There are few small business credit cards quite like The Business Platinum Card® from American Express. With a plethora of travel perks and business service credits, there is no question that the card offers a lot of perks. But does it justify the increased $695 (Rates & Fees) annual fee?
We’ll answer that by walking through all the benefits, earning rates, welcome offer, and annual credits to see if the card justifies its cost in our full review of the Business Platinum Card.
Rates & Fees
Business Platinum Card Welcome Offer
The Business Platinum Card currently offers the following Welcome Offer: Earn 120,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with your Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
By our estimates, a 120,000-point welcome offer is worth over $2,800, based on the points value of actual bookings made by AwardWallet users. The welcome offer alone is worth the annual fee for multiple years of card membership — not to mention the value you get out of the credits and from ongoing earning.
Earning Points with the Business Platinum Card
The Business Platinum Card falls short of other American Express products when it comes to earning points, with the focus squarely aimed at corporate travelers looking for luxury perks and benefits. The rewards structure is pretty flat.
You can earn 1.5X Membership Rewards points on eligible purchases at electronic goods retailers, software & cloud system providers, U.S. construction material & hardware suppliers, U.S. shipping services, and for any single purchase of $5,000 or more. All other spending on the card earns 1X Membership Rewards point per dollar.
These earning rates are less than what you might earn with the The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express, which earns 2X Membership Rewards per dollar on the first $50,000 in purchases each year, then 1X points. The American Express® Business Gold Card also has the potential to earn more points, earning 4X Membership Rewards points on the 2 categories where your business spends the most each month (out of a set of 6 categories).
No matter how you earn them, American Express Membership Rewards are very valuable. Amex has a plethora of excellent airline and hotel transfer partners. According to recent redemption data from AwardWallet, Membership Rewards points have an average value of 2.4¢ per point when redeeming through travel partners.
You can redeem your points in other ways — from gift cards to Amazon purchases. But, we strongly recommend you use them for travel, as this provides the best value.
Business Platinum Card Travel Benefits
American Express operates its own Centurion Lounge network with 13 U.S. locations and 11 international locations. Business Platinum Card members enjoy complimentary access to Centurion locations within three hours of flight departure. You can currently also bring in up to two guests. However, Amex is ending the guest policy starting February 1, 2023.
In addition to offering access to Centurion Lounges, the Business Platinum Card lets you enjoy Delta Sky Club lounges prior to your flight. However, you must have a boarding pass for a same-day flight with Delta Air Lines. Also, your card does not offer any Sky Club guest access.
The Business Platinum Card also gives you a Priority Pass Select membership. This provides complimentary access to lounge locations within that network, with guest policies subject to each individual lounge. Complimentary access to AirSpace and Escape lounges is also a perk provided by your Business Platinum Card. Enrollment is required for select Amex benefits.
Get 35% Back When Redeeming Membership Rewards for Flights
One of the best Business Platinum Card benefits is the 35% “points bonus” (read: rebate) you receive on eligible flight bookings made through Amex Travel. Business Platinum Card members receive 3.5 Membership Rewards points back for every 10 points redeemed for a first class or business class ticket on any airline — or for any flight on their selected qualifying airline (the same airline that receives the $200 airline incidental credit, discussed later).
You must redeem a minimum of 5,000 Membership Rewards points to receive the 35% rebate. American Express takes 6-10 weeks to deposit the rebated points back into your rewards account. Enrollment in advance is required, including choosing your preferred airline.
One of the best aspects of this perk is that it lets you take advantage of first class or business class fare deals when paying for cash fares is a better deal than transferring to airline miles and booking an award ticket. After factoring in the rebate, you get an effective redemption rate of 1.54 cents per point. That’s a solid redemption rate, but it’s less than the average value AwardWallet users receive from their Membership Rewards points (which is 2.4 cents per point).
Hotel Elite Status and Car Rental Savings
The Business Platinum Card lets you enjoy elite status with two hotel chains and benefits with select car rental partners, including:
- Hilton — Complimentary Hilton Honors Gold elite status
- Marriott — Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold elite status
- Avis, Hertz, National — Enroll to receive status and perks, such as discounts, car upgrades, and even grace periods on late returns
Enrollment in hotel and car rental partner programs is required, and you will have to visit the Benefits section of the Amex website to activate your hotel elite benefits. Additionally, you can use your card to earn rental car elite status for free, even matching this status to additional programs.
Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts
The Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts program provides a nice set of benefits at over 1,800 luxury hotels around the world. These include:
- Room upgrade, based on availability at check-in
- Daily breakfast for two guests
- Check-in as early as noon, when available
- Guaranteed 4 p.m. late checkout
- Complimentary Wi-Fi
- Property credit, worth at least $100 per stay. Depending on the property, it may be for dining, spa, or some other experience.
Save Up to $1,400 Annually on Business Expenses
The Business Platinum Card offers several valuable annual credits with specific merchants. Fully using these credits ensures you get the maximum value each year from your card. The issue is that not all the credits are useful to everyone, and some are more difficult to use than others.
Here is a summary of all the credits, which provide over $1,400 in annual value:
- $400 Dell Technologies credit
- $360 Indeed credit
- $150 Adobe credit
- $120 wireless telephone service credit
- $200 airline incidental fee credit
- $179 CLEAR credit
Get $400 Off Dell Purchases with the Business Platinum Card
The The Business Platinum Card® from American Express provides twice-yearly $200 credits for purchases from Dell Technologies every calendar year. The first $200 credit will be applied from January through June, and the second from July through December. This is a total benefit of $400 annually. Enrollment is required in advance.
If your business routinely makes purchases from Dell, this credit alone makes up for more than half the annual fee.
Enjoy Quarterly Credits with Indeed
Your Business Platinum Card provides a quarterly statement credit of up to $90 when you purchase Indeed services. Quarters are defined as January through March, April through June, July through September, and October through December. This is up to $360 in annual savings. Enrollment is required to use this benefit.
Save $150 on an Annual Adobe Plan
Lots of businesses use Adobe services, and this recently-added annual credit should be useful for many. Your Business Platinum Card will provide a $150 statement credit when you pay for an annual prepaid plan for eligible Creative Cloud for teams and Acrobat Pro DC with e-sign for teams with your card. Enrollment is required to use this benefit.
Save $120 Per Year on Your Monthly Wireless Bill
The Business Platinum Card provides a credit of up to $10 per month when you pay for your wireless service with your card. Purchases must be made directly with a wireless provider. Enrollment is required to enjoy this benefit.
Up to $200 in Reimbursements for Incidental Airline Expenses Every Year
The Business Platinum Card offers a credit of up to $200 each year that reimburses you for common incidental expenses with your airline of choice. The options include 11 airlines (all based in the U.S.), including all the major carriers.
Airline incidental expenses include baggage fees, seat selection fees, lounge day passes, inflight entertainment purchases (not always), and inflight food and beverage purchases. You can select your airline after initial approval for the card and change your carrier of choice every year in January. Enrollment/choosing a preferred airline is required in advance.
Use the CLEAR Credit to Speed Through Airport Security
Pay for the $179 annual CLEAR membership using your Business Platinum Card and have the fee fully reimbursed as a statement credit. CLEAR provides an extremely efficient security experience at select airports and stadiums across the United States through use of your biometrics. You can read more about CLEAR and how to enroll here.
Enroll in a Trusted Traveler Program for Free
Unlike the other Business Platinum Card credits, the up to $100 trusted traveler program credit applies once every four years. You can enroll in either TSA PreCheck ($85 application fee) or Global Entry ($100 application fee). Simply use your card to pay the application fee for either program and receive a statement credit automatically from American Express.
The latter is a bit more involved, but it lets you skip the main airport immigration line when returning to the U.S. from abroad. Global Entry also provides TSA PreCheck benefits. The catch is that you have to interview with a Customs and Border Patrol agent at an airport as part of the approval process.
Business Platinum Card Travel Insurance Coverage
The travel insurance and other protections offered by the The Business Platinum Card® from American Express are excellent. Here’s a quick rundown on what is offered:
- Rental Car Damage Protection — The car rental coverage provided by the Business Platinum Card is secondary, which isn’t as good as other cards that provide primary coverage. However, you have the option of purchasing very affordable premium insurance.
- Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance — You can be reimbursed for nonrefundable travel expenses charged to your card in the event of accidental injury or sickness, inclement weather, jury duty, quarantine, and for other covered reasons.
- Trip Delay Reimbursement — Get reimbursed for expenses during a delay of at least six hours caused by inclement weather, common carrier equipment failure, or lost/stolen travel documents. Coverage is limited to $500 per trip.
- Baggage Insurance Protections — Your baggage is covered against loss or damage up to $2,000 per checked bag and $3,000 per carry-on bag per covered person per trip.
- Extended Warranty Protection — Receive up to one additional year of warranty protection for eligible items with an original manufacturer’s warranty of five years or less, up to $10,000 per covered purchase.
- Purchase Protection — Eligible items are covered against loss, damage, or theft of items for 90 days from the date of purchase, up to $10,000 per item.
Consult the Business Platinum Card guide to benefits for a full rundown on all insurance protections. Enrollment is required for select Amex benefits.
Cell Phone Protection Coverage
Receive cell phone protection coverage when you pay your cell phone bill using your Business Platinum Card. This benefit applies automatically as long as you’ve paid your previous month’s bill using your card. Coverage is up to $800 per incident (with a $50 deductible) for up to two claims per 12-month period per card account.
The Business Platinum Card Annual Fee
Earlier in 2022, Amex increased the Business Platinum Card annual fee to $695 (Rates & Fees). That is a hefty fee — even for a premium travel and business credit card. To justify the $100 jump, Amex added the Indeed credit, Adobe credit, wireless service credit, and increased the Dell credit by $200.
Honestly, this is a rare fee increase that I see as completely justified. If your business makes purchases from Dell (it’s often easy to justify a new computer or other electronics), this nets you $100 in annual savings. Add in the $120 in wireless credits, and you quickly walk away with much more value than the additional cost required.
Still, it’s quite the price tag. You get a lot for Business Platinum Card annual fee, but it is definitely something you want to consider when deciding whether to apply for the card. Not everyone can use the various credits and perks.
Assuming you maximize just the travel-related credits (CLEAR and airline incidentals), wireless credits, and Dell credits, you’ll come out a bit ahead each year. The other card benefits will just be a bonus. See here for the Business Platinum Card Rates & Fees.
Final Thoughts on the Business Platinum Card
You’ll have to decide whether the Business Platinum Card is worth it for you. The annual fee is quite high, but the card offers excellent savings if you can use the bulk of its credits. There also is a wealth of travel perks. You’ll need to do the math to see which benefits you can really use and what value they will provide for you. And make sure you don’t discount things like travel insurance protections. The Business Platinum Card also currently has an excellent welcome offer. If you don’t find the card compelling, there are plenty of other great business credit cards out there.