Amex Business Platinum Card Review (2018.5 Update: 100k Offer)

The Business Platinum Card from American Express OPEN Review

2018.5 Update: There is new 100k offer, but the spending requirement is also higher. Therefore I put both 100k and 75k offers below, and you can choose according to your own situation.

Application Link

  • AmEx Business Platinum 100k Offer, earn 50,000 MR after spending $10,000 in the first 3 months, and earn additional 50,000 MR after spending an additional $15,000 in the first 3 months.
  • AmEx Business Platinum 75k Offer, earn 50,000 MR after spending $10,000 in the first 3 months, and earn additional 25,000 MR after spending an additional $10,000 in the first 3 months.
  • AmEx Business Platinum 100k Targeted Offer, earn 100,000 MR after spending $10,000 in the first 3 months. No direct link, you need to call AmEx and ask and hope for the best: 1-800-971-6736.

Benefits

  1. 100k Offer: earn 50,000 MR after spending $10,000 in the first 3 months, and earn additional 50,000 MR after spending an additional $15,000 in the first 3 months. There are various targeted offers on this card frequently which may be better than public offers.
  2. We estimate that Membership Rewards (MR) are worth about 1.6 cents/point, see below for a brief introduction. So the 100k sign-up bonus is worth about $1600!
  3. Earn 5x MR points for flights or hotels booked directly with AMEX Travel. (Note that only the personal Platinum cards can earn 5x on airfare booked outside of Amex travel.). Earn 1 MR per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  4. Earn 1.5 MR points per dollar on qualifying purchases of $5,000 or more (that’s an extra half point per dollar) with the Business Platinum Card. Up to 1 million additional points per year.
  5. AMEX Business Platinum cardholders receive a 35% rebate when using MR to book travel on your airline of choice, or when booking a first or business class ticket on any airline. This benefit applies to all MR earned with any AMEX credit or charge card as long as you have the AMEX Business Platinum. That means that all MR are worth a minimum of about 1.5 cents per point (cpp) when redeemed for travel.
  6. $200 airline fee credit for incidental charges such as checked bags or even airline gift cards per calendar year on your selected airline. Because this benefit is based on calendar year and not cardholder anniversary date, you can get the airline fee credit TWICE during the first year you hold the card! Note that you must enroll upon approval in order to get this benefit.
  7. Ten free Go-Go Internet passes per calendar year, usable for in-flight Wi-Fi.
  8. Complimentary access to the following airport lounges:
    • Priority Pass Select – gives you access to over 1,000 airport lounges worldwide. Enrollment is required upon card approval (enroll here), after which a Priority Pass Select card will be mailed to you. The card is required for entry to Priority Pass lounges, and permits access for you and up to 2 companions.
    • Centurion Lounges – free for you and up to 2 companions.
    • Delta Sky Clubs –  access requires a same-day Delta boarding pass. Access is free for you and $29 per companion
    • Airspace Lounges, free for you and up to 2 companions.
  9. Complimentary Hilton Gold Status. Use this link to activate. Provides free breakfast for two, a 25% Hilton point earning bonus on all stays at Hilton Hotels and Resorts, and additional benefits found here.
  10. Complimentary SPG Gold Status. Use this link to activate. Benefits of SPG Gold status found here.
  11. Complimentary elite membership for Avis, Hertz, and National.
  12. Complimentary Boingo Wi-Fi membership (Free Airport Wi-Fi). Use this link to enroll.
  13. Up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA Precheck application fee. Use this link to enroll.
  14. Fine Hotels and Resorts (FHR) – if you book hotels through FHR you can enjoy the benefits of elite members, such as room upgrades, free Wi-Fi, free breakfast, etc. The benefits vary by hotel/property.
  15. Concierge service (exclusive to Platinum card holders) – you can use this service to book event tickets, restaurant reservations, hotels etc. Recently I used this benefit to get face-value tickets to see sold-out Hamilton in Chicago, followed by reservations at a trendy, booked-solid restaurant for my sister-in-law’s birthday. The concierge benefit is one of the most underrated aspects of any of the AMEX Platinum cards.
  16. Access to Amex Offers, which offer very good discounts at a variety of stores. (See how I used AMEX offers to get a 33% discount on my fiance’s engagement ring!). Note that there often are AMEX offers targeted exclusively to BUSINESS cards!
  17. Access to the recently announced Global Dining Collection, Global Lounge Collection, and Global By Invitation Only Events.
  18. No foreign transaction fee.
  19. Authorized users also have access to the airport lounges mentioned above, and each of them can get complimentary hotel status. The $200 annual air credit is shared between cardholder and authorized users.
  20. This card is relatively easy to get approved for because it is a Charge Card, not a Credit Card. Charge card means that you don’t have the option to pay only minimum payment, you have to pay your balance in full on the due dates. Note that Charge Card applications will also result in a Hard Pull, just like Credit Card applications.
  21. Charge Cards have no pre-set spending limit.
  22. AMEX has a very loose definition of what constitutes a “business,” which supplements the bullet above. If you apply as a sole-proprietor, AMEX makes you select an annual income for your business between $0 – $49,999. If you sell anything (including your time or skills), you may have a business. AMEX allows the use of your social security number (SSN) instead of a tax identification number (TIN) for sole-proprietor applications.
  23. Allows for referral bonuses through the AMEX Refer-A-Friend program, worth up to 55,000 MR per calendar year!

Disadvantages

  1. $450 annual fee NOT waived for the first year. Note that annual fee does not count towards the minimum spending requirement (true for all credit/charge cards)! Also note that, unlike the recent changes to the personal AMEX Platinum card, the annual fee on the AMEX Business Platinum card will NOT increase on March 30, 2017.
  2. $175 fee for up to three Additional Platinum Cards.

Introduction to MR Points

Recommended Application Time

  1. AMEX signup offers are only available once in a lifetime. Wait for the best offer.
  2. You should have at least 6-months of credit history before applying.
  3. If you apply and are approved in December, you may be able to get the $200 airline credit 3 times while only paying one annual fee!

Summary

If you only keep this card for one year, you will get 75k MR (worth $1500 towards travel booked with AMEX) and two airline fee credits ($400 total). Assuming you would have purchased a flight of at least $400 anyway, the net benefit is therefore $1550 ($1550 + $400 – $450 annual fee = $1550), which does NOT include any of the benefits mentioned in #4 through #22 above! I use either AMEX Centurion Lounges or my Priority Pass almost every time I travel. While I would not pay for lounge access, I believe this to be worth at least a few hundred dollars (particularly when traveling through airports with exceptional lounges, such as Tokyo, Istanbul, Hong Kong, Vancouver, Seoul, and many other locations throughout the world!). The travel perks of this card combined with the 50% MR rebate on all travel purchases may make this card a keeper for many, including myself.

Note that MR earned with AMEX business cards pool with MR earned with personal cards. If you decide to cancel and want to keep your MR, you can apply for the AMEX EveryDay (ED) (no annual fee) to keep the MR points for use in the future (with no annual fee).

Recommended Downgrade Options

You can downgrade this account to the AmEx Business Gold Rewards (BGR) card after the first year. Once downgraded, most (all?) people are given the option to upgrade again to the AMEX Business Platinum while earning 50,000 MR after spending $10,000 (even if you have already received a sign-up bonus on the AMEX Business Platinum). I have used this trick to receive the annual fee credits, additional MR sign-up bonus, and all the other perks of the AMEX Business Platinum many times. Also note that, when you upgrade, AMEX does NOT do a hard-credit pull!

After Applying

  1. Click here to check application status.
  2. AMEX reconsideration backdoor number: 877-399-3083

Historical Offers Chart

Application Link

  • AmEx Business Platinum 100k Offer, earn 50,000 MR after spending $10,000 in the first 3 months, and earn additional 50,000 MR after spending an additional $15,000 in the first 3 months.
  • AmEx Business Platinum 75k Offer, earn 50,000 MR after spending $10,000 in the first 3 months, and earn additional 25,000 MR after spending an additional $10,000 in the first 3 months.
  • AmEx Business Platinum 100k Targeted Offer, earn 100,000 MR after spending $10,000 in the first 3 months. No direct link, you need to call AmEx and ask and hope for the best: 1-800-971-6736.

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