American Express Business Platinum Review: Worth the Fee for Heavy Travelers

Business owners earn 5X points on eligible travel spending, and enjoy a sweet suite of perks that will ease and enhance business trips. The catch? A jumbo annual fee.

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.

Our Take

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line: If you travel often for business, the generous rewards and perks on this card could make the big fee seem like a bargain. Don't travel much? This isn't your card.

The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN Credit Card

on American Express's website

Annual fee

$595 (10/14-1/12/22)

Regular APR

14.24%-22.24% Variable APR

Intro APR

See Pay Over Time APR

Recommended Credit Score

Quick FactsView rates and fees

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Lounge membership
  • Transfer partners
  • Bonus categories
  • Automatic elite status
  • Premium travel protections

Cons

  • Has annual fee
  • Complicated rewards
  • Requires good/excellent credit

Compare to Other Cards

NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
Annual fee

$595 (10/14-1/12/22)

Annual fee

$95

Annual fee

$295

Regular APR

14.24%-22.24% Variable APR

Rates & Fees

Regular APR

15.99%-20.99% Variable APR

Regular APR

14.24%-22.24% Variable APR

Rates & Fees

Intro APR

See Pay Over Time APR

Intro APR

N/A

Intro APR

N/A

Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score

Get more smart money moves — straight to your inbox

Become a NerdWallet member, and we’ll send you tailored articles we think you’ll love.

Full Review

If you travel often for your business, The Business Platinum Card® from American Express is a stellar choice for making trips easier and more rewarding.

Used right, the card can make up for its steep $595 (10/14-1/12/22) annual fee while providing generous rewards for travel spending and a suite of perks that road warriors will appreciate. It’s a leader among premium business cards and could be ideal for those who spend a lot and expect a lot.

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express: Basics

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

Card type: Small business.

Annual fee: $595 (10/14-1/12/22).

Welcome offer: Earn 120,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply.

Rewards:

  • 5 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on flights and prepaid hotels booked through amextravel.com.

  • 1.5 points per dollar on certain business categories (such as electronics and software) and eligible purchases of $5,000 or more for up to $2 million spent per calendar year.

  • 1 point per dollar on all other purchases.

  • Terms apply.

Membership Rewards points are worth about 0.5 cents to 1 cent each depending on how you redeem them. Travel and gift card redemptions are generally the most valuable. Points are also transferable and can be worth even more if redeemed strategically after being transferred to other loyalty programs.

Airlines:

  • Aer Lingus. (1:1)

  • AeroMexico. (1:1.6)

  • Air Canada. (1:1)

  • Air France/KLM. (1:1)

  • Alitalia. (1:1)

  • ANA. (1:1)

  • Avianca. (1:1)

  • British Airways. (1:1)

  • Cathay Pacific. (1:1)

  • Delta Air Lines. (1:1)

  • Emirates. (1:1)

  • Etihad Airways. (1:1)

  • Hawaiian Airlines. (1:1)

  • Iberia Plus. (1:1)

  • JetBlue Airways. (2.5:2)

  • Qantas. (1:1)

  • Singapore Airlines. (1:1)

  • Virgin Atlantic Airways. (1:1)

Hotels:

  • Choice Hotels.(1:1)

  • Hilton Hotels & Resorts. (1:2)

  • Marriott Hotels & Resorts. (1:1)

For details on transfer ratios, see AmEx's website.

Interest rate: Purchases made with The Business Platinum Card® from American Express are classified as either "Pay Over Time" or "Pay In Full":

  • Pay Over Time: This is an optional feature that allows you to carry a balance from one month to the next, just like purchases on a regular credit card. If you have this option activated, purchases of $100 or more are automatically classified as Pay Over Time. The ongoing APR is 14.24%-22.24% Variable APR. Although The Business Platinum Card® from American Express does not have a preset spending limit, it does impose a limit on your Pay Over Time balance; any purchases above that limit become Pay In Full. Terms apply.

  • Pay In Full: These purchases must be paid off completely each month, so they do not incur interest. All purchases of less than $100 are Pay In Full, as are any purchases over your Pay Over Time balance limit. If you choose not to use Pay Over Time, then all purchases are Pay In Full. Terms apply.

Foreign transaction fees: None.

  • Airline fee credit. Up to $200 a year in credit for incidental fees on one airline, such as checked bag fees or in-flight refreshments or entertainment, but not airfare or seat upgrades. Each year, you select an airline to use this credit with.

  • Airline redemption bonus. When you redeem points for eligible flights through American Express Travel, get back 35% of those points. Eligible flights include all fare classes on your selected qualifying airline or first- or business-class fares on any airline.

  • Trusted traveler program application fee credit. When applying for the Global Entry or TSA Precheck programs, you'll receive a credit of $100 or $85, respectively, for the application fee when it's charged to the card. Cardholders are eligible every 4.5 years for Precheck or every four years for Global Entry.

  • Global Lounge Collection. Get access to more than 1,000 airport lounges worldwide, including the issuer's own Centurion Lounges, Delta Sky Clubs (when flying Delta) and Priority Pass lounges, among others.

  • Hotel status. Automatically qualify for Gold status in the Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors programs, and reap upgrades elsewhere.

  • Purchasing perks. Purchase protection covers purchases against loss, theft or damage within 90 days. Return protection also lasts 90 days. Extended warranty protection adds up to one extra year to a manufacturer's warranty. Eligibility to earn points in the Neiman Marcus loyalty program, called InCircle.

  • $200 Dell statement credit: $100 in the first half the year and another $100 in the second half.

  • Travel protections. Trip cancellation and interruption insurance, trip delay insurance and baggage insurance.

  • Minor travel benefits: Potential perks for car rentals (Hertz, Avis, National), cruises, vacation packages and private-jet bookings.

  • Business tools: American Express Business App, Connect to QuickBooks, employee cards and ability to set employee spending limits.

  • Experience perks: Preferred seating, ticket presale opportunities, VIP experiences and access to exclusive restaurant reservations and customized experiences.

Why you'd want The Business Platinum Card® from American Express

Rich benefits

The value of some rewards cards lies in the points earned for using it, but the value of The Business Platinum Card® from American Express is tightly tied to its benefits — almost like it’s a membership card that unlocks a wide range of perks to make your traveling life easier.

Some benefits mitigate direct costs, like up to $200 a year in statement credit for incidental fees on an airline you choose, as well as a statement credit for the application fee for TSA Precheck or Global Entry. And many business owners can find something they need from Dell. The card provides up to $400 in statement credit — $200 in the first half of the year and another $200 in the second half — for purchases directly from Dell.

Other perks are harder to put a dollar figure on, but are clearly valuable — from automatic hotel elite status to travel protections to concierge service.

Lounge access

A welcome perk for road warriors, airport lounges can be a refuge from the loud, teeming gate areas and come with free refreshments. The Business Platinum Card® from American Express offers access to several types, including the highly respected American Express Centurion Lounges and the more ubiquitous Delta Sky Clubs when flying Delta. In addition, you get access to International American Express Lounges, Priority Pass lounges, and lounges in the Plaza Premium, Airspace and Escapes networks, when enrolled in each.

All told, that’s access to more than 1,300 lounges across 140 countries. AmEx claims the lounge collection that comes with The Business Platinum Card® from American Express is the largest to be offered by a card.

Transferable points

Besides redeeming points for travel through American Express, you can also transfer them to some airline and loyalty programs, many on a 1-to-1 basis. This might provide more value per point. Airline and hotel partners include Delta, JetBlue, British Airways, Air France/KLM, Hilton, Choice and Marriott.

Other redemption options include merchandise, gift cards, Amazon.com purchases and more. But we recommend redeeming points toward travel to get the best value.

Potential for big bonus

A new-cardholder bonus offers an impressive haul of points — but earning the full bonus requires spending big bucks soon after receiving the card. Full details: Earn 120,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply.

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express isn't designed for the low-spending entrepreneur. If you won't spend enough to earn the bonus but still want a travel-friendly business credit card, try a different option, such as the Bank of America® Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard® credit card. Here's what you can get by signing up for this card: Earn 30,000 bonus points after you make at least $3,000 in net purchases in the first 90 days of your account opening which can be redeemed for a $300 statement credit towards travel or dining-related purchases.

Why you might want a different card

Narrow bonus spending rewards

Rewards are rich for travel spending via AmEx and poor for everything else.

The good. Membership Rewards points are worth an average of 1 cent apiece, so the 5 points per dollar on flights and prepaid hotel stays booked through amextravel.com is equivalent to a 5% rewards rate, which is exceptional. Spend $11,900 a year on travel to break even on the annual fee, before factoring in card perks. What’s more, get 35% of your points back when redeeming them for flights with your selected airline through amextravel.com, meaning you could squeeze out an effective rate of 6.75% on travel spending.

The bad. If you won’t book a lot of travel through AmEx, this card loses its allure quickly. It’s simply a poor choice for racking up rewards for other types of spending, which earns just 1 point per dollar spent or 1.5 points on certain business categories or if the purchase is more than $5,000.

For non-AmEx travel, you'd be better off with a cash-back card like the Capital One Spark Cash Plus. This card offers an unlimited 2% cash back on every purchase, and it comes with a good welcome bonus — but it's a charge card, so you can't carry a balance.

Dining rewards, in particular, are a weak spot for The Business Platinum Card® from American Express. Restaurant spending, which typically accompanies travel, earns just 1 point per dollar.

High annual fee

If you make full use of the perks offered by The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, the $595 (10/14-1/12/22) annual fee is worth it.

Notably, fully using the annual $200 airline fee credit mitigates the fee substantially. And it helps that the annual fee is a deductible business expense.

Use the calculator below to get an idea of whether the card's rewards and most popular credits and benefits make up for your annual fee.

But if like many people you're dead-set against paying that much, consider the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card. It earns 3 points per dollar on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each year, and 1 point per dollar on everything else. Points are worth 1.25 cents apiece when redeemed for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal. It has a jumbo welcome bonus and a much lower annual fee.

If you still want some luxury in a business travel card, consider the less pricey American Express® Business Gold Card. With an annual fee of $295, it has better spending rewards bonus categories, one of which includes U.S. restaurants (see rates and fees). However, it lacks lounge access and some of the statement credits offered by The Business Platinum Card® from American Express.

Complexity

To extract the most value from a high-end travel card, you need patience to learn the card’s perks, figure out bonus rewards and wrestle with redemption processes. If that sounds like too much hassle, consider the Capital One Spark Miles for Business. This card works like the popular Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card: Earn an unlimited 2 miles per dollar on purchases, and redeem miles for any travel expense. Book however you want, then pay for it with miles. There's a solid bonus offer, too.

For other business credit card options, visit the NerdWallet best credit cards page.

Is The Business Platinum Card® from American Express right for you?

Light-traveling small-business folks who fly coach and pinch pennies will struggle to get their money's worth from this high-end card. After all, it is a luxury travel card. But that’s exactly why hard-core road warriors are likely to extract enough value from the card to make its hefty fee seem like a bargain.

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

Frequently asked questions