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The Platinum Card® from American Express has a $695 annual fee — one of the highest among all personal cards — but if you maximize benefits like statement credits and airport lounge access, you can get more than enough value for it to be worthwhile.
Over the past year, Amex has added new benefits and perks to both the Platinum Card and the Amex Business Platinum Card (with a $595 annual fee) to keep them competitive with other premium rewards cards. Most recently, along with the Platinum Card’s annual fee increase, it added valuable new credits for select digital subscriptions, CLEAR membership, Equinox fitness memberships, and prepaid hotel bookings.
Read more: The Amex Platinum card just increased its annual fee to $695 — but fancy new perks and a 100,000-point offer could take the sting out of it
While the personal and business versions used to have virtually identical benefits and terms (with a few exceptions), they’re no longer nearly identical. While they do have many overlapping features, there are some key differences. Keep reading to see how the Platinum Card and the Amex Business Platinum Card differ, and to decide if either is right for you.
Amex Platinum vs Amex Business Platinum card comparison
*Note: Starting January 1, 2021, the 5x points will apply up to $500,000 on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel per calendar year
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100,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $6,000 in your first 6 months of card membership, plus 10x points on eligible purchases on the Card at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the U.S., on up to $25,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of card membership
Platinum Card: The personal Platinum Card has a welcome bonus of 100,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $6,000 in your first 6 months of card membership, plus 10x points on eligible purchases on the Card at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the U.S., on up to $25,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of card membership.
The best ways to use American Express Membership Rewards points include booking travel through the Amex Travel Portal or, representing one of the best options, transferring them to various partner airline and hotel programs. But if you’re staying close to home, there are plenty of non-travel ways to redeem Amex points as well.
Read more: How to earn, redeem, and maximize Amex Membership Rewards points
Keep in mind that that valuation is subjective and an “average” of all of the different ways you can use points. Membership Rewards points are worth a different amount depending on whether you use them for shopping, statement credits, travel booked through Amex, or transfer them.
Amex Business Platinum Card: The Amex Business Platinum Card offers a bonus of 100,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases within your first 3 months of card membership.
Obviously, that’s a lot of money to spend in three months. Unless you own a small-to-medium-sized business and realistically expect to spend that much in a single quarter, the personal Platinum Card might be a better option for you.
Earning rates on purchases
14.24 – 22.24 Variable
Good to Excellent
100,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases within your first 3 months of card membership
Both cards offer a whopping 5 points per dollar spent on flights booked through Amex Travel — the personal version of the Platinum Card also earns 5x points on flights booked directly through the airline (starting January 1, 2021, earn 5x points on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year) — and 1 point per dollar on everything else.
Read more: How to use the Amex Travel Portal to book flights, hotels, car rentals, cruises, and more — and make the most of your Membership Rewards points
However, the Amex Business Platinum Card offers a 50% point bonus on purchases of $5,000 or more, meaning you’ll earn 1.5x points per dollar, up to 1 million extra points per calendar year (after that, the rate drops back to 1x point per dollar for the rest of the year).
Previously, both versions of the Platinum card had the same annual fee. However, the fee on the personal card was raised to $695, and the Amex Business Platinum Card’s fee increased to $595.
The differences in benefits on the Platinum cards
Uber Cash credit on the personal Amex Platinum
The personal Platinum Card offers up to $200 a year in Uber Cash credits. The credit is broken down by month: You’ll get a monthly $15 credit, with an extra $20 in December (for a total of $35 that month).
Read more: Amex Platinum cardholders get up to $200 in Uber credits every year — here’s how to make the most of the benefit, even if you’re staying home
If you don’t take Uber rides, you can use the credit for
food delivery — that’s up to $200 in free dining each year. The Amex Business Platinum Card doesn’t have an equivalent Uber credit.
Saks credit on the personal Amex Platinum
Each year, Platinum Card cardholders can get up to $100 back in the form of statement credits for Saks Fifth Avenue purchases.
Read more: The Amex Platinum card offers up to $100 in annual credits at Saks Fifth Avenue, and you can ‘stack’ other discounts to save more on your purchases
This is divided into two $50 credits: up to $50 toward Saks purchases made with the Platinum Card from January to June, and another $50 toward those purchases from July through December.
Up to $200 hotel credit on the personal Amex Platinum
Platinum Card members receive up to $200 in credit each calendar year toward prepaid bookings at Amex Fine Hotels and Resorts or Hotel Collection properties when they book with their card through Amex Travel.
Read more: The Amex Platinum card comes with up to $200 in hotel credits each year — here’s how it works and which hotels qualify
Fine Hotels and Resorts bookings include perks such as free breakfast, guaranteed late checkout, room upgrades and early check-in when available, and a welcome amenity or credit unique to each property. Bookings with The Hotel Collection must be for a minimum of two nights, and include benefits like room upgrades and a $100 on-property credit.
Up to $240 digital entertainment credit with the personal Amex Platinum
The new digital entertainment credits on the Platinum Card are awarded in chunks of up to $20 per month (maximum $240 per year). Enrollment is required before you can use this perk on these eligible subscriptions:
Read more: How to use the Amex Platinum digital subscription credit to save up to $240 per year on services like Audible and SiriusXM
Up to $300 Equinox credit with the personal Amex Platinum
Platinum Card cardholders can receive up to $300 annually (up to $25 per month) in credits toward Equinox gym memberships or digital subscriptions to on-demand fitness classes through the Equinox+ app. Enrollment is also required to activate this benefit.
Read more: Amex Platinum cardmembers get up to $300 in Equinox credit every year — here’s how to use the benefit, even if you’re staying home
35% points rebate on the Amex Business Platinum
This is an incredibly valuable perk that’s only available with the Amex Business Platinum Card.
One of the ways to redeem Membership Rewards points is by using them to book flights, hotels, cruises, or more through Amex Travel. When you do that, your points are generally worth 1 cent each.
Read more: How to choose your airline for Amex Platinum benefits
However, when you have the Amex Business Platinum Card and use points to book any flight on your selected airline — or business or first-class flights on any airline — you’ll get 35% of your points back (up to 500,000 points per calendar year). Because booking through Amex Travel is the easiest way to use points for flights, this represents a great option to use fewer points to get more.
Dell credit on the Business Platinum
While the Amex Business Platinum Card doesn’t offer statement credits for Saks or Uber, it does offer up to $200 in statement credits annually for US purchases with Dell. This is divided into two semi-annual credits of up to $100 (January to June and July to December).
Read more: How to use the Amex Business Platinum Dell credit
Benefits shared by both versions of the American Express Platinum
Airline incidental fee credit
Every calendar year, the Platinum Card and the Amex Business Platinum Card offer up to a $200 credit toward incidental fees on one airline (that you can choose at the beginning of each year).
Read more: The Amex airline incidental fee credit can save you up to $250 a year on extras like checked bags, but don’t assume all purchases will trigger the reimbursement
While the airline fee credit doesn’t cover tickets, it applies to a wide variety of charges and fees, such as checked bags, change fees if you need to modify your flight, inflight food and drinks, fees for traveling with a pet, airport lounge day passes (if you don’t already have complimentary access), and sometimes even things like seat assignments and extra legroom upgrade fees.
The best part of the airline credit is that because you get it each calendar year, not cardmember year, you could get it twice in your first year of having the card. Say you opened the card in February — you can earn the full $200 credit before the calendar year ends, then once the credit resets on January 1, get it again before your next annual fee posts, meaning you can get up to $400 in value from this credit each year.
Airport lounge access
Both cards offer identical access to airport lounges.
Lounges are exclusive areas where you can enjoy comfortable seats, an internet connection, food, drinks, and sometimes other amenities. Although lounges were traditionally reserved for first-class and business-class passengers, many are accessible to any traveler who holds either a lounge membership or certain credit cards — and the Platinum cards offer access to several different types of lounge.
The first is Amex’s own proprietary Centurion Lounges, located at nearly a dozen airports in the US — and in Hong Kong. These chic venues offer an oasis in the middle of the main terminal’s chaos, featuring comfortable seating, complimentary cocktails and food created by award-winning mixologists and chefs, and other amenities. Access to these lounges is limited to holders of the Amex Platinum or Amex Centurion cards.
If you’re flying with Delta and carry an Amex Platinum card, you can also access any Delta Sky Club lounge. With more than 30 locations, Sky Clubs offer snacks, complimentary soft and alcoholic drinks (with more “premium” drinks available for purchase), fast Wi-Fi, and a place to unwind. Some locations also feature showers.
Finally, the Platinum Card and the Amex Business Platinum Card come with a Priority Pass membership**. Priority Pass is a network of more than 1,200 airport lounges around the world. With the membership provided by your Platinum card, you and two guests can access any location (as long as there’s room) to enjoy free snacks, drinks, newspapers and magazines, showers, and more, all separate from the hustle and bustle of the main terminal.
If you have an international version of the card, instead of the US version, be sure to double-check the guest policy for your card’s Priority Pass benefit.
$179 CLEAR credit
CLEAR is an expedited security screening program that can save you time waiting in long lines at select US airports and stadiums. A CLEAR membership normally costs $179 per year, but if you pay with your personal or business Platinum card, you’ll receive a credit to offset that cost.
Read more: How to use the Amex Platinum $179 CLEAR credit — and get through airport security faster
When you have a CLEAR membership, you can jump to the front of the security line, but — unlike TSA PreCheck members —you’ll still have to remove items like your laptop and shoes before getting screened. CLEAR isn’t a government program so the application requirements are much less stringent than those of TSA PreCheck and Global Entry.
Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credit
Both cards offer up to a $100 credit that you can use to apply for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck. The credit renews every four years, so it covers you when it’s time to reapply.
Gold status with Hilton and Marriott
When you hold either card, you’ll receive Gold elite status with Hilton hotels, as well as Marriott hotels, without having to meet any stay requirements. Elite status comes with benefits including more points earned on stays, early check-in and late check-out, room upgrades, and more.
Read more: The Amex Platinum card gets you access to the Fine Hotels & Resorts program for luxury hotel benefits — after a stay in Paris, I think it’s worth the hype
Both cards also offer access to Amex’s exclusive Fine Hotels & Resorts program. When you book a stay at a participating hotel through Amex Travel, you’ll get benefits like an even earlier check-in, a priority room upgrade, free breakfast during your entire stay, and a special amenity, such as a credit to use at the hotel bar or spa.
Which card is best for you?
For many consumers, the increased annual fee on the personal Platinum Card will only be worth it if they can maximize the card’s new benefits. That said, if you make the most of all the card’s credits and perks, you can get a value that far exceeds the annual fee.
Read more: I’m switching from the Amex Platinum to Business Platinum to save $100 in annual fees — but I’ll keep many of the same benefits anyway
If you have a small business, there are good reasons to go for the Amex Business Platinum Card instead. Although you’ll give up the Uber, Saks, digital subscription, Equinox, and prepaid hotel credits, you’ll get perks like the 35% points rebate when booking flights through Amex Travel, plus Dell statement credits.
If your business regularly makes purchases of $5,000 or more — and you can put them on the card — or you think you can get value from the 35% points rebate, then the business card might be a better option.
Also, make sure to consider the welcome points. If you don’t expect to spend enough to earn the bonus on the Amex Business Platinum Card, you’re likely better off with the personal version.
Good to Excellent
3 Free Nights (valued up to 50,000 points each) after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months, plus 10x total points per $1 spent on up to $2,500 in combined purchases in select categories within your first 6 months
Good to Excellent
$200 after spending $500 in the first three months from account opening
Good to Excellent