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I’ll put this out there first as a disclaimer. The Business Platinum Card from American Express is not a card for everyone. However, for the audience it does target — urban-dwelling, travel-loving freelancers, entrepreneurs, small business owners, and remote employees — the Business Platinum Card is quite possibly the best card to get at the moment. I value the card’s first year benefits at over $6,000.
Don’t Be Scared Away By The Business Platinum Card’s Annual Fee
This card wasn’t on my radar until recently. Late last year, AmEx increased the annual fee on the Business Platinum card from $450 to $595 (See Rates & Fees), a not-so-insignificant increase. To be honest, I only had a cursory look at the added benefits and chalked up the new credit to Dell and WeWork membership as vanity items — nice to haves, but not justifiable enough for spiking the card’s fee.
Boy, was I wrong. For the right audience, the new benefits provide incredible value, especially for the first year of card ownership. I value these benefits at over $6,000 for the first year.
That doesn’t even include the previous benefits that have rolled over or the sign-up bonus for up to 75,000 Membership Rewards points.
Updated Benefits On The Business Platinum Card
In terms of new benefits, there’s one recurring benefit that renews each year and one first year only benefit. The latter you can think of as a welcome offer of sorts.
- First Year Only Benefit With WeWork: A year of Platinum Global Access from WeWork which is valued on paper at $2,700. However, in the real world, I personally value this benefit at $6,000 — I’ll explain my reasoning for this shortly.
- Recurring Benefit With Dell: $100 in statement credits between January and June and up to $100 in statement credits between July and December for a total of $200 per calendar year when purchasing with Dell
When I apply for this card, I plan to use both of these benefits, with Dell at face value ($200) and the WeWork membership at my personal valuation of $6,000.
Total New Benefit Value = $6,200
Existing Benefits Of The Business Platinum Card
Here are some other notable benefits that have rolled over. As expected, there’s still significant value to be had from these perks. Centurion Lounges are a cut above any other domestic lounge offering (when it’s not insanely crowded). The airline fee credit is a bit cumbersome in practice but can prove useful. And hotel status sure is a nice-to-have.
- AmEx Centurion Lounge Access: 12 new or upcoming premium lounges across the United States
- Airline Incidental Fee Credit: $200 with one airline selected each year
- Hotel Collection Credit: $100 (up from $75) credit when booking 2+ hotel nights at amextravel.com
- Hilton Honors Gold Status: Mid-tier Hilton status that most notably includes free breakfast
- Marriott Bonvoy Gold Status: Mid-tier Marriott status that includes late checkout, among other benefits
- TSA PreCheck / Global Entry Reimbursement
- Priority Pass Select Membership
- 35% back on Membership Rewards: When using Pay With Points to book airfare
Updated Benefit: What Is The WeWork Benefit On The Business Platinum Card?
Let me backtrack a second and explain what WeWork is (just in case you weren’t aware).
WeWork is a multi-billion dollar behemoth that now covers multiple verticals, with its core offering being a vast network of co-working office spaces around the world. There are over 600 WeWork locations in 100+ cities offering a combination of private office space, dedicated desk space, and WeWork “hot desk” access. Basically, it’s a fully functioning office that you can start working out of immediately. And there’s coffee and spa water, if you’re into that type of thing.
WeWork “hot desk” is access to work from any open common spaces within one WeWork location without having a dedicated desk each day.
WeWork “Hot Desk” = Platinum Global Access
Platinum Global Access from WeWork is basically a rebranded version of the WeWork “hot desk” membership. I’ll go into more detail about the real world differences (conference spaces, printing fees, etc.) between “hot desk” and Platinum Global Access in another post.
How I Value This WeWork Benefit At $6,000
Here is where the outsized value exists. If you live or work from a city like New York or San Francisco — where space for absolutely anything is astronomically priced — you can get upwards of $6,000 in value here.
In New York, a “hot desk” at some WeWork locations can go for $500 per month. In San Francisco, certain locations cost a staggering $600 per month.
Platinum Global Access from WeWork has almost the same features of WeWork “hot desk” with one huge added bonus: the ability to work from any WeWork that offers “hot desk” space, which totals 300+ locations in 75 cities. A regular “hot desk” membership is tied to only one location, with additional fees to work from another WeWork office, even in the same city. I’m not even including this benefit in my valuation.
WeWork Benefit: $500/month for a NYC “hot desk” x 12 months = $6,000 in value
Updated Benefit: How To Use The $200 Dell Credit With The Business Platinum Card
You might be thinking — what possibly could I buy at Dell?
Sure, in terms of brand association, Dell doesn’t nearly have the cache of an Apple or Samsung. American Express probably couldn’t onboard those brands to be a card benefit, but Dell’s partnership isn’t a bad alternative. Here’s why.
Besides offering laptops, monitors, and other Dell hardware, the $200 credit can be used for other non-Dell branded hardware and software that is also sold on its website. This is where I see a sweet spot.
For instance, Dell sells an annual Microsoft Office 365 subscription for $100 and H&R Block tax software for under $100. Then, there’s items like Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV sticks, smart home items, and many more potentially useful products you were going to purchase out-of-pocket anyhow.
Additionally, using a shopping cashback portal like Ebates can also sometimes net up to 10% off Dell purchases. The downside (and annoying part) of this benefit is that it’s triggered in shifts, with the first six months of the year getting $100 back and the last six months of the year another $100.
Dell Benefit Math: $100 every 6 months x 2 = $200 in value
Welcome Offer For The Business Platinum Card
Alright, if you’ve made it this far, I would gather that you’re probably at least somewhat interested in the Business Platinum Card. The current welcome offer from American Express is 50,000 Membership Rewards points after a rather hefty $10,000 spent within three months of card opening. If an additional $10,000 is spent, you’ll get another 25,000 bonus Membership Rewards points. (See Rates & Fees)
While that is a good chunk of spend required, if there are any significant business expenses upcoming, it makes a whole ton of sense to use the Business Platinum to pay for it. Even better, AmEx offers 1.5 Membership Rewards points per dollar (50% bonus) when making large purchases of $5,000 or more.
Even if you can’t reach the minimum spend requirements to trigger the welcome bonus, the Business Platinum Card still can provide incredible value — especially with the first year WeWork membership that I personally would get $6,000 out of.
Of course, after the first year, you’ll have to evaluate whether the other benefits still make it worthwhile to hold onto the card. If you value the Dell credit at face value ($200), that already more than offsets the $145 increase in annual fee ($595 now vs $450 before). Your mileage may vary. (See Rates & Fees.)
The Business Platinum doesn’t make sense for everyone, but for the audience where it does, the card is an absolute steal. And I can’t believe I’m saying that for a card that carries a $595 annual fee.