Update 1/13/22: The annual fee increase has now taken effect. The fee is now $695.
Starting today, October 14th, the Business Platinum Card from American Express includes new valuable (and some less-valuable) new perks. These perks are available immediately to current cardholders and to those who sign up new. A new $695 annual fee (up from $595) will kick in on January 13th 2022. While reactions will vary depending upon how people value the new perks, I’m happy with the changes. While the annual fee is now $100 more than in 2021, I value the extra $200 in Dell credits and $120 in wireless credits collectively much more than $100.
A new $695 annual fee (up from $595) has kicked in on January 13th 2022. Cardholders who have the card before then won’t be charged the new fee until their account renews on or after January 13, 2022.
Dell Credits: Up to $400 Per Year
Get up to $400 in statement credits per year toward U.S. purchases with Dell Technologies on your Business Platinum Card when enrolled. Credits are awarded semi-annually, as follows:
- Get up to $200 in statement credits for purchases made between January 1 and June 30 each year.
- Get up to $200 in statement credits for purchases made between July 1 and December 31 each year.
The previous perk was for $200 in Dell credits annually ($100 January through June, and $100 July through December).
I’m pretty happy about the expanded Dell credits. Dell sells much more than just computers. I’ve used Dell credits in the past to buy wireless earbuds, microphones, software, XBox gift cards (which now work to purchase anything from the Microsoft store), webcams, and more. Sometimes I buy things that I need myself and other times I use the credits to buy presents for others. While I don’t value this perk at the full $400 face value, it’s still a great enhancement.
Wireless Credit: Up to $120 Per Year
Enroll and get up to $120 in statement credits per year for wireless telephone service purchases made directly with a wireless provider in the U.S. on the Business Platinum Card.
- Get up to $10 back per calendar month when you use your card to pay for wireless telephone service.
One great thing about this credit is that the Business Platinum card is one of the Amex cards that offers cell phone protection when you use the card to pay your wireless bill. Details here.
Personally, I value this perk at close to full face value. Thanks to offering cell phone protection, I’m happy to auto-pay my AT&T cell phone bill with my Business Platinum card. People with Verizon service may be less enthused, though, since Verizon offers a discount for those who pay with a debit card or via direct bank withdrawal. For those with Google Fi, the situation is more complicated. In the past, sometimes Amex has recognized the charges as wireless service payments and other times not. Worst case, you’ll want to watch your account and message Amex to request the credit each month if it doesn’t automatically get applied.
Indeed: Up to $360 Per Year
Enroll and get up to $360 in statement credits per year for purchases with Indeed on the Business Platinum Card.
- Up to $90 per quarter.
For those who need a service like Indeed to help hire new employees, this could be a useful perk. For me, I don’t value this perk at all.
Adobe Creative Solutions: Up to $150 Per Year
Enroll and get up to $150 in statement credits per year.
- Creative Cloud for teams (annual prepaid plan only)
- Acrobat Pro DC with e-sign (annual prepaid plan only)
This is another one that will have value only to those who need these specific solutions. For everyone else, like me, this perk is worthless.
1.5x Point Earnings
The Business Platinum card already offered 1.5 points per dollar for eligible purchases of $5,000 or more. Now, they’ve additionally added 1.5x on the following purchases (even when the purchases are less than $5,000) on up to $2million in these purchases per year:
- US Construction material and hardware suppliers
- US Electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers
- US Shipping providers
Amex has more information about spending categories here: www.americanexpress.com/rewards-info
Since the fee-free Blue Business Plus card offers 2x on all spend, up to $50,000 per year (then 1x), it’s hard to get excited about the ability to earn 1.5x on select categories of spend. This is a nice enhancement for businesses with very large amounts of spend for hardware (purchases from places like Lowe’s and Home Depot should count), electronics, software & cloud services, and shipping. For everyone else, like me, its not too exciting.
If you thought the Business Platinum was worth its annual fee before, then I expect you’ll be happy with the changes. The annual fee will go up by $100 per year, but the $120 in wireless credits plus $200 in extra Dell credits should be worth considerably more than $100 to most people.
As to whether the card is worth the annual fee overall, that depends upon how much you value perks like airline lounge access, elite status, 35% rebate when using points to purchase select airfare, and more. But even if you don’t value those things, you could come out ahead if you take advantage of annual credits such as:
- $200 Airline Fee Incidental Credits (See: Amex Airline Fee Credits: What Works?)
- $400 Dell Credits
- $120 Wireless Credits
- $175 CLEAR credit
- Total: Up to $895 per Year
Those credits alone could be worth more than the annual fee. Personally, I value these credits approximately as follows:
- $200 Airline Fee Incidental Credits: $180 (90% of face value)
- $400 Dell Credits: $300 (75% of face value)
- $120 Wireless Credits ($110)
- $175 CLEAR credit ($0: I get CLEAR free with my Delta Diamond status)
Total rebate value, for me: $590. That’s $105 less than the annual fee that kicks in next year, so at that time I’ll have to evaluate how much I value other perks that come with the card. If I value the rebates and perks at less than the annual fee then I’ll cancel my account.
How about you? Are you excited by the new perks or ready to cancel when the new annual fee kicks in? Comment below.