6 reasons why I have both the Amex Platinum and Amex Business Platinum - despite their high annual fees
- I have both the Platinum Card® from American Express and the Business Platinum® Card from American Express, and I'm happy to pay the annual fees for both.
- While several benefits overlap, each card has meaningful perks of its own.
- If you can use the Business Platinum card's WeWork Platinum Global Access benefit (you must enroll by December 31, 2019), that alone is worth far more than the annual fee.
- And with the personal Platinum card, I can add three authorized users for $175, and they'll get airport lounge access, hotel elite status, and more perks.
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For years, the American Express Platinum card has been synonymous with premium travel experiences. And while many other banks have joined the premium travel card market with personal credit cards such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve and the Citi Prestige® Card, the Amex Business Platinum remains at the front of the pack of premium business credit cards.
A quick comparison of the Amex Platinum and Amex Business Platinum might make you wonder why anyone would keep them both - especially because both cards have high annual fees. The Amex Platinum costs $550 per year, while the Business Platinum card has an annual fee of $595.
I do have both cards, and it's well worth it for me. I have no problem paying annual fees if I'm getting enough value in return - and that's not hard considering how much I travel. Here are six reasons why it makes sense for me to have both the Business Platinum and the personal Amex Platinum.
Keep in mind that we're focusing on the rewards and perks that make these credit cards great options, not things like interest rates and late fees, which will far outweigh the value of any points or miles. It's important to practice financial discipline when using credit cards by paying your balances in full each month, making payments on time, and only spending what you can afford to pay back.
Two welcome bonuses
In most cases, American Express has a lifetime limit of one welcome bonus per card product. Since the Amex Platinum and Amex Business Platinum are considered separate cards, current or previous Platinum card holders can still receive a welcome bonus for a Business Platinum card, and vice versa.
With welcome offers regularly ranging from 60,000 to 100,000 points, an extra welcome bonus can make a big difference for achieving your next dream trip booked with travel rewards.
Exclusive annual credits and perks
Each card offers different annual credits that help offset their respective annual fees. The personal Platinum card offers up to $200 per year in Uber credits ($15 per month from January to November and $35 in December), which are loaded directly into your Uber account for use on rides or Uber Eats food delivery in the United States. The Amex Platinum also offers up to $100 in Saks Fifth Avenue credits each year (split into two $50 credits, one for each half of the calendar year).
The Business Platinum card, on the other hand, offers up to $200 in Dell credits each year (split into two $100 credits just like the Saks credit on the personal card). If you enroll by December 31, 2019, the Business Platinum also offers a killer benefit: one year of Platinum Global Access with WeWork, which gives you unlimited access to WeWork locations around the world. If you're a freelancer who uses WeWork as a coworking space - or are interested in doing so - this benefit alone is worth many times more than the annual fee.
I have no problem maxing out the benefits on each of these cards. And even if there's a time I don't need or want anything from Sak's or Dell, it's a great way to shop for a gift for a friend or family member and still make use of the benefit.
Different bonus points earning structures
The difference in points earning across the two cards can create some interesting opportunities to maximize points. The personal Platinum card earns 5x Amex Membership Rewards points on airfare booked directly with airlines or through Amex Travel, while the Business Platinum card only earns 5x points on flights booked through Amex Travel. (Both cards earn 5x on prepaid hotels booked through Amex Travel).
However, the Business Platinum card also earns a 50% bonus on purchases over $5,000 (effectively 1.5 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent), for up to 1 million additional points per year. While most business owners would be better off using the Blue Business Plus® Credit Card from American Express (which offers 2x Membership Rewards points on your first $50,000 in purchases every year, then 1x), the Business Platinum 50% bonus on large transactions could also make sense for businesses that regularly make large purchases and spend more than $50,000 per year.
Diversified airline credits
Both versions of the Platinum card offer up to $200 in annual statement credits each year toward incidental fees on a single airline of your choice. If you have the Amex Platinum and the Amex Business Platinum you can choose a separate airline for each card, giving you more flexibility in redeeming those credits if your travels aren't consistently on a single airline.
Exclusive points rebate on the Business Platinum
Another exclusive perk of the Business Platinum card is a 35% rebate when you redeem your Membership Rewards points directly for travel in business or first class on any airline, and on economy class in the airline you selected for the $200 airline credit.
This can be a great way to take advantage of fare sales, or use your points to book flights during high demand times - in some cases, between the 35% rebate and the fact that you earn airline miles on tickets booked this way, you'll end up spending fewer Membership Rewards points than you would by transferring them to an airline partner for an award redemption.
Authorized users are much less expensive on the personal Platinum card
While it costs $300 per person to add authorized users to the Business Platinum card, the personal Platinum charges a flat fee of $175 total for your first three authorized users (then $175 per user after the first three).
Authorized users get their own airport lounge access with Priority Pass, Delta Sky Clubs (when they're flying Delta), and the Amex Centurion Lounges, Gold elite status with Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors, up to a $100 statement credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, and several other perks. So if you're looking to extend these benefits to others, doing so with the personal Platinum card is much less expensive than with the Business Platinum.
Thanks to their unique benefits and different bonus categories, having both the personal Amex Platinum and the Amex Business Platinum is worth it to me. Yes, holding both cards means I pay more than $1,000 in annual fees, but the perks are worth it for me - and I'd recommend this card combo business owners and freelancers who can put all these features to use.
Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Personal Finance Insider team. We occasionally highlight financial products and services that can help you make smarter decisions with your money. We do not give investment advice or encourage you to adopt a certain investment strategy. If you take action based on one of our recommendations, we get a small share of the revenue from our commerce partners. This does not influence whether we feature a financial product or service. We operate independently from our advertising sales team.
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Please note: While the offers mentioned above are accurate at the time of publication, they're subject to change at any time and may have changed, or may no longer be available.
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