American Express seems to be feeling some pressure from the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, which recently launched with a huge sign-up bonus. A few days ago, they announced that you would earn five Membership Rewards per dollar spent on travel with your American Express Platinum card.
Now, the company has introduced a 100,000 point sign-up bonus on its American Express Business Platinum Card. Here’s how it works:
- Spend $5,000 in the first three months and you’ll get 50,000 Membership Rewards (MR) points
- Spend another $10,000 during that period and you’ll earn 100,000 MR points
The card has a $450 annual fee, but don’t worry about that number for now. Nobody pays retail without some reimbursements.
If you are a frequent traveler, this is an okay card. If you are a frequent Delta traveler, this is a good card. Many of the traditional benefits will help offset the annual fee, including:
- An annual $200 credit toward any airline fees charged to the card. That knocks the annual cost down to a net of $250.
- A $100 reimbursement for Global Entry every five years.
- Airport lounge access: This one is big. You get access to Delta lounges, American Express Centurion lounges, Priority Pass clubs and a few other specialized locations. You may never need to sit in a hard plastic chair at an airport again!
- Free Boingo Wi-Fi access at over a million hotspots and 10 Gogo Inflight internet passes annually. If you ever need the internet on an airplane, this card will save you a fortune.
- A bunch of other cool stuff.
This has never been a great card to earn rewards on; the best rewards have always been the ones that I mentioned above. But it did get a little better with the new iteration of the card.
- Spend $5,000 in a single purchase and you’ll get 1.5 MR points per dollar, not a single point. Note that the merchant needs to record it as a single purchase. If the merchant divides it up, you only get the base points.
- A 50% rebate on flight spending with points. Normally, if you use your points to buy an airline ticket, American Express will value them a a penny each. Now, they’ll refund 50% of those points, so each one is effectively worth two cents.
The Bottom Line
This card is still what I would call a “borderline” card. If the travel benefits make sense for you, you should absolutely have it. But if you are not a frequent traveler, particularly on Delta, it’s hit or miss. Having said that, anyone can take advantage of the sign-up bonus.
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