Editorial Review

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

You earn 5X points on eligible travel spending, and you'll enjoy a sweet suite of perks that will ease and enhance your business trips. The catch? A $595 annual fee.

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THIS PAGE MAY BE OUT OF DATE

This page includes information about one or more products not currently available on NerdWallet:

  • Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business

  • Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

As a result, offers described on this page may be out of date. See our NerdWallet’s Best Credit Cards page for updated offers.

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.

Best Small-Business Travel Credit Card

The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN Credit Card

on American Express's website, or call (866) 512-6673

Rates & Fees
Annual Fee

$595

Regular APR

N/A

Intro APR

N/A

Recommended Credit Score

Quick FactsView rates and fees

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • High rewards rate on certain travel purchases

  • No foreign transaction fee

  • Bonus offer for new cardholders

  • Lounge access, airline fee credit

Cons

  • High annual fee

  • Other cards offer a higher rewards rate on non-travel spending

  • Complicated rewards structure

  • Requires good/excellent credit

Alternate Pick: Cash-back rewards

Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business

Don't travel much? Cash is better

Earn unlimited 2% cash back on every purchase, with no bonus categories to worry about. Redeem in any amount at any time. There's a fat sign-up bonus, and the annual fee is $0 intro for the first year, then $95.

Read our review

Compare to Other Cards

Annual Fee

$595

Annual Fee

$295

Regular APR

N/A

Rates & Fees

Regular APR

14.24% - 22.24% Variable APR

Rates & Fees

Intro APR

N/A

Intro APR

N/A

Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score

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 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 credit cards and could be ideal for those who spend a lot and expect a lot.

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express: Basics

Card type: Small business.

Annual fee: $595.

Welcome offer: Earn 75,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on qualifying purchases within your 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 eligible purchases of $5,000 or more, good for up to 1 million extra points per 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.

  • AeroMexico.

  • Air Canada.

  • Air France/ KLM.

  • Alitalia.

  • ANA.

  • Avianca.

  • British Airways.

  • Cathay Pacific.

  • Delta Air Lines.

  • El Al Israel Airlines.

  • Emirates.

  • Etihad Airways.

  • Hawaiian Airlines.

  • Iberia Plus.

  • JetBlue Airways.

  • Qantas.

  • Singapore Airlines.

  • Virgin Atlantic Airways.

Hotels:

  • Choice Hotels.

  • Hilton Hotels & Resorts.

  • Marriott Hotels & Resorts.

For transfer ratios, see AmEx's website.

Interest rate: None. This is a charge card, and the balance is generally due in full with each statement. (AmEx does offer a "Pay Over Time" feature that allows you to carry a balance, but the interest rate is high, and we don't recommend using it.)

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 credit 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 $200 a year in statement credit for incidental fees on an airline you choose, as well as 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 $200 in statement credit — $100 in the first half of the year and another $100 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 well over 1,000 lounges worldwide. AmEx claims the lounge collection that comes with The Business Platinum Card® from American Express is the largest to be offered by a credit 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 75,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership. Terms apply.

If you won't spend enough to earn the bonus, try a different card. The Business Platinum Card® from American Express isn't designed for the low-spending entrepreneur.

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 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 for Business. This card offers an unlimited 2% cash back on every purchase, and it comes with a decent welcome bonus: Earn a one-time $500 cash bonus once you spend $4,500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening. The annual fee is $0 intro for the first year, then $95.

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 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 to carry a credit card, 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: New Offer! Earn 100k bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,250 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. The annual fee is a more palatable $95.

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. 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 every purchase, and redeem miles for any travel expense. Book however you want, then pay for it with miles. Welcome bonus: Earn a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles – equal to $500 in travel – once you spend $4,500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening. Annual fee: $0 intro for the first year, then $95.

For other business credit card options, visit NerdWallet's 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 credit 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, please visit this page.

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