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American Express offers two flexible travel rewards credit cards for business travelers. Your two options are the American Express® Business Gold Card and The Business Platinum® Card from American Express. Both cards cater to different types of business purchases, but you can still redeem your Membership Rewards points for award travel or cash rewards. Let’s see what is the best option for you.
Learn more: American Express® Business Gold Card
As you might guess by the card names, the American Express® Business Gold Card has the lower annual fee. Of course, you will get fewer card benefits than the Business Platinum Card, so you will have to weigh that tradeoff.
Neither of these business credit cards charges a foreign transaction fee.
Amex Business Gold: For a limited time, you can earn up to $500 back in the form of statement credits by purchasing qualifying services with FedEx within the first 3 months of account opening. This offer ends November 06, 2019.
Amex Business Platinum: Up to 100,000 Bonus Points by spending $25,000 in the first 3 months of account opening.
With the Business Platinum, you can take advantage of the offer to earn 100,000 bonus Membership Rewards points with these two spending milestones:
- Spend $10,000 on qualifying purchases within the first 3 months of card membership, which will earn you 50,000 points.
- Then, spend an extra $15,000 on qualifying purchases during the same 3 months to earn the additional 50,000 points.
Depending on how you redeem your Amex Business Platinum bonus, your bonus can actually be worth $1,350 because of a 35% air travel redemption bonus.
Amex Business Gold: Get 4X Membership Rewards® points on the 2 select categories where your business spent the most each month
Amex Business Platinum: Up to 5x points on every purchase
Both credit cards earn American Express Membership Rewards Points. But, you’ll need to pick which earning option is more lucrative for you.
Business Gold Card
The Business Gold bonus allows you to get 4X Membership Rewards® points on the 2 select categories where your business spent the most each month.
To calculate your top 2 categories each billing cycle, Amex looks at your account transactions that fall into the 6 categories below. They then issue additional points based on your 2 highest categories of total spend. These select categories include:
- airfare on a scheduled flight charged directly with passenger airlines (charter flights and private jet flights are excluded)
- advertising purchased in the U.S. to promote your business online, on television, or on the radio
- computer hardware, software, and cloud computing purchases in the U.S. made directly from select technology providers (the current list of select technology providers is available at americanexpress.com/rewards-info)
- gasoline at gas stations located in the U.S. (superstores, supermarkets and warehouse clubs that sell gasoline are not considered gas stations)
- restaurants located in the U.S.
- shipping services purchased in the U.S. for courier, postal, and freight
Note that these 4X points apply to the first $150,000 in combined purchases from these 2 categories each calendar year.
Business Platinum Card
The purchase rewards tiers are more straightforward with the Amex Business Platinum:
- 5x points on all airfare purchased directly from airline or Amex Travel
- 1.5x points on all purchases greater than $5,000
- 1x point on all remaining purchases
Frequent flyers benefit the most from the Business Platinum because of the 5x bonus, it’s the highest reward rate for any travel rewards credit card when it comes to airline purchases.
Big spenders can also benefit greatly from the 1.5x large purchase bonus too.
Redeeming Membership Rewards Points
The Business Platinum has one exclusive redemption option. Not even the personal Platinum Card from American Express has this benefit!
Business Platinum Card 35% Redemption Bonus
Of course, the lone exception is that the Business Platinum Card gives you a 35% redemption bonus when you redeem your points for award flights on Amex Travel. This bonus is for First Class and Business Class flights. Qualifying airline redemptions can also earn the 35% redemption bonus.
If you redeem 5,000 points on an award flight, you will get 1,750 points back for a future redemption.
1:1 Point Transfers
Your points have a maximum redemption value of 1 cent on air travel or gift cards when you redeem them directly through American Express. They can be more valuable if you can transfer them to a 1:1 airline or hotel travel partner.
With the Business Platinum, your transferred points need to be worth at least 1.35 cents once you factor in the 35% redemption bonus.
Some of the most valuable Membership Rewards transfer partners include:
- British Airways
- Delta SkyClub
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
Additional Card Benefits
The Platinum Card earns its weight in platinum with the additional card benefits. Before we cover those, let’s review which benefits both cards share:
- Purchase Protection
- Extended Warranty
- Baggage Insurance (Up to $1,250 for Gold and up to $3,000 for Platinum)
- Premium Roadside Assistance
- $75 credit on select purchases with The Hotel Collection
- Employee Expense Management Tools
For the most part, the Amex Business Gold primarily focuses on earning bonus points on your most common business purchases. In turn, you can redeem them for award travel on Amex Travel or transfer them to a 1:1 travel partner. You probably won’t choose the Business Gold specifically for its additional card benefits.
Platinum Business Card
The Platinum Business Card is full of additional travel benefits that primarily benefit frequent flyers:
- $200 airline fee credit
- Complimentary access to six airport lounge networks
- Global Entry/TSA Precheck application fee reimbursement
- Upgraded Hilton Honors and Starwood Preferred Guest membership status
- Boingo Wifi Hotspot Access (More than 1,000,000 hotspots worldwide)
- 35% airline redemption bonus
- Special perks at FINE Hotels and Resorts
If you can benefit from these travel benefits, it can be worth springing for the Business Platinum.
When to Apply For the Amex Business Gold
You should apply for the Amex Business Gold in these instances:
- Earn more from the 4x bonus categories
- You benefit from 25% points back after you use points for all or part of an eligible flight booked with Amex Travel (up to 250,000 points back per calendar year)
- Won’t benefit from the Business Platinum’s additional travel benefits
- Can’t meet the Business Platinum welcome bonus spending requirements
Once again, you may also enjoy the Business Gold because of its multiple bonus categories. And, American Express waives the annual fee for the first year.
When to Apply for the Amex Business Platinum
The Amex Business Platinum is the better option if you can enjoy these benefits:
- Want to earn 5x points on airline purchases
- Make $5,000 purchases
- Benefit from the premium air travel benefits
- Can use the $200 air travel credit (effectively reduces the annual fee to $250)
You will benefit most from this card if you can maximize the air travel rewards and benefits. Making a large purchase is also a huge bonus too.
Summary on the Amex Business Platinum vs Business Gold Cards
Both of these credit cards let you earn Membership Rewards. More importantly, you have access to 1:1 point transfers which makes each point more valuable than the average credit card rewards point. Pick the card that offers the most useful purchase rewards and additional benefits for you and you can’t go wrong.
Learn more: American Express® Business Gold Card
For rates and fees of the American Express® Business Gold Card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Business Platinum Card®, please click here.
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Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.