Point Hacks Credit Card Guide

100,000 Membership Rewards points with the American Express Business Platinum Charge Card

American Express Platinum Business Charge - 100,000 Membership Rewards points

With a 100,000 Membership Rewards bonus, the American Express Platinum Business Charge card is aimed at small and medium size businesses who want to maximise their points earn and travel benefits.

  • 100,000 Membership Rewards points on approval
  • 2 Membership Rewards points earned per $ spent at restaurants, airlines, accommodations and business expenses, 1 point per $ everywhere else except for utilities and the ATO
  • A vast range of Small and Medium Enterprise specific benefits, insurances (PDS), rewards and travel options
  • Unlimited access to Virgin Australia and American Express airline lounges globally
  • $1500 p.a. annual fee
  • Spend $5,000 in first two months of ownership to qualify for signup bonus
  • Card Members who currently hold or who have previously held any other Card product issued by American Express Australia Limited in the preceding 18 month period are ineligible for this offer. Previous and existing bank-issued American Express companion cardholders are eligible for this offer.
  • Offer expires: 31st May 2017

Find out more or apply →

Point Hacks earn a maximum of $330 per applicant for this card. More about this →

American Express is offering a bonus of 100,000 Membership Rewards points for new holders of the Platinum Business Charge Card.

The 100,000 Membership Rewards points can be transferred to Qantas, Velocity, Asia Miles or KrisFlyer (and more) and are available to those who spend $5,000 on the card within the first 2 months of membership.

With recent updates to eligibility rules for new cardholder bonuses from Amex, this bonus would no longer be available to all existing Amex cardholders or those who have previously held any Card product issued by American Express Australia Limited in the preceding 18 month period.

The sign-up bonus will help offset the cost of the annual fee in the first year, so you could use the initial year to test whether you are getting real value from the card that can be earned in subsequent years – or that’s the theory, at least.

Card Details

CardAmerican Express Business Platinum Charge
Loyalty ProgramAmerican Express Membership Rewards
Points earned from spend2 MR points earned per $ spent at restaurants, airlines, accommodation
2 MR points earned per $ spent on a range of business expenses
0.5 MR point per $ spent on government and utilities, and
1 MR point per $ spent everywhere else
Cap375,000 points per year
Travel BenefitsGlobal and domestic lounge access, Platinum Business Concierge service
Included InsuranceTravel insurances, purchase protection, monthly business expense and car rental damage waiver (PDS)
Overseas transaction fee3% of the converted amount
Annual Fee$1,500 p.a.

Effective Frequent Flyer Program Point Earn Rates

Frequent Flyer ProgramDomestic SpendOverseas Spend
Qantas Points1 point / $2 points / $
Velocity Points1 point / $2 points / $
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Miles1 point / $2 points / $
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles1 point / $2 points / $

Key eligibility requirements for the American Express Business Platinum Charge

  • Have a personal gross (pre-tax) annual income of $75,000 or more
  • Operate a trading ABN or ACN

There are no requirements for the self-employed to have been trading for 18 months or 12 months if they hold another American Express card when considering the Business Platinum Charge. Therefore, this card could be an alternative to the personal Platinum Charge card.

Key differences to the personal Charge Card

  • Increased 2x per $ points earn on advertising spend, couriers and computer supplies
  • Higher points cap (from 300,000 to 375,000)
  • No $300 travel credit

For many people the Personal Platinum Charge card could be a more appropriate card. For those who spend a lot in certain spend categories (business related) where points bonuses are available then the Business Platinum Charge could increase the potential points earn.

Platinum Business is a Charge card…

This is a charge card, which means that the balance of the card must be paid for in full each month, as opposed to a credit card, where you can carry your balance over to the next month.

American Express offer some more detailed information regarding the differences between a charge and credit card here.

Benefits of the Business Platinum Charge Card

The benefits of the Business Platinum Charge card include – take a deep breath –

  • Earn Membership Rewards points, including the ability to transfer to Qantas Points
  • 99 Supplementary cardholders free of charge
  • Global and domestic lounge access – American Express, Virgin Australia and Priority Pass
  • Platinum Business concierge service
  • Benefits when utilising travel booking services when using American Express Travel
  • Travel insurances (including points redemption bookings) and purchase protection, monthly business expense, car rental damage waiver and breakdown cover (Read full PDS here)
  • Complimentary annual digital multi-service subscription per year
  • Platinum’s ‘by invitation only’ program, which gives access to events and experiences that are not open to the general public
  • Access to Express Path at the Sydney International Airport

Guides on the benefits of the American Express Business Platinum Charge card

Earning Points from Spend on the Business Platinum Charge

With the American Platinum Business Charge Card you’ll be earning Membership Rewards points.

In short, Membership Rewards partner with the major frequent flyer programs in the region as a flexible points program, which allows on-demand transfers of your points over to the frequent flyer program at your request.

Read the full guide to American Express Membership Rewards here →

On top of the standard benefits of Membership Rewards points, Platinum Business Charge account holders are also able to transfer their points to Qantas Frequent Flyer – one of only a couple of cards in the market that can do this (rather than earn directly into Qantas Points).

The Platinum Business Charge card earn rates are as follows:

  • 2 points per $ at restaurants, airlines and accommodation
  • 2 points per $ spent on a range of business expenses including “key national and regional advertising media channels, preferred national and local courier and freight distributors, select computer equipment and supply specialists excluding department stores and general computer suppliers”.
  • 2 points per $ on overseas spend
  • 1 point per $ everywhere else
  • 0.5 points per $ on government and utility transactions

You should be aware that in order to receive the 2 points per $ for spend at restaurants, airlines and accommodation, the expense must be categorised as such in the American Express Merchant Acceptance system.

For example, dining within a retail department store, hotels, pubs and liquor outlets may not be eligible to receive the additional points for restaurants. Spend on airlines or accommodation is eligible for the additional points when paid directly to the merchant or through a travel agent.

The American Express Business Platinum card offers bonus points with companies described as follows – “key national and regional advertising media channels, preferred national and local courier and freight distributors and select computer equipment and supply specialists”.

Some of the merchants that earn double points for advertising spend:

  • ABC Outdoor
  • APN
  • clixGalore
  • Community Newspapers
  • Facebook
  • Fairfax
  • Google Adwords
  • Macquarie Southern Cross
  • News Limited
  • Nine Entertainment
  • Prime Television
  • Seven West
  • Surround Plan
  • The Sunday Times
  • The West
  • WIN Television

National and local courier and freight distributors eligible for bonus points include:

  • Toll Priority
  • TNT
  • UPS

The 0.5 points per $ earn rate for government and utility transactions include gas, water and electricity providers, Australian Taxation Office, Australia Post, federal/state and local government bodies and insurance providers excluding insurances offered by American Express.

American Express Platinum Business Points Cap

American Express applies a points cap of 375,000 points earned before reverting to 1 point per $1 spent.

The points cap is a shame, given that this card allows for 99 supplementary cardholders free of charge, which is encouraged by American Express as ideal for small business owners to spread points earning across many employees.

Lounge Access with the American Express Business Platinum Charge

There are several airline lounge options you can take advantage of as a Business Platinum Charge cardholder.

Virgin Australia offers the primary cardholder unlimited access to Virgin Australia lounges – and you’ll also be able to bring in a guest travelling with you. You’ll need to be travelling with Virgin Australia to gain access.

Virgin Lounge Melbourne Interior-w

The Virgin Australia Lounge in Melbourne

American Express also has growing network of Amex branded airline lounges globally, including one opened just last year in Sydney Airport in the International Terminal.

American Express Sydney Lounge 2

Generally you’ll be able to bring 2 guests to the American Express lounges, as well as children travelling with you, and with the Business Platinum Charge you will be able to access the Sydney lounge (and others globally) on an unlimited basis.

The Centurion Lounge Website

The full list of available lounges in the USA (which are branded as Centurion lounges) is here.

You’ll receive a Priority Pass lounge membership for you and a supplementary cardholder, and a guest travelling with you. (There’s also a 10% discount on paid Priority Pass memberships here for Point Hacks readers)

Access to travel booking benefits and services through American Express Travel

American Express Travel is available to all Amex cardholders, but Platinum Business Charge cardholders receive additional value. The benefits however do fall significantly short of what’s on offer with its sister personal card, the personal Platinum Charge.

For Business Class fares, Amex Travel has competitive pricing and has access to a wide range of discounts that may not be publicly available.

This is primarily across their partner airlines – British Airways, Delta, Emirates, Etihad, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways and Virgin Australia.

Beyond airfare, there are also a number of partner independent hotel chains which offer some exclusive benefits when booking through American Express Travel.

For example Design Hotels offer free breakfast and wifi, while Small Luxury Hotels of the World offer a room upgrade, late checkout, and breakfast for two.

There’s then the major hotel program benefit – American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts.

American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts is only for Platinum Charge cardholders

American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts is a unique benefit for cardholders, which offers more hotel benefits when booked through American Express.

Amex FHR Website

With many Fine Hotels & Resorts bookings you’ll also continue to receive points and status with the parent hotel loyalty program too.

The benefits may include:

  • An on property benefit, often $100 USD in credit per stay
  • 12pm check in
  • Room upgrade if available
  • Free breakfast
  • 4pm late checkout
  • Free wifi

Hotel Status & Membership that comes with the American Express Business Platinum Charge

The Business Platinum Charge card comes with a range of hotel and other elite status benefits. We’ve covered off exactly what you’ll receive in a dedicated guide, but the key benefits are Starwood Preferred Guest Gold and Club Carlson Gold Elite status.

Platinum Business Concierges

There’s a dedicated Platinum Business Concierge service which is apparently focused on the needs of Small and Medium Enterprise cardholders. I quote:

“Whatever you need just call us 24/7 and we will go out of the way to make it happen”.

Source: The AmericanExpress® Platinum Business Card Website

Business Platinum Charge Travel and other Insurances

It is difficult to provide too much commentary on the card’s insurance coverage given that each person’s insurance needs are different – So check out the full Platinum Business Charge Insurance PDS and assess whether it will cover your needs.

Depending upon the type of cover, the insurance is activated by either just being a Business Platinum Charge cardholder, or by making a purchase of an eligible item.

The insurances included are:

  • Monthly Business Expense Insurance, where the cardholder will receive protection in the event of they are temporarily unable to run their business, to a maximum of $12,000
  • Travel insurance, including for points redemption bookings from using points earned by your Business Platinum Charge
  • Purchase protection
  • Roadside assistance insurance
  • Up to $125,000 of Loss Damage Waiver insurance for rental cars

This guide references some of the benefits of insurance policies provided with this credit card.

You should read the PDS and obtain independent professional advice before obtaining this product.

Access to Express Path at the Sydney International Airport

A little-known benefit of the Business Platinum Charge card (along with other Platinum Charge cards and higher) is access to Express Path expedited immigration and security at the Sydney Airport International Terminal. Simply show your card then you and up to four travelling companions can use the Express Path facility. Read more about it here.

Complimentary Annual Digital Multi-Device Subscription

Tailored to Platinum Business Charge cardholders is a free annual digital subscription to either The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age or The Financial Review. The subscription is for 12 months, however once a choice is made, it cannot be changed within the first twelve months.

Eligibility criteria for bonus points for existing American Express cardholders

American Express are quite specific about whether existing cardholders will be eligible for bonus points if they apply for a card, are approved, and meet the minimum spend criteria.

Firstly, if you hold a bank-issued American Express – e.g. from Westpac or from ANZ – that alone won’t affect whether you’re eligible for bonus points with an American Express branded card offer. There’s more in our guide to this here.

Previously American Express allowed cardholders of different family types (e.g. Charge, Credit or Business) to be eligible for bonus points offers for cards in a different family. This is now not the case, with this eligibility criteria being redefined to all previous cardholders of any ‘card products’ now being ineligible for bonuses.

Summing up – the American Express Business Platinum Charge

With a $1,500 annual fee, the expectation is that this card should tick all the boxes, and while the card does offer some very nice benefits, it is different to it’s personal card equivalent, the Platinum Charge card.

If you are frequent traveller with a high spend, put a lot of your business spend on advertising, couriers or computer equipment, and are likely to utilise the softer benefits such as insurance protections and concierge, then this card may be for you.

But given the high cost of the card, a serious cost/benefit analysis should be undertaken before considering it.

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Comments Expand Comments

  1. Wayne

    Having recently received this card a few gotchas that might help others. Firstly unlike the personal version of the card, the business card isn’t eligible for referral bonuses. If you were planning on referring to friends to bump up your balance keep this in mind, shame when they’re paying out 40,000 points for referrals on the personal platinum.

    Also despite what’s mentioned above, access to Delta lounges isn’t included in the business platinum. Neither is membership in Shangri-La Golden Circle Jade that’s referred to in the linked Status Benefits guide.

  2. Jason

    Any idea if there is a cheaper annual fee if we are a member of certain organisations? For example with the personal Platinum Charge Card, the annual fee is reduced if we are a member of CPA Australia (and a number of other organisations).

  3. Rob

    Wondering if I would be eligible to take up both this offer, and the 100K points for Amex personal Platinum? It has been over a year since I’ve held an Amex card.

  4. Anonymous

    I don’t believe you are eligible for Accor Platinum status with the Amex Business Platinum Card…do you have any further info on this?

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