American Express Confirms Changes Coming to The Business Platinum Card® [March 30, 2017]

Business Traveler Airport

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Last week, American Express announced significant changes coming to The Platinum Card® from American Express and unveiled a new sleek metal design. Those changes go into effect on March 30 and apply only to the personal version of this card.

Many wondered if these same changes would roll over to The Business Platinum® Card from American Express as well. VFTW has confirmed with American Express that there will be changes going into effect on March 30 for this card, but with some significant differences.

The most positive benefit of these changes will be the annual fee. It will not increase to $550 like the personal version of this card, instead remaining at the current rate of $450.

Another benefit is that The Business Platinum® Card from American Express will be increasing the number of Membership Rewards points earned from travel booked on American Express Travel from 2X to 5X points. This differs slightly from the personal version since that card also earns 5X points on airfare purchases booked directly with airlines.

American Express Travel
Soon you will be able to book your air and pre-paid hotels using The Business Platinum® Card from American Express on Amex Travel to get 5X points. Photo Courtesy of amextravel.com.

One of the most notable differences is that holders of The Business Platinum® Card from American Express will not be offered the new “Uber Rides with Platinum” benefit, which offers a $200 yearly credit broken into monthly installments for Uber rides within the U.S.

Bottom Line: The Business Platinum® Card from American Express members will continue to have a $450 annual fee and earn 5X points on American Express Travel, but they will not receive Uber credits.

It was also confirmed that the enhanced Priority Pass™ benefit, which will soon allow you to bring up to 2 guests for no charge to over 1,000+ airport lounges worldwide, will be applied to both versions of this card.

Additional benefits coming to both versions of The Platinum® Card from American Express include access to the new Global Dining Collection, enhancements to the By Invitation Only® program, and an expanded Global Lounge Collection.

Last but not least, business cardmembers will also get the new sleek metal design of The Platinum Card® from American Express, which can be requested by current cardmembers when these changes go into effect on March 30.

While these upcoming changes will create even more noticeable differences between the 2 versions of this card, The Enhanced Business Platinum® Card from American Express still has a huge advantage: when business cardmembers redeem their Membership Rewards® points for airfare on American Express Travel, they receive 50% of their points back on their selected airline.

Hot Tip: Membership Rewards® is a great flexible rewards program that allows you to transfer your points directly participating airline and hotel partners. Business cardmembers have the advantage of getting 50% of their points back when booking airfare or prepaid hotels through American Express Travel.

Customers in the market for either a personal or business card now have some real decisions to make when considering which Platinum® card works best for their needs.

Those who may balk at the increased annual fee but can primarily use American Express Travel to book and redeem their points should consider the business version.

Others who know they can maximize the $200 Uber credit and primarily book their travel directly with airlines (0r transfer their points to Membership Rewards® transfer partners) would probably want to consider the personal version.

The premium travel rewards card market has seen some tough competition from banks recently. With increased introductory offers and tons of enhanced elite travel benefits, American Express is trying to hold its ground in this competitive market.

According to Doctor of Credit, rumor has it that Chase will soon be increasing the intro bonus of their Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card, most likely in direct competition with American Express.

Many people hoped to see American Express making their $200 yearly airline fee credit easier to use, comparable to competitor’s premium travel rewards cards that give similar credits for any travel-related expense. However, American Express still only issues credits for things like baggage and cancellation fees.

Save on Checked Luggage Fees with Amex Platinum Benefit
The airline credit from The Platinum Card® from American Express can be used on your selected airline for fees like checked luggage. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

It also would have been useful to publicize the enhanced Priority Pass benefit on both versions of the card, instead of sneaking this positive change into the terms and conditions. This benefit will now allow 2 free guests traveling with you to visit the 1,000 airport lounges worldwide – a savings of $27 per guest on each visit.

Luckily for consumers, competition in this premium travel rewards market is helping increase benefits for current customers while also trying to attract new ones. Some changes have also meant increased in costs or additional hoops for cardholders to jump through, but the upcoming changes to The Business Platinum® Card from American Express have only been positive so far.

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