AmEx Business Platinum Card: Comfort and Credits Come at a Cost

Business owners enjoy a sweet suite of perks that will ease and enhance business trips. The catch? A jumbo annual fee and low rewards on spending.
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Written by Kelsey Sheehy
Senior Writer
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Edited by Ryan Lane
Assigning Editor
Fact Checked

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Our Take

4.8

NerdWallet rating 
The bottom line:

Lounge access, elite status and a slew of available travel and business credits make this card quite valuable — if you’ll use all of those perks. If not, the annual fee isn’t worth it. Especially with other travel cards offering elevated benefits that are easier to obtain (and justify).

Jump to: Full review
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
Annual fee
$695
Regular APR
19.49%-28.49% Variable APR
Intro APR
N/A
Rec. credit score
690-850 (Good - Excellent)
Apply now

on American Express' website

Rates & fees

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Lounge membership

  • Transfer partners

  • Bonus categories

  • Automatic elite status

  • Premium travel protections

Cons

  • High annual fee

  • Complicated rewards

  • Requires good/excellent credit

Compare to Other Cards

NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
Annual fee

$695

Annual fee

$95

Regular APR

19.49%-28.49% Variable APR

Rates & fees

Regular APR

21.24%-26.24% Variable APR

Intro APR

N/A

Intro APR

N/A

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Full Review

Business travelers aiming for luxury perks tend to gravitate to The Business Platinum Card® from American Express — and it’s no surprise why. The card delivers creature comforts like exclusive lounge access and travel credits. Plus, there’s automatic elite status with select hotel and rental car chains that promise upgrades, discounts and other enhancements.

Those elevated perks come with a lofty price tag, though. The Business Platinum Card’s $695 annual fee (terms apply) is the highest of any card we rate. While you may be able to deduct that fee on your taxes, whether the cost is justified depends entirely on how many of the card’s benefits you’ll actually use. Not sure? The annual fee calculator below will do the math for you.

Even if the benefits outweigh the fee for your business, it’s still worth considering other business travel cards that offer higher rewards for your spending. The Business Platinum Card earns a measly 1 point per $1 on most spending. Yes, you get a higher rate for prepaid hotels and flights booked via AmEx. But many less expensive business cards match or beat that, including the Capital One Venture X Business and the U.S. Bank Business Altitude™ Connect World Elite Mastercard®.

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express is best for small-business owners who:

  • Regularly travel and use airport lounges.

  • Want to gain elite status with Hilton and Marriott.

  • Prioritize perks over spending rewards.

  • Will take advantage of the Business Platinum Card’s myriad statement credits.

Want to earn more travel points on your business spending? Consider the Capital One Venture X Business. You’ll earn twice as many points for a fraction of the cost: Earn 2x miles on all purchases (no limits), plus 10x miles on hotels and rental cars, and 5x miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel. The annual fee ($395) is mostly offset by a $300 annual travel credit for bookings through Capital One Travel. Other perks include extensive airport lounge access and a massive welcome offer: Earn 150,000 bonus miles once you spend $30,000 in the first 3 months from account opening. (See rates and fees.)

Want a lower-fee option? The U.S. Bank Business Altitude™ Connect World Elite Mastercard® is another worthy contender. The annual fee is low ($0 intro for the first year, then $95) and the welcome offer is easy to get: Limited Time Offer: Earn 60,000 bonus points, worth $600 if you spend $6,000 on the Account Owner's card in the first 180 days from account opening.

The Business Altitude Connect lacks any real luxury perks, but you do get four free Priority Pass lounge visits per year and a monthly statement credit for taxi/rideshare trips. It also has high rewards rate: Earn 5X points on prepaid hotels and car rentals booked directly in the Rewards Center. Earn 4X points on travel, gas and EV charging stations on the first $150,000 in combined annual spend. Earn 2X points on dining, takeout, restaurant delivery and cell service providers. Earn 1X points on all other eligible spend.

Key features of The Business Platinum Card® from American Express

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

Annual fee: $695.

Welcome offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $20,000 in eligible purchases on the 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 eligible 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 ratio).

  • AeroMexico (1:1.6 ratio).

  • Air Canada. (1:1 ratio).

  • Air France/KLM (1:1 ratio).

  • ANA (1:1 ratio).

  • Avianca (1:1 ratio).

  • British Airways (1:1 ratio).

  • Cathay Pacific (1:1 ratio)

  • Delta Air Lines (1:1 ratio).

  • Emirates (1:1 ratio).

  • Etihad Airways (1:1 ratio).

  • Hawaiian Airlines (1:1 ratio).

  • Iberia Plus (1:1 ratio).

  • JetBlue Airways (2.5:2 ratio).

  • Qantas (1:1 ratio).

  • Qatar Airways (1:1 ratio).

  • Singapore Airlines (1:1 ratio).

  • Virgin Atlantic Airways (1:1 ratio).

Hotels

  • Choice Hotels (1:1 ratio).

  • Hilton Hotels & Resorts (1:2 ratio).

  • Marriott Hotels & Resorts (1:1 ratio).

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 19.49%-28.49% 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.

  • CLEAR Plus credit: Receive a statement credit of up to $189 annually toward the cost of a CLEAR Plus membership when you pay for it with your Business Platinum Card.

  • 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 1,400 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.

  • 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.

  • $400 Dell statement credit: $200 in the first half the year and another $200 in the second half.

  • Terms and conditions apply.

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

Luxury perks and benefits

The value of most business travel credit cards lies in the points you earn for using them. 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 fee credit for CLEAR Plus and 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 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 1,400 lounges across 140 countries. AmEx claims that collection is the largest to be offered by a card, making The Business Platinum Card® from American Express tough to beat when it comes to business credit cards with airport lounge access.

Potential for big bonus

The 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 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $20,000 in eligible purchases on the 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 Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card. This card delivers a massive welcome offer for a low annual fee: Earn 120k bonus points after you spend $8,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 cash back or $1,500 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Travel℠.

Why you might want a different card

Low rewards rate for a premium card

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express earns 1 point per $1 on most spending. You can get a better rewards rate (1.5 points per $1 spent) from the Bank of America® Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard® credit card, which has no annual fee, but also no travel perks.

These business travel cards also offer excellent reward rates:

  • Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card: Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent in the following categories each year: travel, shipping, select advertising and internet, cable and phone services. You’ll get 1X points on all other purchases.

  • U.S. Bank Business Altitude™ Connect World Elite Mastercard®: Earn 5X points on prepaid hotels and car rentals booked directly in the Rewards Center. Earn 4X points on travel, gas and EV charging stations on the first $150,000 in combined annual spend. Earn 2X points on dining, takeout, restaurant delivery and cell service providers. Earn 1X points on all other eligible spend.

High annual fee

If you make full use of the perks offered by The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, the $695 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 can be a deductible business expense if you use the card solely for business.

But if like many people you're dead-set against paying that much, consider the less pricey Capital One Venture X Business. With an annual fee of $395, it offers a bigger, more versatile $300 annual travel credit and complimentary access to more than 1,300 airport lounges.

You'll also get the following rewards:Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get the best prices on thousands of options. Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, everywhere—with no limits or category restrictions. (See rates and fees.)

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

Light-traveling, cost-conscious small-business owners will likely struggle to get their money's worth from this high-end card. But if you’re a hard-core road warrior seeking luxury, you should be able to extract enough value from this card to make its hefty fee worthwhile.

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. View rates and fees of Capital One Venture X Business.

Apply now

on American Express' website

Methodology

NerdWallet reviews credit cards with an eye toward both the quantitative and qualitative features of a card. Quantitative features are those that boil down to dollars and cents, such as fees, interest rates, rewards (including earning rates and redemption values) and the cash value of benefits and perks. Qualitative factors are those that affect how easy or difficult it is for a typical cardholder to get good value from the card. They include such things as the ease of application, simplicity of the rewards structure, the likelihood of using certain features, and whether a card is well-suited to everyday use or is best reserved for specific purchases. Our star ratings serve as a general gauge of how each card compares with others in its class, but star ratings are intended to be just one consideration when a consumer is choosing a credit card. Learn how NerdWallet rates credit cards.
Frequently asked questions

You’ll need at least good credit to qualify for The Business Platinum Card® from American Express.

Generally speaking, “good credit” is defined as a score of at least 690. But a credit score alone isn’t enough to qualify for any credit card. Issuers take into account your income, existing debts and other information.

The annual fee is $695.

Cardholders earn 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 and eligible purchases of $5,000 or more (an extra half-point per dollar); and 1 point per dollar on all other eligible purchases. Terms apply.

The card comes with a broad array of benefits. Among the most valuable are access to more than 1,400 airport lounges worldwide, a $200 annual airline fee credit, an application fee credit for Global Entry ($100) or TSA Precheck ($85) programs; and elite status in the Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors hotel loyalty programs.

The Amex Business Platinum is aimed at frequent travelers who want to go in style; Gold is a better choice for rewards in select bonus categories, like on gas, advertising or at restaurants. See NerdWallet’s comparison.

You don’t need a formal business structure, like an LLC, partnership or corporation to get a business credit card. Sole proprietorships count, too, including those who earn extra income freelancing, contracting or side hustling. Your personal credit factors into whether you will be approved.

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express offers access to several types of lounges, including 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 those programs. All told, that’s access to well over 1,400 lounges worldwide. Terms apply.

It works like any other credit card for making business purchases. But to fully use its myriad of benefits and to optimize Membership Rewards points? Yes, there is a learning curve.

This card was originally introduced as a charge card, meaning your full balance was due every month. However, cardholders are now able to carry a balance on certain purchases using the American Express "Pay Over TIme" feature.