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Review

Review of the Business Platinum Card® from American Express: Is it worth the $595 annual fee?

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Brendan Harkness By Brendan Harkness Apr 01, 2020 | Updated Jun 10, 2020

(Rates & Fees)

Our rating
Min. credit level: Good
Annual Fee: $595
Regular APR: N/A

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 (Rates & Fees), 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.

There are many more benefits than that, like 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.

Due to the impact of COVID-19, for eligible card accounts approved from 12/1/19 through 5/31/20, the period to make eligible purchases to earn the welcome bonus will be extended for an additional three months.

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
(Rates & Fees)
Annual Fee$595
Regular APRN/A
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Earn 75,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com.
  • Get 50% more Membership Rewards® points. That’s an extra half point per dollar, on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more. You can get up to 1 million additional points per year.
  • Enroll to get up to $200 in statement credits annually by getting up to $100 semi-annually for U.S. purchases with Dell. Terms apply.
  • 35% Airline Bonus: Use Membership Rewards® Pay with Points for all or part of a flight with your selected qualifying airline, and you can get 35% of the points back, up to 500,000 bonus points per calendar year when you book on amextravel.com.
  • Terms Apply
  • See Rates & Fees

American Express is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.

The information related to The Business Platinum Card® from American Express has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

Our Rating: 5 Out of 5 Stars

We give this card 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 (over $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 $595 annual fee is pretty high
  • 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

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 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 over $5,000.
  • 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. 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.
  • Always pay the balance in full: You’ll typically need to pay off your balance in full every billing period, so be sure not to spend more than you can pay off.

Rewards

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.

Earning

Spending Rewards
  • 5X Membership Rewards points per dollar on:
  • 2X Membership Rewards points per dollar on other eligible travel expenses booked through American Express Travel
  • 1.5X Membership Rewards points per dollar on eligible purchases of $5,000 or more, up to 1 million extra points per calendar year
  • 1X Membership Rewards point per dollar on all other purchases
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • 75,000 bonus points for spending $15,000 in the first 3 months

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.

The 1.5X category is also limited to $2 million in spending per year. That means you can earn up to 1 million extra points in this way, when making purchases of $5,000 or more. After you reach that limit you’ll earn 1X point per dollar on those purchases.

The Business Platinum Card from American Express has a $595 annual fee.

Redeeming

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.

Due to the impact of COVID-19, for eligible card accounts approved from 12/1/19 through 5/31/20, the period to make eligible purchases to earn the welcome bonus will be extended for an additional three months.

Travel

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.

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
Alitalia MilleMiglia 1,000 Instant
All Nippon Airways Mileage Club 1,000 Up to 72 hours
Avianca LifeMiles 1,000 Instant
British Airways Executive Club 1,000 Instant
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles 1,000 Instant
Delta SkyMiles 1,000 Instant
El Al Matmid 20 Instant
Emirates Skywards 1,000 Instant
Etihad Guest 1,000 Instant
Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles 1,000 Instant
Iberia Plus 1,000 Up to 48 hours
JetBlue TrueBlue 800 Instant
Qantas Frequent Flyer 1,000 Instant
Singapore KrisFlyer 1,000 Up to 48 hours
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club 1,000 Instant
Choice Privileges 1,000 Instant
Hilton Honors 2,000 Instant
Marriott Bonvoy 1,000 Instant
Ready for more? Learn all about Amex Membership Rewards.

American Express Membership Rewards: Everything You Need to Know

The Benefits

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.

The Business Platinum Card from American Express has a $595 annual fee.
  • 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.
  • $200 Dell statement credit: Enroll to get an annual $200 statement credit for U.S. purchases with Dell: $100 from January through June, and $100 from July through December (COVID-19 update: Now get $200 in additional credits; $100 from 5/1/20–6/30/20, and $100 from 7/1/20–12/31/20). Just remember that you’ll have to enroll in order to enjoy this advantage, and purchases must be made directly from Dell or Dell.com to be eligible.
  • $320 wireless telephone & shipping credit: Get up to $320 in statement credits for wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. providers and U.S. purchases for shipping (up to $20 per month each, until 12/31/20).
  • 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

The Terms & Fees

Purchase APR Balance Transfer APR Cash Advance APR
N/A None None
Annual Fee Foreign Transaction Fee
$595 None
Balance Transfer Fee Cash Advance Fee
See Terms None
Penalty APR Late Fee Returned Payment Fee
None $39 or 2.99% of any past due Pay in Full amount, whichever is greater. $39

The Amex Business Platinum is on the expensive side at $595 per year. That means you should 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’ also a Pay Over Time feature that you may be eligible for. When available, this feature allows you to pay for certain purchases over a period of time, at a certain interest rate.

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 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.

You’ll earn Membership Rewards points at the 5X rate whenever you book eligible travel. And you’ll get 1.5X points for purchases over $5,000, giving you a boost when you pay for large business expenses.

Those Membership Rewards points 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. If you stay at Hilton or Marriott Bonvoy properties often, you’ll get automatic Gold status to make your stays more comfortable. And there are many other discounts and offers to take advantage of.

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.

For some different options, check out some high-end alternatives to the Business Platinum Card below.

Insider tip
There’s also a regular consumer version of this card, The Platinum Card® from American Express (Review). It has a lower annual fee (Rates & Fees) and slightly different benefits.

How to 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 Apply Now button 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).

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
(Rates & Fees)
Annual Fee$595
Regular APRN/A
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Earn 75,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com.
  • Get 50% more Membership Rewards® points. That’s an extra half point per dollar, on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more. You can get up to 1 million additional points per year.
  • Enroll to get up to $200 in statement credits annually by getting up to $100 semi-annually for U.S. purchases with Dell. Terms apply.
  • 35% Airline Bonus: Use Membership Rewards® Pay with Points for all or part of a flight with your selected qualifying airline, and you can get 35% of the points back, up to 500,000 bonus points per calendar year when you book on amextravel.com.
  • Terms Apply
  • See Rates & Fees

American Express is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.

The information related to The Business Platinum Card® from American Express has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

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
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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.

American Express® Business Gold Card

Our rating
Min. credit level Good
Details
(Rates & Fees)
Annual Fee $295
Regular APR 14.24–22.24% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

The American Express® Business Gold Card (Review) is a mid-range business reward card with an annual fee of $295.

It’s a step down from the Business Platinum and doesn’t cost nearly as much. But it’s still a fairly rewarding option. The rewards program is a little more versatile, as you’ll earn 4X points per dollar in the two bonus categories that you spend the most in monthly.

Both cards are a step above your basic credit card. But the Business Platinum has a much better set of extra benefits, and has more to offer frequent travelers.

The Business Gold card doesn’t have much in the way of travel perks, although you will find some discounts and complimentary services to be had. Its bonus reward categories are geared more towards business purchases, although some travel expenses are included as well.

If you don’t travel enough to warrant the Business Platinum card, the Business Gold could be a good alternative.

Spending Rewards
  • 4X Membership Rewards points per dollar in the two categories you spend the most in each month, up to $150,000 per year (then 1X):
    • Airfare purchased directly from airlines
    • U.S. purchases for advertising in select media
    • U.S. computer hardware, software, and cloud computing purchases made directly from select providers
    • U.S. purchases for shipping
    • U.S. purchases at gas stations
    • U.S. purchases at restaurants
  • 2X Membership Rewards points per dollar on eligible purchases from Amex Travel
  • 1X Membership Rewards point per dollar on all other purchases
  • 25% points back after you use points for all or part of an eligible flight booked with Amex Travel, up to 250,000 points back per calendar year
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • 35,000 bonus points for spending $5,000 in the first 3 months

The normal redemption methods will yield a maximum of 4% cash back with the Business Gold. And since you won’t get the 35% bonus on flights, that means point transfers will tend to provide the best redemption value with this card.

You can find deals giving you 2 cents or more through point transfers, which would provide an 8% cash back equivalent or more when spending at the 4X rate.

  • The Hotel Collection: Cardholders can receive a credit for up to $100 to cover eligible expenses at hotels.
  • Lowest Hotel Rates Guaranteed: If you book an eligible prepaid hotel room through Amex Travel and then find the same room being advertised online for a lower price, you can be refunded for the difference.
  • Amex Offers: You’ll have access to discounts and extra point opportunities at a wide variety of merchants — currently there are about 80 different offers available, and the selection changes now and then.
  • 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.”
  • Employee cards: You can get up to 99 employee cards; the first employee card costs $50, and after that they’re free.
  • Account Manager: Designate a trusted Account Manager to manage your Business Gold 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
  • Shopping protections: Extended Warranty and Purchase Protection
  • Travel protections: Travel Accident Insurance, Baggage Insurance Plan, Global Assist Hotline, Rental Car Insurance, and more
  • Purchase APR: 14.24–22.24% Variable
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Annual fee: $295
  • Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $5,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Gold Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.*
  • More Rewards: Get 4X Membership Rewards® points on the 2 select categories where your business spent the most each month. 1X is earned for other purchases. **
  • **4X points apply to the first $150,000 in combined purchases from these 2 categories each calendar year.*
  • Airline Bonus: Get 25% points back after you use points for all or part of an eligible flight booked with Amex Travel, up to 250,000 points back per calendar year.*
  • Pay Over Time Option: A flexible payment option with interest to help manage cash flow on purchases of $100 or more.*
  • *Terms Apply
  • See Rates & Fees

American Express is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.

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.

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Our rating
Min. credit level Excellent
Details
Annual Fee $550
Regular APR 16.99%-23.99% Variable

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® (Review) is a very rewarding card, coming with a $550 annual fee. It’s also a consumer card, and comes at the highest Visa service tier available (Infinite).

There are quite a few similarities between this card and the Business Platinum. But there are also some important differences to be aware of. For example, the Reserve’s annual travel credit is $100 more than the Business Platinum’s airline credit. You can also use it for anything from airfare to getting around once you land, which makes it more useful than the Business Platinum’s (which only applies to incidental airline fees).

The Sapphire Reserve comes with complimentary airport lounge access, but it only covers Priority Pass lounges. The Business Platinum includes Priority Pass along with several other lounge brands. On the plus side, the Sapphire Reserve’s Priority Pass membership does include non-lounge experiences, like restaurant credits, which could add a lot of value.

Each card also provides perks and memberships at different hotels; the Reserve favors Relais & Châteaux properties, and the Business Platinum backs Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton.

Overall, the Amex card might have the edge when it comes to the reward potential and extra perks. But the Sapphire Reserve is a very rewarding card too, and has a lot going for it, especially if you won’t be using Amex Travel for bookings. If you value flexibility and it hits the spots you think the Business Platinum misses, it might be the card for you.

Spending Rewards
  • 10X Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on Lyft rides
  • 3X Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on:
    • Travel (after the full travel credit is used)
    • Dining
  • 1X Ultimate Rewards point per dollar on all other purchases
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • 50,000 bonus points for spending $4,000 in the first 3 months after account opening

That 50% bonus is a great way to get more out of your points with this card. When redeeming through Chase Ultimate Rewards for travel your points will be worth more at 1.5 cents each. That means you’ll earn the equivalent of 4.5% cash back at the 3X rate. And 1.5% cash back at the 1X rate.

The Sapphire Reserve’s 3X category covers every kind of travel and dining expense you might have. The Business Platinum’s 5X category is limited to flights and prepaid hotels booked on Amex Travel.

So you’ll have many more point-earning opportunities with the Sapphire Reserve. And you can earn points at a great rate with it as you travel, rather than just when you make plans.

  • 50% point bonus when redeeming for travel expenses through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Point transfer: Transfer your points at a 1:1 rate to a variety of airline and hotel loyalty programs, like United, JetBlue, and Marriott Bonvoy.
  • $300 annual travel credit: You’ll get a $300 travel credit every year that will be automatically applied to any travel-related expenses you charge to your card.
  • Priority Pass Select membership: Cardholders get a complimentary Priority Pass Select membership, which provides access to over 1,000 airport lounges worldwide plus a selection of restaurants.
  • Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection: The Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection provides some complimentary services and benefits at participating hotels and resorts, including room upgrades, daily breakfast for two, and special gifts.
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit: Get a statement credit to offset the cost of signing up for Global Entry ($100) or TSA PreCheck ($85).
  • Elite hotel benefits at Relais & Châteaux: Cardholders get accelerated progress towards Club 5C member status with Relais & Châteaux luxury hotel and resort properties.
  • Visa Infinite Concierge: Call 1-877-660-0905 for non-emergency help of all kinds, like making dinner reservations or finding good tickets to a show.
  • Special car rental privileges: Get rental upgrades, discounts, and promotional offers at rental companies like Avis, Silvercar, and National Car Rental.
  • Lyft Pink membership: One free year of Lyft Pink, which includes 15% off rides, relaxed cancellations, surprise offers, and priority airport pickup
  • DoorDash membership: A free membership (DashPass) for a year, which provides free delivery for orders of $15 or more
  • $60 annual DoorDash credit: Get $60 in DoorDash credits in 2020, and $60 in credits in 2021.
  • Shopping protections: You’ll get Purchase Protection when shopping, Extended Warranty protection, and Return Protection.
  • Travel protections: Travel and Emergency Assistance, Emergency Medical and Dental Protection, Trip Delay Reimbursement, and much more
  • Purchase and Balance Transfer APR: 16.99%-23.99% Variable
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Annual fee: $550

Citi Prestige® Card

Our rating
Min. credit level Good
Details
Annual Fee $495
Regular APR 17.99%–24.99% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

The Citi Prestige® Card (Review) is a regular consumer card, not a business credit card. It has an annual fee of $495, similar to many high-end travel cards.

The bonus categories here cover a wider variety of travel expenses than the Business Platinum, which is limited to the Amex Travel portal. If you tend to book travel from many different sources, this card could provide a way to earn more points.

It provides a $250 annual travel credit, which is $50 more than the Business Platinum’s airline credit. And unlike the Platinum’s it can be applied to any eligible travel expense, rather than just incidental airline fees. The Citi card also gives you a complimentary fourth night free at any hotel you choose, twice a year. That’s a pretty valuable feature, especially if you make plans at pricey hotels.

However, the Prestige isn’t as good when it comes to airport lounge access and other services. Citi Prestige cardholders get access to Priority Pass lounges. But the Business Platinum provides more access, including Centurion Lounges, Escape Lounges, and others.

The Citi card also comes with some discounts and complimentary services at select hotels through its World Elite Mastercard perks. But overall, other than the specific benefits and differences mentioned above, the Amex card probably wins out for most travelers.

Spending Rewards
  • 5X ThankYou points per dollar on:
    • Air travel
    • Restaurants
  • 3X ThankYou points per dollar on:
    • Hotels
    • Cruise lines
  • 1X ThankYou point per dollar for every other purchase
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • 50,000 ThankYou points for spending $4,000 within 3 months of account opening

You can get 1 cent per point when you redeem for flights with the Prestige card. That means you can earn the equivalent of 5% back or 3% back in the bonus categories. So in terms of how much value you can easily get through the basic redemption methods, the Amex card wins with its 6.75% cash back.

But you can transfer your ThankYou points to frequent traveler programs where you might get more out of them. Citi only has airline partners, while Amex includes a wider selection of both airlines and hotels. There’s no fee for point transfers with the Citi card, however. That’s better than the Amex card, which charges a fee of $0.0006 per point when transferring to U.S. airlines.

  • Point transfer: To a variety of airline loyalty programs, including Etihad Guest, JetBlue TrueBlue, and Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
  • Annual $250 travel credit: Good for airline tickets, hotel rooms, car rentals, and other travel expenses (due to the impact of COVID-19, from 5/1/20 through 12/31/20, the $250 travel credit benefit will be expanded to include purchases made at supermarkets and restaurants)
  • Complimentary 4th Night Stay: Get your fourth night free when booking four nights in a row through ThankYou.com and paying with your card, ThankYou points, or a combination of both. Capped at twice per year.
  • Complimentary Priority Pass Select membership: Access to over 1,000 Priority Pass airport lounges and restaurants around the world
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit: A credit for the application fee of either Global Entry ($100) or TSA PreCheck ($85), once every five years
  • Citi Prestige Concierge: Call for non-emergency help any time you need it.
  • World Elite Car Rental Program: Elite memberships at Avis, Silvercar, and National
  • Purchase and Balance Transfer APR: 17.99%–24.99% Variable
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Annual fee: $495
  • 5X ThankYou points on Air travel and Restaurants
  • 3X ThankYou points on Hotels and Cruise Lines
  • No limit to the amount of points you can earn
  • Rewards never expire
  • $250 travel credit
  • Complimentary 4th night free on eligible hotel stays, capped at twice per year
  • Complimentary Priority Pass Select membership
  • Global Entry or TSA Pre✓ Application Fee Credit
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $495 annual fee

The information related to Citi Prestige® Card has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

Mastercard® Black Card™

Our rating
Min. credit level Excellent
Details
Annual Fee $495
Regular APR 14.99% Variable
Apply Now

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The Mastercard® Black Card™ (Review) has an annual fee of $495. It’s a regular consumer credit card, not a business card. And it’s a bit different than the other cards compiled here.

The Black Card doesn’t seem very rewarding for the high fee. Compared to the 6.75% cash back equivalent you can get with the Business Platinum card for airfare, this card just looks silly.

There are some decent travel-related benefits, though. They include a $100 annual airline credit, which applies to tickets along with other fees. The Business Platinum provides up to $200 in airline fee credits annually, but those only applies to incidental fees and not tickets. The Black Card also has no introductory bonus and provides access to fewer airport lounges, although it does allow unlimited guests in Priority Pass lounges, a rare feature.

The Black Card comes with a few other benefits that travelers might find useful, like global luggage delivery. But for the most part the extra perks are much better with the Business Platinum card. Add that to the rewards you can earn, and it seems pretty clear which card is more valuable for the annual fee.

Spending Rewards
  • 1X point per dollar on every purchase

So, like many other travel credit cards, you’ll get more value for your points when you redeem them for airfare: 2 cents per point rather than 1.5 for cash back redemptions. Many other cards broaden this to travel expenses in general, but this card is limited to airfare for the 2 cent rate.

When redeeming for airfare you’ll end up with a 2% cash back equivalent for every purchase. Not too great in the realm of premium, expensive cards.

  • $100 airline credit: This annual $100 airline credit can be applied to travel expenses like airfare, baggage fees, and in-flight purchases.
  • Global Entry credit: A $100 Global Entry application fee credit. Global Entry is a U.S. Customs and Border Protection program that provides expedited entry to the U.S. (it can include TSA PreCheck).
  • Priority Pass Select membership: Get unlimited visits and guests at Priority Pass lounges, with no need to call in advance.
  • Luxury Card Concierge: Personal 24/7 concierge service; you can call or chat live through the Luxury Card app
  • VIP Hotel & Travel benefits: Access to numerous discounts and amenities at a variety of different properties
  • Mastercard Priceless Program: Exclusive access to invitation-only events
  • Purchase APR: 14.99% Variable
  • Balance Transfer APR: 0% for 15 months, then 14.99% Variable
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Annual fee: $495
  • Patented black PVD metal card—weighing 22 grams.
  • 2% value for airfare redemptions with no blackout dates or seat restrictions.
  • 1.5% value for cash back redemptions.
  • 24/7 Luxury Card Concierge®—available by phone, email and live mobile chat.
  • Exclusive Luxury Card Travel® benefits (e.g., amenities, room upgrades and complimentary food and beverages).
  • Up to $100 annual airline credit and $100 Global Entry and TSA Pre-Check application fee credit.
  • Cell Phone Protection, Lyft credits, Postmates discounts, Fandango perks and more.
  • Annual fee: $495 ($195 for each Authorized User).
  • Terms and conditions apply.

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.

For rates and fees of The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.

For rates and fees of the American Express® Business Gold Card, please click here.

At a glance

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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The information related to The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, American Express® Business Gold Card, and Citi Prestige® Card have been collected by Credit Card Insider and have not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of these products.

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