Editor’s note: This post has been updated with new information.
The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Business Platinum Card® from American Express have established themselves as the cards to have if you’re interested in luxury travel benefits. With an overlapping rewards structure and similar benefits, it’s logical to question which of the two is the best for you. Or, if you already have one of the cards, you may be wondering whether you should also go for the other.
It could actually work out in your favor to make room for both of the cards in your wallet — even with the $695 annual fees on each (see rates and fees for the Amex Platinum and rates and fees for the Business Platinum). Each card has benefits to complement the other and travelers will have no problem earning back the steep yearly fee, making them a great combination when it comes to getting the most out of your trips.
Here’s why you may want both in your wallet.
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Over $5,000 in welcome offer value
Both cards come with pretty substantial welcome offers. Right now, the Business Platinum Card will net you a TPG-exclusive welcome offer of 150,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases in the first three months of card membership.
With the Amex Platinum, you’ll earn 80,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $6,000 on purchases in your first six months of card membership (although you may be targeted for a higher offer via the CardMatch Tool — subject to change at any time).
If you apply for both cards and earn the full welcome bonuses, you’ll get at least 251,000 Membership Rewards points. This includes both welcome bonuses as well as the minimum number of points from spending at an earning rate of 1 point per dollar — though this could be higher if you utilize the cards’ bonus categories.
Based on TPG’s most recent valuations, that’s worth about $5,020 — more than triple the combined cost of the annual fees.
RYAN PATTERSON/THE POINTS GUY
Typically, one of the easiest perks to take advantage of with the Platinum cards is the annual airline fee credit.
Each card has an up-to-$200 annual airline fee credit, and while it isn’t as generous as the $300 travel credit you’ll get with the Chase Sapphire Reserve card (which can be applied to any travel purchase), the credit with the Amex Platinum cards is still very useful.
On top of the airline fee credits, the personal Platinum card is loaded with annual offers. Cardholders enjoy the following:
Up to $200 in annual Uber credits (for use in the U.S.).
Up to $100 in annual Saks credits ($50 from January to June and another $50 from July to December).
Up to $200 in yearly hotel credits for prepaid stays booked through American Express Travel at participating properties with Fine Hotels + Resorts or The Hotel Collection (the latter requires a two-night minimum stay).
Up to $240 in annual digital entertainment credits.
Up to $155 in annual Walmart+ credits (Plus Ups are excluded).
Up to $300 in annual Equinox fitness credits.
Up to $189 in annual Clear credits.
Up to $100 in credit for your Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application every four years.
When it comes to annual credits, the Business Platinum is no slouch either — Amex added a variety of new benefits in 2021 to help grow your business: up to $400 in Dell credits annually, up to $360 in annual credits for hiring and recruiting employees through Indeed, up to $150 in annual Adobe credits and up to $120 in annual cell service credits.
The Business Platinum also matches the personal Platinum in offering statement credits for for both Clear and Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credits (which you can use to pay for a frequent travel companion’s application).
Enrollment required for select benefits.
All in all, the plentiful credits between the two cards amount to over $3,100 in annual value (which alone offsets the cost of both annual fees). Between the welcome offers and annual credits, combining these cards can be a worthwhile strategy for savvy travelers.
All American Express credit cards, including the Platinum and Business Platinum cards, come with access to Amex Offers. You can find your available offers if you scroll down to “Amex Offers & Benefits” on your online account page or click on the “Offers” tab on the Amex app. They are targeted to each cardholder and come from merchants including hotels, travel providers, restaurants, and clothing and jewelry stores. These offers are usually either:
Spend $X, get Y number of bonus points.
Spend $X, get $Y back.
Get additional points for each dollar you spend at a select merchant.
While Amex Offers can be a great deal alone, you can do even better when you stack them with online shopping portals to earn extra cashback or bonus miles on your purchase.
Be warned: Depending on the terms of the offer, using online portals, promo codes, etc., could cause your Amex Offer not to trigger, so always read the fine print in the terms.
That said, the good news is that you can stack the top Amex Offers with other popular Amex perks, including the annual statement credits at Saks Fifth Avenue and Dell that come with the Platinum and the Business Platinum cards, respectively. Eligibility for these offers is limited. Enrollment is required in the Amex Offers section of your account before redeeming.
Related: Your ultimate guide to Amex Offers
ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY
Trip cancellation and interruption insurance*
Trip delay insurance*
Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details.
*Underwritten by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company.
**Underwritten by Amex Assurance Company)
Some cards have eliminated these protections over the last few years, so these benefits provide another reason to book your travel with an Amex Platinum — and make these two cards more competitive with the Chase Sapphire Reserve, which comes with a plethora of travel insurance in its own right.
The Platinum cards not only protect you from a number of travel disasters but can enhance the travel experience altogether.
The Platinum cards get you access to The Global Lounge Collection, giving cardholders free entry into any Amex Centurion Lounge plus access to a number of additional airport lounges as well. Overall, the collection grants access to over 1,400 VIP lounge locations across 650 cities and 140 countries — a benefit so valuable that it won Best Credit Card Perk in last year’s TPG Awards.
Surely to be sought out by frequent flyers, the Platinum cards also provide some supplemental benefits to make travels a bit easier: Platinum Travel Service counselors can help set an itinerary to make the most of your trips, while Global Dining Access by Resy can get you into your most desired restaurants. Preferred Access is even a way to snag exclusive seats at cultural and sporting events.
LORI ZAINO/THE POINTS GUY
Access to an array of hotel benefits is one of the areas where these two cards overlap. With both the personal and business Amex Platinum, you’ll receive complimentary Gold status at Hilton and Marriott and have access to Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts. Enrollment required for select benefits.
Gold status at Hilton comes with perks like complimentary breakfast, room upgrades when available and an 80% point bonus on paid stays. Marriott Bonvoy Gold status comes with benefits such as priority late checkout, upgrades when available and a 25% point bonus.
Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts is a program that offers elite-like benefits at properties around the world. These perks include guaranteed late checkout, daily breakfast for two, room upgrades when available and a unique property amenity (valued at $100 or more). Some properties in this program will also offer third, fourth or fifth nights free, which is a valuable benefit when you’re not looking to use your hotel points for a stay.
While you only need one Platinum card to enjoy these benefits, having both ensures you’re taking advantage of benefits while you maximize earning no matter if your trip is for business or pleasure.
Maximizing personal and business spending
Perhaps one of the biggest benefits of having both the personal and business versions of the card is that you can effectively earn 7.7% back on every airfare purchase you put on your personal Platinum Card (airfare booked directly with the airline or through American Express Travel earns 5 points per dollar on up to $500,000 spent on these purchases per calendar year). This earning rate also holds true for prepaid hotels booked through Amex Travel.
This is because, when you have the Business Platinum Card, you have the ability to Pay with Points to book flights with Amex Travel, and doing so will get you 35% of your points back. This essentially gets you a value of 1.54 cents per point.
If you earn 5 points per dollar on eligible travel purchases and then redeem those points at a value of 1.54 cents, you’re getting a return of 7.7%.
That said, if you maximize American Express’ array of valuable transfer partners, you may be able to get even more value. After all, TPG values Amex Membership Rewards points at 2 cents apiece in our latest valuations.
WYATT SMITH/THE POINTS GUY
Something else to consider is the Amex Business Platinum’s 50% points bonus for large purchases (over $5,000) and that very same offer for specific business categories.
The Business Platinum earns 1.5 points per dollar on eligible construction material and hardware purchases, electronics and software purchases, plus shipping expenses. And while both the personal and business cards offer the freedom of no predetermined credit limit, the Business Platinum earns you 50% more points on purchases of $5,000 or more, up to a limit of $2 million every calendar year.
Say, for example, you’re making an $11,500 purchase, and you wouldn’t be eligible for a bonus with another card. In total, you’d earn 17,250 Membership Rewards points on the Business Platinum card — worth about $345 based on TPG’s valuations. If you were to use another card without a category bonus for what you’re buying, you’d earn 11,500 Membership Rewards points — worth about $230.
Effectively, you’d be getting more than $100 extra in value by using the Business Platinum.
Using both the personal Amex Platinum Card and the Business Platinum Card can get you the maximum value on both your rewards-earning and redemptions, in addition to some great cardholder perks.
The combo is perfect for business-owning travelers who have a high budget and want to take advantage of huge savings, generous credits and luxurious travel opportunities.
Although the annual costs are high, the right cardholders will have no issue getting massive value out of this pairing. Each is a great card on its own, but having both in your wallet can get you even more Membership Rewards points, and it can help you stretch those points further when it comes time to use them toward travel.
Additional reporting by Ryan Wilcox, Emily McNutt and Joey Robinson.