With a 120,000 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.
- 120,000 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 January 2018
Point Hacks earn a maximum of $330 per applicant for this card. More about this →
American Express are offering a 120,000 Membership Rewards points bonus to new holders of the American Express Platinum Business Charge Card until 31 January 2018. The card is aimed at large business spenders who are looking for high points earn rates on travel and business expenses, along with Amex Platinum service and travel benefits.
The 120,000 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 two months of membership.
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.
With recent updates to eligibility rules for new cardholder bonuses from Amex, this bonus is no longer available to existing Amex cardholders or those who have previously held any Card product issued by American Express Australia Limited in the preceding 18-month period.
|Card||American Express Business Platinum Charge|
|Loyalty Program||American Express Membership Rewards|
|Points earned from spend||2 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
|Cap||375,000 points per year|
|Travel Benefits||Global and domestic lounge access, Platinum Business Concierge service|
|Included Insurance||Travel insurances, purchase protection, monthly business expense and car rental damage waiver (PDS)|
|Overseas transaction fee||3% of the converted amount|
|Annual Fee||$1,500 p.a.|
Effective Frequent Flyer Program Point Earn Rates
|Frequent Flyer Program||Domestic Spend||Overseas Spend|
|Qantas Points||1 point / $||2 points / $|
|Velocity Points||1 point / $||2 points / $|
|Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Miles||1 point / $||2 points / $|
|Cathay Pacific Asia Miles||1 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 (business-related) spend categories 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
American Express Business Platinum Charge guide quick links
- Earn Membership Rewards points, including the ability to transfer to Qantas Points ↓
- Points capping ↓
- Global and domestic lounge access – American Express, Virgin Australia and Priority Pass ↓
- Travel booking benefits
- Elite status in Starwood (Gold) & Club Carlson (Gold Elite) ↓
- Access to American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts program (FHR)
- Platinum and Business concierges ↓
- Business & Travel insurances (including points redemption bookings) ↓
With the American Platinum Business Charge card, you’ll be earning Membership Rewards points.
In short, Membership Rewards partners 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.
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, which includes ‘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
- 0.5 points per $ on government and utility transactions
- 1 point per $ everywhere else
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.
Some of the merchants that earn double points for advertising spend:
- ABC Outdoor
- Community Newspapers
- 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
The 0.5 points per $ earn rate for government and utility transactions includes 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 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.
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.
American Express also has growing network of Amex-branded airline lounges globally, including one opened in 2015 in Sydney Airport’s International Terminal and another set to open at the Melbourne Airport in early 2018, read more about it here.
Generally, you can bring two guests to the American Express lounges, as well as children travelling with you, and with the Platinum Charge you may be able to access the Sydney lounge, the soon-to-open Melbourne Lounge (and others globally) on an unlimited basis.
You’ll receive a Priority Pass lounge membership for you and a supplementary cardholder, and a guest travelling with you, which now includes eateries at Sydney and Brisbane Airports. (There is also a 10% discount on paid Priority Pass memberships here for Point Hacks readers.)
Another lounge network Platinum Charge cardholders get access to is Plaza Premium, which operates a small number of about 50 high-quality lounges worldwide, including a great lounge in Brisbane’s International Terminal. You can read more in our Plaza Premium guide.
The Plaza Premium Lounge in Brisbane
Additionally, when travelling with Delta, a Platinum Charge cardholder can access Delta SkyClub lounges. Cardholders traveling in any class with Lufthansa, Swissair and Austrian Airlines can also access the Lufthansa Business Class Lounges in Munich Airport Terminal 2, while those in Business Class can access the Lufthansa Senator Lounges in the same terminal.
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.
There’s then the major hotel program benefit – American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts.
American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts is a unique benefit for cardholders, which offers more hotel benefits when booked through American Express.
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
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.
There’s a dedicated Platinum Business Concierge service which is apparently focused on the needs of Small and Medium Enterprise cardholders. I quote from their website:
“Whatever you need just call us 24/7 and we will go out of the way to make it happen”.
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 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.
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 Card Members
American Express are quite specific about whether existing Card Members will be eligible for bonus points if they apply for a card, are approved, and meet the minimum spend criteria.
If you hold a bank-issued American Express – such as from Westpac, Commonwealth Bank or NAB – that 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.
However American Express don’t allow existing cardholders, even for different types of American Express cards (e.g. Charge, Credit or Business) to be eligible for bonus points offers for cards in a different family.
Summing up: 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 its personal card equivalent, the Platinum Charge card.
If you are a 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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