The Business Platinum® Card from American Express – Review
The Business Platinum® Card from American Express is an American Express business charge card that blends the features of a travel rewards card with the benefits of a small business card. Although it shares many of the features of the Platinum Card from American Express, including a hefty annual fee, it’s meant exclusively for business owners.
The Business Platinum® Card from American Express offers extremely generous travel benefits, including airport lounge access and airline fee credits, and is tapped into the American Express Membership Rewards® program. It competes with other high-end cards for frequent travelers, including Citi Executive AAdvantage World Elite Credit Card and Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express. It’s also comparable to general-purpose rewards cards, such as Citi Prestige and Chase Sapphire Preferred.
Keep in mind that this card requires a good or excellent credit score. Therefore, it is not ideal for every business owner, particularly those who are just getting started. Also, as a charge card, Business Platinum requires that you repay your balance in full each month, with limited exceptions. Though it doesn’t accrue regular interest charges, cardholders who don’t pay in full for two consecutive statement cycles incur late charges and risk account closure.
Earn up to 75,000 Membership Rewards® points. When you spend at least $10,000 in qualifying purchases within 3 months of opening your account, you earn 50,000 points. If you spend an additional $10,000 in qualifying purchases within the same 3-month period, and you’ll get another 25,000 points for a total of 75,000 points.
Most Business Platinum purchases earn an unlimited 1 Membership Rewards® point per $1 spent. For eligible purchases of $5,000 or more, you get 50% more – 1.5 points per $1 spent, up to 1 million additional points per year. Prepaid hotel and airfare purchases made through American Express Travel, Amex’s online booking portal, earn an unlimited 5 points per $1 spent.
You can redeem your points for merchandise, transportation, travel, gift cards, and statement credits through American Express’s Membership Rewards® portal. Point values generally fall between $0.005 and $0.01 apiece, but vary by redemption method. Statement credits have lower redemption values, while merchandise and transportation (including Uber rides) have higher values.
When you redeem earned points (Pay With Points) for airline travel at the qualifying airline of your choice, you get a 35% points bonus, payable as a rebate. For instance, if you redeem 10,000 points for a flight, 3,500 points are deposited back into your account. You only receive this benefit with one airline, so be sure to choose the carrier you fly with most often. This benefit is capped at 500,000 bonus points per calendar year.
You’re also entitled to another, broader 35% points bonus on all First and Business class flights available through American Express Travel.
You’re entitled to a $200 annual airline fee credit with the airline of your choice. It’s good for offsetting incidental expenses such as baggage fees and in-flight services. The airline must be the same carrier you select for your 35% points bonus.
Enjoy complimentary access to over 1,200 airport lounges over 130 countries and counting through the American Express Global Lounge Collection, which bills itself as “the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.” You can also access partner lounges such as Delta Sky Club and The Centurion Lounge.
You enjoy free access at more than 1 million Gogo and Boingo WiFi hotspots worldwide, including a limited number of Gogo in-flight WiFi passes.
Fine Hotels & Resorts Benefits
Enjoy a slew of convenient benefits with nearly 1,000 Fine Hotels & Resorts (high-end hotel and resort properties worldwide) such as “12pm check-in when available, a room upgrade upon arrival when available, daily breakfast for two people, complimentary WiFi, guaranteed 4pm late checkout, and an additional special amenity unique to each property, such as a $100 food and beverage credit or a one-way private sedan transfer.”
You’re entitled to upgrade to Starwood Preferred Guest Gold Status with no spend or stay requirement. When you do, you’ll enjoy a 50% bonus on base Starpoint earnings, special welcome gifts at check-in, flexible check-out, and room upgrades where available.
Business Platinum’s general travel benefits include:
The Platinum Card has a slew of less-publicized (but highly practical) cardmember benefits beyond travel. These include:
Most Business Platinum cardholders are required to pay their balance in full at the end of each billing period. Those who don’t risk account closure after two consecutive periods of non-full payment.
However, longstanding cardmembers can get around this requirement with American Express’s Pay Over Time feature, which allows balances to be carried indefinitely (with interest) from month to month. Carried balances accrue variable interest charges, depending on prevailing rates.
Business Platinum has a $450 annual fee, starting in the first year of card membership. There is no foreign transaction fee. For customers not enrolled in the Pay Over Time program, the late fee is the greater of $38 or 2.99% of the total late balance, starting after two consecutive billing periods of nonpayment – though other repercussions, such as reduced spending limits, may be imposed after less time. The returned payment fee is $38. Terms and conditions apply – see rates and fees.
This card requires good to excellent credit. Cardholders are also expected to have business cash flow sufficient to support timely, in-full payments on a charge card without a preset spending limit.
If you’re a first-time entrepreneur with limited experience running a business and a non-stellar credit profile, The Business Platinum® Card from American Express is probably too much card for you to handle right now. It is an exclusive card that’s meant for business owners who have truly spectacular credit, can pay their balances in full each month without trouble, and travel frequently enough to reap all the rewards on offer.
This doesn’t mean Business Platinum card membership is an unattainable goal that must be banished from your mind forever. It’s absolutely a realistic goal – provided you’re willing to work to build your business – and credit – first.
The Business Platinum® Card from American Express is ideal for successful business owners with ample cash flows, stellar credit, and busy travel schedules. It is not meant for business owners who don’t travel frequently, nor for those who have no use for luxurious card benefits.
This card’s perks include excellent airline rewards, eye-popping return on travel spending, awesome non-airline travel benefits, a great welcome offer, and a lack of foreign transaction fees. However, its high annual fee exacting qualification requirements are important drawbacks.
Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
Brian Martucci writes about frugal living, entrepreneurship, and innovative ideas. When he’s not interviewing small business owners or investigating time- and money-saving strategies for Money Crashers readers, he’s probably out exploring a new trail or sampling a novel cuisine. Find him on Twitter @Brian_Martucci.
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The Business Platinum® Card from American Express – Review
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