If you’re a small business owner who has to travel a lot for work, you’d be wise to consider the American Express Business Platinum card for your business credit needs. In a word, the Amex Business Platinum benefits are unparalleled for frequent flyers.
When we say unparalleled, we mean that the Amex Business Platinum card will allow you to travel comfortably, efficiently, and practically. If you use it right, the Amex Business Platinum benefits pay for themselves.
But is this card worth its substantial $695 annual price tag? Well, let’s do some digging. In this article we will evaluate a comprehensive list of the top Amex Business Platinum benefits so you can decide if it is the luxury business travel card that will provide the most value for your business. We’ll also provide you with some alternatives so you understand your full range of business travel card options.
Amex Business Platinum benefits generally fall into five different categories. We are going to take a look at each one. The most popular of the Amex Business Platinum benefits are its travel perks—of which there are many. For instance, using Amex Business Platinum benefits you’ll be able to enjoy upscale airport lounge access and credit toward an application for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.
But Amex Business Platinum benefits also come in the form of travel savings, welcome bonuses, Amex Membership Rewards, and various other perks like insurances and protections. These benefits come in handy in many situations as a small business owner—and can add up to substantial savings.
As long as you take advantage of the various Amex Business Platinum benefits, regardless of whether you access them through your card or not, you should be able to get your money’s worth. But to be sure, we recommend you research your most common business travel expenses.
Now, $695 is a high annual fee for any credit card, so you’ll want to make sure your business expenses overlap with the following list of Amex Business Platinum benefits.
Now that we’ve given you a general idea of the travel perks included with the Amex Business Platinum card, let’s get into the nitty gritty. Here is why traveling with this silvery luxury card will make you feel like a VIP.
As an Amex Business Platinum cardholder, you’ll gain access to Amex’s American Express Global Lounge Collection.
This includes Centurion Lounges, Priority Pass lounges, Delta Sky Clubs (if you’re flying Delta), and more—which means you’ll be traveling in style and comfort with this business travel card. If you’re dreaming about not having to scavenge for a seat by your gate as you wait, or eating yet another bag of trail mix to hold you over until you land, then you’ve struck gold (or, well, platinum in this case).
Amex Business Platinum benefits don’t just apply to the journey—they also apply to the destination. As an Amex Business Platinum cardholder, you’ll get an automatic upgrade to Gold Elite Status at Hilton and Starwood Hotels.
You’ll be able to upgrade your status with multiple rental car companies if you opt for the Amex Business Platinum. This business travel credit card bumps you up to become a member of Hertz Gold Plus Rewards, Avis Preferred, and National Car Rental Emerald Club Executive. Not too shabby.
Finally, to top off the Amex Business Platinum benefits for luxury travel, you’ll gain access to Boingo Hotspots and Go-Go Preferred WiFi during your travels. With this Amex Business Platinum benefit, you’ll never have to be offline (or burning through your own data) as you travel for business.
If you’re traveling for worm outside the country, the Amex Business Platinum won’t charge you a foreign transaction fee for any purchase you make abroad. Considering some business credit cards charge up to 3% of every dollar you spend overseas on each transaction, this is a huge money-saver for international business owners—especially those on extended stays.
The $200 incidentals credit that you’ll receive annually is an invaluable perk that is pretty much free money for anyone who travels often.
This Amex Business Platinum benefit covers up to $200 of additional charges—think checked baggage, in-flight fare, or upgrades, for instance—and that’s the stuff that can really add up. The most notable part is that you can apply this credit to any airline of your choosing.
Another huge Amex Business Platinum benefit is a credit to cover either your TSA PreCheck or Global Entry costs ($85 and $100, respectively) so that you can zip through security as you travel for work.
If you’ve ever stood in a security line worrying about making a flight or groaned about taking a computer out of a bag, then this benefit is your dream. Global Entry (which encompasses TSA PreCheck clearance, as well) lets you not only sail through domestic security screenings in priority lines, but also makes your return to the country an absolute breeze since you can skip the line at customs, too.
American Express’s welcome offer on the Amex Business Platinum will allow you a welcome bonus of 120,000 Membership Rewards points. How? Read on.
You’ll be able to earn a welcome offer of 120,000 Membership Rewards points by spending $15,000 in your first three months. If you’re already spending around $5,000 per month, then this offer will be easy to unlock.
The sustained rates at which you’ll be able to earn for your business spending are an Amex Business Platinum benefit definitely worth noting. For instance, if you make a purchase through Amex’s travel portal, you’ll see a return of 5x Membership Rewards points for every dollar you spend.
You’ll also earn 1.5x points on eligible purchases at U.S. construction material and hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers, software and cloud system providers, and shipping providers—as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year.
What are thousands of points worth if they’re only good for something you’re not interested in purchasing? That’s why Membership Rewards points that you earn with the Amex Business Platinum card will be transferable to all 20 of Amex’s hotel and airline partners, which include Delta, JetBlue, Hilton, and Starwood.
If you book your travel through Amex’s travel portal, your Membership Rewards points will be worth 35% more. Not only will Amex Business Platinum benefits let you earn more points, they’ll also let you earn more rewards for those points.
Because this card is a member of Amex Offers, Amex Business Platinum benefits also include every benefit that comes with Amex Offers. That means access to a 5% discount on a lengthy list of vendors that your own business may work with often: we’re talking FedEx, 1-800 Flowers, and more.
Amex Business Platinum benefits also include a bunch of protections, most of which apply to travel expenses or risks. This means car rental loss, damage to lost or stolen luggage, and many other mishaps that you might encounter while traveling won’t be as grave with the Amex Business Platinum in hand.
We’ve covered the very best Amex Business Platinum benefits, but we do have to address the elephant in the wallet—the Amex Business Platinum’s substantial annual fee of $695.
This annual fee is one of the most expensive on the market. A $695 yearly fee can be a huge chunk of change for a small business on a budget. So, the jet-setting business owner who’s not interested in bells and whistles might settle for a cheaper alternative than the Amex Business Platinum card.
However there’s serious practical savings here, too—Amex Business Platinum comes with an abundance of benefits that will save you lots of money as you travel for business. So, if you’re able to afford them, Amex Business Platinum benefits are certainly worth their price, and often end up paying for themselves.
The proof is in the numbers, starting with your annual airline incidentals credit of $200. After that one-off perk, you’ll only need to justify the remaining $250 of the annual fee that’s not covered by that airline credit.
That’s certainly easy to manage, especially when you consider the lounge access that this card grants you—for access to Priority Pass lounges, you’d have to pay $99 annually at the very least. Meanwhile, getting into the Delta Sky Club would put you back a solid $495 a year. If you pay for Global Entry, that’s another $100. And we’re not even getting into Membership Rewards, discounts, and more.
If your business doesn’t spend enough on travel to justify using the Amex Business Platinum card, or if you aren’t interested in paying a $695 annual fee, consider these alternatives.
The Capital One Spark Miles for Business card comes with no annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter) and offers 2 miles earned for every $1 spent.
The Spark Miles card will guarantee your business spending will help you optimize your travel rewards.
If you’re willing to spend a little more, the Chase Ink Business Preferred card can provide you with some nice travel rewards, most notably in the form of the welcome offer you can earn if you spend enough to unlock it.
The verdict is that if you’re looking for luxury travel, the Amex Business Platinum is arguably the best option on the market. If you’d prefer something a little less fancy, there are plenty of good options as well. Using the perks provided by any of the business travel cards we’ve mentioned will guarantee you’re traveling in style and saving money as you go.
Brayden is a credit card expert and the former vice president, new markets at Fundera. He’s passionate about helping businesses take advantage of the best credit card offers on the market, from the longest 0% intro APR periods to the richest cash back and travel rewards bonuses.