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.

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

Regular APR

14.24% - 22.24% Variable APR

Intro APR

N/A

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

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

N/A

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, is a stellar choice for making trips easier and more rewarding.

Used right, the card can make up for its steep annual fee while providing generous rewards for travel spending and a suite of perks that road warriors will appreciate. It’s a leader among  business cards and could be ideal for those who spend a lot and expect a lot.

To view rates and fees of , see .

Card type: .

Annual fee: .

Welcome offer:

Rewards:

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.

Interest rate: Purchases made with are classified as either "Pay Over Time" or "Pay In Full":

Foreign transaction fees: None.

The value of some rewards cards lies in the points earned for using it, but the value of 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.

A welcome perk for road warriors, airport lounges can be a refuge from the loud, teeming gate areas and come with free refreshments. offers access to several types, including the highly respected American Express and the more ubiquitous when flying Delta. In addition, you get access to International American Express Lounges, 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 is the largest to be offered by a card.

» MORE:

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. 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.

» MORE:

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:

If you won't spend enough to earn the bonus, try a different card. isn't designed for the low-spending entrepreneur.

» MORE:

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

The good. points are worth an, 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 . 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 . Restaurant spending, which typically accompanies travel, earns just 1 point per dollar.

» MORE:

If you make full use of the perks offered by , the 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 . 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 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 . With an annual fee of , it has better spending rewards bonus categories, one of which includes U.S. restaurants (see ). However, it lacks lounge access and some of the statement credits offered by .

» MORE:

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 . This card works like the popular : 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. There's a solid bonus offer, too.

For other business credit card options, visit the  page.

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 , see . To view rates and fees of the , see .

Frequently asked questions