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If you’re looking forward to traveling in 2022 and beyond, then a premium travel card like Platinum Card® by American Express or Business Platinum Card® from American Express can be a good long term landing.
Along with valuable perks, both cards currently offer generous initial bonuses. The American Express Platinum card offers 80,000 bonus points if you spend $6,000 during the first six months of your card membership. Meanwhile, small business owners can earn 120,000 points by spending $15,000 in the first three months with an Amex Business Platinum card.
This is one of the most generous two card offers, so now is the time to apply.
Comparison of American Express Platinum cards
In addition to the same annual fees, American Express Platinum cards offer reward points for flights and prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel. The most notable difference is that one is for business owners and the other is for consumers.
See how the cards compare to each other in the table below.
|Platinum Card® by American Express||
Business Platinum Card® from American Express
|Estimated annual fee||$365
(monthly expenses $1325)
($4,000 per month)
As you can see, the annual cost of a Business Platinum card is significantly higher than that of a consumer card. This is largely due to the fact that business owners typically charge a lot more on their cards than consumers, thereby earning more rewards. We estimate that the average business owner spends about $4,000 monthly on office supplies, business travel, and other company expenses. The average consumer spends approximately $1,325 per month on food, gas, clothing, and general purchases.
Best ways to use 120,000 Membership Rewards points
The American Express Membership Rewards program offers a huge number of redemption options, so you may feel overwhelmed trying to figure them out. We have listed them in the table below, and as you can see, if you are looking for an easy exchange with the best value, your best bet is to redeem your rewards for flights through the Membership Rewards Portal.
In addition, you can get a 35% bonus to your points by redeeming them for flights of the selected airline. This option requires you to jump through some hoops – you need to log in and select your airline after activating your account and then you can Only redeem points with this airline before the end of the year to earn a bonus – but this is a great way to increase the value of your bonus. With a wagering bonus, a bonus of 120,000 points is worth about $1,620 in flight, while 80,000 bonus points are worth approximately $1,080 in flight.
Redemption options for the Business Platinum card
|Repayment option||Point value (cents)||Bonus value of 80,000 points||Bonus value of 120,000 points|
|Airfare on the Membership Rewards Portal||1 cent||$800||1200 USD|
|35% bonus from airlines||1.35 cents||$1080||1620 USD|
|Other Membership Rewards (hotels, holidays, cruises)||0.7 cents||$560||$840|
|Expedia travel||0.7 cents||$560||$840|
|Taxi Uber / New York||1 cent||$800||1200 USD|
|Gift cards/vouchers||Up to 1 cent (sometimes lower)||$800||1200 USD|
|Channel Partner (Amazon, Best Buy, Boxed, Grubhub, Newegg, Rite Aid, Seamless, Staples)||0.7 cents||$560||$840|
|Amex Express cash desk||0.7 cents||$560||$840|
|Trade Portal||0.5 cents||$400||600 dollars|
|Transfer to Plenty||1 cent||$800||1200 USD|
|Ticketmaster and AXS tickets||0.5 cents||$400||600 dollars|
|Loan Application||0.6 cents||$480||$720|
|Charitable donation||1 cent (up to 500,000 points, after that 0.5 cents)||$800||1200 USD|
|Excise tax offset fee (to be transferred to the tourism partner)||0.5 cents||$400||600 dollars|
However, if you really want to get the most out of your points, you should consider transferring them to one of the American Express travel partners. Your points are passed on to most partners at a 1:1 ratio, and if you’re willing to spend some time searching through the airline ticket redemption tables, you can get much better value than 1 cent per point from many of these partners (even after you take into account the small excise tax of 0.06 cents that American Express charges per item).
As you can see from the table below, 80,000 Reward Points can net you almost $2,500 on flights with partners like Cathay Pacific, while 120,000 Reward Points can net you over $3,500:
Transfer options for Platinum cards
|Transfer ratio||Item value* (including transfer rate and excise duty)||Bonus value of 80,000 points||Bonus value of 120,000 points|
|Singapore ChrisFlyer||1:1||2.14 cents||$1712||$2568|
|Iberia Plus||1:1||0.94 cents||$752||$1128|
|British Airways Executive Club||1:1||0.64 cents||$512||$768|
|Delta SkyMiles||1:1||1.24 cents||$992||$1488|
|Hawaiian Airlines||1:1||0.94 cents||$752||$1128|
|Emirates Skywards||1:1||1.74 cents||$1392||2088 USD|
|Avianka Lifemiles||1:1||0.74 cents||$592||$888|
|Qantas Frequent Flyer||1:1||0.34 cents||$272||$408|
|Etihad Guest||1:1||1.74 cents||$1392||2088 USD|
|Air France (Flying Blue)||1:1||1.24 cents||$992||$1488|
|Hilton Honors||1:2||1.14 cents||$912||$1368|
|Marriott Bonvoy||1:1||0.64 cents||$512||$768|
|Choice Privileges||1:1||0.54 cents||$432||$648|
|Virgin Atlantic Flying Club||1:1||2.54 cents||2032 USD||$3048|
|Aer Lingus||1:1||1.14 cents||$912||$1368|
|cathay pacific||1:1||2.94 cents||$2352||$3528|
*Scoring for ANA and Choice Privileges via The Points Guy, for everyone else via Bankrate.
Who is eligible for the Welcome Bonus?
American Express has one of the toughest initial bonus policies in the industry, limiting cardholders to receiving a bonus on a given card only once in a lifetime. If you currently own or previously held an American Express Platinum Card or an American Express Business Platinum Card, you are not eligible for the current bonus. In addition, you must be a business owner in order to receive a Business Platinum card.
Should I apply now?
Yes. The welcome bonuses for Amex Platinum and Business Platinum are very generous. While Business Platinum occasionally offers a bonus of up to 100,000 points, its current offering easily surpasses that and is only available for a limited time. As far as the consumer card is concerned, the current bonus is still performing well, although not the highest ever.