CNBC Select may receive an affiliate commission when you click on the links for products from our partners. Click here to read our full advertiser disclosure.
CNBC Select

Amex Business Platinum review: Luxury travel benefits for business owners

CNBC Select breaks down the rewards, benefits and fees associated with the The Business Platinum Card® from American Express to help you decide if it's the right card for your business needs.

Getty Images

Business owners that frequently travel for work can benefit from a luxury travel business card. The Business Platinum Card® from American Express offers over a dozen premium perks that can make travel for you and your employees simpler. There's lounge access, car rental insurance and airline fee credits that make business trips both smoother and more affordable.

Small business cards also provide a variety of spend management tools that make tracking employee spending easier and make tax season a breeze. (Learn more about the benefits of small business credit cards.)

Below, CNBC Select breaks down the rewards, benefits and fees associated with the Amex Business Platinum Card to help you decide if it's the right card for your business needs.

Amex Business Platinum Card review

  • Amex Business Platinum Card rewards
  • Additional benefits
  • Fees
  • Bottom line

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
On American Express's secure site
  • Rewards

    Earn 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com; 35% Airline Bonus: Use Membership Rewards® Pay with Points for all or part of a flight with your selected qualifying airline, and you can get 35% of the points back, up to 500,000 bonus points per calendar year when you book on amextravel.com

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn 75,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership

  • Annual fee

    $595

  • Intro APR

    Not applicable

  • Regular APR

    Not applicable

  • Balance transfer fee

    Not applicable

  • Foreign transaction fee

    None

  • Credit needed

    Excellent

Pros

  • Get 50% more points on purchases of $5,000 or more
  • Get 35% points back when you use points for flights
  • $200 airline fee credit for incidentals on one qualifying airline each year
  • American Express Global Lounge Collection
  • Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status and Hilton Honors Gold status
  • Up to $200 annual statement credit for Dell purchases

Cons

  • $595 annual fee
  • $300 annual fee for each additional Platinum card
  • No introductory 0% financing offers for purchases or balance transfers

Amex Business Platinum Card rewards

The Business Platinum Card offers rewards geared toward frequent travelers: Earn 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com. Plus, there is a 35% Airline Bonus: use Membership Rewards® Pay with Points for all or part of a flight with your selected qualifying airline, and you can get 35% of the points back, up to 500,000 bonus points per calendar year when you book on amextravel.com.

There is one condition to earning 5X rewards on flights and hotels: You have to book travel at Amextravel.com or directly with the airline. If you book airfare and hotels through third-party sites, such as Expedia or Booking.com, or directly with hotel chains, such Marriott, you'll only earn 1X points.

When you use Membership Rewards® Pay with Points for all or part of an eligible airfare, you get 35% of those points back, up to 500,000 points back per calendar year. Eligible fares include first and business class tickets with all airlines available through Amex Travel, as well as any fare class with your selected qualifying airline.

Apart from these year-round rewards, new cardholders can benefit from the ability to earn 75,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership (see rates & fees).

To determine how much your points are worth, Amex provides a helpful points value calculator, which allows you to select how many points you have (1,000; 5,000; 10,000, then increasing by increments of 10,000) to check the value.

The value of points varies based on redemption method, so here are some examples of what 70,000 points are worth, which is 5,000 less than what you'd earn by meeting the welcome bonus requirements.

  • Pay with points at checkout: $350 (Ticketmaster), $490 (all other sites, such as Amazon and PayPal), $700 (NYC Taxi)
  • Gift cards: up to $700
  • Statement credit: $420
  • Book or upgrade travel: $490* (prepaid hotels and cruises), $700* (flights)
  • Transfer points to frequent traveler program partners: up to 70,000 points in the partners' program
  • Shopping with merchant partners: $350

*Note that you have to pay for travel using your Business Platinum Card through Amextravel.com to get these redemption rates. There are no blackout dates when travel is booked on this site and points don't expire while your account is open.

Additional benefits

The Business Platinum Card has over a dozen luxury perks that can allow you and your employees to benefit from premium travel protections. Here are our favorites, which may apply to both primary and additional cardholders.

  • Up to $200 airline fee credit: Receive up to $200 in statement credits annually for incidentals, such as checked bags, in-flight refreshments, and other fees after you select an eligible airline.
  • Up to $200 Dell credit: Get up to $100 in statement credits from January through June and up to $100 in statement credits from July through December for purchases with Dell, when enrolled.
  • Up to $100 for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee: Receive a statement credit for Global Entry every 4 years or TSA PreCheck every 4.5 years. (Read how to apply for Global Entry.)
  • American Express Global Lounge Collection: Access to over 1,200 airport lounges in more than 130 countries around the world.
  • Fine Hotels & Resorts: Book hotel stays with Fine Hotels & Resorts to receive complimentary benefits including: room upgrades, free breakfast for two, late check-out, early check-in and a $100 hotel credit, when available.
  • Complimentary gold status in select travel programs: Cardholders can upgrade to gold status in the Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors programs.
  • Travel insurance: Receive baggage insurance and car rental loss and damage insurance.
  • Spend management tools: Receive a year-end summary, free basic plan of Vendor Pay by Bill.com (which allows you to simplify paying your business bills) and employee card spending limits and category alerts.
  • Amex Offers: Receive exclusive shopping discounts at select retailers through Amex Offers. These offers typically give you a set dollar amount of cash back, credited to your account within 90 days after you meet the requirements.
  • Global dining collection: Get special access to reservations and experiences at popular restaurants, and the opportunity to meet the chefs at exclusive events.
  • Entertainment access: Receive access to exclusive entertainment events, presales and preferred seating for concerts, sporting events and more in select cities. (Check out the best credit cards for entertainment spending.)
  • By Invitation Only® events: Enjoy exclusive events from sporting and fashion to fine dining, art and performances.

Fees

The Business Platinum Card has a hefty $595 annual fee, but if you take advantage of the annual statement credits for a selected airline and Dell, you can offset the fee by $400, bringing it to a more manageable $195 (see rates and fees). Plus, the complimentary American Express Global Lounge Collection access, Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status and Hilton Honors Gold Status more than offset the remainder of the fee.

Unfortunately, employee cards aren't free, but you can choose from three card types for your employees with fees ranging from $45 to $300. Amex charges $300 for each additional Business Platinum Card, $200 for each additional Executive Business Card and $45 for each additional Business Gold Rewards Card (see rates and fees).

There is no regular purchase APR since this is a charge card, and you're required to pay your bill in full every month. Therefore, you can't do balance transfers. However, Amex provides a Pay Over Time feature where eligible purchases over $100 can benefit from payment flexibility, with interest. See rates and fees for the Pay Over Time APR.

There is no foreign transaction fee, so purchases made outside the U.S. have no additional cost, which is great if your business requires overseas travel.

Bottom line

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express is a standout small business card for business owners that want to take advantage of premium benefits. With up to $400 in annual statement credits, exclusive lounge access and gold status in Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors programs, you can maximize the value from this card.

However, the $595 annual fee isn't for everyone (see rates and fees). If you don't plan on taking full advantage of all the card's perks, it may be a good idea to consider a low-cost or no annual fee business card. Amex offers the Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express, with no annual fee and 2X Membership Rewards® points on everyday business purchases on the first $50,000 in purchases each year, then 1X point per dollar (see rates and fees).

Chase offers three business cards that have annual fees ranging from $0 to $95 that may be a better fit (and still offer competitive rewards and benefits). Check out the Ink Business Unlimited℠ credit card ($0), Ink Business Cash℠ credit card ($0) and Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card ($95).

Not sure which card to choose? Learn how to choose a business credit card then how to apply for a business card.

For rates and fees of The Business Platinum® Card from American Express, click here.

For rates and fees of Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express, click here.

Information about the Ink Business Unlimited℠ credit card, Ink Business Cash℠ credit card, and Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card has been collected independently by CNBC and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the cards prior to publication.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the CNBC Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.