, though.
First, you only receive the 35% points refund on business- or first-class tickets with any airline, or on tickets in any class with the same airline you preselect for your annual $200 airline fee rebate. That might hamstring your options if you don’t actually plan to spend points on a ticket with the same carrier.
Something else to consider: You can only receive up to 500,000 points back per calendar year. That’s a pretty high bar, but if you do regularly redeem more than around 1.4 million Membership Rewards points per year this way, just be aware that you might overshoot the 35% mark.
Even if you seldom redeem Membership Rewards this way, this one benefit can save you tens of thousands of points on a single ticket. That makes carrying the Amex Business Platinum instead of the personal card well worth it, since the latter won’t save you any Membership Rewards you cash in via Pay with Points.
Another way to think of this is that instead of getting 1 cent per Membership Rewards point in value redeemed for flights via Pay with Points, carrying the Amex Business Platinum and redeeming this way bumps their value up to 1.54 cents apiece — a 54% premium.
6. You prefer the business card’s statement credits
Both the personal Amex Platinum and Amex Business Platinum offer a plethora of unique annual statement credits.
The personal card already came with up to $100 in annual statement credits on Saks Fifth Avenue purchases, which is split into $50 for the first half of the year and $50 for the second half. However, the card added several new perks during its recent lifestyle refresh. Those include various statement credits for things like Clear, Equinox memberships, Walmart+ membership and digital entertainment purchases. But if those aren’t things you actually use (or plan to), why bother trying to keep track of them or paying the personal card’s higher annual fee?
The Amex Business Platinum confers up to $400 back in statement credits on U.S. Dell purchases, split into $200 for the front half of the year, and another $200 for the back half. It also recently added hundreds of more dollars in annual statement credits for things like Indeed services, Adobe products and U.S. wireless provider charges. If your business uses any of these services, the card’s benefits can help you save quite a bundle of money each year.
7. You don’t use Uber that often
The personal Amex Platinum Card includes up to $15 in Uber Cash each month for rides and Uber Eats orders in the U.S., plus an extra $20 in December, for a total yearly benefit of up to $200. That’s pretty substantial. But remember that these credits don’t roll over from month to month. So if you don’t actually use Uber on a regular basis, you might not be taking full advantage of it.
Another factor to consider: You might have another card that offers significant benefits to using different ride-hailing and food delivery services. For example, perhaps you already carry the American Express® Gold Card, which offers up to $10 per month in Uber Cash for U.S. rides and Uber Eats orders, plus earns 4 points per dollar on these purchases, which might make it more worthwhile than the personal Amex Platinum (enrollment is required; terms apply).
Whatever your situation, think about whether the Uber benefit would be worth carrying the personal version over the business version, or if this is one benefit you can leave on the table, so to speak.
Both the Amex Platinum and the Amex Business Platinum are excellent rewards cards with a variety of benefits from which members can reap tremendous value. Which card is right for you will come down to the one whose introductory offer and everyday bonus opportunities best match your financial habits and needs, and which one’s other perks you’re most likely to leverage year after year.
That said, you might want to consider carrying both the personal and business Amex Platinum cards since there are plenty of ways the two cards don’t overlap that can add up to a lot of extra statement credits and points per year.
Here’s the official link to apply for the refreshed Business Platinum Card from American Express with a 120,000-point welcome bonus.
Here’s the official link to apply for the refreshed Platinum Card from American Express with a 100,000-point welcome bonus.
Check the CardMatch tool to see if you’re targeted for a 125,000- or 150,000-point Platinum card offer (after meeting minimum spending requirements). These offers are subject to change at any time.
Featured photo by The Points Guy.
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