There is good news this morning if you have an American Express Business Platinum card.
To encourage you to keep the card during this difficult period, American Express will give you a £250 statement credit when you renew.
This applies to all Business Platinum renewals in 2020, and is backdated. If you have already renewed your card during 2020, you haven’t lost out.
Given that annual fee is £595, this represents a generous rebate – although arguably it is fair compensation for the inability to use travel benefits such as the insurance, Priority Pass and hotel status cards for a few months.
When do I get my £250 Amex statement credit?
If you have not yet hit your 2020 card renewal, you will see your £250 statement credit “within 4-8 weeks after the account renewal month”.
If you have already renewed your card in 2020, your £250 will appear within the next 90 days, counting from today.
If you have a personal Platinum card …..
Whilst holders of the personal The Platinum Card may be a little aggrieved by this, it is worth noting that holders of Business Platinum are not included in the current ‘double points’ offer. They are also excluded from the current ‘cash in your Membership Rewards points for 0.9p of statement credit’ offer given to all personal Platinum cardholders.
As we wrote on Saturday, some holders of the personal American Express Platinum card are receiving 20,000 Membership Rewards points if they ring up to discuss cancelling. It didn’t work for me though …..
For clarity …. if your Business Platinum card is coming up for renewal soon, don’t cancel it. Pay the £595 and wait until you’ve received and spent the £250 statement credit. At that point, you can re-think whether you want to cancel.
I want to use the rest of this article to run over the benefits of American Express Business Platinum. You currently have six months, rather than the usual three months, to spend the £6000 required to trigger the 40,000 points sign-up bonus.
Why should you get American Express Business Platinum?
If you have some sort of self employment or small business, there are three reasons why it is worth thinking about Business Platinum:
the sign-up bonus of 40,000 Membership Rewards points is the most generous of ANY UK American Express card
it is fairly easy to qualify for the bonus – the only rule is that you haven’t had a Membership Rewards card (personal or business) in the past SIX MONTHS. There is no ’24 month’ rule on Business Gold or Business Platinum.
you currently have SIX MONTHS, instead of three months, to complete the £6,000 qualifying spend in order to receive the sign-up bonus
(And …. remember …. having Business Platinum does NOT stop you getting the bonus on personal Platinum later. The rule on the personal Platinum card is that you can’t have had any PERSONAL card earning Membership Rewards points in the last 24 months. Amex does not look at Business cards. The Business Platinum card is a good way to fill the gap if you are waiting 24 months before you can reapply for personal Platinum.)
You won’t, for clarity, get the £250 statement credit as this is only for people whose card renews in 2020.
The card facts
American Express Business Platinum is a charge card, not a credit card. You must clear your full balance at the end of each month.
The card is metal.
The sign-up bonus via this refer-a-friend offer is 40,000 Membership Rewards points which requires you to spend £6,000 within your first six months of membership. You qualify for the bonus as long as “[you do not] currently hold or have held any Membership Rewards enrolled American Express Card in the past six months.”
You earn 1 Membership Rewards points on virtually every £1 spent on the card. These convert 1:1 into Avios, Virgin Flying Club miles and lots of other airline and hotel programmes, plus Eurostar points (15:1). You can also redeem for various shopping vouchers. You can see the redemption options on the Membership Rewards website.
The annual fee is £595, refundable pro-rata if you cancel. Additional Platinum supplementary cards after the first free one are now £295 – these cards receive all of the benefits below. You can have 98 free Gold supplementary cards but these do not come with any benefits.
What are the criteria for applying for Amex Business Platinum?
There is no income requirement and no trading requirement. You can apply even if you have just set up your business, as long as:
The business has a current UK Bank or Building Society account
You/The business have/has no County Court Judgements for non-payment of debt
You are aged 18 or over
You have a permanent UK home address
It is no longer a requirement that you have been in business for at least one year.
What is the Amex Business Platinum benefits package?
Let’s look at what you get for £595. For comparison, the annual fee on the personal Platinum card is now £575:
You will receive a free Priority Pass card. Priority Pass is a network of 1200 airport lounges across the world, including eight in London Heathrow. This includes the Aspire lounge in BA’s Heathrow Terminal 5. Your Priority Pass allows an unlimited number of free visits to their lounges. You can also bring in a guest for free.
You can also give a Priority Pass card to a second person by allocating your one free supplementary Platinum Business card to them. If this is your partner or spouse, you would both be able to get into the lounge for free and each bring in a free guest so a family of four is covered. Additional guests would be charged at £20 each.
You will receive access to the Plaza Premium Lounge in Heathrow Terminal 5. This is not a Priority Pass lounge but American Express Platinum Business cardholders can get access, with a guest, by showing their Platinum card at the front desk. You can also access American Express Centurion lounges with a guest, including the upcoming one in Heathrow Terminal 3.
You will receive comprehensive travel insurance. This is a very valuable benefit because of the high level of coverage available – you can take a look at the policy document here (PDF). This is a substantially stronger insurance package than you get with the personal version of Platinum. There is NO EXCESS to pay at any time, there is no requirement to use the Platinum Card to pay for anything and you are covered up to the age of 80.
You will receive Gold status in the Marriott Bonvoy hotel loyalty scheme. This will give added benefits at Marriott, Renaissance, Sheraton, Westin, W, aloft, St Regis, The Ritz-Carlton, The Luxury Collection etc properties – almost 30 brands in total.
You will receive Gold status in the Radisson Rewards hotel loyalty scheme. This will give added benefits at Radisson Blu / RED, Park Plaza and Park Inn hotels.
You will receive Gold status in the Hilton Honors hotel loyalty scheme. This is the best mid-tier hotel status to have, because you get free breakfast with it. You will get benefits at Hilton, Waldorf Astoria, Hampton, Curio etc. The personal Platinum card has had this benefit for many years but it was not part of Platinum Business.
You will receive Gold status in the MeliaRewards hotel loyalty scheme. You will get benefits at Melia and INNSIDE hotels, with benefits including three 20% discount vouchers each year and ‘2 for 1’ breakfast. The personal Platinum card has had this benefit for many years but it was not part of Platinum Business.
You will receive Jade status in the Shangri-La Golden Circle hotel loyalty scheme. Due to a reciprocal partnership, you can match this to Gold status in Taj Inner Circle. The personal Platinum card has had this benefit for many years but it was not part of Platinum Business.
You receive £150 or equivalent cashback when you book a onefinestay home rental. This benefits was also introduced to the personal Platinum card last month. You can use this benefit an unlimited number of times. There are no ‘cheap’ properties with onefinestay, however, and combined with a minimum stay requirement it is virtually impossible to spend less than £600.
You receive a free digital subscription to The Times and The Sunday Times. This is worth over £300, and if you currently pay for this it is a huge incentive to take out the card.
You can access the Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts Programme. This offers genuine added value benefits at a large number of luxury hotels across the world. These include a GUARANTEED 4pm check-out, free breakfast, an upgrade if available at check-in and typically a $100 credit towards on-property spending.
There are also benefits with Avis Preferred and Hertz Gold Plus Rewards but these are, in all honesty, no better than deals that are generally available.
There are only two negative points to note. You do NOT receive Eurostar lounge. This is only a benefit for holders of the personal version of The Platinum Card. You also do not receive the £10 monthly Addison Lee taxi credit.
You can find out more about American Express Business Platinum on the American Express website here.
(Want to earn more miles and points from credit cards? Click here to visit our dedicated airline and hotel travel credit cards page or use the ‘Credit Cards Update’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)