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Few small business credit cards are quite like The Business Platinum Card® from American Express. With a plethora of travel perks and business service credits, there is no question that the card can benefit you. But, does it justify the $695 annual fee? (Rates & Fees)
We will help you answer that for yourself by walking through all the benefits, earning rates, welcome offer, and annual credits to see if the card justifies its cost in our full review of the Business Platinum Card.
- Welcome Offer: Earn 120,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with your Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
- 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on AmexTravel.com, and 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
- Earn 1.5X points (that's an extra half point per dollar) on each eligible purchase at US construction material, hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers, and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year.
- Unlock over $1,000 in annual statement credits on a curation of business purchases, including select purchases made with Dell Technologies, Indeed, Adobe, and U.S. wireless service providers.
- $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year for incidental fees charged by your one selected, qualifying airline to your Card.
- $189 CLEAR® Plus Credit: Use your card and get up to $189 in statement credits per calendar year on your CLEAR® Plus Membership (subject to auto-renewal) when you use your Business Platinum Card®.
- The American Express Global Lounge Collection® can provide an escape at the airport. With complimentary access to more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, you have more airport lounge options than any other credit card issuer on the market as of 03/2023.
- $695 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- Rates & Fees
- Earn 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com.
- Earn 1.5X Membership Rewards® points on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more.
- Earn 1.5X Membership Rewards® points on each eligible purchase with U.S. construction material and hardware suppliers.
- Earn 1.5X Membership Rewards® points on each eligible purchase with U.S. electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers.
- Earn 1.5X Membership Rewards® points on each eligible purchase with U.S. shipping providers.
- 1.5X earning rates are subject to a cap of $2 million in purchases per calendar year.
Business Platinum Card Welcome Offer
The Business Platinum Card currently offers the following welcome bonus: Earn 120,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with your Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
Based on the redemption value of actual bookings made by AwardWallet users, Membership Rewards have provided 2.14¢ in value. At this rate, a 120,000-point welcome offer is worth over $2,400. That means the welcome offer alone is worth the annual fee for multiple years of card membership. Plus, you should be able to get plenty of value out of the various credits.
Earning Points with the Business Platinum Card
To be blunt, the Business Platinum Card falls short of other American Express products when it comes to earning points. Instead, the card is focused on business travelers looking for luxury perks and benefits.
Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com, and 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases. Earn 1.5X points on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year.
These earning rates are less than what you could earn using the The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express. This card earns 2x Membership Rewards per dollar on the first $50,000 in purchases each year, then 1X points on further purchases.
Even the American Express® Business Gold Card also has the potential to earn more points. This card earns 4X Membership Rewards points on the 2 select categories where your business spent the most each month, 1X on other purchases. 4X points apply to the first $150,000 in combined purchases from these 2 categories each calendar year.
If you're purely looking for return on spending, either of these cards is likely a better choice for business owners.
Redeeming Points Earned Through the Business Platinum Card
No matter how you earn them, American Express Membership Rewards are valuable. Amex partners with 21 airline and hotel transfer partners.
Based on recent redemption data from AwardWallet, Membership Rewards points have an average value of 2.14¢ per point when redeeming through travel partners. Generally, you get better value redeeming points for business or first-class flights:
- Domestic and short-haul international business and first class: 2.77¢ per point
- Long-haul international business and first class: 3.15¢ per point
You can redeem your points in other ways — from gift cards to Amazon purchases. But, we strongly recommend you use them for travel, as this provides the best value.
Business Platinum Card Travel Benefits
American Express operates its own Centurion Lounge network with 13 U.S. locations and 11 international locations. Business Platinum Card members enjoy complimentary access to Centurion locations within three hours of flight departure. Sadly, Amex ended the complimentary guest access policy starting February 1, 2023. You can still bring guests into the Centurion Lounge, but you'll have to pay $50 per guest.
In addition to offering access to Centurion Lounges, card members of the Business Platinum Card can enjoy Delta Sky Club lounges prior to their flight. This is more restrictive than Centurion Lounge access. You must have a boarding pass for a same-day flight with Delta Air Lines to access Delta Sky Club locations. Your card doesn't provide free guest access. But, you can purchase Sky Club access at $50 per person for up to two travel companions.
The Business Platinum Card also gives you a Priority Pass Select membership. This provides complimentary access to lounge locations within that network, with guest policies subject to each individual lounge. Complimentary access to AirSpace and Escape lounges is also a perk provided by your Business Platinum Card. Enrollment is required for select Amex benefits.
Get 35% Back When Redeeming Membership Rewards for Flights
Business Platinum Card members receive 3.5 Membership Rewards points back for every 10 points redeemed for a first-class or business-class ticket on any airline. The same is true for any flight on their selected qualifying airline (the same airline that receives the $200 airline incidental credit, discussed later).
You must redeem a minimum of 5,000 Membership Rewards points to receive the 35% rebate. American Express takes 6-10 weeks to deposit the rebated points back into your rewards account. It's required that you enroll in advance. This includes choosing your preferred airline.
One of the best aspects of this perk is that it lets you take advantage of first-class or business-class fare deals. Paying for cash fares using Membership Rewards with a 35% rebate is sometimes a better deal than transferring to airline miles and booking an award ticket.
After factoring in the rebate, you get an effective redemption rate of 1.54 cents per point. This is less than the average value AwardWallet users receive from their Membership Rewards points (currently 2.14¢ per point). However, factoring in the miles you earn on a cash fare can change the math substantially.
Hotel Elite Status and Car Rental Savings
The Business Platinum Card lets you enjoy elite status with two hotel chains and benefits with select car rental partners, including:
- Hilton — Complimentary Hilton Honors Gold elite status
- Marriott — Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold elite status
- Avis, Hertz, National — Enroll to receive status and perks, such as discounts, car upgrades, and even grace periods on late returns
Enrollment in hotel and car rental partner programs is required. Also, you will have to visit the Benefits section of the Amex website to activate your hotel elite benefits. Additionally, you can use your card to earn rental car elite status for free, even matching this status to additional programs.
Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts and The Hotel Collection
Between Amex Fine Hotels + Resorts and The Hotel Collection, Amex provides a suite of benefits at over 2,000 luxury hotels around the world. Benefits through Fine Hotels + Resorts include:
- Room upgrade, based on availability at check-in
- Daily breakfast for two guests
- Check-in as early as noon, when available
- Guaranteed 4 p.m. late checkout
- Complimentary Wi-Fi
- Property credit, worth at least $100 per stay. Depending on the property, it may be for dining, spa, or some other experience.
The Hotel Collection benefits aren't as great. These include:
- Room upgrade, based on availability at check-in
- Property credit, worth at least $100 per stay.
You must book through Amex in order to receive these benefits.
Save Up to $1,400 Annually on Business Expenses
The Business Platinum Card offers several valuable annual credits with specific merchants. Fully using these credits ensures you get the maximum value each year from your card. The issue is that not all the credits are useful to everyone. In fact, some credits are more difficult to use than others.
Here is a summary of all the credits, which provide over $1,400 in annual value:
- $400 Dell Technologies credit
- $360 Indeed credit
- $150 Adobe credit
- $120 wireless telephone service credit
- $200 airline incidental fee credit
- $189 CLEAR credit
Get $400 Off Dell Purchases with the Business Platinum Card
The The Business Platinum Card® from American Express provides twice-yearly $200 credits for purchases from Dell Technologies every calendar year. The first $200 credit will be applied from January through June, and the second credit is valid from July through December. This is a total benefit of $400 annually. Enrollment is required in advance.
If your business routinely makes purchases from Dell, this credit alone makes up for more than half the annual fee.
Enjoy Quarterly Credits with Indeed
Your Business Platinum Card provides a quarterly statement credit of up to $90 when you purchase Indeed services. Quarters are defined as January through March, April through June, July through September, and October through December. This is up to $360 in annual savings. Enrollment is required to use this benefit.
This is likely less useful than the Dell credit for most businesses. But, if your company already uses Indeed for hiring, this is straight savings.
Save $150 on an Annual Adobe Plan
Lots of businesses use Adobe services, and this annual credit should be useful for many. American Express will provide a $150 statement credit when you pay for an annual prepaid plan for eligible Creative Cloud for teams and Acrobat Pro DC with e-sign for teams using your Business Platinum Card. Enrollment is required.
Save $120 Per Year on Your Monthly Wireless Bill
The Business Platinum Card provides a credit of up to $10 per month when you pay for your wireless service with your card. Enrollment is required to enjoy this benefit.
Purchases must be made directly with a wireless provider. Service through wireless resellers will not qualify. Even factoring in the credit, you can often find cheaper service than purchasing service through a reseller rather than directly from a major carrier. So make sure that you do your due diligence on this one.
Up to $200 in Reimbursements for Incidental Airline Expenses Every Year
The Business Platinum Card offers a credit of up to $200 each year that reimburses you for common incidental expenses with your airline of choice. The options include 11 airlines (all based in the U.S.), including all the major carriers.
Airline incidental expenses include baggage fees, seat selection fees, lounge day passes, in-flight entertainment purchases (not always), and in-flight food and beverage purchases. You can select your airline after initial approval for the card and change your carrier of choice every year in January. Enrollment/choosing a preferred airline is required in advance. Make sure you select an airline! Otherwise, you won't be reimbursed for any incidentals.
Use the CLEAR Credit to Speed Through Airport Security
Pay for the $189 annual CLEAR membership using your Business Platinum Card and the fee will be fully reimbursed as a statement credit. CLEAR provides an efficient security experience at select airports and stadiums across the United States through use of your biometrics. You can read more about CLEAR and how to enroll here.
Enroll in a Trusted Traveler Program for Free
Unlike the other Business Platinum Card credits, the trusted traveler program credit applies once every four years. You can enroll in either TSA PreCheck ($78 application fee) or Global Entry ($100 application fee). Simply use your card to pay the application fee for either program. A statement credit reimbursing you for the full amount will be automatically applied by American Express.
Global Entry provides all TSA PreCheck benefits, but it also lets you skip the main airport immigration line when returning to the U.S. from abroad. The catch is the more rigorous approval process. You have to interview with a Customs and Border Patrol agent at an airport, which can be inconvenient. However, if you have an upcoming international trip, you may be able to perform the Global Entry interview on arrival. This isn't available at all airports, however.
Business Platinum Card Travel Insurance Coverage
The travel insurance and other protections offered by the The Business Platinum Card® from American Express are excellent. Here's a quick rundown on what is offered:
- Rental Car Damage Protection — The car rental coverage provided by the Business Platinum Card is secondary — which means it isn't as good as other cards that provide primary coverage. However, you have the option of purchasing very affordable premium insurance.
- Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance — You can be reimbursed for nonrefundable travel expenses charged to your card in the event of accidental injury or sickness, inclement weather, jury duty, quarantine, and for other covered reasons.
- Trip Delay Reimbursement — Get reimbursed for expenses during a delay of at least six hours caused by inclement weather, common carrier equipment failure, or lost/stolen travel documents. Coverage is limited to $500 per trip.
- Baggage Insurance Protections — Your baggage is covered against loss or damage up to $2,000 per checked bag and $3,000 per carry-on bag per covered person per trip.
- Extended Warranty Protection — Receive up to one additional year of warranty protection for eligible items with an original manufacturer's warranty of five years or less, up to $10,000 per covered purchase.
- Purchase Protection — Eligible items are covered against loss, damage, or theft of items for 90 days from the date of purchase, up to $10,000 per item.
Consult the Business Platinum Card guide to benefits for a full rundown of all insurance protections. Enrollment is required for select Amex benefits.
Cell Phone Protection Coverage
Receive cell phone protection coverage when you pay your cell phone bill using your Business Platinum Card. This benefit applies automatically as long as you've paid your previous month's bill using your card. Coverage is up to $800 per incident (with a $50 deductible) for up to two claims per 12-month period per card account.
Coverage may include either repair cost or replacement cost, depending on the incident. The surprising aspect is that Amex cell phone protection even covers a cracked screen — which is often excluded from cell phone protection coverage.
The Business Platinum Card Annual Fee
Amex increased the Business Platinum Card annual fee to $695 (Rates & Fees) in 2022. That is a hefty fee — even for a premium travel and business credit card. To justify the $100 jump, Amex added the Indeed credit, Adobe credit, wireless service credit, and increased the Dell credit by $200. They tout that the card offers over $1,400 in benefits for just $695.
Given what Amex added to the card, I feel that the fee increase is justified. If your business makes purchases from Dell (it's often easy to justify a new computer or other electronics), this nets you $200 in additional annual savings. Especially if you add in the $120 in wireless credits, you quickly walk away with more value than the additional annual cost. Just don't forget to use the credits, especially if you already pay for these expenses with other credit cards.
Still, $695 is quite the price tag. And not everyone can use the various credits and perks. You get a lot for Business Platinum Card annual fee, but carefully consider the real value of its various credits and benefits before deciding whether to apply for the card.
Assuming you maximize just the travel-related credits (CLEAR and airline incidentals), wireless credits, and Dell credits, you'll come out a bit ahead each year. The other card benefits will just be a bonus. This does assume these credit cards are worth face value, which isn't the case for everyone. See here for the Business Platinum Card Rates & Fees.
Final Thoughts on the Business Platinum Card
Ultimately, you'll have to decide whether the Business Platinum Card is worth it for you. The annual fee is quite high, but the card offers excellent savings if you can use the bulk of its various credits. You can also enjoy a wealth of travel perks. Do the math to see which benefits you can use and what value they will provide.
Make sure you don't forget to factor in perks like travel insurance protections and the potential savings from the 35% rebate when paying with Membership Rewards points. The current excellent Business Platinum Card welcome offer is not to be ignored, either.
If you do apply, here's a list of steps to take once your card arrives. If you don't find the card compelling, there are plenty of other great business credit cards out there. I'm sure you can find one that meets your business needs.
For rates and fees of the cards mentioned in this post, please visit the following links: The Business Platinum Card® from American Express (Rates & Fees)
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