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The Enhanced Business Platinum Card from American Express
American Express has seriously improved the American Express Business Platinum as of October 2016.
Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $5,000 and an extra 50,000 points after you spend an additional $10,000 all on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership.
- Get 50% more Membership Rewards® points. That’s 1.5 points per dollar, on each qualifying purchase of $5,000 or more. You can get up to 1 million additional points per year. You still get 1 point per purchase when you spend less than $5000 on a single purchase.
- $200 Airline Fee Credit. Up to $200 a year in baggage fees and more at one airline.
- There are no foreign transaction fees with your Platinum Card, transactions in a non-US dollar currency won’t add any extra fees.
- 5X points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel
- Use Membership Rewards® Pay with Points for all or part of a flight with your selected qualifying airline, and you can get 50% of the points back.
- Complimentary Starwood (and now Marriott via status match) Gold Status
- Receive 50% points back on all First and Business class flights, with all airlines available through American Express Travel.
Benefits of The Business Platinum Card from American Express
The American Express Platinum credit card comes jam-packed with travel benefits for the frequent traveler (or even just the occasional traveler).
- The American Express Centurion lounges are a great place to relax and you can access them as often as you have a same-day boarding pass. I recently added a review for the American Express Centurion Lounge in San Francisco and the Centurion Lounge in Dallas.
- You will also get unlimited access to Priority Pass lounges. The network is huge so it’s hard to find an airport (even a tiny one) that does not have a Priority Pass lounge. Access for the cardholder is unlimited.
- Additionally you have free access to participating Delta Sky Club lounges with a same-day boarding pass.
Free Boingo Unlimited Pass
This is be a great benefit if the country you are traveling to has a lot of paid-for WiFi. Germany, Japan and the UK come to mind, as well as many other countries in Europe where this little benefit will save a lot of money and get you connected in many more places.
$200 Airline Fee Reimbursement per calendar year
The $200 Airline Fee Reimbursement applies per calendar year. We outlined how to get $200 per calendar year here and $400 in the first year of card membership here.
The best uses of the 100,000 Membership Rewards points sign-up bonus
100,000 points is a big bounty – it gives you a lot of options with all the American Express Transfer Partners.
Delta Business Class award on Virgin Atlantic/ Air France to Africa
Delta Skymiles is a 1:1 transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards.
A Business Class redemption to Africa will cost 80,000 or 95,000 miles (Southern Africa) depending on your destination. Air France flies to most destinations in Africa including the exotic Madagascar and Mauritius. For the trip over the Atlantic you can mix and match with Virgin Atlantic (which only goes to Johannesburg and Lagos only). Of course you could also fly Delta to Accra or Johannesburg but availability is a major issue.
Air France and Virgin Atlantic have recently updated their Business Class product. For Air France you need to closely look at the ‘tail number’ to make sure that you get the new (much improved) Business Class product.
Skyteam Business Class to Europe, Middle East and Northern Africa
Alitalia MilleMiglia charges the same for all countries bordering the Mediterranean as you pay for awards to Europe (that includes Algiers, Morocco and Israel for example). Alitalia MilleMiglia is a 1:1 American Express transfer partner.
MilleMiglia charges fuel surcharges so you need to find airlines with low fuel surcharges within Skyteam like Delta. You can try to find availability (on the lowest level) using delta.com but it has become a lot of guesswork.
The awards can only be booked over the phone. The call center agents are usually friendly though quality of help varies a lot. Keep calling back until you hear what you wanted.
Business Class to Europe (with Aeroplan)
Aeroplan is a 1:1 American Express Membership Rewards transfer partner and once you link your account, the points transfer instantly.
The trick with Aeroplan is to avoid fuel surcharges. Arguably the best airline to fly the transatlantic route is Turkish Airlines or Swiss now. You can add on United flights in the US and Lufthansa in Europe.
The one-way award requires 55,000 (or 57,500) miles and can be booked online with Aeroplan in a few minutes. I have booked a number of those awards myself.
Flying Blue discounted Promo awards to Europe
Air France/KLM Flying Blue run quarterly promotions where they discount mileage redemption tickets between certain city pairs or between the US and Europe.
The one-way in economy gets really cheap – just 12,500 miles per person plus taxes and fees. Since you have to fly with KLM/Air France, the fuel surcharges are high, but the one-way FROM the US to Europe is usually just about $100.
With the sign-up bonus alone, you can get 3 people to Europe for just $100 per person. If you have Flying Blue points through a different source, consider flying back with an Aeroplan one-way from Europe as outlined above.
Cool redemptions with Avios
Avios are a great tool that gets you places wherever you can find rather short flights on a partner with low/no fuel surcharges. We have outlined the best redemptions in this article that highlights the Chase British Airways Executive Club Visa Signature card.
Note that the transfer ratio is less than 1:1 now.
How to apply
American Express has made restrictions to who likely gets a sign-up bonus over the last two years. If you had this card before you will most likely not get the sign-up bonus again. Exceptions apply if you have significant business with American Express (>$10,000 in charges every year).
How can I complete the minimum spend?
Put all your regular spend on it and read our guide to manufactured spending. $3,000 in 3 months should be really easy!
What if my application was denied?
Did you know that almost all my credit card applications get initially denied and eventually approved when calling the right reconsideration numbers?