amex american express bis business platinum refresh
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If you’ve been thinking about applying for The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, you’ll want to apply by January 12, 2022.

That’s because new applicants after that date will pay an extra $100 on their first year’s annual fee, with the Card’s annual fee set to rise to $695 a year (Rates and Fees) to match fee on the consumer Platinum Card® from American Express. So it’s $595, but $695 if your application is received on or after 1/13/2022.

If you are in a cash crunch, you should avoid travel rewards credit cards until you are caught up. Here are our favorite credit cards for Intro 0% APR offers and for balance transfer offers

The good news is that existing Cardmembers won’t pay the new fee until their next renewal after that date, and both existing and new Cardmembers will get the additional perks Amex will offer.

New Welcome Bonus – 120,000 points

And they’ve increased the Welcome Bonus as well – you’ll now get 120,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend $15,000 within 3 months.  You may (or may not) even be able to get more bonus point via a referral link opened in an incognito / private browser.

New Categories Earning 1.5X Points

On the earn side, they have added some 1.5X bonus categories.

In addition to earning 1.5X Membership Rewards points on purchases over $5,000, you’ll also get them at Construction material and hardware  suppliers, Electronic goods retailers and software, & at cloud system providers, and with Shipping  providers.

But Amex tends to severely limit bonus categories to particular merchants, so let’s take a look at these. You can also reference the page Amex has about this here although I’ll give you what you need to know.

U.S. Construction Materials and Hardware (Business Platinum Card only)

To earn additional rewards in this category, the purchase must be made directly at U.S. construction material and hardware suppliers. Construction material and hardware suppliers are in the primary business of selling a range of supplies, including items like raw materials (e.g., lumber, concrete, metals) and building supplies (e.g., hardware, flooring, paint, plumbing, AC/heating, electrical).

Suppliers in the primary business of selling home furnishings, industrial machinery and equipment, equipment rental, motors and generators, or any construction contracting/services are excluded. Construction supplies purchased at other retail stores are also excluded.

Examples of merchants* that accept the Card and where you can earn additional rewards include:

  • Builders FirstSource
  • Lowe’s
  • Northern Tool
  • Sherwin-Williams

*This is not a complete list.

Examples of merchants where you will NOT earn additional rewards include:

  • Superstores (e.g., Target, Walmart)
  • Warehouse clubs (e.g., BJ’s)

U.S. Electronic Goods, Software and Cloud Systems (Business Platinum Card only)

To earn additional rewards in this category, the purchase must be made directly from U.S. electronic goods retailers or U.S. software and cloud system providers.

Electronic retailers are in the primary business of selling a range of electronic goods (e.g., Dell Technologies, Newegg*).

Software and cloud system providers are in the primary business of selling programs and data storage, whether downloaded or cloud-hosted (e.g., Adobe, Salesforce*).

*This is not a complete list.

Examples of merchants where you will NOT earn additional rewards include:

  • Online marketplaces that provide a variety of products outside of electronic goods (e.g., Amazon, eBay)
  • Superstores (e.g., Target, Walmart)
  • Purchases from wireless telephone and cellular service providers (e.g., AT&T, Verizon)
  • Application purchases via aggregator platforms
  • Consulting and management services

Shipping is easy, with FedEx, UPS and USPS all earning the bonus.

Interestingly, like on the Business Gold, Amazon doesn’t count as cloud computing here. That’s a shame since it’s the goto cloud provider for most.

New Benefits and Credits

  • $200 in Dell statement credits twice annually, up to $400 total – up from $100 bi-annually. (Jan-June and July-Dec; Enrollment required / terms apply).
  • Up to $120 a year in wireless credits; up to $10 per month, Enrollment required / terms apply.
  • Up to $360 in Indeed credits ($90 per quarter; enrollment required, Terms Apply)
  • Up to $150 in credits with Adobe on annual prepaid plans for eligible Creative Cloud for teams and Acrobat Pro DC with e-sign, enrollment required, Terms Apply.

While I’m not bowled over with delight here, on balance it’s actually a net positive for almost all.

Admittedly, I find it a bit of a chore to spend my way through $100 at Dell twice a year already – however, I recently discovered I can buy ink at Dell for my Canon printer (most computing supplies at Dell are a miss for me as a Mac person), so that’s helpful. But if you can utilize the Dell credits easily, then $200 more in credits will surely make up for the $100 additional annual fee.

And I’ll be happy to put my wireless bill on the card for $120 back a year. That will at least take care of the $100 extra fee all on its own.

I don’t use Indeed so that is a total miss for me, and I don’t personally buy annual Adobe plans, though you might and this is gravy for you if you do!

Overall

Nobody likes to see an annual fee increase and $695 surely isn’t anything to sneeze at. But if you can even just utilize the $120 in annual wireless credits, you’ll come out ahead vs the $595 fee without that benefit. If you can use the additional Dell credits or the Indeed or Adobe credits you really will come out better than the old version of the card with the $595 fee.

You can apply for the 120,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend $15,000 within 3 months.  Or try my referral link (opened in an incognito / private browser) and see if you get a better offer. You may as well apply now before the fee increases in January since you’ll get all of the same benefits either way.

Thoughts?

Let me know below in the comments, on Twitter, or in the private MilesTalk Facebook group.

And if this post helped you, please consider sharing it!

You can find credit cards that best match your spending habits and bonus categories at Your Best Credit Cards

New to all of this? My “introduction to miles and points” book, MilesTalk: Live Your Wildest Travel Dreams Using Miles and Points is available on Amazon and at major booksellers.

Rates and Fees for the The Business Platinum Card(R) from American Express

 

I got "in the game" in 2003 and since then I've collected literally millions and millions of frequent flyer miles and hotel points. I've flown around the world in first class seats that would cost $29,000 using frequent flyer miles and a few bucks in tax. And I've stayed in some of the finest hotels - all for free! A few years ago I realized many of my friends actually thought I was paying for these!! So I started sharing my tips. It's long been a passion, but when I hosted a session on Miles and Points at this year's South by Southwest festival, my love of the game intensified and this blog was born.

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