Platinum showdown: Amex Platinum vs. Amex Business Platinum


Editor’s note: This post has been updated with new information.

Over the past several years, we have seen premium cards evolve to attract and retain customers.

Two of the top cards for premium travel and lifestyle benefits are The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Business Platinum Card® from American Express. Both cards HAVE received updates in the past two years, adding additional perks and benefits but also increasing their respective annual fees. There’s now an annual fee of $695 for both the Platinum Card (see rates and fees) and the Business Platinum Card (see rates and fees).

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Although there are some overlapping benefits offered by the Amex Platinum and the Amex Business Platinum — and both earn the same Membership Rewards points with access to the same transfer partners — there are important differences to consider when deciding which one is right for you. The July 2021 refresh on the personal card and the October 2020 refresh on the business card deepened the divide between these two cards.

Let’s take a closer look.

An overview

Before we dive into more details, here’s a comparison of the two cards’ welcome offers, earning rates, major perks and available credits for cardholders.

Benefit/perk Amex Platinum Card Amex Business Platinum Card
Welcome offer Earn 100,000 bonus Membership Rewards points after you spend $6,000 on purchases in your first six months of cardmembership. Earn 120,000 bonus Membership Rewards points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in your first three months of cardmembership.
Earning rates 5 points per dollar on flights booked directly with airlines or via Amex Travel (on up to $500,000 of these purchases per calendar year, then 1 point per dollar); 5 points per dollar on prepaid hotels booked with Amex Travel; 1 point per dollar on other purchases. Terms apply. 5 points per dollar on flights and prepaid hotels booked with Amex Travel; 1.5 points per dollar on purchases of $5,000 or more or purchases in select business categories in the U.S.: construction material and hardware suppliers, electronics goods retailers, software and cloud system providers and shipping providers. After $2 million of purchases in these categories in a calendar year, the earning rate will be 1 point per dollar; 1 point per dollar on other purchases. Terms apply.
Prepaid hotel booking credit 

Up to $200 annual credit valid on prepaid bookings at Fine Hotels + Resorts or The Hotel Collection properties made through American Express Travel

Yes. No.
Lounge access

Access to the American Express Global Lounge Collection including Centurion Lounges, Delta Sky Clubs when flying same-day Delta flights and Priority Pass Select, Airspace and Escape lounges (enrollment required)

Yes. Yes.
Airline fee credit

Up to $200 annual statement credit which covers baggage fees as well as other incidental charges with your preferred airline (enrollment required)

 

Yes. Yes.
Uber credit 

Up to $15 in credit to use on Uber rides or Uber Eats orders, with an additional up to $20 for the month of December

Yes. No.
Clear membership credit

Up to $189 annual statement credit for a Clear membership (enrollment is required)

Yes. Yes.
Digital entertainment credit

Up to $20 monthly statement credits applicable only for Audible, The New York Times, SiriusXM, Peacock, Disney+, Hulu, ESPN+ or the Disney Bundle (enrollment required)

Yes. No.
Equinox credit

Up to $25 monthly statement credits to select Equinox memberships or a digital subscription to Equinox+ fitness app (enrollment required)

Yes. No.
Saks Fifth Avenue credit

Up to $50 statement credit on Saks Fifth Avenue purchases between January and June and another credit for up to $50 between July and December (enrollment required)

Yes. No.
Walmart+ monthly membership credit

Up to $12.95 monthly reimbursement for Walmart+ membership, providing waived delivery fees and priority delivery times. Now includes complimentary Paramount+ subscription

Yes. No.
Global Entry / TSA PreCheck application fee credit

Reimbursement of up to $100 to cover your application fee to Global Entry (once every four years) or TSA PreCheck (once 4 ½ years) (enrollment required)

Yes. Yes.
Elite hotel status

Complimentary Gold status with Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy (enrollment required)

Yes.  Yes.
Premium rental car status

Receive complimentary premium status with Avis Preferred, Hertz Gold Plus Rewards and National Car Rental Emerald Club Executive (enrollment required)

Yes. No.
Access to exclusive events

Receive access to invitation-only events, exclusive dinner events with Global Dining Access by Resy or premium seats at select events

Yes. Yes.
35% airline bonus

Receive 35% of your points back when you Pay With Points for a flight booking with Amex Travel. The flight must be in first class or business class or any class with your preferred airline (which you must choose in advance). You can receive up to 1 million points back in a calendar year.

No. Yes.
Dell credit 

Up to $200 on U.S. Dell purchases between January and June and another credit for up to $200 off between July and December (enrollment required)

 

No. Yes.
Adobe credit

Up to $150 in statement credits per year for prepaid plans with Creative Cloud or Acrobat Pro DC with e-sign for teams (enrollment required)

No. Yes.
Indeed credit

Up to $360 in statement credits per calendar year for purchases with Indeed, given as up to $90 per quarter

No. Yes.
Monthly wireless credits

Up to $120 in statement credits per calendar year, given as up to $10 per month for phone plans purchased from U.S. wireless providers (enrollment required)

No. Yes.
Annual fee $695 (see rates and fees). $695 (see rates and fees).

Welcome offer

Each card comes with a generous welcome offer, but the minimum spend required to earn the bonus is where they really differ. You can earn the full 100,000 Membership Rewards points after spending just $6,000 on the Amex Platinum — with six months in which to complete the spending, so an average of $1,000 per month on average. However, the Business Platinum requires a much steeper minimum spend of $15,000 to earn its 120,000-point bonus. This requires spending an average of $5,000 per month.

Based on TPG’s valuation of Membership Rewards points at two cents each, the Platinum bonus is worth $2,000. In contrast, the Business Platinum bonus is worth $2,400, making them two of the most valuable offers on the market.

However, some TPG readers have been targeted for even better offers: up to 125,000 points on the personal Amex Platinum or 150,000 points on the Amex Business Platinum. Check your eligibility by using the CardMatch tool (note that these offers are subject to change at any time).

If we decide the winner of this category based on pure value, the winner is the Business Platinum. However, consider the value as a return on spending. For the Amex Platinum, it’s a 33.33% return; with the Business Platinum, you’ll receive a 16% return on the spending required to earn the bonus in the welcome offer.

Winner: Amex Platinum (personal)

Aurora Borealis, Northern lights over Reykjavik Iceland. FRIÐÞJÓFUR M./GETTY IMAGES

Rewards structure

Both cards earn 5 points per dollar when you purchase airfare and prepaid hotel rooms from Amex Travel. Still, the personal Amex Platinum also earns 5 points per dollar on airfare purchased directly with airlines and airfare purchased with American Express Travel over the phone (up to $500,000 of these purchases per calendar year, then 1 point per dollar).

On the other hand, the Business Platinum card is great for business owners who regularly make large purchases with the card, since purchases of at least $5,000 and in select business categories earn 1.5 points per dollar, up to $2 million of these purchases per year (then 1 point per dollar).

Winner: Amex Business Platinum

Related: Redeeming American Express Membership Rewards for maximum value

THOMAS BARWICK/GETTY IMAGES

Travel and lifestyle perks

Both of these cards excel when it comes to travel and lifestyle perks. The most recent overhauls to both cards added additional benefits to both the personal and business variants of the Platinum.

Benefits offered to both cards

Enrollment required for select benefits.

*Eligibility and benefit levels vary by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for details. Policies are underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company.
**Eligibility and benefit levels vary by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for details. Policies are underwritten by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company.
#Eligibility and benefit levels vary by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for details.
##Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Not all vehicle types or rentals are covered, and geographic restrictions apply. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for details. Policies are underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company. Coverage is offered through American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc.
^Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for details. If approved and coordinated by Premium Global Assist Hotline, emergency medical transportation assistance may be provided at no cost. In any other circumstance, cardmembers are responsible for the costs charged by third-party service providers.

Related: Your complete guide to travel protections on American Express cards

Related: Your complete guide to shopping protections on American Express cards

The Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal. ERIC ROSEN/THE POINTS GUY

Major differences in credits

There are several major differences when it comes to credits with these two cards. First, the consumer Amex Platinum offers these exclusive perks:

Perk  Annual amount   Notes
Prepaid hotel booking credit Up to $200. Statement credits valid on prepaid bookings at Fine Hotels + Resorts or The Hotel Collection properties made through American Express Travel.
Uber credit Up to $200. Up to $15 in credit each month to use on Uber rides or Uber Eats orders in the U.S., with an additional up to $20 for the month of December. Received by adding your card as a payment method in your Uber account.
Saks Fifth Avenue credit Up to $100. Up to $50 to use January through June and $50 to use July through December (enrollment required in advance).
Digital entertainment credit Up to $240. $20 monthly statement credits and applicable only for Audible, The New York Times, SiriusXM, Peacock, Disney+, Hulu, ESPN+ or the Disney Bundle (enrollment required in advance).
Equinox credit Up to $300. $25 monthly statement credits to select Equinox memberships or a digital subscription to Equinox+ fitness app (enrollment required in advance).
Walmart+ membership credit Up to $155. Reimbursement for $12.95 monthly membership fee for Walmart+ membership. Now includes complimentary Paramount+ subscription.

Related: 10 things to do when you get the Amex Platinum

Meanwhile, the Business Platinum card has the following exclusive perks:

Perk Annual amount Notes
35% airline points bonus Up to 1 million points. Receive 35% of your points back when paying with points for flights booked with Amex Travel. This applies to any flights on your preferred airline (chosen in advance) or flights in first or business class with any airline.
Dell credit Up to $400. Up to $200 to use January through June and $200 to use July through December (enrollment required in advance).
Adobe credit Up to $150. Applies only to prepaid plans with Creative Cloud or Acrobat Pro DC with e-sign for teams (enrollment required in advance).
Indeed credit Up to $360. Up to $90 per quarter in statement credits for spending with Indeed.
Monthly wireless credits Up to $120. Up to $10 in monthly statement credits for spending on wireless plans with U.S. providers (enrollment required in advance).

Related: Have an Amex Business Platinum card? Don’t forget to register for these perks

Winner: This one will depend on what you use most. Do you use the Dell credits and pay for a lot of flights with points through Amex Travel? Or do you use shopping, streaming and lifestyle credits? In terms of overall value, this will go to the Amex Platinum (personal) for most people.

Redemption values

American Express Membership Rewards points are one of the most valuable loyalty currencies out there. According to TPG’s valuations, Amex points are worth 2 cents apiece. With 20 transfer partners, Membership Rewards points can help you travel to just about anywhere in the world.

One benefit that’s exclusive to the Business Platinum card is that when you book any flight directly with points through Amex Travel on your preselected airline — or business or first class on any airline — you’ll receive a 35% rebate of the points you used (up to one million points each calendar year).

This is particularly useful if you don’t have flexible travel dates and award space isn’t available. You will need to have the full amount of points in your account at the time of booking. However, if you find a good deal on a flight, you may wind up using fewer points this way than transferring to an airline for an award redemption. Always compare your options.

If you plan to transfer your Membership Rewards points to one of the program’s airline or hotel partners, you should try to get at least 2 cents per point in value when booking award flights or nights. Of course, if you book business- or first-class flights, you can expect to get even more value out of these points.

Winner: Tie

Related: When to transfer and when to Pay with Points with Amex Business Platinum

A case for the Amex Platinum

If you’re looking for a premium card loaded with travel perks and you don’t have a business or the substantial expenses that come with one, the personal Amex Platinum should be just what you need.

While there are numerous credits on each of these cards, the personal Platinum comes out on top with a whopping 13 perks — six of which are unique and not offered by the Amex Business Platinum. All of those credits add up to over $1,500 and help take the sting out of the card’s $695 annual fee (see rates and fees).

Throw in access to lots of airline lounges, substantial travel benefits and the Membership Rewards you can earn with the card (especially when you book airfare and get 5 points per dollar) and this looks even better. And remember that you can add up to three authorized users to your Amex Platinum for a total of $175 per year, then $175 per authorized user thereafter (see rates and fees).

Apply for the Amex Platinum card with a 100,000-point welcome offer after spending $6,000 in purchases within the first six months of cardmembership.

The Centurion Lounge at New York-LaGuardia (LGA) airport. ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY

A case for the Business Platinum

For small-business owners, the decision isn’t quite so simple. The Business Platinum card currently has a welcome offer of 120,000 points after spending a total of $15,000 in the first three months, making it an incredibly attractive choice. You’ll get more bonus points on this card, assuming you can meet the spending requirements.

The Business Platinum Card also has a $695 annual fee (see rates and fees) and carries 11 key benefits for cardholders — five of which aren’t offered by the personal version of the card. The annual fee isn’t cheap, but the benefits and the annual credits offset much of the fee on either card, making both a solid choice for the frequent traveler.

If you’re wondering what the Amex business card requirements are, the answers vary. Some people are surprised to find out that they qualify for a small business credit card. While the process on how to apply for an Amex business card will be similar to a personal credit card application in many ways, there will be additional steps. These include providing contact information for your business, its nature, its spending habits and how long it’s been operating. For more information, see our guide on who is eligible for an Amex Business Platinum card.

Related: How to fill out an Amex business card application

Apply for the Amex Business Platinum card with a 120,000-point welcome offer after spending $15,000 in purchases within the first three months of cardmembership.

PHOTO AND CO/GETTY IMAGES

Bottom line

Those looking for premium perks are often drawn to the American Express Platinum cards — whether that’s the personal or the small-business version. Both cards offer numerous perks at home and on the road. Features like lounge access, travel protections and extremely valuable points are just a few of the attractions.

Both cards carry the same, somewhat-alarming annual fee. Depending on which perks you value more, one card is likely better suited to your lifestyle and travel goals. At this point, you should have a better understanding of the similarities and differences of the cards, helping you make an informed decision on which card to apply for.

Of course, for some cardmembers, it makes sense to have both in their wallet. A small-business owner who wants to maximize travel for both business and pleasure and take advantage of the full range of Platinum benefits can hold both cards. Just make sure your professional and personal spending habits make both annual fees worth it. Combined, these cards come with almost $1,400 in total fees.

Apply for the Amex Platinum card with a 100,000-point welcome offer after spending $6,000 in purchases within the first six months of cardmembership.
Apply for the Amex Business Platinum card with a 120,000-point welcome offer after spending $15,000 in purchases within the first three months of cardmembership.

For more reading on this topic, see the following articles:

Additional reporting by Ethan Steinberg and Ryan Smith.

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



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