[Expired offer] Changes coming to Biz Platinum: higher fee, Dell credit, and more

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Update 1/22: This post was accurate at the time of original publication in 2018, but there have been major changes in the time since including a new $695 annual fee and benefits. The offer information in this post has expired. For updated offer information, see our Business Platinum card page.

American Express has sent out an email to Business Platinum cardholders advising them of changes coming to that card in 2019, including an increased annual fee of $595 (expired), Dell statement credits, an increased hotel credit on bookings through The Hotel Collection, and more. My first instinct is that these changes likely are not positive for most cardholders considering the 32% increase in the annual fee.

New Additions

New additions coming to the Business Platinum card in 2019 include:

  • Up to $200 in statement credits annually for purchases at Dell (information about how to enroll and how these work to be released in February 2019) (as of 2022, these credits are now up to $400 in statement credits annually for purchases at Dell — $200 from January to June and $200 from July to December).
  • $100 hotel credit on qualifying charges when you book The Hotel Collection through Amex Travel for new reservations made after 1/1/19. This is increased from $75 (I believe these require a 2-night minimum stay)
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points or use Pay With Points on prepaid bookings on amextravel.com at select prepaid Fine Hotels & Resorts® properties
  • One year of complimentary Platinum Global Access from WeWork, a network of premium workspaces around the world. (They tout over 300 workspaces in 75+ cities and 20+ countries). More information on how it works and how to enroll coming in Feb 2019 Update: This benefit is no longer available for registration as of 1/1/20.

We haven’t yet seen information about whether the Dell credits will come in a lump credit or twice a year (like the Sak’s credit on the personal card) or monthly (like the Uber credits on the personal card). Unless those credits can be used in a single purchase, I think it would be hard to justify the $145 increase in annual fee with this benefit. Even if it were a twice-yearly credit like the Sak’s credit on the personal card, it comes with the hassle of remembering to make a $100+ purchase twice a year using a card that earns a suboptimal return on those purchases. It’s not bad, but neither does it excite me enough to renew at nearly six hundred bucks a year.

The increase in hotel credit is certainly nice if you book via The Hotel Collection. Personally, I’ve never made a booking with those hotels. Note that this is not Fine Hotels & Resorts — it includes a wider range of properties. But I haven’t found it to be competitive in my searches. YMMV of course.

One interesting piece of note is that it mentions cardholders will be able to earn 5x “at select prepaid Fine Hotels & Resorts properties”. When this benefit was launched recently, I don’t think it was clear that the 5x prepaid option would only apply to select FHR properties. I’m not sure this has any major impact on the card’s value, I just find it interesting that they aren’t planning to roll that out to all FHR properties.

The access to WeWork might be valuable for some. I’m familiar with the concept of co-working spaces, but don’t have direct experience with any of them. If they happen to have a location that meets your needs a few times a year, this might be valuable. Amex is advertising this benefit as a $2700 value. I looked up a couple of cities and it looks like monthly plans start around $500 a month for a hot desk and go up to the $2700 range per month for a private office, so I’m assuming the deal with Amex will be limited to a certain number of times per year or hours per stay or both. We’ll apparently find out in February 2019.

New Annual fee

Amex concludes the email saying that these changes will also lead to an increased annual fee of $595, set to take effect on your next renewal date starting in February 2019. Here is a quote from the email:

Along with these changes, the annual membership fee for Business Platinum will be $595. This fee increase will not take effect until your next membership renewal date on or after your February 2019 billing cycle. We will send you a separate notice with additional information about this change to your annual membership fee.

It’s unfortunate to only have a few months notice. That will work out nicely for those whose cards are renewing soon, but those whose renewal dates are in February 2019 or shortly thereafter will of course be displeased.

Bottom line

Just at first glance, these changes look like a net negative to me. An annual fee of $595 is just massive and in my opinion makes this card a very questionable long-term value, despite its suite of benefits (like Hilton Gold status, National Executive status, $200 airline incidentals credit, etc). My renewal date is shortly after February and I can’t imagine keeping the card for another renewal unless some additional benefits are announced.

On the other hand, this announcement makes now a good time to consider the Business Platinum card if it has been on your radar as it should be possible to triple dip annual benefits at the current $450 fee

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Yoni PDX

Remain a Charge card??

Hmmm Amex going to do like they recently did with Gold card changes and convert it from a Charge Card to a Credit card.?

Because now just the Green Card and the Plat are the only remaining business charge cards left. With the 4/5 Amex Credit card limit it’s slows the churn.

Yoni PDX

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Greg The Frequent Miler

It’s still a charge card but they auto-enroll people in their pay over time solution (which makes it act like a credit card). The important thing is that it still counts as a charge card with respect to the Amex 5 credit card limit.

JB San Diego

I am dumping this card next year!

toomanybooks

That WeWork thing could be very valuable depending on the details. If you travel much or have a home-based or solo business, check it out. Here’s the appropriate link to the “Platinum Global Access from WeWork”, I think:

https://www.wework.com/workspace/on-demand/global-access

I thought about getting a monthly pass to the one in Chicago as I have occasion to go down there on business sometimes and might do much more if I had an “office.” The lowest-end membership here is $99 a month and you get a spot at some random desk when you walk in. Upgrades to dedicated desk with lock/file cabinet, private office, semi-private, suites, boardroom access, etc. from there. Free package delivery/mailing, FAX, kitchen, fast wifi, by-the-page copy machine and laser printer, member networking events, etc.

A great perk at the one I visited on Madison Street is free beer on tap, with rotating craft brands! If I had a regular job around there, I might join for that alone. Couple beers 3 times a week…

toomanybooks

I don’t know. I sure don’t think I would pay $300-500 a month for the low-end deal I saw. They are expanding rapidly, and maybe it was a limited offer. You may have had to sign a year-long contract or something to get that price. This was about 3 months ago.

I am pretty sure I remember these rates correctly. A dedicated desk out in the main room with filing cabinet was $199 a month. A dedicated desk in a 4-person private office (could be any other random 3 people) was $299. And up from there. Members get varying amounts of conference room time a month (big table in private room).

And they have more than one Chicago office. Maybe I went to a cheap one.

Once the Amex details come out, go check one out; definitely worth a blog post.

Yoni PDX

Could be interesting if they offer a local mail service and/or answering service,

I looked into setting up non-PG biz cards about a year ago. (LLC opening a CC with EIN and no SSN need a few other components to bypass Sole P/SSN and PG ) but it expands the opportunities ( LOC, Vehicles, as well as more Biz cards and bonuses.
But a key part was the business address, harder to do with residential address for business can be done. Also a big help having a Biz DDA account with >$10k for two quarters, started getting targeted for for credit lines, CC, etc after doing. But you do need 3 CL reporting for a D&B credit score (more main stream business credit – even If you side gig is closer to a “business” than a business.

toomanybooks

Geez, I am sorry, scratch all stuff that I posted.

I misremembered; this was a competitor of WeWork called Level. Very similar concept. I also visited WeWork to check it out the same day and mixed them up.

WeWork is really nice, but yeah, it is kind of expensive. If you get it free with Amex Plat, that’s a no-brainer for a lot of people. Wonder if it is for one year only or as long as you hold the card.

Jeff

Can you elaborate on the “triple-dipping” of benefits comment?

I have a buddy who got burned by the CSR because he had travel charges in December, and even though the charges were in December they landed on his “January Statement”, so Chase applied them to the following year (back when it was calendar year).

I recognize Amex could be totally different from Chase, and I’ve been looking for an excuse to get the Amex Business Platinum. My concerns about how the “windows” would play out have actually caused me to shy away from considering it in December or January, but if I could get a little clarification on how to play the timing it could really help me out.

(I do understand the mechanics of setting up an airline code and the gift cards – speaking mainly to clarification on how the timing plays out if someone wouldn’t mind spelling it out for me)

Jeff

Wow, that helps a ton – thanks for the details! At $600 value for a $450 card I think I’m going to have to go ahead and bite. I’ve missed the Centurion Lounge as well (I had the BMW Card 2 years ago).

Thanks again for taking the time to spell it out for me, really appreciate it! (I’ll be sure to poke around on the site til I find your affiliate link when I apply) 🙂

Dave3584

It read the email to mean that those with a February 2019 renewal date will be charged with the fee increase. The post states “after February 2019.” I think a more way to state it would be “starting February 2019.” I am one of the unfortunate February renewals.

Dave3584

Thanks. I love your site.

Mark

My renewal date is March 10, it couldnt be any worse….