Amex Business Platinum Card Review and Value

The Amex Business Platinum card, with a $695 annual fee, is the most expensive credit card that I have ever applied for. When I signed up for the card, the sign up bonus was 190,000 Membership Rewards points after $15,000 spend in the first three months.

So what are the benefits of the Amex Business Platinum card?

Sign Up Bonus

The sign up bonus of 190,000 Membership Rewards points posted 4 days after I hit the minimum spend. I was able to hit the spend by paying my rent through Bilt in addition to everyday spend (and some tricky pre-payments). However, paying my rent came with an additional $70 fee per month ($210 total).

You’ll also get a minimum of 1 point per dollar spent, so that will get you another 15,000 points in order to meet your minimum spend. However, since you could be putting that spend on another credit card to earn other points, I am not going to add these points into the value.

The value of 190,000 Membership Rewards depends on how you use them and how you value what you use them for. The lowest (worst) value for a point is to use it to cover a charge on your card. Points are worth 0.6 cents each when redeemed this way, so 190,000 points is worth $1,1400.

There are much better ways to increase the value of points, including the Airline Bonus.

$1,1400 Minimum Value

35% Airline Bonus

The 35% Airline Bonus benefit is unique to the Business Platinum card. When you use Membership Rewards points to book a flight with ONE airline of your choice, you get 35% of those points back. I chose Alaska Airlines. So if I book a $100 ticket on Alaska Airlines through the Amex Travel portal, I would redeem 10,000 points as Amex gives you 1 cent per point value when booking flights. I would then get 3,500 points back. That $100 flight now cost me 6,500 points; which gives me a value of over 1.53 cents per point.

While you can only use the 35% bonus deal on one airline you choose each year for Economy class tickets, for Business class and above tickets, you get the same 35% back on all airlines.

Using this redemption method, I get $2,923 value out of the sign up bonus.

The true value is slightly less as you are missing earn opportunity on booking those flights with another credit card. For example, if I were to use my Alaska Airlines Visa card to book the same flight, I would earn 3 miles per dollar spent. If I were to book $2,923 worth of Alaska airlines tickets, I would get 8,769 miles which I value at $131. The good news is that the prices on the Amex Travel portal seem to be the same, if not sometimes better, than booking direct through the airline.

$2792 Sign Up Bonus Value

$200 Airline Fee Credit

Each calendar year, Amex Platinum cardholders get $200 back for fees they charge to their card for ONE airline of your choice (the same airline you choose for the 35% Airline Bonus). This can cover things like baggage fees, in-flight food purchases, or fees for picking a seat.

I do not often have fees when flying with Alaska Airlines. However, because Alaska Airlines tickets are refundable for airline credit, it is possible to purchase a flight, add a seat that you pay for with your Amex card, and then cancel it a few days later and get that fee as a credit towards a future flight.

I signed up for my card in March, so if I am smart, during my first year of having the card I can get the $200 Airline Fee Credit twice for a total of $400. I value this credit at $388 ($400 minus the opportunity of spending it on another card). Note that you do earn points on the spend, so you will earn 400 Membership Rewards points on the airline fee spend.

$388 Value

Access to the Amex Centurion Lounge

People love the Amex Centurion Lounges. And it shows. In the first three months of having the card, I made three visits to Centurion Lounges — twice in Seattle, once in Vegas. Two of the visits, I only had to wait a minute or two to get checked in. However, on the Thursday before Memorial Day in Seattle, I had to wait in line for 30 minutes to get in.

Centurion Lounges tend to be quite crowded. They aren’t a peaceful place to wait for your flight. The food is mediocre buffet food. They do have a full bar and the lounge in Seattle has an included barista staffed coffee stand.

If you want to bring a guest, it will cost you ($50 per adult, $30 per kid), unless you put $75,000 spend through your card per year.

It is hard to put a value on access to the Centurion Lounges. If someone offered me a paid membership, I think I could see myself paying $120 a year for it. Arbitrarily I’ll value it at that amount.

$120 Value

Priority Pass Membership

With the Amex Platinum card, you also get a Priority Pass Membership. I already have this from another credit card (Capital One Venture X that has a $350 annual fee). Therefore, for me, I don’t see any additional value that comes with this perk.

$0 Value

Dell Credit

Every 6 calendar months (Jan-June and July-Dec), you get a $200 Dell credit to be used at For the first year holding the card, that means you will get the credit three total times. I’ve already used the first $200 to purchase a wireless keyboard for work and two Google Nest Audio speakers that were on sale. Rakuten was offering 15% back on Dell when I made my purchase, which is equal to $30 cash back on my $200 purchase. If I can get that 15% back for all $600 worth of purchases, that would be $90 cash even if I simply bought things I don’t need and donated them.

I am able to find some value with this. I’ll give the $600 Dell credit a value of $150; plus another $90 for the Rakuten cash back if I can make it work each time.

$240 Value

CLEAR Plus Credit

You can get up to $189 credit each year with the card when you use it to purchase your CLEAR Plus membership. CLEAR Plus is the service that allows you to skip to the front of the TSA line at various airports. In addition to the annual fee, you also must give up your biometric data including fingerprints and retina scan.

Alaska Airlines has a deal where Mileage Plan MVP and higher elites can get $10 off an annual membership plus 1,500 miles for signing up; though three months out I still have not received the points.

In the times I’ve flown since I got CLEAR, I’ve only been able to use it twice. Each time it saved me approximately 5 minutes.

I wouldn’t pay $179 for a year of CLEAR on my own. So I don’t value this credit at that level. I already have TSA Pre✓ included with another credit card. I would pay $20 a year for the service just to have it in case I was flying at a really busy time.

$20 Value

Global Entry Credit

Every 4 years, you get a $100 credit for Global Entry fees. Again, I already get this through my Venture X, so I won’t be making use of this credit.

$0 Value

Wireless Credit

If you pay your cell phone bill with your Amex Business Platinum, you are supposed to get $10 back each month ($120 a year). However, I use GoogleFi and so far it hasn’t triggered this credit. I had to chat with a customer service rep each time to do this. On top of that, as of June 21, 2024, GoogleFi no longer is eligible for the wireless credit. So I got the $10 credit twice, and that will be it unless I switch wireless providers.

$20 Value

Hotel Elite Status

With the Amex Business Platinum, you get Gold status with both Hilton and Marriott. It is pretty rare that I stay at Marriott or Hilton properties these days. Gold status gets you some benefits like potential room upgrades, bonus points, bottle of water (Hilton), breakfast credit (Hilton) and late check out (Marriott). I’ll value these each at $20 as I think if either of these brands offered me Gold status for $20 for a year, I would take the offer.

$40 Value

Other Benefits

There are some other benefits that are worthless to me like an Indeed and Adobe credit. The only other useful benefit is Amex Offers that you can get on any Amex card. I’ve had a few that I have used that were specifically on my Business Platinum that I have been able to use.

Overall Value

Let’s start with the cost of the first year of the card.

The annual fee is $695. Plus I spent $210 in fees to pay my rent for three months to hit the minimum required spend. There may be some other missed opportunities where I could have put spend on other cards, but I also got benefits with the card, so I won’t take that into consideration.

Total cost – $905

The benefits for the first year are heavily weighted on the sign up bonus. This only occurs the first year, and typically is only available once per lifetime. The other benefits would continue past the first year if I chose to keep the card open.

Sign Up Bonus with 35% Airline Bonus$2792
Airline Credit$388
Centurion Lounge Access$120
Dell Credit$240
CLEAR Credit$20
Wireless Credit$20
Hotel Status$40
TOTAL VALUE in first year$3620
After I subtract the $905 cost, I end up with a $2,715 value/profit from one year of the card.

This is the value that I find in the card. I know others that will value the card higher (I’ve seen some crazy valuation of Centurion Lounge access for example…). I think I’ve valued the benefits pretty conservatively.

After the first year, assuming I don’t get some sort of retention offer, the value simply isn’t there to justify the $695 annual fee. If I didn’t have the Venture X card that comes with Priority Pass, I might be able to justify the annual fee for lounge access plus the airline credit — but even then would be a stretch.

Bottom line: I find the Amex Business Platinum card extremely valuable for the first year. After that, it is going to be a call to cancel it.

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