Is the AMEX Business Platinum Worth Keeping for a 2nd Year?

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The 100,000 AMEX Membership Rewards point sign-up bonus from The Enhanced Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN is the highest public bonus I’ve seen on this card.  But it also comes with a $450 annual fee.

In the first year you get the sign-up bonus, so for some folks, paying the annual fee is a no-brainer.  Because you can get A LOT of Big Travel with 100,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points.

But is it worth keeping the AMEX Business Platinum card for a 2nd year and beyond?

American Express Platinum Annual Fee Worth It

The Sign-Up Bonus From the AMEX Business Platinum Card Is More Than Enough to Fly to Croatia Like Emily Did. But Should You Keep the Card After the 1st Year?

I’ll explain why I think keeping the card after the 1st year could make sense for some.

About the AMEX Business Platinum Card

Link:    The Enhanced Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN

With the AMEX Business Platinum card, you can earn up to 100,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points if you apply by January 25, 2017.

You’ll earn 50,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points after you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months of account opening.  And an extra 50,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points after you spend an additional $10,000 on qualifying purchases within the same timeframe.

You’ll also get:

Should You Keep the Card After the 1st Year?

If you can spend enough to earn the full 100,000 AMEX Membership Rewards point sign-up bonus, it’s certainly worth getting the AMEX Business Platinum card for at least 1 year.  Because although the $450 annual fee seems like a lot, you’ll get the $200 airline statement credit each calendar year.

So you are effectively paying only $50 ($450 annual fee – $400 total in statement credits) the first year you have the card, if you open it before the end of 2016.  And $50 is an excellent deal for 100,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points, lounge access, and a statement credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck!

But after you’ve earned the sign-up bonus, deciding whether to keep the card for a 2nd year and beyond is trickier.

Here’s what to keep in mind:

1.   Will You Use the $200 Annual Airline Credit Twice Every Card Membership Year?

Because you’ll get the $200 airline incidental fee statement credit per calendar year, it’s possible to use this credit TWICE each year (for the 1st 2 years) you’re a cardholder.

American Express Platinum Annual Fee Worth It

The $200 Airline Incidentals Credit You’ll Get Each Calendar Year From the AMEX Business Platinum Card Is Good for Things Like Baggage Fees and In-Flight Food & Drink Purchases. It’s NOT Valid for Airfare.

For example, if you apply for the AMEX Business Platinum card in October 2016, you’ll get a $200 airline fee credit in 2016 and another $200 airline fee credit in 2017.

Because you’re effectively paying only $50 ($450 annual fee – $400 in airline fee credits) each year you have the card.

2.   Do You Fly a Lot and Use Lounge Access?

With the AMEX Business Platinum card, you’ll have access to airport lounges, including Delta, Priority Pass, Airspace, and American Express Centurion lounges.

So if you’re a frequent flyer and spend a lot of time in airports, access to these lounge networks is a worthwhile perk.  Especially given that a day pass to an airport lounge often costs ~$50!

American Express Platinum Annual Fee Worth It

Having Lounge Access Can Be a Lifesaver for Frequent Flyers!

That said, there are other premium cards that come with lounge access AND offer better airline credits, like Citi Prestige and the Chase Ritz-Carlton card.  You can read my post about low-cost ways to earn lounge access here.

3.   Are You a Big Spender?

Link:   Credit Cards for Big Spenders

If you have a large business and intend to spend a lot with your AMEX Business Platinum card, keeping the card open past the 1st year could be a good deal.

Because the more you spend, the more AMEX Membership Rewards points you’ll earn.  Plus, you’ll also earn 1.5X AMEX Membership Rewards points on single purchases of $5,000+.

But remember, other cards could earn MORE bonus points for certain purchases.  Like the Chase Ink Plus card, which earns 5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points on the first $50,000 spent each year in combined purchases at office supply stores and on cellular phone, landline, internet and cable TV.

So it’s worth considering your spending habits when deciding which card is best for you.

And don’t forget!  You MAY be able to get a retention offer in year 2 to partially offset the annual fee.  Check out my post about how to get your card’s annual fee waived.  I can’t guarantee this will work, but it never hurts to ask! 😉

4.   50% of Your Points Back

You now get 50% of your points back when you use points to buy a ticket on your selected airline.  For example, if you book a ticket through the AMEX travel portal for 50,000 points, you will get 25,000 points back.

Even if you value 1 AMEX Membership Rewards point at 1 cent, you’re saving ~$250, so this could be a HUGE reason to keep the card!

Bottom Line

Paying the $450 annual fee for the AMEX Business Platinum card the first year is a good deal for lots of folks.  Because if you can earn the full 100,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points sign-up bonus, you can get a LOT of Big Travel with the sign-up bonus alone.

But to make it worth it for the 2nd year and beyond, you’ll likely need to use the $200 airline incidentals credit, take advantage of the card’s lounge access perk, or regularly spend a decent amount with the card.  And the 50% rebate in points for booking travel on your selected airline makes it even more compelling to keep the card!

Statement credits, lounge access, and earning lots of AMEX Membership Rewards points, can offset the cost of the annual fee.

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10 responses to “Is the AMEX Business Platinum Worth Keeping for a 2nd Year?

  1. In your example, $200 credit in 2016 then $200 credit in 2017 then only $200 credit in 2018, effecively only $200 per claendar year credit yearly. Card then beomes $450-$200 for a net cost of $250 per year. Is it worth $250? thanks

  2. Hi MMS,
    If I got the card in October 2016 and spend my airline credit before December 2016, then spend it again in 2017, how do I get to spend it twice in my second year of having the card? Haven’t I already spent it in 2017, and therefore have to wait until 2018 to be eligible for one credit per calendar year?
    Thanks!

  3. If I make 3 purchases over $5K for my initial spend, will those be credited at 1.5x? And for all of you who have the MW gold card, Amex has offered to upgrade me to this one, hence no new inquiry. I still need the gold card because of 3x on advertising which is my business, but they have offered to approve me for a second one immediately to give me an additional 300K points on advertising if I can spend 100K in this calendar year again (I already did once with my current card). Thanks.

  4. @gordon and @luckyladyd I’m pretty sure he means this: You get the card in November, pay the fee of $450 and use the $200 credit. When January comes you get the $200 credit all over again. Now yes, next Nov you will be charged again but until then, it has only cost you $50. If you cancel your card before the 2nd fee, that’s your entire cost.

  5. @gordon leslie – It depends on how much you use the perks of the card. If you use them a lot, it absolutely can be worth it. I recommend assessing it and deciding how you like it!

    @Luckyladyd – That’s correct. My numbers are based on the first year of card membership.

    @Nina – Yes, the category bonuses apply to purchases you make to complete the minimum spending requirements, too.

    And thank you for helping to clarify! 🙂

  6. We have the regular Platinum card and are considering closing it. Amex offered us an additional $200 credit OR 25k MR points to stay. Thoughts on this? Thanks!