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The Amex Business Platinum now has a $695 annual fee: Is it still worth it?
The Amex Business Platinum's is loaded with benefits but isn't cheap. Is it worth applying for?
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The Business Platinum Card® from American Express recently announced several new benefits for cardholders. To offset the cost of the new perks, the annual fee has officially gone up to $695 (see rates and fees).
The card's former annual fee, $595, was already a steep ask, and now raising the annual fee another $100 may have you wondering if its worth it or not. But like many travel credit cards, if you use the benefits to their fullest, you can quickly earn back the cost of the annual fee. And plus, a credit card annual fee is considered a tax write-off for your business.
Select breaks down the Amex Business Platinum's rewards, benefits and fees to help you decide if it's the right card for you, despite the higher annual fee.
Is the Amex Business Platinum worth it?
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express is loaded with benefits for its cardholders. With travel benefits including amazing airport lounge access, *travel insurance, excellent concierge services and spending credits for your business, there is a nearly endless list of ways to extract value from the card.
However, some may argue that the Amex Business Platinum is only worth having for the first year to score the large welcome offers. While the bonus is lucrative, your business may benefit from holding onto the card for a longer period of time.
Here is a list of the benefits you will receive in your first year of card membership:
Amex Business Platinum benefits
|Benefit||Potential value||Details of the benefit||Is this a new benefit?|
|Welcome offer: Earn 120,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases on your new card in your first three months of card membership.||$2,700 (Points are valued at 2 cents per point. This assumes you earn the full welcome bonus plus an additional 15,000 in points when you charge $6,000 in order to hit the spend requirement, assuming an earning rate of 1 point per dollar)||As you spend on the card, you will earn the following: 5X per $1 on flights and prepaid hotels booked with Amex Travel; 1.5X per $1 on business categories and purchases over $5,000 (up to $2 million per year); 1x per $1 on other purchases||No, however, this welcome offer is elevated.|
|$400 Dell Technologies spending credit||Up to $400||Get $200 semi-annually for purchases made with Dell||No, however, this benefit was only $200 per year before the most recent update.|
|$360 Indeed spending credit||Up to $360||Get $90 per quarter to spend on recruiting costs through Indeed.com||Yes|
|$150 Adobe credit||$150||Get $150 per year for Adobe purchases such as Adobe Creative Cloud.||Yes|
|$120 wireless telephone service credit||Up to $120||Get $10 per month for wireless cell phone service||Yes|
|Airport lounge access||Variable||You will receive access to the American Express Global Lounge Collection, which includes: Priority Pass membership, Delta Sky Club access and Centurion lounges.||No|
|$200 airline fee credit||Up to $200||You will get $200 per year for airline incidentals such as checked bag fees.||No|
|*Cell phone protection||Varies||When you put your cell phone bill on the Amex Business Platinum, your phone will be covered up to $800 per claim ($50 deductible will apply).||Yes|
|$100 TSA PreCheck/Global Entry credit||$100||You will receive up to $100 every 4 years after you apply for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.||No|
|$189 CLEAR® Plus credit||$100*||You will receive up to $189 per year in statement credit to apply for CLEAR® Plus, a biometric security program located at airports and stadiums across the U.S. *We only value this at $100 because members of select airline loyalty programs can apply for CLEAR® Plus at a discounted rate.||Yes|
|Complimentary Hilton Honors Gold status||Variable||You will receive complimentary Gold status benefits when you book directly at Hilton properties. Gold status includes: daily food/beverage credit, upgrades when available, fifth night free when using points and free Wi-Fi.||No|
|Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status||Variable||You will receive complimentary Gold Elite status benefits when you book directly at Marriott properties. Gold status includes: upgrades when available, late checkout and enhanced Wi-Fi.||No|
*Eligibility and Benefit level varies. Conditions and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details.
With over $4,100 in value during the first year, it is simple to justify the annual fee. After the first year you won't be able to count the welcome bonus, the perks could be worth $1,430. And neither of these figures account for the value of the robust airport lounge access and hotel elite status with Marriott and Hilton.
However, many of the above values are estimates. And with several credits for expenses like Indeed, Adobe and Dell, you must ask yourself if you can take advantage of these benefits without forcing yourself to spend more than you normally would. Are these services you already use, or are you just signing up because you can get a discount with a credit card?
Additionally, it's worth considering how much you'll actually use the airport lounge and hotel elite status benefits. They are extremely valuable perks as a single airport lounge membership can easily cost hundreds of dollars, but if you don't fly regularly, the benefits may not be worth as much to you. The same applies to the hotel elite status — if you don't use it, it probably isn't worth a whole lot.
With so many benefits and features available, the best way to determine if the Amex Business Platinum fits in your wallet is to list out each perk (possibly with an associated dollar value) and ask yourself which ones you'll realistically use.
Alternatives to the Amex Business Platinum
If you aren't sure if the Amex Business Platinum card is worth it for you, there are dozens of other options available. You may consider a different American Express credit card or another travel credit card with a lower annual fee.
If your preference is to have a business credit card to keep your business and personal expenses separate, consider the American Express® Business Gold Card. With this card, you will still earn Membership Rewards points, but with a $295 annual fee (see rates and fees). It currently is offering a welcome bonus where you can earn 70,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $10,000 on eligible purchases in the first three months of card membership. As you spend on the Amex Business Gold Card, you will earn 4X points per dollar spent (up to $150,000 each calendar year then 1X point per dollar thereafter) on two of the following categories where you spend the most each billing cycle:
- Airfare purchases directly from airlines
And US purchases on:
- Online, TV and radio advertising
- Computer hardware, software and cloud systems from select technology providers
- Gas stations
- Restaurants, including takeout and delivery
If you don't mind having a consumer credit card for your business purchases, consider the Chase Sapphire Reserve®. It is a premium travel credit card loaded with benefits, including: a $300 travel credit, airport lounge membership and a DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by December 31st, 2024. It also has great spending categories, including the ability to earn 3X on all travel and dining spend. However, it has a $550 annual fee.
If your preference is a lower annual fee without giving up the ability to earn valuable rewards, consider either the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or American Express® Gold Card.
The Sapphire Preferred currently has a 60,000-point welcome bonus which you'll earn after spending $4,000 in the first three months of card membership. Those points are worth $750 for travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. The card has a modest $95 annual fee.
The Amex Gold Card is a great card for dining out and grocery shopping. It earns 4X points for every dollar spent on dining, including restaurants, takeout and delivery in the U.S. and 4x points for every dollar spent at U.S. supermarkets on up to $25,000 (then 1x point). It also has monthly credits for Uber and dining out, which helps offset the $250 annual fee (see rates and fees).
As you evaluate the Amex Business Platinum card, it's important to remember that much of the card's value is reliant on you using the benefits. But it should never be a matter of spending money and going out of your way in order to take advantage of the perks. That is equivalent to going out of your way to spend $1 in order to save 25 cents. Evaluate each perk carefully to see how it can benefit you and your business, and from there decide if the card is right for you.
That being said, even with the increase in annual fee, the Amex Business Platinum remains a great card for small business owners who travel. The long list of benefits, spending credits and convenient services could be worth thousands of dollars, if you can use them that is.
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
Earn 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com and 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases. Also, earn 1.5X points (that's an extra half point per dollar) on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year.
Earn 120,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases within the first 3 months of card membership
19.24% - 27.24% variable
Balance transfer fee
Foreign transaction fee
See rates and fees and our methodology, terms apply.
- Enroll to receive up to $400 in annual statement credits on Dell purchases (up to $200 semi-annually), up to $360 with Indeed, up to $150 with Adobe and up to $120 on wireless telephone purchases
- Get 35% points back when you use points to purchase all or part of an airline fare, up to 500,000 bonus points back per calendar year
- American Express Global Lounge Collection
- Breeze through security with CLEAR® Plus where available and get up to $189 back per year on your membership when you use your card
- Up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year toward baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline
- $695 annual fee
- No introductory 0% financing offers
For rates and fees of the The Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of the Business Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of the American Express® Business Gold Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, click here.
*For travel insurance- coverage is provided by New Hampshire Insurance company, an AIG Company