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40,000 Membership Rewards points (= 40,000 Avios) with Amex Platinum Business

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I don’t write much about small business credit cards on Head for Points, because they tend to offer poor value. There are, for example, two British Airways American Express Corporate Cards, which I discuss in this post on the On Business loyalty scheme. They are not desperately exciting, though, and usually have no sign-up bonus.

American Express, however, has just launched a new deal on its small business cards.

Amex is now offering 40,000 Membership Rewards points when you apply for the American Express Platinum Business card.  There has been no bonus on this card at all for the last few months.

You also receive 20,000 Membership Rewards points when you apply for the American Express Gold Business cardMore interestingly, the American Express Gold Business card is free for the first year.

See here for full details on the Platinum and Gold cards.

Amex Platinum Business

Bonus eligibility

This is where is gets complicated.

According to the rules, you CANNOT get these bonuses “if you currently hold or have held any Membership Rewards enrolled American Express Card in the past six months”.  In plain English, that means a Gold, Platinum, Green or Centurion personal Amex card.  This is because, whilst these are called ‘business’ cards, they are mainly aimed at sole traders and the points go into a personal Membership Rewards account.

And yet … last time I wrote about this, two readers with existing Amex MR cards said that they had applied for the card AND successfully received the bonus.  It may be that Amex really means that the bonus doesn’t apply if you have already had a ‘business’ Amex card in the last six months.  Or perhaps Amex just has rubbish IT ….

The other issue is the £6,000 qualifying spend.  Unless you have a business that puts a lot of spend through credit cards, this is a lot of spend to divert to the card if the bonus does not post.  You may consider it worth the gamble though.

Getting the card

Here are the basics:

  • The Platinum card carries an annual fee of £450, the Gold card costs £125 but is free for the first year
  • Clause 18.2 of the Terms & Conditions confirms that you will get a pro-rata fee refund on the Platinum card fee if you cancel
  • See this post for what you can do with Membership Rewards points in other loyalty schemes
  • You need to spend £6,000 in three months to get the 40,000 points on the Platinum Business card
  • You need to spend £3,000 in three months to get the 20,000 points on the Gold Business card
  • You earn 1 point per £1 when you spend on the card

What does Amex count as a small business?

Here are the rules from the Amex website for Platinum:

To apply for the Platinum Business Card, you should be able to say yes to the following:

  • I am aged 18 or over
  • The company has been trading for more than one year and has a current UK Bank or Building Society account
  • My personal income is over £20,000
  • I/The Business have/has no County Court Judgements for non-payment of debt
  • Pay annual fee of £450 (Tax deductable) [the site actually says £125 but this is a typo!]

There is one other important point to note. The Platinum Business card still comes with full travel insurance, with no small print. It is the policy that the Platinum personal card used to have before it was downgraded, with no requirement to use the card to pay for anything before you qualify. You can also cover 5 other family groups, apart from your own, by handing out supplementary cards on your account.

You receive Starwood Gold and Club Carlson Gold, as you would with a personal Platinum Amex.  There is no mention of Accor Platinum, however.  You will also receive a Priority Pass for airport lounge access.

If you run a larger business, you may want to consider giving you and/or your staff the American Express Green Corporate Card, Gold Corporate Card, Platinum Corporate Card or British Airways American Express Corporate Card. You can request more details on the corporate card range here.

(Disclaimer: Head for Points is a journalistic website. Nothing here should be construed as financial advice, and it is your own responsibility to ensure that any product is right for your circumstances. Recommendations are based primarily on the ability to earn miles and points and do not consider interest rates, service levels or any impact on your credit history.)

Comments (10)

  • Jason says:

    Is there a referral bonus for existing card holders?

  • Paul says:

    For those members who already had an MR card, and did get the bonus on this, did this still merge with your previous MR account, or open a separate one?

  • Eastland says:

    Raffles any news on the personal platinum doing a decent incentive (i.e. new perk or bigger bonus) since it became a whole lot less valuable without the Cathay Pacific Gold status.
    Cancelled my PRG card back in december and just holding off the platinum until I see a good reason to pay £450 for a card!

  • Rich says:

    Raffles, regarding the Corporate Cards you have said “I believe that it is possible for the Membership Rewards points or Avios earned with these cards to be given either to the staff member or the business owner”

    I’ve asked Amex about this on numerous occasions about this and they have always said that the points on Corporate Cards can only go to the card holder and not the business owner.

  • oyster says:

    So it looks like the perks of the business plat are better than the personal plat? Have I read that correctly?

    The travel insurance rules for the personal plat cost extra cash (for times when you’d normally pay by debit card but use the Amex (with a surcharge) to make sure you’re covered(.

    • Rob says:

      Depends … not sure if you get access to Fine Hotels & Rewards, for example. You didn’t get Cathay Gold with Platinum Business either, although that is a moot point now!

  • Judy Jones says:

    FHR is part of the amex biz plat benefits, the full list of benefits is on the main amex plat page

  • ADS says:

    Somewhat off topic – I’ve just received a new Marco Polo card – with six months remaining on my old card, they have now given me a card that will expire in a year’s time (so a six month extension).

    And they are offering reduced requirements for retaining status in a year’s time (not that I have any chance of doing so).