Personal or business: Which flavor of Amex Platinum and Amex Gold is best for you?
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Two of the most popular American Express cards each have a business card and personal card variant. The Platinum and Gold family of cards earn lucrative Membership Rewards points in various categories and are currently offering generous welcome bonuses to boot.
If you’re deciding between one (or more) of these four cards, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s take a closer look at how the Platinum and Gold shake out in this head-to-head personal vs. business card comparison.
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At a glance
Each of these cards caters to a specific audience, as we’ll get more into below. They have generous perks and benefits that vary depending on what you’re looking for.
- The Platinum Card® from American Express: Best for premium travel and lifestyle benefits
- American Express® Gold Card: Best for dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets
- The Business Platinum Card® from American Express: Best for frequent business travelers
- American Express® Business Gold Card: Best for flexible earning on business expenses
Comparing the cards
|The Platinum Card® from American Express||The Business Platinum Card® from American Express||American Express® Gold Card||American Express® Business Gold Card|
|Welcome offer||75,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first six months of account opening||Earn 125,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.||60,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend $4,000 in purchases on the card in the first six months||Earn 70,000 bonus points after you spend $10,000 on eligible purchases in the first three months of account opening.|
|Annual fee||$550 (see rates and fees)||$595 (see rates and fees)||$250 (see rates and fees)||$295 (see rates and fees)|
|Personal or business?||Personal||Business||Personal||Business|
|Points bonuses||5x on flights booked directly with airlines or with Amex Travel (capped at $500,000 starting on Jan. 1, 2021)
5x on prepaid hotels booked on Amex Travel
|5x on airfare and prepaid hotels booked on Amex Travel
1.5x on purchases of $5,000 or more (up to 1 million additional points per year)
|4x at restaurants worldwide
4x at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per calendar year; then 1x)
3 points per dollar on flights purchased directly with the airline or at Amex Travel
|4x in two categories with the most spending each billing cycle (up to $150,000 in combined purchases each calendar year; then 1x)|
|Annual statement credits||Up to $200 in Uber credits, up to $200 airline fee credit, up to $100 Saks credit||Up to $200 airline fee credit, up to $200 annual Dell statement credit (on U.S. purchases)||Up to $120 annual dining credit||None|
|Redemption bonus||None||35% points back on flights (up to 500,000 points each calendar year||None||25% points back on flights (up to 250,000 points back per calendar year)|
Related: Best Amex cards of 2020
Is a personal card or business card best for you?
One of the first questions to consider is whether a business card or a personal card is right for you — or a combination of both.
Even if you don’t have a registered LLC, your side gig, work as a contractor, etc. can qualify you to open business credit cards. This helps you distinguish your spending between accounts — and also can help you reap the benefits of generous business card welcome offers.
- Account manager: Most credit cards only allow the primary cardholder to make inquiries or changes to the account, but this service lets you easily designate employees or other individuals who can manage your account with either full or limited access, making it easier to delegate tasks like reviewing statements, adding authorized users, making payments and disputing charges.
- American Express Business App: This tool allows you to manage expenses from either your desktop or mobile device by entering receipts, tagging transactions and adding notes to your statements. You can also sync this data with QuickBooks.
- Employee card features: To help you earn rewards from your employees’ spending while mitigating the risk of fraudulent transactions, Amex small-business cards allow you to limit purchases by authorized cardholders and set real-time alerts.
Related: Review of the Amex Business Platinum
The Amex Platinum’s current welcome offer is 75,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first six months of account opening.
Meanwhile, the Amex Gold has an enhanced offer where you can earn 60,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend $4,000 in purchases on the card in the first six months on that card.
Check the CardMatch Tool to see if you’re targeted for a 100,000-point Platinum Card or 75k-point Gold Card offer. Please note: These offers are subject to change at any time.
Related: Review of the Amex Platinum
On the business card side, the Amex Business Platinum earns a whopping 125,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership. The Amex Business Gold gets a much more modest 70,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $10,000 on eligible purchases in the first three months of account opening.
The Amex Platinum has only one bonus category to speak of: 5x Membership Rewards points on airfare booked directly with an airline and airfare (which will be capped at $500,000 in spending per calendar year starting on Jan. 1, 2021) and prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
- 4x at restaurants worldwide (including takeout and delivery)
- 4x at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per calendar year; then 1x)
- 3x on airfare purchased directly from the airline with American Express Travel.
- 1x everywhere else
With the Amex Business Platinum, you’ll earn 1 point for every dollar you spend on eligible purchases, and:
- 5x points on flights and prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
- 1.5x points on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more, up to 1 million additional points per calendar year.
This is great for business with large transactions as that 1.5x return can come in handy.
Meanwhile, the Amex Business Gold is ideal for its maximum flexibility. You’ll get 4x points — an 8% return based on TPG’s valuations — on your first $150,000 in combined purchases each calendar year (then 1x) from two of the following six categories where your company spent the most each billing cycle:
- U.S. purchases at restaurants
- Airfare purchased directly from airlines
- U.S. purchases for advertising in select media (online, TV, radio)
- U.S. gas stations (not including supermarkets or warehouse stores)
- U.S. shipping
- U.S. purchases made directly from select technology providers of computer hardware, software and cloud solutions
You earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases, with no limits. Amex will automatically calculate which categories you spend the most in each month to award your 4x points.
Credits and travel perks
Overlapping Platinum and Business Platinum benefits
Another great benefit offered by both cards is the credit of up to $200 for airline fees, which covers baggage fees and other incidental charges. As a holder of either card, you’ll also receive Gold status with Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy, which can help you earn more points for your hotel stays as well as offering benefits during your stays.
Speaking of hotels, you’ll also have access to Amex’s Fine Hotels & Resorts (FHR) program with either card.
Overlapping Gold and Business Gold benefits
Both the Amex Gold and Amex Business Gold have several overlapping card benefits. Namely, this includes purchase protection, extended warranty, baggage insurance, travel accident insurance and premium Global Assist. All of these are virtually identical across both cards.
Neither card charges a foreign transaction fee (see rates and fees for Amex Gold; see rates and fees for Amex Business Gold) and both cards also offer access to The Hotel Collection, which includes hotel credits, room upgrades and more.
Unique Amex Platinum benefits
- Up to $200 in annual Uber credits — It breaks down to $15 a month with a $20 bonus in December.
- Up to $100 annual Saks Fifth Avenue credit — $50 valid for purchases made between January and June, and another $50 for purchases made between July and December.
Unique Amex Business Platinum benefits
The Amex Business Platinum has a few unique perks that make it a worthwhile option when it comes to benefits:
- A 35% points rebate when you redeem your Membership Rewards points to book any first- or business-class flight or any class of flight with your designated airline when booking with American Express Travel. Rebate is capped at 500,000 points back per calendar year.
Unique Amex Gold benefits
The Amex Gold has a much shorter list of benefits, but they still add a ton of value to the card. Cardholders can enjoy up to $120 in annual statement credits, including:
- Up to $120 in annual dining credits — Up to $10 a month at the following merchants: Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Boxed and participating Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
Unique Amex Business Gold benefits
What is unique to the Amex Business Gold (and Business Platinum) is a Pay With Points redemption bonus when booking airfare through Amex Travel. With the Business Gold, you’ll earn a 25% rebate when paying with points through your card (up to 250,000 points back per calendar year).
You can pay with points and get the rebate for first- or business-class airfare on any airline or economy class tickets with a carrier you can select each year. Award flights booked this way are treated as revenue tickets, so you’ll earn both redeemable miles and elite credit on them.
Which card is right for you?
There is a lot to consider in deciding which card(s) are the right fit for you.
If you’re looking for a premium credit card loaded with travel perks and you don’t have a business, then the personal Amex Platinum should be just what you need.
However, if you have large business expenses — and still want to benefit from rich travel benefits — the Amex Business Platinum may be a better fit.
Of course, if earning on dining at restaurants and groceries at U.S. supermarkets is more your thing, the Amex Gold is likely your best option with 4x earnings on those categories (up to $25,000 per calendar year; then 1x at U.S. supermarkets).
Finally, plenty of small-business owners who can maximize the 4x bonus categories and the $150,000 annual cap (of combined purchases) will find the Amex Business Gold card invaluable. Just don’t expect a ton of perks or a bountiful welcome bonus on that card.
Still undecided? Head on over to each of the card’s reviews for an in-depth analysis of each product.
Additional reporting by Ethan Steinberg.
For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Gold card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Business Platinum card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Business Gold card, please click here.
Featured photo by Eric Helgas/The Points Guy
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TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,040
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