Today American Express announced a few enhancements to their premium credit card lineup, namely the personal American Express Platinum card now earns 5x Membership Rewards points on airfare5x Membership Rewards points on airfare. Although I do not consider this offer significant enough to open a new line of credit with American Express, the enhancements to the business version of the card may be enough to make applying worthwhile.

Signup Bonus 100,000 Membership Rewards Points

The business Platinum signup bonus is now 50,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months with the opportunity to earn 50,000 more points after you spend an additional $10,000 in the first 3 months. Sure, American Express could have just said earn 100,000 if you spend $15,000 in the first 3 months, but that seems a little intimidating.

As far as Platinum card signup bonuses go, this is a good one that is worth considering if you know you have some large purchases coming up. It is important to note that business cards are not subject to the same protections offered to consumer versions of credit cards so be sure to pay your balance in full each month to avoid high interest payments.

Earning Membership Rewards Points

Cardholders of the business Platinum Card will earn 1.5 Membership Rewards points on all purchases of $5,000 or more. It is important to note that this is capped at a lofty 1,000,000 points annually.

Using Membership Rewards Points

The way cardholders can use Membership Rewards points is also enhanced. When cardholders redeem Membership Rewards points to pay with points for airfare with their airline of choice or when using pay with points for business or first class airfare with ANY airline they will receive a 50% reimbursement of points.

There are some fairly reasonable business class fares out there and this could end up being a great use of Membership Rewards points when booking inexpensive business class airfare.

Existing Benefits

  • Delta Sky Club Access
  • American Express Centurion Lounge Access
  • Priority Pass Membership (no guest privileges)
  • 10 Gogo Passes
  • Global Entry / TSA PreCheck credit
  • SPG Gold Status -> Marriott Gold Status
  • Hilton HHonors Gold Status

Should I Apply?

If you are a true small business owner who frequently travels and consistently make large non travel, entertainment, office supply, etc. (other credit card bonus categories) purchases this card may be perfect for you. If you are just trying to take advantage of the signup bonus, I would use caution. Also it is important to keep in mind that as with all American Express credit cards, if you have earned a bonus in the past you can not earn one again, ever.

That being said, I am excited about the recent enhancements to the American Express personal Platinum and business Platinum cards. It is good to finally see the card issuer add benefits since taking several away years ago. It is also very nice to hear the word ‘enhancement’ and actually seeing positive changes to a rewards program.

Caution: Business Credit Cards

Credit card issuers offer business versions of certain credit cards and although the cards appear the same at face value, there are some rather significant differences. Most notably, business cards are not subject to the some consumer protections that personal consumers are. Business cards also tend to have higher credit limits than personal cards. Overall, business credit cards a great way for someone to get into trouble quickly if they do not fully understand what they are getting into.

If you have a good handle on your own personal credit and follow good credit card practices, you may wan to consider opening a business credit card. Business credit cards are also not always counted toward Chase’s 5/24 rule so opening a business card is a great way to get a nice signup bonus and not worry about future offers from Chase.

I worry the average consumer does not fully understand the difference between personal and business credit cards and would hate to see someone get into financial trouble just to earn a few extra points along the way.