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How do you decide whether The Business Platinum Card® from American Express is right for you? It’s an easy choice to get the card, but you need to think through keeping it long-term.
I’ll walk through the value you get to help you decide now that American Express has rolled out a new offer that no longer awards initial bonus points in tranches. There are fantastic perks for when travel starts back up in earnest especially.
- A $595 annual fee card (See rates and fees) is a real decision.
- Of course with a big upfront initial bonus offer the first year makes getting the card an easy choice.
- You need to think through whether the card provides enough ongoing value each year to be worth the annual cost.
The specific benefits that The Business Platinum Card® from American Express offers have changed a lot over the years, and it’s also a good idea to check in to make sure the current portfolio of benefits is worth it to you. There’s no better card packed full of travel benefits than this one, but not everyone’s travel patterns will get enough use out of those to be worthwhile.
So I’m going to walk through the benefits I really like with this card. I think there’s thousands of dollars of value, the annual fee becomes like a Groupon buying great benefits at a discount, but you can do the math for yourself as you move along.
These are the top 20 things I love about the American Express Business Platinum card.
- Initial bonus offer. The Business Platinum Card® from American Express has an initial offer of 75,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership.
- American Express Centurion lounge access which is American Express’ own network of lounges in major airports in the U.S. and internationally, plus you get access to American Express (non-Centurion) lounges around the world in places like Latin America and Australia.
Philadelphia Centurion Lounge Entrance
Hong Kong Centurion Lounge
- Delta lounge access when flying Delta same-day. I find Delta’s Sky Clubs to be nicer overall than American’s Admirals Clubs and United’s Clubs. In my home city of Austin there’s a gorgeous bar and an outdoor Sky Deck, and you can spend miles at a reasonable rate for premium adult beverages. How about a half bottle of Laurent Perrier for 1500 miles, or a bottle of Dom Perignon for 10,000 miles? (And of course Amex points transfer to Delta instantly for this..)
Sky Deck, Delta Sky Club Austin
- Priority Pass lounge access. This is limited to actual airport lounges (and Minute Suites) and no longer includes non-lounge experiences such as a restaurant dining credit where restaurants participate with Priority Pass.
- Lufthansa lounge access. This benefit is only listed through October 31 but has been extended in the past. Cardmembers flying Lufthansa, Swiss, or Austrian get access to Lufthansa Business and Senator Lounges in T2 Satellite in Munich and T1 Concourse B in Frankfurt regardless of class of service.
- Additional lounges networks: Plaza Premium, Airspace and Escape lounges That’s more comprehensive lounge access than any other card.
Escape Lounge, Reno
- $100 Global Entry credit you can receive one Global Entry statement credit ($100) for every 4 years or one TSA Pre statement credit ($85) every 4.5 years. Even if you already have it yourself, it’s just the application fee that needs to be paid with the card, so you can pay someone else’s fee with your card to generate the credit.
- $200 airline fee credit. You pick one preferred airline to use it on for the year. The fee credit is offered each year on a calendar year basis. The fee credit works for seat assignment fees; baggage fees; change fees; club lounge access. It doesn’t work for upgrades; mileage purchases; gift cards. You can choose from:
- Alaska Airlines
- American Airlines
- Delta Air Lines
- Frontier Airlines
- Hawaiian Airlines
- JetBlue Airways
- Spirit Airlines
- Southwest Airlines
- United Airlines
- Alaska Airlines
- Up to $200 in statement credits for U.S. purchases with Dell each year ($100 semi-annually, terms apply) and I’ve found plenty of items available priced under $100 so you can use the credit without spending additional money if you wish. Registration required for the credit.
- Discounts on premium cabin airfare. You may find yourself saving hundreds of dollars per ticket purchasing through American Express this way.
- Marriott Gold. Gold status gets late checkout and should avoid the undesireable rooms on property when you book direct.
New York EDITION
- Hilton Gold. This is the best mid-tier status level in my view, it comes with complimentary breakfast or lounge access (when booking direct).
Conrad Koh Samui
- National Car Rental Executive status. Of all the legacy car rental companies I like National because you choose your own car. With Executive status you get to choose better cards from the Executive Aisle.
- One of the heaviest metal cards Here’s my personal American Express Platinum but the business card’s design is similar. The card certainly feels heftier than others in my wallet. This isn’t a plastic card, and it isn’t a Chase Sapphire Preferred Card either. It’s heavier than Reserve and most other cards on the market.
There are no raised numbers on the card, and no numbers on the front either. It’s a chip card (like my plastic one before it) and the numbers are written out on the back. You’ll mostly consult those when using the card for a purchase online.
- Earn 5 points per dollar on flights and prepaid hotels at amextravel.com. There’s little downside to booking airfare this way to earn 5 points per dollar spent. I’m less a fan of booking hotels through Amex Travel because those third party bookings won’t earn hotel loyalty points, elite status credits, or receive status benefits.
Notably though if you’re making American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts reservations and prepay you’ll earn 5 points per dollar, and you do receive the benefits of the Fine Hotels and Resorts program which I’ll discuss below.
- 1.5 points per dollar on purchases of $5000 or more. Large purchases are this card’s “bonus category” capped at $2 million spend (1 million bonus points) in this category. It’s the card some pull out when they want to buy a plane from Airbus (kidding).
- Transfers to airline and hotel programs. This is how I use my own points. The real winner here in my view is ANA for its really great Star Alliance award chart — sure they require roundtrip bookings, but I’ve had success with a throwaway Tokyo – Honolulu coach return segment when booking first class US-Asia.
Etihad, Singapore, and Air France KLM have really useful spots though all participate with other transferable currencies. Etihad lets you book American Airlines awards at American’s pre-devaluation miles pricing. Singapore and Air France offer lots more award space to people using their miles instead of partner points.
- Star Alliance: Aeroplan, ANA, Singapore, Avianca
- oneworld: AsiaMiles, British Airways, Iberia, Qantas
- SkyTeam: Aeromexico, Alitalia, Air France KLM, Delta
- Non-alliance: Etihad, Emirates, El Al, Hawaiian, JetBlue, Aer Lingus, Virgin Atlantic
- Hotels: Choice, Hilton, Marriott
ANA First Class
- Star Alliance: Aeroplan, ANA, Singapore, Avianca
- Redeem at 1.54 cents apiece towards airfare. You can spend points at American Express Travel for your itineraries, and this card gives you a 35% points rebate as long as you’re booking business or first class flights or booking on the airline you’ve selected for the year for your fee rebate. You can get up to 500,000 points back each year this way.
If you book a $1000 ticket for 100,000 points you will get 35,000 points back. Your net cost, then, for the $1000 ticket is 65,000 points, a value of 1.54 cents per point.
- Fine hotels and resorts perks. There are over 1000 premium hotels that participate in the program and give you extra benefits for making your booking through American Express.
This generally includes daily breakfast for two people; a room upgrade (if available); 4 p.m. late checkout; early check-in (noon, if available); complimentary in-room wifi; and a property-specific perk that is frequently a $100 food and beverage credit or spa treatment.
Most of the time you’ll pay the same cancellable rate as booking direct, and if you prepay (potentially giving up points though many properties aren’t part of the major loyalty programs) you earn 5 Membership Rewards points per dollar.
- American Express business cards generally don’t show up on your personal credit report. Banks do pull your personal credit when they are deciding whether or not to approve you for the card, but after that the card doesn’t get listed.
That’s useful because one of the major components (~ 30%) of your credit score is your credit utilization . That’s not about whether you pay off your cards each month, that’s about how much of your available credit you are using at a given time.
What’s more adding a small business card to your portfolio from Chase, Citibank, or American Express doesn’t increase your 5/24 total for getting approved for Chase cards.
American Express Business Platinum Card Conclusion
This Business Platinum offer has a high spend requirement to earn the full initial bonus though some of you can put a lot more on credit cards than you may think especially paying bills via Plastiq.
This card has a $595 annual fee (See rates and fees). Statement benefits and credits far outweigh the cost, even after the first year when of course the initial bonus offer is way more valuable (I value Membership Rewards points at 1.8 cents apiece and find Membership Rewards to be the best transfer currency).