Who Is the Business Platinum Card From American Express Good For?
The American Express Business Platinum Card is part of the Membership Rewards program and the top premium business card offered by American Express. It carries a high annual fee, but the exclusive benefits are worth the high cost of admission.
Cardholders receive a sizable sign-up bonus, free access to airport lounges, an annual credit for airline incidentals, credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check, free Boingo and Go-Go internet passes, and many other benefits.
However, you’d be hard pressed to call its earning scheme generous. The Business Gold Rewards card is much more generous for earning Membership Rewards points and its annual fee is roughly 2.5 times less.
$450, not waived for the first year
Remember that the American Express Business Platinum Card is a charge card so you are expected to pay your balance in full every month.
The current sign-up bonus is 50,000 Membership Rewards points after charging $5,000 in three months. You can earn an additional 50,000 points if you spend another $10,000 in the same time period. That’s a total of 100,000 points after spending $15,000 in the first 90 days.
- 2 Points per dollar when you book on the American Express Travel website
- 1.5 points per dollar for every purchase of $5,000 or more
- 1 point per dollar for everything else
What Do Your Points Get You?
The benefits of the Platinum card are diverse and plentiful, but most of them are centered around travel. Of course, you can use your Membership Reward points to buy gift cards, pay your credit card balance, shop, etc., but if you do use it for travel, you will see why it’s more than worth the annual fee.
First, Platinum card membership allows you to get 50 percent of your points back if you book a business or first class fare on any carrier or any cabin with your designated airline if you pay with points through the Amex travel website.
That already gives you a terrific value, but you might do much better if you transfer your points to a participating partner airlines’ frequent flyer account. That can be especially lucrative if you redeem your points for expensive tickets, like premium cabin seats.
- 100,000-point sign-up bonus
- $200 annual credit for incidental airline fees
- $100 credit for TSA Pre-Check or Global Entry
- 50 percent rebate on eligible airfare purchased through the Amex travel website
- Unlimited access to Boingo worldwide hotspots
- 10 Gogo inflight coupons
- Free Access to Centurion Lounges, International American Express lounges, Delta Sky Clubs and AirSpace
- Priority Pass lounge membership
- Starwood Gold Status
- Hilton HHonors Gold Status
- Occasional bonuses for airline transfers
- High annual fee
- Free Priority Pass lounge access is limited to the cardholder
- $200 annual credit is for one designated airline only
- Some airline transfers are not instant
How Far Do Your Points Go?
When you use Pay with Points for booking your designated airline, you will receive a 50 percent rebate for a value of 1.5 cents per point. This is a great redemption, as the Platinum card is the only publicly available card in the Membership Rewards family that can get you more than 1x return without transferring to an airline program.
For example, if you spend 40,000 points to book a $400 ticket, you will get 12,000 points back that you can use at a later time. It’s like getting $120 back from a $400 purchase.
Of course, you can get a better return if you transfer your points to partner airlines and redeem them for award tickets on really expensive flights. For example, using the Membership Rewards points to redeem a premium class flight on Cathay Pacific between New York and Hong Kong in first class can yield up to 13 cents per point.
Additional Cardholder Benefits:
- Premium roadside assistance
- Fine Hotels & Resorts and The Hotel Collection benefits
- Platinum Concierge Service
- Extended Warranty
- Return Protection
- Purchase Protection
- Free Departures magazine subscription
- International Airline Program offers discounted companion fares for first and business class flights purchased through Amex Travel Center
- No foreign transaction fees
- Baggage Insurance
- Travel Accident Insurance
- Premium Global Assist
- Business Open benefits