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The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, with a $595 annual fee (see rates and fees), is not only one of the best small-business credit cards, it also happens to be one of the best all-round credit cards for travel rewards.
Despite a plethora of valuable benefits and some excellent opportunities to earn bonus points, though, it still tends to be overshadowed by its personal counterpart, the $550-a-year (see rates and fees) The Platinum Card® from American Express. However, with the recent launch of a new welcome offer just for TPG readers, you might be taking another look at the Amex Business Platinum. Here are seven reasons why you might want to get the Amex Business Platinum instead of the Amex Platinum, and how to make your decision.
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First, let’s take a quick look at the current Amex Business Platinum card offer.
Amex Business Platinum card details
Here’s a snapshot of the Amex Business Platinum’s current terms, earning rates and annual fee.
Current welcome offer
Through a TPG-exclusive offer, readers can earn up to 125,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $15,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months of card membership. That’s 40,000 more points than the previous public offer — a positive points windfall!
The Amex Business Platinum earns points at the following rates:
- Earn 5x points per dollar spent on flights booked through Amex Travel.
- Earn 5x points per dollar on prepaid hotels booked through Amex Travel.
- Earn 1.5x points per dollar on eligible purchases of $5,000 or more, up to 1 million additional points per calendar year.
- Earn 1x points per dollar on everything else.
Aside from the perks it has in common with the personal Amex Platinum Card, the Amex Business Platinum offers the following:
- A 35% rebate when you pay with points for a first- or business-class ticket on any airline or an economy ticket on one airline of your choice (up to 500,000 points per calendar year).
- Up to $200 in annual statement credits for U.S. Dell technology purchases – up to a $100 credit for January through June, and another $100 credit for July through December.
$595 (see rates and fees)
Amex Platinum card details
For its part, the Amex Platinum is currently fielding the following introductory terms.
Current welcome offer
Earn up to 75,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first six months of account opening. Plus, earn 10x points on U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations for new cardholders on up to $15,000 within the first six months. However, you could score a welcome offer as high as 125,000 bonus points if you apply using the CardMatch tool (offer subject to change at any time).
This card earns points at the following rates:
- Earn 5x points per dollar on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com (on up to $500,000 per calendar year).
- Earn 5x points per dollar on prepaid hotels booked on Amex Travel.
- Earn 1x points per dollar on everything else.
The personal Amex Platinum Card extends these two specific perks that the business version does not:
- Up to $200 in U.S. Uber credits (for rides or Uber Eats orders) each calendar year – up to $15 per month, plus an extra $20 in December.
- Up to $100 in statement credits at Saks Fifth Avenue per calendar year – $50 to use from January through June, and $50 to use from July through December.
$550 (see rates and fees)
Perks offered by both cards
Video: How Amazon paid $0 federal income tax in 2018 (CNBC)
For context, here’s the full slate of benefits that both cards offer their members in common.
*Eligibility for this offer is limited. Enrollment is required in the Amex Offers section of your account before redeeming.
Amex Platinum vs. Amex Business Platinum Comparison
This table provides a snapshot of the key differences between the two cards.
|The Platinum Card from American Express||The Business Platinum Card from American Express|
|Welcome offer||75,000 points after $5,000 in 6 months
10x at U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations, on up to $15,000 in 6 months
|125,000 points after $15,000 in 3 months (exclusive to TPG readers)|
|Annual fee||$550 (see rates & fees)||$595 (see rates & fees)|
|Earning rates||5x on flights, on up to $500,000 per calendar year
5x on Amex Travel prepaid hotels
1x on everything else
|5x on Amex Travel flights
5x on Amex Travel prepaid hotels
1.5x on purchases of $5,000-plus, up to 1 million points per year
1x on everything else
|Unique benefits||$200 in U.S. Uber credits each calendar year
$100 in statement credits at Saks Fifth Avenue per calendar year
|$200 in Dell credits per calendar year
35% Pay with Points flight rebates
7 reasons to choose the Amex Business Platinum over the Amex Platinum Card
Now that their similarities are out of the way, let’s focus on their differences and how those might sway you to choose the Amex Business Platinum card instead of the Amex Platinum Card.
1. You have or already had the personal Amex Platinum Card
Like many other issuers, American Express has increasingly restricted who is eligible for the welcome bonuses on its cards. The offer terms for the Amex Platinum Card, for instance, say the following:
“Welcome offer not available to applicants who have or have had this Card. We may also consider the number of American Express Cards you have opened and closed as well as other factors in making a decision on your welcome offer eligibility.”
So if you already have the Platinum Card, or even if you once carried it in the past but have since closed it, you might be precluded from taking advantage of its current welcome offer. If you want to regain some of its benefits, as well as the chance of scoring tens of thousands more Membership Rewards points, you might have to opt for the Amex Business Platinum instead.
2. You can spend enough to earn the Amex Business Platinum’s higher TPG-exclusive introductory welcome offer
That might be just fine, though, considering your shot at earning more bonus points is probably better with the Amex Business Platinum.
The Amex Business Platinum’s introductory terms are fairly straightforward: Earn 125,000 bonus points after spending $15,000 within the first three months. That’s a considerable amount, but not outside the budget of many small businesses.
By contrast, the Amex Platinum Card currently offers a two-tiered bonus: 75,000 points after spending $5,000 within the first six months, and 10x points per dollar on up to $15,000 in purchases at U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations within the first six months.
On the surface, the personal card’s terms might seem better. Not only do you have twice the time to spend just a third the amount of money to earn 75,000 bonus points, but if you leveraged the full spending potential of those bonus categories, you could snag an extra 150,000 bonus points.
How likely is it that you’ll lay out $15,000 on groceries and gas in six months, though? You’d have to spend $5,000 just in those categories in order to get up to the 125,000 points you could earn outright with the Amex Business Platinum. So you’re really looking at around $10,000 in minimum spending. Think about how probable that is, and whether you would be better off just hitting a general spending requirement with the Amex Business Platinum.
The extra 50,000 points the Amex Business Platinum is offering are worth around $1,000 more based on TPG’s most recent valuation of Membership Rewards points. So that’s something to keep in mind, too.
3. You spend a lot on flights and hotels
The two cards have very similar earning structures — but with two subtle, but significant, differences.
First, the personal Amex Platinum Card earns 5x on flights booked not just through Amex Travel, but also directly with airlines, while the Amex Business Platinum only earns 5x on flights booked through Amex Travel. The personal card’s bonus earning on flights is capped at $500,000 in spending per calendar year, while the business version has no such ceiling. Both accrue 5x on Amex Travel prepaid hotel bookings.
If you tend to just book flights directly with airlines, the personal card is a better choice. However, if you actually use Amex Travel for a lot of your travel plans – or if you can – then you at least won’t be missing out by charging your reservations to the Amex Business Platinum.
Plus, if you book a lot of travel – like more than $500,000 worth per year – with your card, then you’re definitely better off with the business card, since its bonus-qualifying spending isn’t capped at that amount.
4. You can maximize the Amex Business Platinum’s large-transaction bonus
Likewise, if your business requires you to make large purchases of $5,000 or more on a regular basis, the 1.5x earning you get with the Amex Business Platinum is far and away much better than simple accruing 1x with the personal Amex Platinum Card. Just keep in mind that it’s capped at 1 million bonus points per year. But to hit that, you’d need to spend $2 million, so that limitation might not be an issue for most.
TPG contributor Jason Steele leveraged this perk to earn 1.5x points on the purchase of a new car.
5. You use Pay with Points for premium travel
One of the major ways the two cards diverge is that the Amex Business Platinum offers cardmembers a refund of 35% of the points they redeem through its Pay with Points feature, while the personal version does not. There are a few stipulations, though.
First, you only receive the 35% points refund on business- or first-class tickets with any airline, or on tickets in any class with the same airline you preselect for your annual $200 airline fee rebate. That might hamstring your options if you don’t actually plan to spend points on a ticket with the same carrier.
Something else to consider: You can only receive up to 500,000 points back per calendar year. That’s a pretty high bar, but if you do regularly redeem more than around 1.4 million Membership Rewards points per year this way, just be aware that you might overshoot the 35% mark.
Even if you seldom redeem Membership Rewards this way, this one benefit can save you tens of thousands of points on a single ticket. That makes carrying the Amex Business Platinum instead of the personal card well worth it, since the latter won’t save you any Membership Rewards you cash in via Pay with Points.
Another way to think of this is that instead of getting 1 cent per Membership Rewards point in value redeemed for flights via Pay with Points, carrying the Amex Business Platinum and redeeming this way bumps their value up to 1.54 cents apiece — a 54% premium.
6. You prefer technology to fashion
Both the personal Amex Platinum and Amex Business Platinum offer annual statement credits. The personal one comes with up to $100 on Saks Fifth Avenue purchases, which is split into $50 for the first half of the year and $50 for the second half.
The Amex Business Platinum confers up to $200 back in statement credits on U.S. Dell purchases, similarly split into $100 for the front half of the year, and another $100 for the back half. If you actually spend money with Dell, the Amex Business Platinum represents twice the value back.
But there’s one other factor to consider.
7. You don’t use Uber that often
The personal Amex Platinum card includes up to $15 in Uber Cash each month for rides and Uber Eats orders in the U.S., plus an extra $20 in December, for a total yearly benefit of up to $200. That’s pretty substantial. But remember that these credits don’t roll over from month. So if you don’t actually use Uber on a regular basis, you might not be taking full advantage of it.
Another factor to consider: You might have another card that offers significant benefits to using different ride-share and food delivery services. For example, perhaps you already carry the American Express® Gold Card, which offers up to $10 per month in Uber Cash for U.S. rides and Uber Eats orders, plus earns 4x points per dollar on these purchases, which might make it more worthwhile than the personal Amex Platinum.
Whatever your situation, think about whether the Uber benefit would be worth carrying the personal version over the business version, or if this is one benefit you can leave on the table, so to speak.
Both the Amex Platinum and the Amex Business Platinum are excellent rewards cards with a variety of benefits from which members can reap tremendous value. Which card is right for you will come down to the one whose introductory and everyday bonus opportunities best match your financial habits and needs, and which one’s other perks you’re most likely to leverage year after year.
That said, you might want to consider carrying both the personal and business Amex Platinum cards since there are plenty of ways the two cards don’t overlap that can add up to a lot of extra statement credits and points per year.
For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Business Platinum card, click here.
Featured photo by The Points Guy.
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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.