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Is the Amex Business Platinum annual fee worth it?

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Is the Amex Business Platinum annual fee worth it?

Joseph HostetlerIs the Amex Business Platinum annual fee worth it?Million Mile Secrets Team

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The Business Platinum Card® from American Express is offering 75,000 Amex Membership Rewards points welcome bonus after you meet minimum spending requirements. The Amex Business Platinum’s annual fee is $595 and it is not waived for the first year (see rates & fees). But it is easy to offset the annual fee with the card’s welcome bonus, perks, and benefits.

Everyone will find different value from the benefits of this card, but we do consider this one of the best business cards and an all around top travel card.

Is the Amex Business Platinum annual fee worth it?

The Amex Business Platinum offers 75,000 Amex Membership Rewards points after spending $15,000 on qualifying purchases within the first three months of account opening.

The card also comes with perks like:

  • Earn 1.5 Amex points per dollar on single purchases of $5,000+
  • Earn 5 Amex points per dollar when you book airfare and hotels through the Amex travel portal
  • 35% of your points back for all first-class or business-class flights booked through the Amex travel portal using Pay With Points
  • 35% of your points back for all flights, including coach tickets, booked with your selected airline through the Amex travel portal using Pay With Points
  • Up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year for airline incidentals with your selected airline (luggage fees, in-flight food & drink, etc.)
  • Up to $200 in Dell statement credits (for U.S. Dell purchases) per calendar year
  • Ability to book hotel stays through Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts
  • Access to airport lounges (Delta, Priority Pass, Airspace, Escape, and American Express Centurion Lounges)
  • Bonus points or statement credits when taking advantage of an Amex Offer
  • Elite car rental status with Avis, Executive status with National Car Rental, and Gold Plus Rewards with Hertz
  • Free Hilton Honors Gold elite status (free breakfast and upgrades when available)
  • Free Marriott Bonvoy Gold elite status
  • Up to $100 statement credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck
  • Terms & limitations apply

There are so many great ongoing benefits that come with this card. Let’s look at how much value you could get from each one.

This card can get you into great lounges, like the Turkish Airlines lounge at Dulles. (Photo by Katie Genter)

Incredible airport lounge access

Our team members and readers love Priority Pass. They’ve been able to get free meals and beverages by taking advantage of access to over 1,200 lounges. However, the Priority Pass membership you get with American Express cards does not include benefits at Priority Pass restaurant partners.

A top-tier Priority Pass Prestige membership normally costs $429 a year and gets you unlimited access to Priority Pass Lounges, but you’ll have to pay $32 for each guest visit. If you have the Amex Business Platinum you’ll get a Priority Pass Select membership, which isn’t available for purchase (you can only get it from certain credit cards with airport lounge access). With this membership you get unlimited access to Priority Pass lounges and can bring two guests for free each time, so it’s actually better than the Priority Pass Prestige.

Priority Pass gives you great value but you’ll need to enroll. Your card should arrive in 10 to 14 business days.

Having the Amex Business Platinum also gives you access to Centurion Lounges (there are eight open in the U.S. and five more opening soon). Even with some recent restrictions, Centurion Lounges offer a myriad of services and amenities for free, including Wi-Fi, signature cocktails and food prepared by locally renowned chefs (subject to availability).

MMS team members save hundreds each year by eating and drinking free in lounges because airport terminals generally have inflated prices for food and drinks. If you visit Centurion Lounges often, it’s easy to offset the card’s annual fee.

Centurion Lounges are only accessible by global Amex Platinum Card® holders and Centurion® Members so you’ll get a more intimate experience here than in Priority Pass Lounges.

With your Amex Business Platinum card, you also have access to these lounges as well:

  • Airspace lounges
  • Amex International Lounges
  • Delta SkyClub lounges (when flying with Delta that day)
  • Escape lounges

35% points back using Pay With Points and up to $200 statement credits with a select airline

The biggest direct offset to the annual fee is the up to $200 statement credit each calendar year for incidentals (luggage fees, change/cancellation fees, in-flight food & drink, etc.) purchased directly through an airline of your choice. Select one of nine major domestic airlines from the Amex online benefits page when logged into your account. You can choose from:

  • Alaska Airlines
  • American Airlines
  • Delta
  • Frontier Airlines
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • JetBlue
  • Southwest
  • Spirit
  • United Airlines

If you receive the full $200 statement credit, you’ll have essentially only be paying $395 out of pocket for the annual fee.

You’ll also get a  35% points rebate for any first-class or business-class flight booked through the Amex travel portal using Pay With Points. Additionally, you’ll get 35% of your points back for all flights (included economy) booked with your selected airline through the Amex travel portal using Pay With Points. You can get reimbursed up to 500,000 points per calendar year. You can change your selected airline once in January each calendar year.

Amex Membership Rewards points are worth one cent each when you Pay with Points. Every flight purchased through the Amex travel portal also earns frequent flyer miles with the airline.

Up to $200 in Dell credits

The Amex Business Platinum card comes with up to $200 in Dell statement credits every calendar year. All you have to do to take advantage of this perk is make a U.S. purchase directly with Dell. You get $100 in Dell credits from January to June and another $100 in Dell credits from July to December.

Receive up to $100 in statement credits applying for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck

The Amex Business Platinum offers a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck statement credit every four years for Global Entry and 4.5 years for TSA PreCheck when you pay using your card. Each program membership lasts five years so you can essentially renew your membership for free for as long as you hold the card.

Global Entry costs $100 and TSA PreCheck costs $85. Global Entry is generally better to get than TSA PreCheck it comes with TSA PreCheck benefits and also gets you through U.S. customs faster when you return to the U.S. on an international trip. If you already have Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, you can use your card to pay for a family member or friend’s application and still get the credit.

Complimentary elite status for extra perks and savings

As an Amex Business Platinum cardholder, you’re eligible for:

  • Hilton Honors Gold
  • Marriott Bonvoy Gold
  • Hertz Gold Plus Rewards
  • National Executive Club
  • Avis Preferred

Hotel elite status offers perks such as late checkout, bonus points, and upgrades when available. Team member Jasmin was able to get an upgrade to a better room, breakfast worth $140, and other welcome amenities with her Hilton Honors Gold status at the Conrad Tokyo.

Your Business Platinum also earns you rental car status that provides free upgrades when available, grace periods for late returns, discounts, and more. For example, National offers a product called the Executive Aisle where you can pick any car from the aisle and you only pay the midsize rental rate.

Exclusive hotel perks

Amex has two different exclusive hotel programs that give great value as an Amex Business Platinum cardholder: The Hotel Collection and The Fine Hotels & Resorts program.

Amex’s Fine Hotels & Resorts program benefits include noon check-in (when available), a room upgrade (when available), daily breakfast for two people, and up to a $100 credit for an amenity at your unique property. In the past, Million Mile Secrets team members have received a room upgrade worth ~$200, $100 credit toward dinner and free breakfasts (worth $75) on a single stay by booking through the Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts portal. Complimentary 3rd or 4th nights free are available at certain hotels.

The Hotel Collection offers a smaller but similar set of perks as Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts. Each booking of two consecutive nights or more through the Amex Hotel Collection portal will get you a $100 credit toward a qualifying dining, spa, or resort activity. You can also get room upgrades at check-in when available.

No foreign transaction fees

You will never pay foreign transaction fees with the Amex Business Platinum card (see rates & fees). While this is the norm for most high-end travel credit cards, some major banks still charge ~3% for foreign transactions.

Total value

If you only used your Amex points to book airfare through the Amex travel site each point would be worth one cent each. That makes this card’s intro bonus worth $750, but you can get more value when you use the card’s 35% points rebate. Taking advantage of the points rebate could put up to 35,000+ points back into your account on your first couple of redemptions (depending on how much you redeem), those points would be worth another $350 in airfare. Assuming you are able to take full advantage of the cards Dell and airline fee credits (worth up to $400 total) you’re looking at a first year value of $905 after you pay the annual fee.

This is a very conservative estimate of this card’s value because Amex points can be worth much more when you transfer them to airlines and book expensive business-class flights, which is one of the best ways to use Amex points.

Bottom line

Everyone will find different value from the Amex Business Platinum rewards card because it offers so many different perks and benefits to the cardholder. The $595 annual fee is not waived, but it’s not hard to get much more value than what you pay. Plus you’ll earn valuable Amex Membership Rewards points, which can get you to almost anywhere in the world.

And for more travel and credit card news, deals and analysis, subscribe to our newsletter!

For rates and fees of the Amex Business Platinum card, click here.

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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