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Amex Platinum Business Card Review

One of American Express’ best products is the Amex Platinum Card. It’s a great card for both small businesses and people who travel often. Although the card is not great for earning points or miles, it comes with generous benefits that are worthwhile for anyone having to travel for business or personal reasons. In the Amex Platinum Card Review we will focus primarily on the benefits and determine whether or not it justifies the steep $450 annual fee.

Amex Platinum Business Card Benefits

  • Get 25,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $5,000 in the first 90 days
  • Airline club access
  • 2 points per dollar for purchases made through Amex Travel
  • 1 point per dollar for all other purchases
  • $200 airline fee credit annually
  • Concierge service
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $100 Global Entry fee credit (per user)
  • Starwood Gold Status
  • Free Regus business lounge access
  • Access to Amex OPEN savings discounts

 Airline Club Access

Airline club access is by far the best feature of this card. You get access to the following lounges:

  • American Airlines Admirals Club (requires proof of ticket)
  • Delta Sky Club (requires proof of ticket)
  • US Airways Club (does not require proof of ticket)
  • Airspace Lounges

In addition to yourself, up to 2 companions may join you in the club. The card also provides Priority Pass Select Access, which confers you access to other lounges not listed like the United Club, or Alaska Airlines Chairman’s Club for a $27 per person fee.

Considering that an airline lounge membership for one year can cost $400 or more, this is an exceptional benefit. The main drawback is that you are required to show your boarding pass at American and Delta clubs, but I usually fly American so that is not an issue for me. I know some people who fly Jet Blue, or smaller airlines may not like this requirement.

$200 Airline Fee Credit

This is the second best feature of the Amex Platinum Business Card. The fee is intended to cover incidental travel costs like bag fees, one day lounge passes, food and beverages in flight, but many people have reported that Amex will also reimburse you for gift card purchases (as long as they are not $200) and are in smaller increments like $50 or $100. Regardless, this benefit theoretically reduces your annual fee to just $250, which in my mind is a bargain just for the lounge access mentioned above.

$100 Global Entry Credit

If you have Global Entry then you know who valuable this service is. Even if you don’t travel internally, Global Entry gives you access to TSP Pre Check, which allows you to go through a separate security line without taking off your shoes or removing your laptop from your bag. To me this is worth even more than $100! Additionally, Amex recently enhanced their policy and now reimburses the $100 Global Entry fee for all additional cardholders. You do have to pay a yearly $150 fee to add 1-3 additional cardholders, but this could be a great way to get Global Entry for the entire family.

Amex OPEN Savings Discounts

This benefit applies to all Amex business cards, but is worth mentioning here because I consider it a great way to get an additional discount on many purchases you would normally make anyway. The discount applies to a list of partners participating in the OPEN savings program and Amex allows you to either receive a discount of up to 10% or earn 4 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent at these merchants. Some of the merchants are listed below:

Amex OPEN Discounts
Partner Discount
Hyatt 5%
Hertz 10%
Hertz 10%
FedEx 5%
HP 10%
Office Max 5-10%
1-800 Flowers 5%
Barnes & Noble 5%

How Does The Discount Work?

First off, many of the discount partners have restrictions. One example is Office Max, where you get 5% off for purchases less than $250, or 10% off for purchases over $250. In addition, the discount only applies online at Officemax.com. You can find a full list of restrictions here. Getting the discount is very easy. Simply make a purchase using your card and the discount will show up within a few days on your statement.

Free Starwood Gold Status

Starwood Gold elite status is not worth very much in my opinion. You do get access to upgrades at some Starwood properties, and an additional 50% in points, but most properties will not give you concierge lounge access, and you do not get free breakfast at properties that do not have a concierge lounge, or breakfast on the weekends when the lounge is closed.

No Foreign Transaction Fees

This is a nice benefit, but it is becoming common for higher end credit cards with annual fees. I have five or more credit cards that waive the foreign transactions fees. Moreover, I would prefer a Mastercard or Visa when I travel overseas because those cards are accepted at many more places than Amex is. Regardless, this is a valuable feature if you do not already have a card without foreign transactions fees. It will save you 2-3% off the bat.

Bottom Line

This Amex Platinum Business Card review examined the benefits of the card and whether it is worth the steep $450 annual fee. The airline club access is a $300-400 value, especially if you travel often and your flying is on American, Delta, or US Airways. The $200 annually in airline fee reimbursement offsets almost half of the annual fee. You can either purchase American Airlines gift cards, or buy one-day club passes to airline clubs like the United Club that do not participate with American Express. Besides that Amex has some great OPEN business partners that offer discounts of 5-10% that are great ways save on purchases you were going to make anyway.

 

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