Is the AmEx Business Platinum Card Worth Its Annual Fee?

The steep annual fee can be offset if you frequently utilize the card's benefits and book award travel.

Dan MillerJanuary 22, 2021
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The Business Platinum Card® from American Express has a hefty $595 annual fee, but it also offers extensive benefits. So is the card worth getting? That depends on your spending, travel habits and how well you maximize the perks of this card. Here’s how to decide if The Business Platinum Card® from American Express is worth the cost to you.

Perks of The Business Platinum Card® from American Express

New cardmembers can collect a stack of welcome bonus points. Earn 85,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply. Plus, cardmembers earn points for every purchase.

You’ll get:

  • 5x points on flights and prepaid hotels booked through amextravel.com.

  • 1.5x points on eligible purchases of $5,000 or more.

  • 1x points on all other eligible purchases.

Other benefits also help make the card worthwhile:

  • Global Entry or TSA Precheck application fee credit.

  • 35% points refunded when you redeem them for eligible flights.

  • Airport lounge privileges.

  • Elite status in participating hotel and car rental loyalty programs.

  • $200 annual airline fee credit.

  • $200 annual credit for qualifying Dell purchases.

  • Travel and consumer protections including rental car coverage and baggage insurance.

  • Flexible ways to use your points, including transferring points to partner airlines.

Terms apply.

The annual fee is worth it if you ...

Earn the welcome bonus

Membership Rewards points are redeemable for travel booked directly through American Express, gift cards, statement credits or online shopping, or you can convert them into airline miles with partner programs.

Depending on how you use them, NerdWallet estimates those points are worth anywhere from 0.5 cent to 1 cent each. That means your welcome bonus is worth several hundred dollars and can offset the annual fee for the first year if you use your points well. Terms apply.

Use the annual airline fee credit

Every year, you can charge up to $200 in incidental fees with one airline, and those charges will be automatically reimbursed in the form of a statement credit.

First, you select an airline (you can change your designated airline in January every year). Then, just use the card to pay for checked-bag fees, seat assignment fees or in-flight refreshments.

Take full advantage of this benefit every year and it essentially puts $200 back in your pocket. Terms apply.

Get reimbursed for Global Entry or TSA Precheck

Like other ultra-premium credit cards, The Business Platinum Card® from American Express offers a statement credit for either Global Entry or TSA Precheck. Because Global Entry comes with TSA Precheck, it makes sense for most people to get Global Entry if they have a passport.

The card reimburses you $100 every four years when you use the card to pay the application fee for Global Entry. Or, you can get reimbursed $85 every 4 1/2 years if you opt for TSA Precheck. If you don’t already have this benefit from another credit card, figure this perk has a value of around $25 per year. Terms apply.

Spend strategically

With The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, every purchase can earn you Membership Rewards points — but some purchases earn more than others.

The 5 points per dollar you earn on flights and prepaid hotels booked through amextravel.com can offset a big portion of your annual fee. For example, if you spend $4,000 per year this way on flights and hotels, you’ll earn 20,000 Membership Rewards points, worth several hundred dollars depending how you redeem them.

If your business needs to make big purchases — anything over $5,000 — those buys give you 1.5 points per dollar. Making two qualifying $6,000 purchases on the card every year would get you 18,000 Membership Rewards, worth a couple hundred dollars depending on your specific redemption. Terms apply.

Maximize the 35% point rebate

Redeem your points in the American Express travel portal for any first or business class flight, or on any class of flight on a single airline you preselect, and you’ll get 35% of your points rebated back to you. This means you can stretch your points even further. Now, that 50,000-point flight will cost you only 32,500 points. Terms apply.

Use your lounge access

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express allows you to access five different kinds of airport lounges, including:

The value that you’ll get from this benefit depends on how much you travel and what other airport lounge access you already have. It’s hard to put a dollar value on this benefit, but a conservative method is to think of what you would spend in airports on food and drinks without lounge access.

If you’d shell out $15 on average for a sandwich consumed at a crowded gate, free food and drinks in an airport lounge 10 times per year would put $150 back in your pocket (with the added bonus of a quieter, more spacious area to enjoy them in). Terms apply.

Get elite status with hotel and rental car companies

Holders of this card qualify for elite status in several hotel and rental car loyalty programs:

But don’t assume your new elite status kicks in automatically. For example, you have to take steps to request your Gold status in Marriott Bonvoy. Once you do, you’ll enjoy perks like possible room upgrades, accelerated points earning and a chance for late checkout on every qualifying stay at a hotel or resort in the Bonvoy program. Terms apply.

You know your purchase and travel protections

The rental car coverage, baggage insurance, extended warranties and other travel and purchase protections that come with this card can be extremely valuable if you know how to use them.

For example, when you rent a car, you must decline the collision damage waiver offered at the rental car counter in order to get coverage from your card benefits. Spend some time learning about your coverages so you can get the most out of them, hopefully further offsetting your card’s annual fee. Terms apply.

The bottom line

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express’s $595 annual fee is undeniably high. But you can put that much and more back in your pocket if you make the most of this card. Points earning, fee credits, loyalty program status and travel and purchase protections can easily offset the cost for users who can take full advantage of them.

To view rates and fees of The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, see this page.

How to Maximize Your Rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2021, including those best for:

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