Why you should spend the maximum on the Amex Business Platinum Card’s new categories

Jan 29, 2021

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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – The Business Platinum® Card from American Express    

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express has long been a top-tier choice for luxury business travelers. It comes with a steep annual fee of $595 (see rates and fees), but you’re getting an incredible lineup of benefits that can easily offset that price when you regularly use your card.

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(Photo by The Points Guy)

However, the Amex Business Platinum (and its personal counterpart) has a weakness: It’s not a great card for everyday business expenses. This is because its typical bonus categories are limited.

You earn 5x points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com, 1.5x on purchases of $5,000 or more (up to 1 million additional points per calendar year) and 1x on everything else. If you are making large purchases regularly and booking business travel regularly, these categories are still valuable. But for a large percentage of businesses, those aren’t the only expenses that you’d want to earn rewards with.

However, the Amex Business Platinum is currently offering a unique bonus. You can earn 85,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $15,000 on purchases within the first three months of card membership —  plus earn 5x (up to 80,0000 points) on eligible purchases in five select business categories in the first three months of card membership.

Related: New Amex Business Platinum Card 85K offer 

How much can you earn with this new bonus?

While many cards that have an earning cap on spending categories typically apply that cap to combined purchases, this Amex Business Platinum offer does not. That’s right — you can earn 80,000 points per category.

Here is a list of the eligible categories:

  • Online, TV or radio advertising purchased in the U.S.
  • Wireless phone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers
  • U.S. gas stations (superstores, supermarkets and warehouse clubs that sell gasoline are not eligible)
  • U.S. shipping purchases (including courier, postal and freight)
  • U.S. office supply stores

If you max out all five categories, that’s 400,000 points alone. Then add in the 85,000-point bonus you’ll earn by spending at least $15,000, and you’ve got 485,000 Membership Rewards points in your (digital) pocket after just three months.

TPG values MR points at 2 cents each, which means you’ll be sitting pretty on $9,700 in travel rewards when you use Amex’s transfer partners.

Pool at The Breakers Palm Beach
Taking advantage of this offer now could mean a (mostly) free trip to paradise later this year. (Photo by Laura Motta/The Points Guy)

Keep in mind that the Amex Business Platinum also has a 35% Pay with Points rebate benefit. If you use Pay with Points for all or part of an eligible fare, you’ll get 35% of those points back (up to 500,000 points back per calendar year).

However, Pay with Points redeems at a 1-cent value for flights, so there are benefits and drawbacks to using it for the rebate versus transferring to partners. On economy flights with your selected airline and domestic first-class flights, the Pay with Points benefit is generally a great option. But there are other trips (international premium-class flights, for example) where transferring makes more sense even with the rebate.

Related: Amex Business Platinum for flights: When to transfer vs. when to pay with points

Who will benefit most from this offer?

Of course, not every business can reasonably spend $16,000 in one of those categories in three months, let alone five. Midsized or large businesses that put company expenses on the card will get the most from the offer.

To max out in all five categories, you’ll need to spend $80,000 in the first three months you have the card. So freelancers and sole proprietors may not get as much value out of this offer. But if you are running a business with employees, have large shipping costs, are looking at a lot of advertising spend and/or are looking to upgrade the tech in your office in 2021, this offer could be your ticket to an incredible redemption (or multiple incredible redemptions) down the road.

Bottom line

This offer certainly isn’t for everyone, but for those who travel for business regularly and can maximize the bonus categories of this new offer, this is one of the most lucrative earning opportunities that we’ve seen on the Amex Business Platinum.

While this isn’t a card built for long-term everyday business spending, putting eligible purchases on this card to max out the bonuses before switching back to your standard card(s) used for those expenses could mean up to 485,000 points in your wallet before summer hits.

Featured image by Isabelle Raphael/The Points Guy. 

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

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express

Aside from the 125,000-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 (enrollment required).

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: 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.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com.
  • 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.
  • Breeze through security with CLEAR® where available and get up to $179 back per year on your membership when you use your Card.
  • 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
Regular APR
14.24% - 22.24% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Good, Excellent
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

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.

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