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SME? Get 40,000 points with American Express Business Platinum

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If you have a small business, you may qualify for the biggest UK American Express sign-up bonus.

With American Express Business Platinum, you will receive a sign-up bonus of 40,000 Membership Rewards points (= 40,000 Avios or other miles).

You need to spend £6,000 within three months to receive the bonus.

You can find out more details about, and apply for, American Express Business Platinum here.

This article was updated on 2nd November 2020, and all of the information is correct as of that date. Ignore the original publication date shown.

You may qualify for the sign-up bonus even if you think you don’t

Remember that it is substantially easier to qualify for the sign-up bonus on the Business Platinum card than the personal Platinum card.

To get the 60,000 Membership Rewards points on signing up, you only need to have gone SIX MONTHS without any American Express card which earns Membership Rewards points.  The personal Platinum card now requires you to wait 24 months.

(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.)

Now let’s look at the card in more detail …..

Benefits of American Express Business Platinum

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 is 40,000 Membership Rewards points which requires you to spend £6,000 within your first three 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 points 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.

American Express Business Platinum review

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 1,300 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 Elite 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 Business Platinum.

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 Business Platinum.

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 Business Platinum.

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 access with Business Platinum.  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.  On the upside, personal Platinum cardholders do not receive a subscription to The Times.

Conclusion

40,000 Membership Rewards points (worth 40,000 Avios or 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points or 120,000 Radisson Rewards points or 40,000 Virgin points etc etc) is an excellent return for getting this card.

Whilst the £595 annual fee is high, it would be refunded pro-rata if you decided after a few months that the card was not for you.

Remember that it is far easier to get the bonus on Business Platinum compared to the personal version because it only requires you to have gone six months without a card earning Membership Rewards points.  The personal version requires to have gone 24 months without a personal card earning Membership Rewards poitns.

You can find out more about American Express Business Platinum on the American Express website 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.  By recommending credit cards on this site, I am – technically – acting as a credit broker.  Robert Burgess, trading as Head for Points, is regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as a credit broker.