2021 Review: Business Platinum Card® from American Express – Is it worth the $595 annual fee?
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If you travel often, this high-end card provides a wide variety of strong perks and benefits, no matter where you like to stay or which airline you prefer. For the steep annual fee you’ll get credits every year, enrollment in valuable membership programs, exclusive discounts at hotels, and an all-around more comfortable traveling experience.
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Our Rating: 5 Out of 5 Stars
We give The Business Platinum Card® from American Express 5 out of 5 Stars because it’s a luxury business travel credit card, with tons of great services and benefits.
Why We Like It
- Valuable services can help offset the annual fee, like up to $200 in airline fee statement credits, a fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓, and hotel benefits
- Amex Global Lounge Collection provides access to many airport lounges, including the Centurion Lounge, International Amex Lounges, and Priority Pass
- 35% point bonus when you redeem for qualifying airline flights
- Large purchases ($5,000+) earn 1.5X points per dollar
- Membership Rewards points are quite valuable and can be redeemed in a wide variety of ways, including point transfers
- Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite and Hilton Honors Gold status
- No foreign transaction fees so you won’t be charged extra outside the country (but Amex doesn’t have the widest acceptance around the world)
Why It Could Be Better
- The annual airline fee statement credits only cover incidental fees, not flight ticket prices
- The annual fee is pretty high: $595 ($695 if application is received on or after 1/13/2022)
- You’ll only get 5X points on flights and prepaid hotel rooms through Amex Travel (amextravel.com); other eligible Amex Travel purchases get 2X points per dollar
The Business Platinum Card from American Express is a high-end metal travel card, offering a wide range of rewards and benefits.
It has an annual fee of $595 ($695 if application is received on or after 1/13/2022), so this card isn’t meant for everyone. Instead it’s designed for business owners who travel multiple times per year, and will get plenty of value from the benefits.
For that price it provides up to 5X Membership Rewards points per dollar on certain travel expenses. That can come out to a cash back equivalent of up to 10% or more, when transferring your points to partner airlines or hotels.
Cardholders also get up to $200 in statement credits annually for any qualifying airline of their choice. And a 35% point bonus when you redeem for eligible flights (up to 500,000 bonus points per calendar year).
There are many more benefits than that, like a variety of other credits and complimentary Gold status with Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy. The travel services are extensive, and Amex provides a suite of business benefits too.
There’s a whole lot to the Business Platinum, especially when it comes to the extra perks. Read on to learn if it’s the right tool to help you get more out of the money your business is already spending.
Insider Advice: Getting the Most Out of Your Card
- Good for small business owners who travel often: This card is meant for frequent travelers, and is expensive at $595 ($695 if application is received on or after 1/13/2022) per year. Only get it if you’ll use it enough to make that fee worth it.
- Pay for big purchases: Use this card to pay for large expenses because you’ll get 1.5X points per dollar on purchases of $5,000 and up (with the same rate for some other business categories).
- Pick your favorite airline: Select one airline per year to get up to $200 in statement credits. And you’ll get a 35% point bonus when you book flights using Pay With Points with that airline.
- Relax in airport lounges: Remember to stop by airport lounges because this card provides access to many around the world. They include Amex Centurion, Escape, Delta Sky Club, and Priority Pass.
- Enjoy Gold hotel status: Sign up for the complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite and Hilton Honors Gold hotel status tiers. You’ll get a variety of cost-saving benefits that can make your trips more comfortable.
- Consider the redemption methods: We recommend two different point redemption methods: redeeming for flights or point transfers. Eligible flights, including all Business and First Class flights, get a 35% point bonus (up to 500,000 bonus points per year). And point transfers can potentially provide quite a bit of value with other loyalty programs.
- Understand this card: There are many benefits and redemption options. Take some time to explore them.
You’ll earn the equivalent of up to 6.75% cash back with this card using the normal redemption methods. And you may be able to earn even more than that with point transfers, as much as 10% cash back or higher.
So you’ll get some rewarding travel-oriented bonus categories with this card. The 5X category includes flight+hotel packages.
The card provides a 50% bonus when making large purchases, a helpful way to score some additional points. The 1.5X category is available for eligible single purchase transactions of $5,000 or more. If a purchase is split up into multiple transactions smaller than $5,000, this 50% bonus will not apply.
Membership Rewards points have the potential to be quite valuable, depending on how you redeem them. There are several ways to do so. We’ll explain them, and then give some redemption examples.
The three main options are:
- Normal redemption methods (Pay With Points for flights, hotel reservations, gift cards): Up to 1.35 cents per point; up to 6.75% cash back equivalent
- Point transfer to frequent traveler program: Up to 2 cents per point or more; up to 10% cash back equivalent or more
- Statement credit: 0.6 cents per point; up to 3% cash back equivalent
The normal and point transfer methods are the most rewarding. The normal methods can provide up to the equivalent of 6.75% cash back because you’ll get a 35% point bonus when you redeem your points for eligible flights. The other normal redemption options provide less value.
Point transfers can yield the highest value per point. We’ve found deals providing 2 cents per point or more, for an equivalent of at least 10% cash back. The value you get per point will depend on the particular flight you choose, or the airline, hotel, time, location, etc. So it’s possible to get a great deal, a mediocre deal, or a relatively poor deal.
Statement credits will only provide .6 cents per point, which is not very good. That means you’re only earning the equivalent of 3% cash back. You could do much better with the other redemption methods.
Point transfers can provide the most value for your points. but it might take some waiting and some work. So redeeming for flights is a very good option, providing 6.75% back when you earn at the 5X rate.
Here are some examples of the normal redemption methods, and of point transfers. In all of these examples, we assume that you’re trading in 10,000 Membership Rewards points, unless otherwise noted. You can also explore the Amex Membership Rewards site to see what they offer.
The cash back equivalent you get will change depending on how you earn the points. If you earn at the highest rate of 5X per dollar, you get the high end of the range. If you only earn at 1X per dollar, you get the low end of the range.
When it comes to using the Pay With Points method for travel expenses, you’ll get the most value from certain eligible airline flights. That’s because you’ll get a 35% point bonus when using Pay With Points for:
- First or Business class flights on any airline
- Any flights with the airline you select for the $200 in annual credits
You’ll get that 35% bonus for flights, giving you 1.35 cents per point; the other options, like hotels and vacations, provide less per point. You can earn up to 500,000 points per calendar year via the 35% bonus.
The main way is to redeem through American Express Travel, but there are a couple other travel services you can use as well.
You’ll be able to redeem 10,000 points in the following ways. Take note that the 35% bonus will provide 3,500 points back when redeeming 10,000 points, and that’s how its cash back equivalent is calculated.
|Redemption Method||Travel Service||Redemption Value||Point Value (in cents)||Cash Back Equivalent|
|Find Flights (with 35% bonus)||Amex Travel||$135||1.0||1.35% – 6.75%|
|Find Flights||Amex Travel||$100||1.0||1.0% – 5.0%|
|Reserve Prepaid Hotels||Amex Travel||$70||0.7||0.7% – 3.5%|
|Plan Vacations||Amex Travel||$70||0.7||0.7% – 3.5%|
|Take Cruises||Amex Travel||$70||0.7||0.7% – 3.5%|
|Airbnb Bookings||Airbnb||$70||0.7||0.7% – 3.5%|
|Flights and Hotels on Expedia||Expedia||$70||0.7||0.7% – 3.5%|
Transferring to Loyalty Programs
You can transfer your Membership Rewards points to your choice of over 20 frequent traveler programs. Many popular airlines and hotel brands are covered, along with the Plenti retail loyalty program.
There’s a fee of $0.0006 per point when transferring to U.S. airlines, but there’s no charge for any other transfers. The typical conversion rate is 1:1. But you’ll also find a few different offers, and occasional special deals where you’ll get a different exchange rate. Different programs will allow you to transfer points in different increments, for example 250 points at a time or 1,000 points at a time.
|Transfer Partner||Miles/Points Received for 1,000 Membership Rewards Points||Transfer Time|
|Aer Lingus AerClub||1,000||Instant|
|Aeromexico Club Premier||1,600||Up to four days|
|Air Canada Aeroplan||1,000||Instant|
|Air France-KLM Flying Blue||1,000||Instant|
|All Nippon Airways Mileage Club||1,000||Up to 72 hours|
|British Airways Executive Club||1,000||Instant|
|Cathay Pacific Asia Miles||1,000||Instant|
|El Al Matmid||20||Instant|
|Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles||1,000||Instant|
|Iberia Plus||1,000||Up to 48 hours|
|Qantas Frequent Flyer||1,000||Instant|
|Singapore KrisFlyer||1,000||Up to 48 hours|
|Virgin Atlantic Flying Club||1,000||Instant|
This card comes with many great benefits, most of them related to travel. These are the most interesting and valuable, as far as we’re concerned. But you should check your card’s Guide to Benefits to learn more about the benefits you have, and how to make use of them.
- Up to $200 annually in airline fee statement credits: Cardholders can select an airline each year to earn up to $200 in statement credits for eligible fees. This includes fees for checked bags and in-flight meals charged by the airline. It does not cover flight tickets and bookings, only incidental fees.
- Amex Global Lounge Collection: Cardholders get complimentary access to over 1,000 airport lounges across 120 countries, including brands like Centurion, Priority Pass, Delta Sky Club, and more.
- Fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck: Global Entry ($100) and TSA PreCheck ($85) are programs that provide expedited screening at airports. Amex will refund the application fee for one of these programs, $100 every four years for Global Entry or $85 every four-and-a-half years for TSA PreCheck. Global Entry includes TSA PreCheck, but the two services differ in some ways.
- Automatic Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status: Cardholders get complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status without needing to meet any stay requirements. You must manually enroll to activate this benefit.
- Automatic Hilton Honors Gold status: Cardholders can sign up for complimentary Hilton Honors Gold status to get better benefits and services at Hilton properties. Manual enrollment is required.
- $400 Dell statement credit: Enroll to get up to $400 in annual statement credits for U.S. purchases with Dell: $200 from January through June, and $200 from July through December.
- $360 in annual statement credits for Indeed: Up to $90 in statement credits per quarter for all Indeed hiring and recruiting products and services
- Up to $150 in annual statement credits for Adobe: Annual credits for select Adobe products, including Adobe Creative Cloud and Acrobat Pro DC
- Up to $120 in annual statement credits for wireless services: Up to $10 per month, good for purchases of monthly wireless services made directly from U.S. wireless telephone providers
- The Hotel Collection: Cardholders can receive a credit for up to $100 per stay to cover eligible expenses at hotels. This can be a nice way to save a bit of money when traveling.
- Platinum Dining Program: Perfect for a night out on the town, American Express holds a reservation for you at over 1,000 top restaurants. Just call your concierge service and select “Dining” from the menu.
- Complimentary DEPARTURES Magazine Subscription: You’ll get a free subscription to the exclusive DEPARTURES Magazine, a luxury magazine only available to Platinum cardholders. It’s issued seven times per year, and focuses on travel, style, culture, shopping, and dining.
- Premium Private Jet Program: Cardholders can book private jets through the Delta Private Jet program. When this service is used, a 20% discount will also be available on eligible Delta flights.
- Employee cards: You can get up to 99 employee cards, and set individual spending limits. Take note that there are certain purchases where the spending limit won’t apply, like restaurant tips and extended hotel stays.
- Account Manager: Designate a trusted Account Manager to manage your account. Must be at least 18 years old.
- American Express Business App: A tool to help manage your spending throughout the year. Allows you to add receipts and notes to transactions, making tax time easier.
- Connect to QuickBooks: Provides an easy way to label and transfer your transaction data into a QuickBooks account.
- Tier One Program: Some businesses will be eligible for the Tier One Program from American Express. This comes with benefits that are “designed to streamline and enhance the business’s experience with American Express.”
- Amex Offers: You’ll have access to extra points and discounts at a wide variety of merchants — currently there are about 80 different offers available, and the selection changes now and then.
Other Benefits and Perks
We’ve only described some of the most valuable benefits here. But you’ll get quite a few others with this card as well, including:
- Travel Accident Insurance
- Baggage Insurance Plan
- Purchase Protection
- Extended Warranty
- Fraud Protection
Enrollment required for select benefits; terms and limitations apply.
The Terms & Fees
|Purchase APR||Balance Transfer APR||Cash Advance APR|
|See Pay Over Time APR||None||None|
|Annual Fee||Foreign Transaction Fee|
|$595 ($695 if application is received on or after 1/13/2022)||None|
|Balance Transfer Fee||Cash Advance Fee|
|Penalty APR||Late Fee||Returned Payment Fee|
|29.24% Variable||$39 or 2.99% of any past due Pay in Full amount, whichever is greater.||$39|
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express (Rates & Fees)
The Amex Business Platinum is on the expensive side, so be sure that you’ll get plenty of use out of it before applying. Make a plan to offset the annual fee and use the card enough every year.
There are no typical interest rates here, because you usually need to pay off your balance in full every billing period.
However, there’s also a Pay Over Time feature for eligible charges. This program allows you to pay for certain purchases over a period of time, at a certain interest rate.
Eligible charges can be included in a Pay Over Time balance, up to the Pay Over Time Limit. Eligible charges include purchases, foreign transaction fees, and annual membership fees. The following are ineligible for Pay Over Time: cash advances, including cash and other cash equivalents, certain insurance premiums, and any other fees owed to American Express. Pay Over Time Limit applies to the total of the Pay Over Time, cash advance, and Plan balances.
All charges not added to a Pay Over Time balance, a monthly payment plan, or a cash advance balance must be paid in full each month by the payment due date.
There are no foreign transaction fees with this card. So it’s good for spending outside the country, although Amex doesn’t have very widespread acceptance outside the U.S. See below for some other cards that are good for spending abroad.
The Bottom Line
For $595 ($695 if application is received on or after 1/13/2022) per year, The Business Platinum Card® from American Express offers a bevy of great rewards and benefits.
Frequent travelers could get a lot out of this card because it can be used with a wide variety of airlines, hotels, and loyalty programs. No matter which airline or hotel you prefer, you could probably use this card to get some extra perks there.
Those Membership Rewards points you’ll earn have the potential to be very valuable. You can get an excellent deal by trading them for flights that are eligible for the 35% bonus. And there are many other redemption options, including point transfers to partner loyalty programs.
The extra benefits are valuable as well, with a number of opportunities to save money and enjoy complimentary services.
There’s a lot to this card — this review didn’t even cover all of the benefits available, although the most interesting and useful ones are there.
How Do I Apply for the Business Platinum Card?
To apply for the Business Platinum Card you’ll need to be an authorized officer of your company, responsible for managing finances. Click the link below to be directed to the card issuer’s website. From there, you’ll be able to securely apply for the business card.
The application will require your own personal information, along with information about your business. For corporations and partnerships, you’ll also need to provide your Federal Tax ID (the same as your Employer Identification Number, or EIN).
What Credit Scores Do I Need for the Business Platinum Card from American Express?
You should have good credit for the best chance of approval with the Business Platinum Card from American Express.
To qualify for good credit, your credit scores would have to fall within the ranges of 670–739 for FICO and 700–749 for VantageScore.
However, credit card issuers take additional information into account when determining your creditworthiness. Factors including personal income, business revenue, monthly mortgage and rent payments, and more go into the decision. This additional information could lead to your approval even if your scores are lower than what’s recommended.
But that also means there’s a chance you could be denied even if your scores are high enough.
Qualifications and Requirements
- Must be 18 to apply
- Personal information: Name, date of birth, Social Security number, U.S. citizenship status, and potentially driver’s license number
- Address and contact information: Home address, phone number, email address
- Financial information: Total annual income, monthly mortgage or rent payment
- Business information: Your business’ legal name and Tax ID number or EIN (Employer Identification Number), annual business revenue/sales, years in business, and the number of employees
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the Amex Business Platinum Card’s annual fee?
The Business Platinum Card from American Express has an annual fee of $595 ($695 if application is received on or after 1/13/2022). While that’s pretty steep, there are a number of benefits that help mitigate that fee.
You can see all of the card’s terms and fees right here.
What benefits does the Amex Business Platinum Card have?
The most valuable benefits include up to $200 in annual credits for incidental airline fees, up to $400 in annual Dell statement credits, up to $120 in annual wireless service credits, automatic Hilton Honors Gold and Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status, and a fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.
There’s also the famous Global Lounge Collection, which provides access to over 1,000 airport lounges of various brands, including Centurion and Priority Pass, in 120 countries. Hilton Honors Gold and Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status grant point bonuses, late checkout, room upgrades when they’re available, and other perks. Global Entry or TSA PreCheck both help speed your way through TSA.
Alternatives to the American Express Business Platinum Card
There are a few other high-end travel cards you should be aware of. You may like one of them more than the American Express Business Platinum Card.
The information related to American Express® Business Gold Card has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.
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How do you use your Business Platinum Card from American Express? What are the most valuable features to you? Leave a comment, we’d love to hear from you!
Looking for other great payment options for your next trip? Check out our picks for the Best Travel Credit Cards.
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