Update: Offer expired!
The AMEX Business Platinum Card is now offering 50K bonus points for spending $10K and another 50K bonus points for spending another $15K within 3 months. The bonus is available if you haven’t had this card before.
Airline fee credits:
In your first cardmembership you can get a $200 credit in 2018 and a $200 credit in 2019.
You need to register with a specific airline before spending. After you register for an airline you can officially only change your airline in January. However if you haven’t yet used your credit that year you should be able to change it by calling or chatting with AMEX.
Note that the airline you choose will also be the airline that you get back 35% of your points back when redeeming for coach travel. You may want to hold off on spending the $200 until the end of the year if you want to be able to change the airline more easily during the year. You also get back 35% of your points on all airlines in business and first class redemptions without having to register for an airline.
“Hybrid Points” and the 35% points rebate:
The Business Platinum card allows you to choose whether to transfer points into airline miles when tickets are expensive.
You can transfer points to airlines like ANA, Air Canada, or Singapore for Star Alliance travel. Points transfer to Aeromexico, Alitalia, Air France/KLM, or Delta for Skyteam travel. Transfer to BA, Cathay Pacific, or Iberia for OneWorld travel. Other transfer options include El Al, Emirates, Etihad, Hawaiian, Virgin America, or Virgin Atlantic. This can make sense for one-way, last-minute, or premium class travel. The value with airline miles can be under a cent each if used poorly, but properly used the points can be worth 5 cents, 10 cents, 15 cents, or even more per point, the sky is the limit.
Otherwise you can choose to use them for paid tickets when tickets are less expensive at an 1.54 cents (or higher) value per point. In other words if you want to book a $500 flight you’ll use 50,000 points, but AMEX will give you a 35% rebate, so you’ll get back 17,500 points in coach on the airline of your choice or in business/first class on all airlines. When you use them for paid tickets you don’t pay any taxes and you still earn miles for the flight!
You can get up to 500K rebated points per account and if you’re a big spender on the card you’ll get offers for additional rebates.
AMEX also offers insider fares on select routes that can make your points be worth much more.
If you have a consumer AMEX Platinum card you can get an even bigger rebate thanks to earning an extra 4 points per dollar by charging the airfare on that card. If you buy a $500 ticket on a consumer AMEX Platinum card you would get an additional 2,000 bonus points, making the total rebate 19,500 points, and the out of pocket cost 30,500 points. That’s a value of 1.64 cents per point, plus you’ll earn miles for the flight and can save even more with insider fares.
You can login to your account and redeem AMEX points for travel here. If you want to redeem for travel on Southwest then you’ll need to call AMEX to book.
This hybrid redemption ability makes your points very valuable as they can be used for mileage transfers or paid flights.
When you combine the card with other AMEX cards you can make your spending even more lucrative.
50% bonus points+Supercharge your spending:
-If you spend more than $5,000 on the Business Platinum card you’ll also get 1.5 points per dollar.
However other purchases only earn 1 point each. Rather than doing that you can spend on these other AMEX cards that will supercharge your earnings. And you can then redeem points earned on other AMEX cards with your Business Platinum card so that the points can be transferred into miles or used at a value of at least 1.54 cents each towards paid tickets!
You can apply for other AMEX cards on the same day and only have 1 credit pull.
-If you have the AMEX Blue Business Plus you’ll earn 2 points per dollar everywhere on up to $50K in annual spending. With a Business Platinum card that’s a minimum of 3.09% back everywhere!
-If you have the no annual fee AMEX Everyday card and make 20 transactions per month you will earn 2.4 points per dollar at US supermarkets and 1.2 points per dollar everywhere else. With a Business Platinum card that’s a minimum of 3.7% back at US supermarkets.
-If you have the AMEX Everyday Preferred card and make 30 transactions per month you will earn 3 points per dollar at US supermarkets and 1.5 points per dollar everywhere else. With a Business Platinum card that’s a minimum of 4.62% back at US supermarkets.
-If you have the AMEX consumer Platinum Card you’ll earn 5 points per dollar on airfare. With a Business Platinum card that’s a minimum of 7.7% back.
-If you have the Premier Rewards Gold card you will earn 3 points per dollar on airfare, 2 points per dollar at US supermarkets, gas stations, and restaurants. With a Business Platinum card that’s a minimum of 4.62% back on airfare, and 3.09% back at US supermarkets, gas stations, and restaurants.
-If you have the AMEX Business Gold you will earn 3 points per dollar on your choice of 1 category and 2 points per dollar in the other categories consisting of: airfare, advertising, gas stations, shipping, or computer hardware+software+cloud computing. With a Business Platinum card that’s a minimum of 3.09-4.62% back.
The Business Platinum card costs $450/year, though the airline fee refunds and other benefits help take the sting out of the fee.
Charge card benefits:
Rather than being limited to a fixed credit line, these cards offer flexibility to spend far more, with the caveat that it needs to be paid back in full on the due date.
Gold elite status with 3 hotel chains:
Both Platinum cards offer Starwood Gold, Hilton Gold, and Marriott Gold elite status.
You can enroll online here for Hilton Gold status. You can also enroll additional cardholders for Gold status, but that needs to be done over the phone.
Once you have Starwood Gold status you can match that online instantly to Marriott Gold status. It will continue to offer Gold status in the merger Starwood-Marriott program.
Hilton Gold status gets you upgrades, bonus points, 5th night free on awards, late checkout, breakfast, and bottled water. Free breakfast doesn’t usually do much for me as a kosher traveler, but we had the pleasure of staying at the Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem last year where we were treated to a fantastic daily breakfast, which is free for Hilton Gold and Diamond members. There is a mind-boggling quantity of awesome kosher food there, from dozens of daily hot dishes to hard cheeses, fresh fruits and pastries to fresh squeezed juices, as well as on-demand dishes like french toast, pancakes, waffles, and eggs. Unlimited wine, hot or cold chocolate drinks, and espresso drinks are included as well.
Starwood Gold status gets you 4pm late checkout, more points per dollar spent at SPG hotels, and a 250 point amenity on stays, even when redeeming points. Starwood elites can also register here to earn Starpoints on Delta flights on top of the regular Delta miles in addition to other benefits while Delta elites can get benefits at SPG hotels.
Marriott Gold status comes with free breakfast and lounge access.
Centurion lounge access:
Originally, Centurion Lounges were designed for free access only for Centurion cardholders. You know them as those black cards that cost a whopping $2,500 per year with a $7,500 initiation fee that used to give top-tier elite status on airline like Continental and USAirways but no longer do.
Once the Platinum card started losing airline lounge partners they opened the Centurion lounge up to Platinum cardholders for free as well. Platinum cardholders used to be able to bring a spouse and kids into a Centurion lounge for free, but now you are limited to 2 guests besides for the cardholder. The good news is that additional cardholders also get access and can bring in 2 guests as well.
Centurion lounges offer services that vary by location including free spa/massage services, showers, complimentary food, drinks, cocktails, etc.
The lounges offer varying amenities like premium drinks, showers, and massages. And as they are staffed by AMEX you can even get help with account issues and access the lounge even if you forget your Platinum card.
Currently, there are Centurion Lounges in:
- Dallas/DFW (Terminal D, near American)
- Houston/IAH (Terminal D, near United)
- Las Vegas (Concourse D, near United)
- NYC/LGA (Central terminal B upstairs, before security)
- Philadelphia (Terminal A West, near American)
- Miami (Concourse D, near American)
- Seattle (Concourse B)
- San Francisco (Terminal 3, near United)
International locations include:
- Buenos Aires/EZE
- Hong Kong (Terminal 1)
- Mexico City
- Monterrey, Mexico
- Sao Paulo/GRU
- Toluca, Mexico
Future lounges include Denver, Los Angeles, and 2 level Centurion lounge in JFK terminal 4. Terminal 4 includes airlines like El Al, Asiana, Delta, Emirates, Etihad, KLM, Singapore, South African, Swiss, Virgin Atlantic, and more.
Priority Pass membership.
Primary and additional cardholders can bring in 2 free guests each.
Lounges include the Art & Lounge in Newark which is the lounge that El Al provides for their business and first class passengers. It’s located before security and doesn’t require a boarding pass, so you can stop in for free kosher food and wine at any time! In Tel Aviv you can access the Dan lounge.
Other lounges now include restaurants where you can order $28 of food and drinks for free.
Currently there are Airspace lounges in Cleveland, JFK (JetBlue T5 terminal), and San Diego.
Primary and additional cardholders can bring in 2 free guests each.
These are modern lounges with free premium coffee, bottles water, and self service soft drinks. Additionally you and every guest also gets a gift card valid towards purchasing premium alcohol, local craft beers, cocktails, and meals.
Currently there are US Escape lounges in Hartford, Minneapolis, Oakland, and Reno.
Primary and additional cardholders can bring in 2 free guests each.
You can access Delta lounges for free with a Platinum card when flying on Delta. You don’t get any free guests, but additional Platinum cardholders can access Delta lounges for free as well.
Global Entry/Pre-Check Fee Refund
It costs $85 to apply for a 5 year TSA Pre-Check membership which makes flying pleasant again. Shorter lines, no need to remove your shoes, belt, jacket, or hat. You can keep your laptop and freedom baggie with liquids in your carry-on. And you go through a good old fashioned metal detector instead of assuming the position in a nude-o-scope. If you charge it on your Platinum card the fee will be refunded.
It costs $100 to apply for a 5 year Global Entry membership which lets you bypass the customs line. If you have Global Entry you also get TSA Pre-Check. If you charge it on your Platinum card the fee will be refunded.
Additional free Green cardholders qualify for a Pre-Check or Global Entry fee refund as well.
My whole family has Global Entry and it sure makes traveling a whole lot easier!
Unlimited worldwide Boingo WiFi:
With either Platinum card you now get free unlimited Boingo Wi-Fi worldwide, perfect for avoiding confiscatory rates at airports when traveling. Search from over 1 million hot-spots here.
Gogo In-Flight Wi-Fi:
With the Business Platinum card you get 10 annual Gogo flight passes to use on any flight with Gogo internet.
Lost Item Protection:
If you buy something on your Platinum card up to $10,000 and lose it within 90 days of purchase it will be fully covered. Many cards offer stolen item protection, but that requires a police report to be filed and often has a cap of just $1,000.
Premium Roadside Assistance:
This card includes free towing up to 10 miles, jump starts, flat tire changes, lockout service, and delivery of fuel, up to 4 times per year.
Car Rental Perks:
A 4 hour late return fee-free grace period at Hertz and fee-waived Gold Plus membership and National Executive guarantee upgrades and faster free award rentals.
The card also comes with free checked baggage insurance and it has no foreign transaction fees. And of course it comes with all of the amazing purchase protections that other American Express cards have as well.
AMEX business cards don’t appear on your credit report. That’s good for a couple of reasons.
First of all they won’t count against your 5/24 count for opening new Chase cards. Only cards on your report that have been opened within the past 24 months count for that.
Second, when you spend money on personal cards your credit score will be hurt even if you pay your bill on time. A whopping 30% of your credit score is based on credit utilization. You can pay off your card bill before your statement is generated to avoid that, but that takes effort and laying out money well before you have to. Additionally it’s good to have the statement close with a couple dollars to show the card is active and being paid every month. On an AMEX business card it’s just not reported, so you can wait until the money is due without it having a negative effect on your score.
You may already have a business that needs a card to keep track of expenses. For example if your name is Joe Smith and you sell items online, or if you have any other side business and want a credit card to better keep track of business expenditures you can just open a business credit card for “Joe Smith” as the business name. You don’t need to file any messy government paperwork to be allowed to do that.
Just be sure to select “Sole Proprietorship” as the business type and just use your social security number in the Tax Identification Number field
Will you be signing up for a Business Platinum card?