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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, so this card isn’t meant for everyone (Rates & Fees). Instead it’s designed for business owners who travel multiple times per year, and will spend at least $6,000 doing so.
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 6.75%, when redeeming for eligible flights.
Cardholders also get a $200 annual statement credit for the 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 perks are extensive, and Amex provides a suite of business benefits too.
There’s a whole lot to this card, 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.
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.
This is one of many business travel cards that are very rewarding. See below for some other options, with different rewards and benefits.
You’ll be able to 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 7% cash back or higher.
So you’ll get some rewarding travel-oriented bonus categories with this card. The 5X category includes flight+hotel packages. And it also provides 50% more points when making large purchases of $5,000 or more.
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.
This 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.
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:
The cash back equivalent refers to the value you get for your rewards, compared to how much you spent to get them. For example, if you spend $100 to earn reward points that are worth $10, that’s the equivalent of 10% cash back. So when you earn points at a higher rate, like 5X, you’ll get a higher cash back equivalent than you would if you earned at a lower rate, like 1X.
The normal and point transfer methods are the most rewarding. The normal methods can provide up to the equivalent of 6.75% cash back. This is because you’ll get a 35% point bonus when you redeem your points for eligible flights. But in some cases you’ll get less cash back than that.
Point transfers can yield the highest value per point. We’ve found deals providing the equivalent of at least 5-7% cash back in some cases. 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 even 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.
So point transfers can provide the most value for your points. But you won’t always be able to get the highest value for them. 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:
In addition to the 35% bonus, you’ll also get the best value per point when redeeming for flights: 1 cent per point. The other methods, 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%|
For 10,000 points, you can get a gift card of up to $100 for a variety of merchants. Here are just a few.
|Merchant||Gift Card Redemption Value||Point Value (in cents)||Cash Back Equivalent|
|Athleta||$100||1.0||1.0% – 5.0%|
|Bergdorf Goodman||$100||1.0||1.0% – 5.0%|
|Bath & Body Works||$100||1.0||1.0% – 5.0%|
|Carnival||$100||1.0||1.0% – 5.0%|
|Fairmont Hotels & Resorts||$100||1.0||1.0% – 5.0%|
|Best Western||$85||0.85||0.85% – 4.25%|
|The Cheesecake Factory®||$85||0.85||0.85% – 4.25%|
|Sam’s Club||$70||0.7||0.7% – 3.5%|
|Target||$70||0.7||0.7% – 3.5%|
|American Express Gift Card||$50||0.5||0.5% – 2.5%|
You can use your points at checkout with the following merchants. 10,000 points will get you:
|Merchant||Gift Card Redemption Value||Point Value (in cents)||Cash Back Equivalent|
|New York City Taxis||$100||1.0||1.0% – 5.0%|
|Uber||$100||1.0||1.0% – 5.0%|
|Rite Aid||$70||0.7||0.7% – 3.5%|
|AXS||$50||0.5||0.5% – 2.5%|
|Telecharge||$50||0.5||0.5% – 2.5%|
|Ticketmaster||$50||0.5||0.5% – 2.5%|
You can transfer your Membership Rewards points to your choice of over a dozen 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 US 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.
Here are some example loyalty programs. Included are their transfer rates and a conversion example. These are all offers that were available at the time this review was written; be aware that the current offers may have changed. Afterword, you’ll find some real-world examples of point transfers to different programs.
|Loyalty Program||Type||Transfer Rate||You Give||You Get|
|ANA Mileage Club – All Nippon Airways||Airline||1:1||1,000||1,000|
|Delta Air Lines||Airline||1:1||1,000||1,000|
|Starwood Preferred Guest||Hotel||1:.33||1,000||333|
The following point transfer examples show how you can get different values for your points. There are many factors that influence the price of flights and hotel rooms. The brand you use, time of year, demand, and availability all play a role in determining the price.
So, although these are real-world examples, your experience will probably differ from what we show here. One example is of a pretty valuable transfer, while the other one is not so good.
In this example, imagine you want to take a one-way Delta flight from Charlotte, NC, to Atlanta, GA.
We’ll fly from the Charlotte Douglas International Airport to the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. And we want to fly on Tuesday, February 20th.
A main cabin seat would cost $320.80. Or you could get that same seat for 30,500 Delta SkyMiles, plus a $5.60 fee.
So how many Membership Rewards points would you need to earn? And how much would you have to spend?
You’ll have to earn 31,000 Membership Rewards points before you can transfer them. That’s because you need to transfer in increments of 1,000 with Delta.
In addition, each transferred point will cost .06 cents. So you’ll have to pay a fee of $18.60 for this transfer.
To earn 31,000 points, you’ll need to spend $6,200 at the 5X rate. If you earn at a lesser rate, you’ll have to spend more.
You can then transfer those points to Delta SkyMiles, and pay for the flight.
In this example you spent $6,200 to earn the points. Plus, there’s the Delta fee and the transfer fee. That comes to a total required spend of $6,224.20.
For that, you get a main cabin seat valued at $320.80. That means you’re getting an equivalent cash back of about 5.15%, which is pretty good.
However, it’s still not as good as the 6.75% you can potentially get through flight redemptions, as described above.
For an example of a poor redemption value, take a certain transfer to Hilton Honors Points.
After getting to Atlanta in our previous example, say you want to book a hotel for the night. In particular, a standard room at the Home2 Suites by Hilton Atlanta Downtown, on Wednesday, February 21st.
This room will cost $159. Or, you could get it for 40,000 Hilton Honors Points.
So how much would you need to spend with the Business Platinum card to earn that room?
The transfer rate to Hilton Honors Points is 1:2. So, you’ll need 20,000 Membership Rewards points. That means you’ll have to spend $4,000, earning at the 5X rate, to earn that many points.
You can transfer those 20,000 Membership Rewards points to 40,000 Hilton Honors Points, and then book the room.
Here, you spend $4,000 to earn a room valued at $159. That means you’re getting a cash back equivalent of 3.98%.
This isn’t a very good deal compared to the other redemption methods mentioned above. But it doesn’t mean that all Hilton point transfers will provide a bad value.
This card has a hefty $595 annual fee (Rates & Fees), so you’ll want to use it enough each year to make it worth the cost. You can offset that fee by spending as little as $5,852 per year. Read on to learn how.
Let’s assume that you can make full use of the $200 statement credit each year. Since the first checked bag costs about $25 with most airlines, this would only take four round trips per year or so.
After subtracting the statement credit, you’ll have $395 left to offset per year. So, how much do you need to spend each year? That will depend on the rate you earn points, and how you redeem your points.
If you earn at a higher rate, like 5X, you won’t need to spend as much. But if you earn at 1.5X or 1X you’ll need to spend more.
Here is about how much you’ll need to spend to earn the cash back equivalent of $250, for a few different methods. This assumes that you’re earning at the 5X rate, so this is the minimum spending required. If you earn at a lower rate you’ll need to spend more.
|Redemption Method||Cash Back Equivalent||Spending Required|
|Flights (35% point bonus)||6.75%||$5,852|
|Flights (no point bonus)||5%||$7,900|
As you can see, you can offset the annual fee by spending as little as $5,852 per year. That’s if you earn at the maximum rate, and redeem for flights with a 35% bonus. And you need to take full advantage of that $200 statement credit as well.
Bear in mind that there are some other perks, such as the opportunity to earn up to $200 in Dell statement credits annually, which may not be useful to as many cardholders. But if you can make good use of them, you could offset the annual fee even further, especially in the first year.
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.
All American Express business credit cards will report your card activity to the credit bureaus in the same way. They let you improve your business credit, although there are also consequences for irresponsible behavior.
As long as your account is in positive standing, the activity will be reported to Small Business Finance Exchange. This is a large and commonly-used business credit reporting bureau.
But if your account enters a negative status, such as having unpaid collections or unpaid charge-offs, the activity will be reported to other bureaus. An account with a negative status will be reported to:
So your positive activity will be reported to one business credit bureau. But your negative activity will be reported to a different business credit bureau, plus the typical consumer credit reporting agencies.
Your personal credit utilization won’t be affected by this card, as long as your account remains in good standing. So, you can use any amount of this card’s credit limit without having a negative impact on your own credit.
This means you can use the Business Platinum card to improve your business credit scores, but not your personal credit. However, you can still hurt your personal credit scores with it.
Cardholders can select an airline each year to earn a statement credit for up $200 in 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.
This credit is only available for the airline you select. And you can select a new airline each year, during January. Airlines can be selected through American Express’ website.
This can be a great way to help offset the annual fee every year, so be sure to make use of it. Some other cards offer credits that will actually cover the primary cost of some of your travel expenses, like airline tickets or hotel bookings. These include the Citi Prestige which offers $250 for travel expenses, including airline tickets and hotel rooms. And there’s the Chase Sapphire Reserve, which provides $300 annually for any travel-related expenses.
So, while the $200 credit from the Platinum card is definitely a valuable feature, you won’t be able to apply it to as many purchases as you can with these competing cards.
When you redeem points for eligible flights with the Pay With Points method, you’ll get 35% of those points returned to you.
Only certain flights are eligible for this bonus. Eligible flights are either:
As you can see, you have two ways to earn this bonus.
Up to 500,000 bonus points per calendar year can be earned in this way.
Cardholders get complimentary access to over 1,000 airport lounges across 120 countries.
|International American Express Lounges||
|The Centurion Lounge||
|Delta Sky Club||
|Plaza Premium Airport Lounges||
|Priority Pass Select||
You can bring up to two guests at no charge in with you to many of these lounges, though you’ll be charged a fee for any more than that. Most lounges will require you to show your Platinum Card, a boarding pass for same-day travel, and your ID.
Cardholders must enroll in Priority Pass Select, and a Priority Pass Select Card will be issued when that is completed. Priority Pass Select membership available through this card excludes non-lounge experiences, but includes access to select sleeper suites, such as Minute Suites.
Authorized users cost $300 to add and should receive most of the same access, but it depends on the lounge. If you’re planning to visit a lounge you’ve never been to before, try checking ahead of time to make sure you’ll be able to get in.
Complimentary airport lounge access is a great benefit for frequent travelers. Although several cards offer a benefit like this, like the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Mastercard Black Card, the Business Platinum has one of the best offers because it includes such a wide variety of lounges.
Global Entry ($100) and TSA Pre✓ ($85) are programs that provide expedited screening at airports. Amex will refund the application fee for one of these programs. You’ll get up to $100 in statement credits to pay for this fee, once every four years. Global Entry includes TSA Pre✓, but the two services differ in some ways.
Cardholders get complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold status without needing to meet any stay requirements. You must manually enroll to activate this benefit.
Marriott Bonvoy Gold status includes enhanced benefits at Marriott Bonvoy properties, like:
Cardholders can sign up for complimentary Hilton Honors Gold status to get better benefits and services at Hilton properties. Manual enrollment is required.
Hilton Honors Gold status includes:
Business Platinum cardholders receive a complimentary year of Platinum Global Access from WeWork, which owns hundreds of shared workspaces around the world.
This cardholder-exclusive program includes:
Cardholders have the opportunity to earn up to $200 in statement credits annually for U.S. purchases with Dell on the Business Platinum card. Earn $100 between January and June and $100 between July and December. 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.
Cardholders can receive a credit for up to $75 to cover eligible expenses at hotels. This can be a nice way to save a bit of money when traveling. But there are quite a few guidelines and limitations you’ll need to be aware of:
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. You must submit your claim before the check-in date.
Be sure to check your card details because some restrictions apply.
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.
Many travel cards offer a dining program of some kind to help you find a great place to eat and make reservations. However, most cards won’t actually hold reservations for you in perpetuity like this one. Even if a particular card doesn’t have one explicitly, you can still call your personal card concierge (if you have one) to get help finding a restaurant.
Get complimentary access to unlimited WiFi at more than a million Boingo hotspots worldwide.
Although many travel credit cards offer complimentary or discounted in-flight WiFi, American Express seems to be the only issuer that provides access to this large network of WiFi hotspots. So if you’re always looking for a connection, this card should provide more access than any other.
Cardholders get 10 annual single flight segment passes for Gogo in-flight internet access. Must register with Gogo. To activate a pass, go to the Gogo Amex page and select to use an American Express Internet Pass.
A one-hour Gogo in-flight WiFi pass usually costs $7. So this benefit has the potential to save you quite a bit of money, especially if you take a lot of long flights.
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.
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.
Amex OPEN cardholders have access to exclusive business-oriented benefits and services. These include a forum to speak with other OPEN members, a business blog, and a dedicated customer support line.
Call the number on the back of your card to speak with a specially-trained, business-oriented customer support representative. Based on our experience, this will be a cut above the typical customer support you’ll get with an Amex consumer card.
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.
The primary cardholder is responsible for all charges made to the account. The card activity will not affect the credit of employees using copies of the card.
There are a few different levels of employee card, with different annual fees:
Designate a trusted Account Manager to manage your account. Must be at least 18 years old.
A tool to help manage your spending throughout the year. Allows you to add receipts and notes to transactions, making tax time easier.
Provides an easy way to label and transfer your transaction data into a QuickBooks account.
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.”
At the beginning of every year, American Express will select businesses out of the pool of eligible candidates at its own discretion. Meeting the following criteria does not mean you’ll be selected.
To be eligible for the Tier One Program, a business must:
Additional guidelines and limitations apply. Check your card’s Guide to Benefits for more details.
You’ll have access to discounts at a wide variety of merchants — currently there are about 80 different offers available, and the selection changes now and then.
You just need to head to the Amex Offers program and click ‘Add to Card’ for the deals you want. Then, just use your card as you normally would to make a purchase with that merchant. Your savings will appear as a statement credit later on, reducing your account balance. You may or may not earn additional rewards at the regular rate — this will depend on the particular offer.
Many of the deals can be quite valuable, saving you from $5 up through more than $100 for some of them. For most of them, you’ll need to spend a certain amount to get a certain discount. Some of the current offers include:
|Merchant||Need to Spend||Cash Back||Maximum Savings|
|Life Extension Vitamins and Supplements||$125||$25||20%|
|Shoes for Crews||$75||$15||20%|
There are many fantastic deals waiting to be had here, though many other credit card issuers will offer a similar service. For example, Chase provides the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, Bank of America has its BankAmeriDeals offers, and Citi has the EasyDeals service. You’ll find a range of discounts in all of them.
Occasionally you’ll be given the opportunity to save 10% on your cable, satellite TV, and/or cell phone bills. Just find the offer and click ‘Add to Card,’ and then use your card to pay for the utility as normal.
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:
Check out the full set of benefits for the Business Platinum card for more.
|Annual Fee||Regular APR||Foreign Transaction Fee|
|Late Fee||Returned Payment Fee|
|$39 or 2.99% of any past due Pay in Full amount, whichever is greater.||Up to $39|
The Amex Business Platinum is on the expensive side at $595 per year (Rates & Fees). 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.
This is a charge card, so there are no interest rates here. You’ll need to pay off your balance in full every billing period.
However, there is 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.
|Business Platinum Application Line||1-888-781-6736|
|Amex OPEN Business Customer Support||1-800-492-3344|
|Pay Bill by Phone||1-800-472-9297|
|Check Application Status||1-800-567-1085|
|Credit Bureau Unit||1-800-874-2717|
American Express is known for having relatively good customer support, compared to other credit card companies. It has always come in either first or second in J.D. Power’s annual Credit Card Satisfaction Survey, going back to 2007. Most recently, it surpassed Discover to win the 2017 survey.
We called Amex’s application line to find out which credit reports it will check when you apply. A friendly representative told us that they will send a request to all three of the major credit bureaus — Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Whichever one happens to reply first will be used to process the application.
This is true for all American Express cards, business and consumer.
Our entire experience was quick and easy, without any hassle. An excellent interaction overall, which is often the case with American Express.
It’s typically pretty easy to navigate American Express’ website and get to where you’re going. Although in some cases you may find that it’s easier to find some of their pages through Google, such as info regarding benefit details for instance.
Their card page for the Business Platinum card is currently laid out like their other business credit cards. It comes across as a bit messy, however, because the rewards and benefits seem a bit scattered about. But this seems to be in part because this card has so much to offer. Their typical layout can’t really do this card justice because it’s overflowing with details about all the perks.
So it may be a bit hard to learn everything about this card. But hey, that’s why we wrote this review! Remember, you can always check your Guide to Benefits or contact your card issuer to learn the specific details for your card.
For $595 per year (Rates & Fees), 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 can 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 redeeming them for flights that are eligible for the 35% bonus. That will provide a cash back equivalent of up to 6.75%, which is very good compared to even the best credit cards. There are many other redemption options too, 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.
You can offset the annual fee by spending as little as $5,852 per year, as long as you earn and redeem at the rates explained above. Most people will probably end up spending more than that per year with the card. If you’re making several business trips per year and spending thousands of dollars as you do, this card could be a great fit.
For some different options, check out some high-end alternatives to the Business Platinum Card below.
To apply for the Business Platinum Card you’ll need to be an authorized officer of your company, responsible for managing finances. You can apply securely on the American Express website.
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).
To check your credit, American Express will send a request to all three of the major credit bureaus. Amex will use the report from whichever bureau responds first to process the application.
The Business Platinum is pretty much the only high-end business travel card for all-around spending. So, here are some alternatives that include regular consumer travel cards. They can serve many of the same functions as the Business Platinum, but you can’t get employee cards and there are no business-related benefits.
The Business Platinum and Business Gold cards below are both charge cards. That means you need to pay the balance in full each billing period.
But all of the other cards listed below are regular credit cards, so you can revolve a balance from month to month if you wish. But we don’t usually recommend doing this, because you’ll accrue interest and hurt your credit.
This is a Visa Infinite, the highest Visa service tier available. It’s a regular consumer card, rather than a business card.
There are quite a few similarities between this card and the Business Platinum. But there are also some important differences. The Sapphire Reserve offers:
That 50% bonus is a great way to get more out of your points with this card. When redeeming through Chase Ultimate Rewards 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 Business Platinum can provide more cash back through the normal redemption methods, at 6.75%. But the Sapphire Reserve is much more flexible, so it might be the better choice for many people.
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.
Both of these cards allow you to transfer your points to their partner loyalty programs. The selection of programs is pretty much the same between them.
The Sapphire Reserve comes with a $300 statement credit. That beats out the $200 credit you’ll get with the Amex card. Not only that, the Sapphire Reserve’s statement credit is more useful because you can apply it to more types of purchases. This credit will automatically be applied to any travel expenses you have, including airfare, transportation by car, etc. The Business Platinum’s credit only covers incidental airline fees from a single selected airline.
This means that the Sapphire Reserve has an effective annual fee of only $150, as long as you can use that credit. The credit is quite easy to use because it applies to all travel expenses. And this card is meant for frequent travelers who would expect to pay more than $300 on travel annually, so it shouldn’t be a problem using it all.
There are quite a few other benefits with the Sapphire Reserve as well. Many of them are the same or similar to what the Amex card offers. They include a Global Entry or TSA Pre✓ credit. And the Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection will provide discounts and complimentary services at participating locations.
Some of the benefits are different, however, and they could determine which card you might want. The Sapphire Reserve comes with complimentary airport lounge access, but it only covers Priority Pass Select lounges. The Business Platinum includes Priority Pass Select 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.
The Sapphire Reserve provides elite hotel benefits at Relais & Châteaux properties. By staying only two qualifying nights per year at these luxury properties, cardholders can gain Club 5C status. That comes with room upgrades, VIP service, and the mysterious “Discovery Privilege,” which is an experience that’s unique to each property.
Compare that to the Business Platinum, which provides complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold and Hilton Honors Gold status. There are no stay requirements, you just need to enroll in these.
The value of these hotel status perks will depend on which hotel brands you tend to stay with. If you end up in Relais & Châteaux properties, the Sapphire Reserve would make your stays even more comfortable. Otherwise, it would probably be easier to find properties within the Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton portfolios.
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. You’ll get more flexibility than the Amex card when it comes to earning and redeeming rewards. It hits a few important notes that the Business Platinum does not, so it could very well be the right card for you.
Read more in our Review of the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card
For the price, you’ll get:
So this card has bonus categories that 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.
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, as long as you redeem in that way. 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.
You can transfer your points to frequent traveler programs where you might get more out of them. The travel partners are pretty similar between the Amex and Citi cards. 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 US airlines.
Citi offers a $250 annual travel credit, which helps offset the annual fee. This credit includes airline tickets, hotel rooms, car rentals, and other travel purchases. It will be automatically applied to any eligible expenses. This is another place where the Citi card beats the Amex card’s offer. The Business Platinum provides a $200 credit and it only applies to incidental fees for one selected airline.
The Citi Prestige has one feature that many people find very valuable, and for which it gets much praise. When paying with the card you’ll get a complimentary 4th night free at any hotel of your choice. You must book the stay through ThankYou.com, and this perk is capped at twice per year.
This is a great benefit for frequent travelers, and most credit card issuers don’t offer anything like it. In some cases you can get a night free when you redeem points, but it’s rare to find a free night’s stay just for directly purchasing four nights.
The Citi card isn’t as good when it comes to airport lounge access and other services. Citi Prestige cardholders get access to Priority Pass Select lounges. But the Business Platinum provides more access, including Centurion Lounges, Escape Lounges, and others.
The Prestige card provides a credit for the Global Entry or TSA Pre✓ application fee, for expedited trips through the airport. The Amex card provides the same benefit.
The Citi card also comes with some discounts and complimentary services at select hotels. But overall, other than the specific benefits mentioned above, the Amex card probably wins out.
Read more in our Review of the Citi Prestige Card
Instead of bonus reward categories, this card provides:
So, like many other travel credit cards, you’ll get more value for your points when you redeem them for airfare. Many other cards broaden this to travel expenses in general, but this card is limited to airfare for the 2% rate.
The Black Card doesn’t seem very rewarding for the high fee. Compared to the 6.75% cash back you can get with the Business Platinum card for airfare, this card just looks silly.
There are some decent travel-related benefits with the Black Card. They include a $100 annual airline credit, which applies to tickets along with other fees. The Business Platinum provides a $200 airline credit, but it only applies to incidental fees and not tickets.
The Black Card provides airport lounge access through Priority Pass Select. That’s not bad, but the Business Platinum provides access to many more lounges than that.
You’ll get a fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓ with both cards. The Black Card also comes with a few other benefits that travelers might find useful, like global luggage delivery. But for the most part the extra benefits 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.
Read more in our Review of the Mastercard Black Card
There are many business credit cards that are co-branded with a particular airline or hotel brand. They’re made to be used with that one airline or hotel, for the most part. If you love traveling or staying with one brand in particular you should check to see if they offer any cards.
Let’s look at an example of an airline business card and a hotel business card.
The CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard® (Review) is designed to be used with American Airlines. It has an annual fee of $99, which is waived for the first year.
This card offers:
The value you get for your miles will vary depending on how you redeem them. Generally you can get around 1 cent per mile. That means you’ll be earning about 2% cash back in the bonus reward categories with this card. But you can also find reduced mileage award flights, letting you get a better value.
This card has decent rewards, but the extra perks are what make it more valuable. It comes with:
So it doesn’t have a ton of extra features like the Amex Business Platinum. But for a much lower price it can help make frequent American Airlines passengers more comfortable.
There’s a better American Airlines credit card, which is a consumer card instead of business. It’s the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®. This card has an annual fee of $450, and includes more benefits like access to the Admirals Club airport lounge.
See our picks for the Best Airline Credit Cards
For a fee of $125, it provides:
The Marriott Bonvoy Business card offers 6X points per dollar at Marriott Bonvoy locations on its own, but cardholders also receive complimentary Silver Elite status, earning 11X points per dollar on eligible purchases. This brings the total points per dollar spent at Marriott Bonvoy properties up to 17X, making this card a particularly valuable choice for Marriott devotees.
You can redeem those points in many different ways. They include:
You can also transfer your points to frequent traveler loyalty programs. But the most valuable ways to use your points will typically be for reservations with your Marriott Bonvoy properties of choice.
The value you get for your points will depend on how you redeem them. Better rooms, and those in higher category hotels, will cost more points to book.
We’ve calculated that in some cases you can get an equivalent of 13.6–34% cash back when you spend at Marriott properties, if you’re willing to stay in lower-category hotels.
There are other nice perks to be had too, like the complimentary Silver Elite status mentioned earlier. And a fast track to Gold Gold status is available by spending $35,000 in a given year. Cardholders also get free in-room premium WiFi.
The Marriott Bonvoy Business Card could definitely provide a lot of value for anyone who spends a lot of time and money at Marriott properties.
See our picks for the Best Hotel Credit Cards
It’s a step down from the Business Platinum and doesn’t cost nearly as much. It has an annual fee of $295 (Rates & Fees) but it’s still pretty rewarding, offering:
|Introductory Bonus Offer|
So you’ll have some options here when it comes to your bonus reward categories. You’ll get 4X points in the two categories that you spend the most in each month. That lets the Business Gold card adapt to your business as your spending patterns change throughout the year.
You’ll be earning Membership Rewards points with this card, just like with the Business Platinum. All the redemption options mentioned above will also apply here, except for the 35% point bonus on eligible flights.
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 providing 8% cash back or more through transfers.
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 for 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 more geared towards business purchases, although some travel expenses are included as well.
If you don’t spend enough to warrant the Business Platinum card, the Business Gold could be a good alternative. It comes with all the same Amex OPEN business benefits described above, so small business owners will be in good hands.
Read more in our Review of the Business Gold Card from American Express
How do you use your Business Platinum Card from American Express? What are the most valuable features to you? Leave your own review for other visitors, we’d love to hear from you!
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