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Yesterday, I said goodbye to The Business Platinum® Card from American Express. For me, it was a no-brainer decision after learning that the card’s annual fee will be increasing to $595 beginning in February 2019.
I’ve happily paid the card’s $450 annual fee for the past few years, even after they cut certain benefits (like reducing the Pay With Points rebate from 50% to 35%). I still thought it was a great card because of the AMEX Centurion Lounge benefit, access to AMEX Fine Hotels & Resorts, and a few other card perks. But I draw the line when an annual fee approaches nearly $600, especially when the card’s perks won’t offset the fee for me personally.
While a select group of cardholders may benefit from a few new benefits coming to the AMEX Business Platinum in February 2019, by and large, I think AMEX is making a mistake by increasing the annual fee by more than 30%. Even the friendly AMEX customer service representative didn’t seem surprised I was getting rid of the card.
Plus, it’s not like the AMEX Business Platinum card has been a sock-drawer credit card for me. I have put quite a bit of spending on the card over the past few years, especially for larger purchases of $5,000+ because you earn 1.5X AMEX Membership Rewards points on these purchases (up to 1 million additional points per calendar year).
To me, it seems like AMEX’s target customer for this card moving forward will be larger businesses who view $595 as a drop in the bucket. Savvy and frugal small business owners looking to get the best deal will have to look elsewhere in the AMEX card lineup, or at cards from competitors. For example, I’m still happy to keep the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express and The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express in my wallet.
Right now, you can earn an intro bonus of 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from opening the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card. That’s worth at least $1,000 in travel when you redeem your points for flights, hotels, rental cars, and more through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal. I’ll gladly continue to pay the $95 annual fee on this card because I love earning valuable Chase Ultimate Rewards points.
What do you think of the changes coming to the AMEX Business Platinum card? If you’ve been considering it, now is a great time to apply, before the annual fee increase. Please share your thoughts in the comments below!