Premium credit cards are what American Express does best. Originally a mail business in the mid-nineteenth century, American Express has since evolved into one of the powerhouse brands for credit card rewards.
Whether it’s due to its rewards program, American Express Membership Rewards, or from the remarkable perks you get from its cards, American Express has cemented itself as one of the top credit card leaders globally.
The Platinum Card® from American Express has been a household name and customer favorite for decades; in fact, the Amex Platinum card is likely Amex’s most famous card. What some people don’t know is that American Express offers a business version of this card that offers some of the same perks and some different benefits.
Here’s a comparison of these 2 juggernauts in the premium card realm. You’ll find in-depth information about the aspects that make each card unique as well as how do decide between the cards.
Since the Amex Platinum card is a consumer card, this card simply requires an application. In contrast, you’ll need to have a business to open a business card such as the Amex Business Platinum card.
Reasons You Need a Business Card
Running a business, no matter the size, requires greater organization of finances as compared to your personal finances. From the legal documentation to managing your business spending, business credit or charge cards will inevitably make their way into your wallet.
A business credit card often provides excellent ways to earn rewards. In fact, the major banks have become keen to the fact that offering rewards to business owners is just as lucrative, if not more so, than to consumers.
After all, business owners spend money on things like office supplies, payroll, commercial rent, and even business meals. It only makes sense that the average monthly payment for business owners is $2,032, whereas consumers spend a mere $954.
Here are some excellent reasons to consider opening a business card:
- Higher limits: Banks understand that the cost of doing business is typically higher than ordinary consumer spending, so banks grant larger credit limits as compared to consumer cards.
- Excellent rewards: Banks have caught onto the fact that business credit cards are incredibly profitable. In a fierce battle to vie for market share, banks such as American Express have upped the rewards structures to incentivize new applicants.
- Separate spending: Anyone who runs a business knows how much of a headache keeping expenses separate is. Business cards provide a convenient means to track and manage your business spending without having to intertwine your personal and business expenses.
- Build your business credit: Business credit belongs in a different realm, separate from Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Getting a business credit card will help establish your business report, which is instead most closely associated with Dun & Bradstreet.
- Unique business benefits: Some cards offer business management tools, co-working memberships, statement credits, and more.
Bottom Line: Business cards are excellent because they provide a unique entourage of benefits to business owners small and large.
Who Qualifies for a Business Card?
Many believe that getting a business card is reserved for those with massive corporations, complex legal structures, and tons of monthly business spending. It’s not.
You don’t need any of these things to qualify for a business credit card. In fact, a small side hustle like yard sales, part-time tutoring, and Craigslist sales would work perfectly. You don’t need a corporation or an LLC, but it may help your approval odds.
Banks love helping small business owners grow, so don’t be afraid to apply for a business card. Depending on the industry you’re in, the U.S. Small Business Administration may require special licensing or permits.
Now that you’ve seen what the eligibility criteria may be for business cards and why a business card might be helpful, you’re probably wanting to get down to the comparison of these 2 cards!
What These 2 Cards Have in Common
Both of these cards are tremendously valuable. There are several benefits that both cards offer.
$200 Airline Fee Credit
Both cards offer a $200 airline fee credit each calendar year, which can be used for incidental fees such as checked bags and inflight purchases.
Keep in mind that per Amex’s terms and conditions, “airline tickets, upgrades, mileage points purchases, mileage points transfer fees, gift cards, duty free purchases, and award tickets are not deemed to be incidental fees.”
This fee credit requires enrollment and you must select your airline before usage. Furthermore, you can only change your airline choice once per year in January.
Airport Lounge Access
Perhaps the single most valuable benefit of these 2 cards is the airport lounge access. If you hold either of the cards, you can access these lounges:
The Amex Platinum card and the Amex Business Platinum card have arguably the best lounge access of any credit card. With access to the Centurion Lounges, you can expect to enjoy a hot food buffet, shower suites, premium alcohol, and utmost luxury that rivals most business class lounges in the world.
TSA PreCheck or Global Entry Application Fee Credit
When you hold either the Amex Platinum card or the Amex Business Platinum card, you will receive a statement credit for the application fee of either:
- TSA PreCheck ($85) every 4.5 years
- Global Entry ($100) every 4 years
It is recommended that you apply for Global Entry, as this actually includes TSA PreCheck. Global Entry allows you to clear immigration upon arrival in the U.S. much quicker than usual. You won’t need to wait in processing lines and fill out mountains of paperwork every time you return to the U.S.
Hot Tip: For more options, check out our detailed post about the best cards for complimentary TSA PreCheck and Global Entry.
Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status
With both the Amex Platinum card and Amex Business Platinum card, you will enjoy elevated elite status without meeting any stay requirements. Specifically, you’ll be upgraded to Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status.
Among other perks, you’ll receive the following at Marriott properties:
- All Silver benefits
- Dedicated elite reservation line
- Ultimate reservation guarantee
- Free Wi-Fi
- Exclusive member rates
- 25% bonus points on stays
- Enhanced room upgrades
- Priority 2 p.m. late checkout
- Complimentary enhanced in-room internet access
Hot Tip: Sound interesting? Explore more information about the Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program.
Hilton Honors Gold Status
Hilton Honors Gold status is arguably the best mid-tier status in hotel loyalty, and the Amex Platinum card and Amex Business Platinum card both provide complimentary Hilton Honors Gold Status just by holding the card.
Here’s what to expect from Hilton Honors Gold Status:
- All Silver benefits
- Guaranteed member discounts
- No resort fees on reward stays
- Digital key/check-in and choose your room
- Standard in-room and lobby Wi-Fi
- Second guest stays free
- Late checkout
- Free transfer of points and points pooling
- Fifth standard reward night free
- 2 bottles of water
- Elite tier rollover nights
- Space-available room upgrades
- Complimentary breakfast at all hotels
- Unlimited milestone bonuses
- 80% bonus points towards free night
Access to Amex’s Fine Hotels & Resorts Program
American Express has partnerships with various hotels, and many of these hotels collectively comprise the Fine Hotels & Resorts Program, which is unique to Amex.
The reason why this is a huge benefit for Amex Platinum card or Amex Business Platinum cardholders is that you’ll receive complimentary benefits when booking through Fine Hotels & Resorts like:
- Room upgrade upon arrival (subject to availability)
- Daily breakfast for 2
- Guaranteed 4 p.m. late checkout
- Noon check-in (subject to availability)
- Complimentary Wi-Fi
- Unique property amenity valued at $100 (i.e. food and beverage credit, one-way private sedan transfer, or spa credit)
Often, the Fine Hotels & Resorts rate is just as competitive as the cheapest publicly available rate, so you might find yourself enjoying all of these benefits at an amazing price. With this awesome benefit, you’ll find yourself traveling luxuriously in no time, just for holding the Amex Platinum card or Amex Business Platinum card.
Access to the American Express Hotel Collection
American Express has yet another group of partner hotels that are a tier below the Fine Hotels & Resorts. This is known as the American Express Hotel Collection.
With stays booked within the Hotel Collection of at least 2 nights, you will receive benefits like:
- A space-available room upgrade at check-in
- $75 credit for qualifying dining, spa, and resort activities
In addition to the Amex Platinum card and the Amex Business Platinum card, you can unlock the American Express Hotel Collection by holding these cards:
Keep in mind that you must pay for your reservations with your American Express card, and the cardholder must be traveling on the booked itinerary to receive benefits.
Hot Tip: Need some more information on the Fine Hotels & Resorts and The Hotel Collection? Check out our in-depth guide on comparing the American Express Hotel Collection and Fine Hotels & Resorts.
Car Rental Elite Status
In addition to hotel elite status, having either the Amex Platinum card or Amex Business Platinum card will give you complimentary elite status and benefits as follows:
- Avis Preferred
- 15% off published car rental rates
- Special codes that upgrade or discount rentals
- Skip the line which allows you to go straight to your car after
- Hertz Gold Plus
- Expedited service at over 40 of the world’s largest airports
- 4-hour grace period before an extra day is charged.
- 10% bonus on Hertz Gold Plus Rewards
- A one-car class upgrade
- National Emerald Club Executive Status
- Bypass the counter
- Guaranteed upgrades
- No second-driver fee
- Reward choices and 1 free rental day after 7 rental credits
- Choose full-size cars from the Executive area at the mid-sized reserved rate
There are a variety of travel benefits that come complimentary with both cards:
- Secondary rental car coverage can cover fees and charges that primary rental car coverage doesn’t
- Ability to purchase primary rental car coverage to cover damages due to theft, collision, and more
- Baggage insurance will reimburse you for lost luggage in transit, subject to exclusions and rules
- Premium Global Assist provides you with travel logistics support, such as lost passport replacement assistance, translation services, missing luggage assistance, emergency legal and medical referrals, and more
- Purchase protection protects against damaged or stolen purchases for 90 days
- Extended warranty prolongs the normal warranty in addition to the standard warranty on new items by 1 year
- Trip cancellation and interruption insurance provide you with reimbursement of non-refundable travel expenses of up to $10,000 per trip with a maximum of $20,000 per eligible account for each consecutive 12-month period. You must book a round-trip flight entirely with your card and the flight should be canceled for a “covered reason,” including sudden illness/injury to you or an eligible traveler, call to jury, terrorist action, or inclement weather.
- Trip delay insurance provides you with reimbursement of unexpected expenses such as meals, lodging, and personal-use items up to $500 per trip if your trip is delayed by more than 6 hours due to a covered reason. This insurance covers you if you purchase round-trip flights entirely with your card, pay for award ticket taxes and fees, or use Pay With Points for your ticket.
American Express Concierge
The American Express Concierge is a hugely valuable perk. From sold-out concert tickets to Michelin-starred dining, you’ll want to have the American Express Concierge on your side to make reservations and bookings.
For example, visiting Japan is a must. Similarly, sampling Michelin-starred food in Japan can be difficult. With many restaurants not taking reservations directly from travelers, you can dispatch the American Express Concierge to help.
These professionals are located all around the world, and they’re capable of handling the toughest requests out there. Remember, however, that these aren’t guaranteed, but the success rate is phenomenal.
Also, if you are in the market for holding work/corporate events, you can leverage the expertise of the Amex Business Platinum Concierge to coordinate your team bonding activities.
No Foreign Transaction Fees
You will not be charged any foreign transaction fees for international purchases.
Lastly, welcome bonuses are one of the best ways to jumpstart your rewards and are an immense component in choosing which card to apply for.
Here’s a glimpse into the current welcome bonuses:
The welcome bonus is just 1 piece of the equation, albeit a large one. The welcome bonus will inevitably contribute to a card’s long term value, but it’s also crucial to pick the card that will best fit your needs beyond the first year.
The Value of a Welcome Bonus
Since both the Amex Platinum card and the Amex Business Platinum card earn the same type of points, the value of the welcome bonus will depend on the number of points that you get from the welcome bonus. Our valuation of Amex Membership Rewards typically ranges between 1.9 – 2.2 cents each, so you can use that to assist you in calculating the value of a welcome bonus.
Comparing Bonus Spending Categories
When spending with the Amex Platinum card and Amex Business Platinum card, you’ll find that the earning power of the 2 cards is slightly different:
- Amex Platinum card: 5x points per dollar spent on flights booked directly through the airline and Amex Travel, up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.
- Amex Business Platinum card: 5x per dollar spent on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com
However, the Amex Business Platinum card earns 1.5x on eligible purchases in key business categories, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else (up to $2 million in purchases per calendar year).
Bottom Line: The Amex Platinum card earns points more flexibly than the Amex Business Platinum card, due to the addition of 5x points per dollar spent on flights booked directly through airlines.
Redeeming Amex Membership Rewards points is made easy by the numerous airline and hotel partners, attractive transfer ratios from time to time, and other ways to spend your points. There are tons of great ways to redeem Membership Rewards points utilizing one of American Express’ transfer partners to ensure great value for your redemption.
Furthermore, if you hold the Amex Business Platinum, you can get a 35% rebate when using Membership Rewards to pay with points on Amex Travel, up to 500,000 points back per calendar year. To get to the full yearly points rebate, you must redeem at least 1,428,571 points. This includes first and business class tickets with all airlines available through American Express Travel.
The other redemption options available include statement credits, gift cards, Amazon, Uber, Ticketmaster, and shopping partners. Unfortunately, the value of these points is limited, typically less than 1 cent per point.
Bottom Line: Although there’s no shortage of ways to use your Amex points, redeeming Amex Membership Rewards points by transferring them to travel partners for international first/business class flights will almost always yield the biggest return.
Adding Additional Users
Adding Additional Users
With the Amex Platinum card, you can add up to 3 authorized users for a total of $175, which is equal to ~$58 per person (see rates and fees).
The Amex Business Platinum card charges $300 per authorized user (see rates and fees), nearly 6 times the cost of the Amex Platinum card.
You’ll get the lounge access perks, but you won’t get any additional statement credits, except for the Global Entry/TSA PreCheck credit.
Bottom Line: All in all, the Amex Platinum card offers a more affordable way to add additional cardholders as compared to the Amex Business Platinum card.
Statement and Shopping Credits
One of the best ways to offset a hefty annual fee such as the Amex Platinum card or the Amex Business Platinum card is to take advantage of various statement credits over the course of a calendar year. Depending on which card you get, you’ll receive different options for statement credits.
$100 Yearly Saks Fifth Avenue Credit
Available with the Amex Platinum card, you receive $100 to Saks Fifth Avenue for purchases either in-store on online.
Specifically, you will get up to $50 in statement credits in the first half of the year (January through June) and up to $50 in statement credits in the second half of the year (July through December).
This is a benefit exclusively for the Amex Platinum card, and it is not available for the Amex Business Platinum card. You’ll need to enroll, but enrollment is easy, and no minimum purchase is required. You will not earn any additional statement credits for additional cardholders.
$200 Yearly Uber Credit
Another benefit offered with the Amex Platinum card is the year $200 Uber credit. Every month from January to November, you’ll receive $15 in Uber Cash for U.S. rides plus a bonus of $20 ($35 total) in December for a total of up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
One of the best ways to use Uber Cash is on Uber Eats, so be sure to take advantage of that, too. That’s essentially a free meal every month and 2 meals in December. Again, this benefit is not available for holders of the Amex Business Platinum card nor will you earn any additional statement credits for additional cardholders.
Up to $400 Yearly Dell Credit
Amex Business Platinum cardholders receive up to $400 in statement credits annually by getting up to $200 semi-annually for U.S. purchases with Dell. Terms apply and enrollment is required!
Similar to the Saks Fifth Avenue credit, this is an enrollment-required credit split up into 2 equal, bi-annual credits. Purchases must be made “directly with Dell or at dell.com in the U.S. and U.S. territories” to qualify for the credit. Furthermore, items must be shipped to the U.S. to qualify.
You will get up to $200 in statement credits for purchases made in January through June and another $200 in statement credits for purchases made in July through December for a total savings of up to $400.
The official terms and conditions state that statement credits take 2-4 weeks to post.
$179 Annual CLEAR® Credit
Those who hold either the Amex Platinum card or the Amex Business Platinum card can receive a $179 annual credit toward a CLEAR membership.
Up to $300 Annual Equinox Credit
Amex Platinum cardholders will receive a $25 monthly credit for an Equinox membership.
Up to $240 Digital Entertainment Credit
Amex Platinum cardholders can enjoy a $20 statement credit each month towards select streaming services.
Up to $200 Prepaid Hotel Credit
When booking prepaid hotels via Amextravel.com, Amex Platinum card holders will receive a $200 annual credit.
Up to $156 Annual Walmart+ credit
A Walmart+ membership includes benefits such as free shipping and discounted gas prices. Those who’ve got the Amex Platinum card will get a $12.95 monthly credit towards the membership.
$300 SoulCycle bike credit
Amex Platinum card holders can receive a $300 statement credit each time they purchase a SoulCycle bike.
Additional Benefits Offered
FX International Payments Fee Waiver
Certain businesses, if approved by American Express, are eligible to receive transaction fee waivers for payments using foreign currency wire transfers. These businesses must have an Amex Business Platinum card, and there may be minimum transaction sizes for certain currencies.
Amex Business Platinum cardholders receive cruise benefits if they book trips of at least 5 nights via Amex Travel or an eligible provider and pay with their card.
You can receive a $100-$300 credit as follows:
- $300 credit for all staterooms on AmaWaterways, Azamara, Crystal, Oceania, Regent, Seabourn, Silversea, Uniworld, and Windstar
- $300 credit for all Queen Victoria/Queen Elizabeth oceanview staterooms category FA or higher and all Queen Mary oceanview staterooms category EF or higher on Cunard
- $100 credit for inside/outside staterooms, $200 credit for balcony, verandah, and mini-suite staterooms, and $300 credit for suites on Celebrity Cruises, Holland America, Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, and Royal Caribbean International
These credits mandate double occupancy and may not be available to cardholders from outside the U.S.
2x Points on Cruises
As if there weren’t enough travel benefits with the Amex Business Platinum card, you’ll also earn 2 points per dollar on cruises booked at AmexTravel.com. You can only earn 2 points per dollar if the entire cruise is paid for through American Express Travel.
In all, there is a lot to love about the Amex Platinum card and Amex Business Platinum card. Each of the cards possesses unique benefits, and both of the cards also share lots of perks. If you are looking for a personal or business card that offers a laundry list of useful, value-adding perks, look no further than these 2 cards.