|4.9 / 5
|Annual Percentage Rate
|Issuer Customer Experience
In a Nutshell:
The Business Platinum Card from American Express offers great travel benefits and a large introductory offer, but the spending requirement to earn the offer is daunting, and many small business owners may be hard-pressed to spend enough to qualify for all of the card’s benefits.
American Express Customer Service Ratings
Other Notable Features: free airport lounge access, no foreign transaction fees (See rates and fees), $100 credit for Global Entry or $85 credit for TSA PreCheck every 5 years, up to $400 in statement credits annually for U.S. Dell purchases (terms apply, enrollment required), set limits on employee cards, track receipts through mobile app, assign an account manager, trip cancellation/interruption insurance, trip delay insurance
As an elite card, the Business Platinum Card from American Express goes the extra mile. The card’s generous welcome bonus, travel-centric rewards rate, impressive list of luxury perks – including entry to some of the grandest airport lounges in the U.S. – and discounts and travel credits can help make up for the steep annual fee.
That said, the card undeniably carries some large barriers to entry. On top of the high annual fee, the minimum spending threshold for earning the card’s introductory bonus is high. The rewards rate also favors large purchases, niche spending and travel, making the card a less-than-ideal fit for more modest spenders or small-business owners whose budget centers around gas, office supplies and other everyday expenses.
Bottom line: For small-business owners that don’t make big purchases and spend a lot on business travel, this probably is not the optimal business rewards card.
Rewards targeted to travelers and big spenders
The rewards structure of the Business Platinum Card is primarily designed to encourage large purchases and business travel, but the card recently threw a few new categories into the mix as eligible for bonus rewards. The card awards 5 points per dollar to flights and prepaid hotel purchases booked through the American Express website and a special rate of 1.5 points per dollar to purchases greater than $5,000 and on purchases in select business categories, including wireless, technology, software and recruitment. General spending, on the other hand, earns a meager rate of 1 point per dollar. Note that these rates only apply to your first $2 million dollars in combined spending in these bonus categories.
The average small-business owner who doesn’t fit the card’s spending profile may find the rewards rate less than impressive and will likely be better off with one of several cash back business cards that offer a higher rewards rate on common business purchases.
Great introductory bonus
While the value of the card’s ongoing rewards is up for debate, the Amex Business Platinum card’s latest introductory offer should grab your attention. The card now comes with a whopping 120,000 bonus points after you spend $15,000 in your first three months. That’s a massive welcome offer, and given our valuation of Amex points at around 1.19 cents apiece, we estimate it could be worth over $1,400 if you redeem strategically by transferring to lucrative travel partners.
Of course, $15,000 is quite a heavy spending requirement, even for most small-business owners. You’d need to spend at least $5,000 per month for your first three months as a cardholder to get the 120,000 points, which could easily put the bonus out of reach for more modest spenders. For reference, The Platinum Card® from American Express, the consumer version of this card, only requires an $8,000 spend in the first six months to secure a 80,000-point welcome bonus. Depending on the size of your business, your spending habits and your goals, that card could be a better fit.
Unfortunately, though, the Amex Business Platinum no longer comes with an introductory APR offer to help you finance large expenses or free up cash flow. While the card once featured a 0% introductory APR for your first 12 months on purchases eligible for Pay Over Time, this offer is not currently available. While introductory APR offers pop up on business cards from time to time, they’re not necessarily common, so losing this offer may make the Amex Platinum Business just a bit less appealing if you’re looking to chip away at business costs over time while avoiding interest.
Pick an airline and get 35% more value for your points
Membership Rewards points are already quite valuable, but one of the key perks of the Amex Platinum Business card should make the deal even sweeter. The card offers a 35% bonus on Membership Rewards points after you use the Pay With Points feature to cover all or part of a flight booked with American Express Travel (up to 1,000,000 points back per calendar year). Furthermore, for first and business class flights, you do not have to designate a preferred airline to receive the bonus – you will receive 35 percent of your points back on these flights from any airline available through American Express Travel. That gives your card’s welcome bonus a potential value of over $1,600 without the hassle of transferring points.
High annual fee
On the downside, the card carries a high annual fee – you’ll need to fork over a $695 annual fee to hold the card. Though the card’s boosted rewards rate on flights and prepaid hotels booked on AmexTravel.com and its many luxury perks could justify the annual fee for frequent travelers, $695 per year is nothing to sneeze at, especially if you don’t mind traveling in a little less style.
Valuable travel and business perks
Travel perks are where the Business Platinum Card really shines. The card grants free access – along with two guests – to more than 1,400 airport lounges worldwide. Among these are the limited but fabulously plush Centurion lounges located in a smattering of U.S. airports. Additional travel benefits include a $200 Airline Fee Credit for certain incidental travel fees (including checked baggage fees, lounge day passes and other eligible airline fees at one select airline annually), and a credits for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry every five years. The card also charges no foreign transaction fees, a plus for world travelers.
Cardholders can also upgrade to Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status without meeting any stay requirements (enrollment required). This comes with great benefits, including a 25 percent bonus on points, room upgrades and more. In addition to hotel perks, cardholders can enjoy benefits and discounts at a variety of luxury hotels through American Express’s Fine Hotels and Resorts programs. These hotel perks, such as free room upgrades and hotel credits, can be worth hundreds of dollars.
Other perks that come with the Amex Platinum Business card include:
- The Hotel Collection Complimentary Night or Property Credit: Get a complimentary night or property credit of up to $100 or more after you use Amex travel to book an eligible stay at a participating Hotel Collection property. Terms apply.
- Fine Hotels + Resorts® Complimentary Night or Property Credit: Get a complimentary night or property credit of $250 or more after you use Amex travel to book an eligible stay at a participating Fine Hotels + Resorts property. Terms apply.
- Statement credits on select purchases with your card, including up to $400 with Dell Technologies, up to $360 with Indeed, up to $150 with Adobe and up to $120 on wireless telephone purchases. Enrollment required.
- $189 CLEAR® Plus credit: You’ll get an annual credit for CLEAR® biometric security screening when you pay for your membership with the card (where available) (Subject to auto-renewal).
- Pay with Points on prepaid car rental bookings: Use Pay with Points or earn 2 Membership Rewards points per dollar on prepaid car rental bookings made through Amex Travel.
How do businesses use the Business Platinum card?
Given its generous travel perks, the Business Platinum card could be a good option for businesses that require frequent travel. Here’s how one small business owner took advantage of the card:
Small Business Credit Profiles
How Peel Away Labs uses The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
|“I had a gut instinct that the annual fee would pay for itself and it did, no problem.“
Maxwell Cohen of Peel Away Labs, creators of the first fitted disposable sheets, used the Business Platinum Card from American Express to rack up points and perks on travel and discounts on shipping, a large expense for the company. Here’s his advice to other business owners considering the card:
|Read more of our Small Business Credit Profiles
Why get the Business Platinum Card from American Express?
- You’re a business owner who spends a large amount on business travel.
- You tend to make large business purchases and can easily meet the spending requirements to earn the card’s bonuses.
- You are searching for a card with a large introductory bonus.
- You enjoy luxury travel and perks.
- You want a card with free airport lounge access.
- You travel frequently enough to make use of the card’s travel features.
How to use the Business Platinum Card from American Express:
- Be sure to spend at least $15,000 in the first three months to unlock the card’s 120,000-point introductory bonus.
- Charge large business purchases to the card to earn the card’s 1.5 bonus rate (be sure to read the fine print to see which purchases qualify).
- Be sure to designate an airline to earn your travel credit for baggage and airline fees.
Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by Amex Assurance Company.
For rates and fees of the Business Platinum card, please click here.
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