When issuers name payment cards after precious metals, platinum is usually better than gold. But card names alone don’t help you make the right choice for your business.
You might choose the American Express® Business Gold Card if you travel but also want a workhorse rewards card for daily business spending.
But the right choice is The Business Platinum® Card from American Express if you want a more traditional luxury travel card for your business, replete with perks to make life on the road more rewarding.
Here’s how to choose between two good precious-metal charge cards from American Express.
A glance at what’s different
The Business Platinum® Card from American Express
American Express® Business Gold Card
Annual fee $450 $295
New cardmember offer Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10,000 and an extra 25,000 points after you spend an additional $10,000 all on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply. 1 year free to G Suite Basic and ZipRecruiter Standard. Terms apply.
Credit for airline incidentals $200 None
Airline redemption bonus 35% (up to 500,000 points back per calendar year). Terms apply. 25% (up to a 250,000 points back per calendar year). Terms apply.
Ongoing rewards See below. See below.
New cardmember offer
The Business Platinum® Card from American Express comes with a traditional — and generous — points offer for new cardholders who can meet the required spending threshold.
The American Express® Business Gold Card eschews points as a welcome offer. Instead, it rewards new cardholders unconventionally, with potentially valuable one-year subscriptions to Google’s G Suite Basic for up to three users and ZipRecruiter Standard. Terms apply. If you were going to buy those services anyway, the deal is more lucrative than an offer of AmEx Membership Rewards points.
Airline incidental credit
The Business Platinum® Card from American Express comes with a $200 credit for incidentals on your eligible airline of choice — when you use the card to pay for checked bags or buy in-flight refreshments, for example. Terms apply. This is a big deal if you’ll use it. It more than offsets the difference in annual fees between the two cards, because the American Express® Business Gold Card doesn’t come with an airline fee credit.
Airline redemption bonus
When you redeem Membership Rewards points to book certain eligible flights through American Express Travel, The Business Platinum® Card from American Express gives you 35% of those points back as a bonus, up to 500,000 points back per calendar year. This can apply to:
- Any fare on your chosen airline.
- First- and business-class fares on any airline.
- Terms apply.
With the American Express® Business Gold Card, the rate is 25%, up to 250,000 points back per calendar year. Terms apply.
The Business Platinum® Card from American Express: Earn 5 Membership Rewards points on flights and prepaid hotels booked through the American Express Travel website; 1.5 points per dollar on individual purchases of $5,000 or more; and 1 point per dollar spent on everything else. Terms apply.
American Express® Business Gold Card: Earn 4 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent in two bonus categories from the following six where cardholders spend the most each billing cycle (up to the first $150,000 in combined purchases per year; then 1 point back). Terms apply:
- Airfare purchased directly from airlines.
- U.S. purchases at restaurants.
- U.S. purchases for advertising in select media (online, TV, radio).
- U.S. purchases at gas stations.
- U.S. purchases made directly from select technology providers of computer hardware, software and cloud solutions.
- U.S. purchases for shipping.
Other spending earns 1 point per dollar spent. Terms apply.
Many significant perks come only with The Business Platinum® Card from American Express. A sampling:
Global Entry or TSA Precheck. Receive a credit of $100 or $85, respectively, every four years for the application fee for one of these programs that help you get through airport security faster.
Airport lounge access. You’ll have access to 1,200 airport lounges worldwide via the AmEx Global Lounge Collection.
Hotel upgrades. You get Gold status with the Starwood Preferred Guest and Hilton Honors programs, along with perks when booking through Fine Hotels & Resorts.
Boingo Wi-Fi. Complimentary, unlimited wireless Internet access with the Boingo American Express Preferred Plan.
What’s the same?
Membership Rewards points. Membership Rewards points are redeemable for a wide variety of rewards, including travel, merchandise, charitable donations, gift cards and Amazon.com purchases. You can also transfer points to select airline and hotel rewards programs.
Charge cards. Both cards are technically not credit cards but charge cards, 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 could incur a fee significantly higher than the typical interest rate of credit cards.
How to choose
If you travel often enough use all the upgrades and perks of The Business Platinum® Card from American Express, it could be worth the hefty annual fee. Otherwise, the American Express® Business Gold Card might be a better fit for business owners who want a mix of perks and rewards on their day-to-day spending.