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American Express Business Platinum: Is the Annual Fee Worth It?

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American Express Business Platinum

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN is iconic, but its annual fee is steeper than most. Even so, we don’t think you can write off The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN easily. It has a number of travel-related perks that make red-eye flights a bit more pleasant and a collection of other benefits, like concierge service and warranty extensions. Here’s what you need to know about the card, so you can decide if it’s the best option for you.

American Express Business Platinum from OPEN Credit Card
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At a glance
Annual fees $450
Foreign transaction fee None
Rewards program 2X points for travel booked through the American Express Travel website and 1 point per dollar spent on everything else, redeemable for a multitude of things, including travel, gift cards and merchandise
Signup bonus Welcome Offer: Get 40,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $5,000 in purchases on the Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership
Verdict: If your business spends a lot and wants luxury travel perks, this is a good option
Good for:
  • Someone who wants travel perks
  • Someone who flies frequently for business — especially overseas
  • Someone who likes flexibility in rewards redemption
  • Someone whose business spends enough to make the high annual fee worth it
Bad for:
  • Someone who doesn’t travel frequently for business
  • Someone whose business doesn’t have high enough expenses

In this article:

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN: The basics

How the perks make up for The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN‘s annual fee

Where The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN shines

Where The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN falls short

Bottom line: Should I get The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN?

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN: The basics

Earn 2X points on every dollar you spend on travel through the American Express Travel website and 1 point per dollar spent on everything else. There’s also a killer signup bonus. Welcome Offer: Get 40,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $5,000 in purchases on the Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership. Membership Rewards points are redeemable for a wide variety of rewards, like travel, merchandise, charitable donations, gift cards, Amazon.com purchases and more.

Example image of The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN

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Pros

  • No foreign transaction fee

Cons

  • Has annual fee

Sign-up Bonus

Welcome Offer: Get 40,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $5,000 in purchases on the Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership

Annual Fee

$450

Intro APR Promotions

N/A [You must pay your balance in full each month]

APR

  • Purchase: N/A

Card Details

  • Welcome Offer: Get 40,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $5,000 in purchases on the Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership
  • A Premium Card with access to over 40 benefits to help power your business
  • Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year on a selected airline for incidentals such as baggage fees, lounge day passes, and more
  • Complimentary access to over 700 airport lounges worldwide
  • Enjoy complimentary, unlimited Boingo Wi-Fi at more than 1,000,000 Boingo hotspots worldwide
  • Business Platinum Concierge is like your own assistant, ready to help you with just about anything personal or professional, 24 hours a day
  • Purchasing power that can adjust as your business evolves
  • Terms & Restrictions Apply

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN has an annual fee of $450 and no foreign transaction fees. The card is a charge card, not a credit card, meaning that your limit adjusts over time and you don’t carry a balance from one month to the next. If you do carry a balance past the due date, you will incur a fee significantly higher than the typical interest rate of credit cards.

How the perks make up for The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN‘s annual fee

While The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN may carry a bit of sticker shock, the travel perks help make up for it. Here are a few perks you’ll get with this card, quantified:

  • Airline fee credit: You’ll receive up to $200 for incidentals on your eligible airline of choice.
  • Global entry or TSA PreCheck fee credit: You’ll receive an application credit of $100 or $85 respectively every five years for the program that best suits your travel needs.
  • Airport lounge access and Priority Pass Select: You’ll receive access to over 700 airport lounges worldwide for free. If you were to buy this perk from Priority Pass, it would cost you $399 per year. So if you’re frequenting airport lounges, this benefit covers most of the annual fee.

These perks, alongside the card’s signup bonus and ongoing rewards, more than make up for the annual fee for the right cardholder.

Where The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN shines

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN is a great card for many businesses. Here are some of our favorite benefits:

High signup bonus. The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN has a great signup bonus: Welcome Offer: Get 40,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $5,000 in purchases on the Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership. Points can be used for a multitude of rewards, including travel and gift cards.

High value travel perks. As noted above, The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN boasts a pretty impressive set of travel-related perks. In addition to the airline incidentals and GlobalEntry/TSA PreCheck fee credits and the airport lounge access, you’ll also receive:

  • Companion ticket savings when you buy a qualifying business or first-class ticket for yourself
  • Car rental privileges, like complimentary upgrades and discounts
  • Gold Preferred Membership status in the Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) program
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi at over 1 million Boingo hotspots worldwide
  • 24/7 concierge service

Shopping perks. The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN has purchase protection in case a new purchase gets lost, stolen or damaged within 90 days. It also has extended warranty protection, which adds up to one extra year to your manufacturer’s warranty.

No foreign transaction fees and EMV chip. While American Express isn’t as widely accepted overseas as other networks, it has great overseas travel perks if the merchants you’re frequenting take AmEx. There are no foreign transaction fees — compared with American Express cards’ typical 2.7% fee — and the card is chip-enabled for more secure transactions wherever EMV cards are accepted.

Flexible rewards redemption. The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN rewards cardholders with Membership Rewards points, which can be used for many different types of rewards. This includes travel, merchandise, gift cards, Amazon.com purchases, Uber and more. That said, we recommend you put them toward travel.

Bonus on travel rewards redemption. Each time you redeem Membership Rewards points for travel, you’ll receive 20% of your points back. You can use those points back on any of the rewards options, but if you put them toward another trip, you’ll receive 20% of them back again. It’s a beautiful cycle.

Where The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN falls short

No matter how good a card’s perks are, not everyone is going to benefit from a high-annual-fee business card. Here are a couple of businesspeople who would be better off with another option.

Someone who doesn’t travel frequently for business

Chase  Ink Cash Business Credit Card
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The majority of The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN‘s perks are travel-related, so if you don’t travel often, this isn’t the card for you. Instead, you’d be better off with a cash rewards business credit card, like the Ink Cash® Business Card. It offers extra rewards on certain popular business expenses:

  • 5% on office supplies and cable/telecom services, up to $25,000 spent annually
  • 2% on gas and restaurants, also up to $25,000 spent annually
  • Unlimited 1% on everything else

There’s a signup bonus as well: Earn $300 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

The Ink Cash® Business Card has no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees. It has an introductory APR offer of 0% on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months, and then the ongoing APR of 13.24% (Variable), which is ideal if you need a little time to pay off your business purchases.

Businesses that prefer cash rewards, want a 0% introductory offer, and/or spend less than $25,000 per year on office supplies and cable/telecom services will benefit most from the Ink Cash® Business Card.

Someone whose business doesn’t have high enough expenses

Chase Ink Plus with Ultimate Rewards Credit Card
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Assuming a point value of 1 cent, it takes $45,000 in spending to outweigh The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN‘s annual fee. To come out ahead with just rewards, you’d have to spend significantly more than this. If your spending isn’t quite high enough to justify the fee, you may want to consider the Ink Plus® Business Credit Card instead. Like it’s cash counterpart, it offers bonus rewards on office supplies, cable/telecom services and gas, as well as lodging.

  • 5X points per $1 spent on office supplies and cable/telecom services, up to $50,000 spent annually
  • 2X points per $1 spent on gas and hotels, also up to $50,000 spent annually
  • 1 point per $1 spent on everything else

There’s also a signup bonus worth telling your friends about: LIMITED TIME BONUS OFFER: Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards® If you use points to redeem travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards website, you’ll enjoy a rewards rate of 1.25 cents per point.

The Ink Plus® Business Credit Card has a $95 annual fee, which is significantly lower than The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN‘s hefty fee. There are no foreign transaction fees and the card comes chip-enabled — plus, Visa is more widely accepted overseas than American Express.

Businesses that spend between $25K and $50K — primarily on cable/telecom services and office supplies — will benefit most from the Ink Plus® Business Credit Card.

Bottom line: Should I get The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN?

If you’re a high spender who travels frequently for business and will take advantage of the The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN‘s travel perks, it’s a great credit card for your business. However, if you don’t travel frequently or your spending isn’t quite high enough to justify the high annual fee, you’re likely better off with another option. Otherwise, your concierge awaits!

Image via iStock.