Who is This Credit Card Best For?
Is turning their passion into a money-making venture
Diligently searches for the best products and delights in a good bargain
Prioritizes sticking to their budget while buying what they want and need
Hits the road often, whether for work or play
This Business Platinum Card from American Express is geared toward the elite business traveler who has good credit and spends a lot (hence the $20,000 spending requirement to earn the full welcome offer.) The card carries a $595 annual fee (and $300 for each additional user), so it’s best for those who value doing their jet-setting in style—to the tune of airport lounge access, higher-tier hotel status, room upgrades and more.
Travel perks galore
Generous travel rewards
Access to WeWork spaces
Hefty annual fee
Steep additional user fee
Little room to revolve
- Travel perks galore: Access to quiet airport lounges, reimbursement of airport screening and airline fees, and hotel upgrades and amenities are among the ways you’ll get VIP treatment as a business traveler. (More on this below.)
- Generous travel rewards: Besides the sizable rewards on flights and prepaid hotels, you’ll get 35% of your points back (up to 500,000 per calendar year) if use them toward a first or business class ticket with any airline booked through American Express Travel. Or, if you book a ticket with your qualifying airline (you choose this airline every January,) the bonus even applies to economy class.
- Access to WeWork spaces: A complimentary one-year WeWork global access membership, valued at $2,700, will give you access to more than 300 workspaces in 22 countries. To activate this offer, you must enroll before Dec. 31, 2019.
- Hefty annual fee: At $595, the fee is one of the highest for a business card. If your operating budget is too small to earn the welcome offer or you’re not sure you’ll maximize the card’s benefits, consider a less expensive option.
- Steep additional user fee: Each employee card will cost you an extra $300 a year—well above what other premium cards charge. Make sure to weigh this cost against the value of the perks. While your employees’ business travel will help you rack up rewards, there’s only one welcome offer per account. Additional cardholders will get many of the same benefits, though, including airport lounge access that would otherwise cost hundreds of dollars a year.
- Little room to revolve: Yes, there’s the option to Pay Over Time (if you’re invited,) but that has a limit and a high APR. If you anticipate it will be a challenge to pay your bill in full each month, consider a business credit card.
This is a charge card, not a credit card, meaning you’re expected to pay your bill in full each month. The exception is if you are offered the Pay Over Time feature, which lets you carry a balance on select purchases, but the APR you are assigned may be hefty. Also note, the Pay Over Time feature is available by invitation only, and you’ll have an assigned limit.
Business Platinum Card from Amex Welcome Offer
You’ll get 75,000 Membership Rewards points for spending $20,000 in the first three months (50,000 points for the first $10,000, and an additional 25,000 points if you spend another $10,000). The Balance’s latest analysis of redemption values found Membership Reward points to be worth an average 1.19 cents, so the two bonuses together have an estimated value of almost $900.
As flexible travel business cards go, this is a decent offer, though some cards won’t require you to spend as much and don’t charge as high an annual fee, if any. If your business spends at least $6,666 a month, it may come down to how much you value traveling in comfort and benefits like WeWork access. (And keep in mind you’ll be paying $300 a year for any employees with the card.)
If you don’t mind sticking with a particular airline, a co-branded business airline card might offer better value for you. Some come with sign-up bonuses worth hundreds of dollars more, our points valuation research shows.
Earning Points & Rewards
You’ll get the highest reward rate—5 Membership Rewards points per $1—on flights and prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com. That’s higher than many co-branded airline cards offer on their airline purchases, and with this card, you get to choose who you fly with. For other eligible travel (like cruises), you’ll get 2 points per $1 if it's booked through amextravel.com.
Unlike many business travel cards, though, there are no rewards bonuses for other spending categories like gas, restaurants, office supplies, or phone service. But you will get a little extra for single purchases that are at least $5,000 each—1.5 points per $1 (up to 1 million additional points per calendar year). For all other purchases, you’ll get 1 point per $1.
Membership Rewards points can be redeemed in a number of ways, and generally, you’ll get the most value from them by booking travel via amextravel.com or transferring them to travel partners.
Using the American Express points value calculator makes things very transparent. If you have 10,000 points, they’ll be worth $100 (the standard 1 cent per point) if you use them to book flights, seat upgrades, or hotel bookings through amextravel.com.
The points value calculator won’t take into account the points you get back if you use your rewards toward airfare and qualify for the 35% bonus. In effect, that would make 10,000 points worth $135, rather than $100.
Redemption values tend to be lower for other uses. So the same 10,000 points would be worth:
- $70 if you reserve a prepaid hotel or book a cruise
- $50 to $100 if you buy a gift card, depending on the brand (there are almost 100 choices)
- $70 if you use them to checkout at Amazon.com, or for purchases with sites like Best Buy or Expedia
- $60 if you use them to cover charges on your card
- $50 if you shop online through American Express
You may also transfer your Membership Rewards points to loyalty programs for more than 20 airline and hotel partners, including British Airways, Delta Air Lines, and Marriott Bonvoy. Points for several of these are worth significantly more than 1 cent per point. (For example, you’ll get an impressive 2.10 cents per point, on average, if you transfer to British Airways and use your points to book U.S. flights, according to our research.)
In most cases, the transfer ratio is at least 1 to 1, and for Hilton Honors, each of your Membership Rewards points will be worth two Hilton Honors points. JetBlue has one of the few less favorable ratios: each Membership Rewards point is worth 0.8 of TrueBlue point. (Transfers generally take about 24 to 48 hours.)
For airline transfers, a fee of $0.0006 per point, up to a maximum of $99, will be charged to your card.
How to Get The Most Out of This Card
Beyond maximizing the welcome offer by spending at least $20,000 in your first three months, use your points for qualifying airfare to maximize their value. And if your business is in growth mode, plan ahead so purchases can be pooled into one $5,000 transaction whenever possible. (Each $5,000 transaction will get you 7,500 points.)
If you have computer purchases on the horizon, consider Dell. Each account will get up to $200 in statement credits per year (up to $100 between January and June, and again between July and December) on Dell purchases paid for with the card.
Business Platinum Card's Excellent Perks
There are scores of potential perks you could get from your card issuer, but editors at The Balance have determined some benefits stand out for their exceptional value. Besides the WeWork membership, these are among the best perks on the Business Platinum Card from American Express:
- Global Entry/TSA Precheck application fee reimbursement: Receive a statement credit for these expedited airport screening programs. The credit is every 4 years for Global Entry ($100) or every 4.5 years for TSA Precheck ($85). (Available on each employee card too.)
- Airport lounge access: You and any additional cardholders can take refuge in more than 1,200 airport lounges across 130 countries. These include American Express’ own network of lounges as well as Priority Pass Select lounges and, if you’re flying Delta, Delta SkyClubs.
- Airline fee reimbursement: Select one qualifying airline and receive up to $200 per calendar year in statement credits when you or your employees charge incidental fees on the Business Platinum Card. These include fees for checked bags and in-flight refreshments.
- Elite hotel status: Enroll in the Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy loyalty programs and you’ll get complimentary gold status with both chains. This unlocks extra perks and puts you on the path to earn free stays.
- Insurance coverage for lost or damaged luggage: If your belongings are lost, damaged, or stolen on a trip booked with your card, you’ll get up to $2,000 for checked baggage and up to a combined maximum of $3,000 for checked and carry-on baggage.
- Travel accident insurance: You’ll be covered for up to $500,000 if there’s an accident while you’re a passenger on a trip paid for with the card.
- Towing and other roadside services: Up to four times per calendar year, you can call for services such as towing, jump starts, tire changes, and lockout service at no additional charge.
Business Platinum Card from American Express’s Other Features
- Rental car collision insurance (secondary to your own policy)
- Refunds when merchants won’t accept returned items
- Insurance for lost, stolen or damaged purchases
- Extended warranties
- Complimentary membership in premium car rental programs
- Room upgrades and perks on select hotels booked through American Express
- Preferred restaurant reservations
American Express is known for quality customer service, as evidenced by its second-place finish in JD Power’s 2019 Credit Card Satisfaction Study. Cardholders have access to customer service 24/7 via the website’s online chat feature or by calling the customer service hotline, and there’s also a mobile app. The online Year-End Summary is a great tool for analyzing your business expenses.
Because the Business Platinum Card from American Express is a premium card, you’ll also have access to a card concierge day or night. Just call or email to get help with things like arranging lunch reservations, finding event tickets to entertain clients, or booking ground transportation.
Security features are on par with other cards in the category, though it’s worth noting that you can sign up for free weekly credit score updates, access your TransUnion credit report, and get fraud alerts that will help detect potential identity theft.
Business Platinum Card's Fees to Watch Out For
There’s no getting around the fact that this card is expensive, with annual fees of $595 for the primary account holder and $300 for each additional user. The Pay Over Time APR is also relatively high, should you use that option. On the plus side, there’s no foreign transaction fee, so you won’t have to pay more when using the card abroad.