The Business Platinum Card from American Express is Amex's premium travel business credit card. Like other premium cards, it comes loaded with benefits and statement credits and a pretty high annual fee ($695). In this review, we highlight the card's most useful benefits and analyze whether this card is worth holding despite the annual fee. The verdict: the Business Platinum card can be a keeper for many people, but not everyone.
American Express usually has many different welcome offers for its cards at any given time. The Business Platinum is no different. We regularly see offers to earn up to 150,000 Membership Rewards (MRs) after spending $15,000 in the first 3 months after accounting opening. The card has a $595 annual fee. Due to Amex's “once in a lifetime” rule for welcome bonuses, we recommend not settling for a welcome offer below 100,000 MRs. This rule means you can only receive a welcome bonus for each Amex card once, even if you close that card and open a new one again.
The Amex Business Platinum card earns 5x points per dollar on flights and prepaid hotels booked through amextravel.com. This is more restrictive than the Platinum Card from American Express (review), which earns 5x on airfare booked directly with airlines as well. The Business Platinum also earns 1.5x on eligible purchases of over $5,000 (on up to $2 million in purchases per calendar year), as well as at U.S. construction material and hardware suppliers, U.S. electronic goods suppliers and software & cloud system providers, and U.S. shipping providers. The card earns 1x on all other eligible purchases.
The Business Platinum offers a lot of benefits and perks. Some benefits are great, and most cardholders can derive at least some value from them. Other perks are not as useful and require some creativity, which may not be worth everyone's time.
35% Points Rebate for Airfare Booked through Amextravel.com
Amex cardholders can redeem MRs for travel booked through amextravel.com at 1.0 cents per point (cpp). This is not a great rate. But the Business Platinum offers a 35% points rebate for premium cabin bookings and for economy airfare on your selected airline through amextravel.com. This can be an excellent benefit to help maximize cheap premium cabin fares, or when there is no award availability. This is because amextravel.com, like other portals, are cash bookings and therefore do not require award availability. Also, since it is a cash booking, bookings through the portal count towards elite status.
The points rebate is capped at 500,000 MRs per year.
Like many other premium travel cards, the Business Platinum offers complimentary Priority Pass Select membership. This card also grants you access to the Amex Global Lounge Selection, which includes the Amex Centurion Lounge network, Escape Lounges, and Plaza Premium lounges. You can also access Delta Sky Club when flying Delta, and select Lufthansa lounges when flying Lufthansa.
Access to Delta Sky Club makes the Business Platinum card's lounge benefits standout, assuming you fly Delta. This can be very useful to some folks, since no other card has a similar benefit.
$200 Airline Credit
Once you select a qualifying airline, you will receive up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year when you charge incidental fees to your Business Platinum card. Charges to any authorized user cards on your account also trigger the credit. The qualifying airlines are:
- Alaska Airlines
- American Airlines
- Delta Air Lines
- Frontier Airlines
- Hawaiian Airline
- JetBlue Airways
- Spirit Airlines
- Southwest Airlines
- United Airlines
Examples of qualifying fees that are covered by the credit include checked bags, seat selection, and EarlyBird check-in with Southwest Airlines. Make sure to enroll for this benefit as soon as you receive your new card. This is the same benefit offered through the personal Amex Platinum card.
Cell Phone Protection
The Business Platinum offers cell phone protection for a maximum of $800 per claim, with a limit of two approved claims per 12-month period. A $50 deductible will apply. You must charge your monthly wireless bill to your Business Platinum card to be eligible for this benefit. The benefit covers stolen and damaged phones, including additional lines in your same wireless plan. Coverage is limited only to those amounts not covered by any other insurance or indemnity.
The Business Platinum card comes with a number of other perks and statement credits:
- Clear: up to $179 statement credits toward an annual Clear membership
- Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status
- Complimentary Hilton Honors Gold status
- Wireless telephone services: up to $120 annual statement credits for purchases from any U.S. wireless telephone provider (up to $10 per month)
- Dell: up to $400 annual statement credit on all U.S. Dell purchases (up to $200 semiannually)
- Indeed: up to $360 annual statement credit on all Indeed hiring and recruiting products and services (up to $90 per quarter)
- Adobe: up to $150 annual statement credit on select purchases, including Adobe Creative Cloud and Acrobat Pro DC
The Amex Business Platinum card can be considered a keeper card despite its high annual fee of $695, depending on your travel patterns. The card's many perks and benefits won't be useful for everyone. But most of us should find value in at least some of the credits, such as the $200 annual airline credit, the $120 annual wireless credit, and the $400 Dell credit. The 35% points rebate is a standout benefit for those who can take advantage of it. Award availability can be tough to find, so having this perk in your award travel toolkit can be incredibly useful.
Great benefits aside, the Business Platinum‘s weak spot is on earning MRs. The card's only bonused spend is 5x on on flights and prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com, and 1.5x on purchases of over $5,000 and specific retailers (see list above). This is very limited for a premium card. The 1.5x bonus category can be helpful in meeting minimum spend on the card. But once you meet minimum spend, it would be much wiser to use $5,000 purchases to meet minimum spend for other new cards, or to at least use a card that earns more than 1.5x (like the Amex Blue Business Plus (review) or the Citi Double Cash (review), both of which earn 2x on every purchase).
Many of the folks who keep the Business Platinum do so because of the 35% points rebate. But even if you don't have much use for the points rebate, the card offers enough perks and benefits that could justify the high annual fee. You would just need to crunch the numbers for your own scenario. But overall, the Business Platinum does make sense for many award travelers.
The Amex Business Platinum card offers a helpful tool for award travelers through its 35% points rebate. This benefit can be helpful when award availability is tough to find. On top of that, the card offers many perks and benefits that can more than offset the annual fee, assuming you can use those. If you value the 35% points rebate, this card is a no-brainer. If you don't, the Business Platinum can still make sense, but you would have to assess your own case and figure out whether you derive enough value from the card's many perks.