This card is the jewel in American Express’s Business Charge Card crown. As expected, it has benefits such as its Membership Rewards programme and purchase protection, but it also has a plethora of more exclusive perks such as airport lounge access, hotel upgrades and a dedicated concierge service. Just make sure you can afford the price tag attached, an annual fee of £595.
Credit Rating Requirement: Good/Excellent
What I like
There is so much on offer with this card, especially if you require a card for business travel.
- Welcome offer – American Express is offering 40,000 membership reward points if you are approved for the card and spend £6,000 in the first three months of card membership. A nice bump for signing up.
- Rewards programme – The main benefit of this card is access to the American Express Membership Rewards programme. The Platinum Charge Card enables users to earn one membership point for every full £1 spent. There is no limit to the number of points you can earn, and points do not expire as long as the account is open and in good order. In addition to this, users can earn one additional point for every £1 spent when booking flights, hotels, car hire or experiences through American Express Travel.
It’s all well and good earning points, but what do you actually get in exchange for them? The programme allows you to use the points for rewards from brands such as House of Fraser, M&S, Laithwaite’s, Apple and PC World. You can also redeem your points for a statement credit to support your business. Or alternatively, the scheme enables you to transfer your points to one of the provider’s frequent traveller programmes.
- Exclusive benefits – This card comes with a touch of luxury. The £595 annual fee unlocks exclusive benefits such as access to more than 1,000 airport lounges, a dedicated concierge service and travel team to help with your business travel needs, plus the potential for hotel benefits such as room upgrades and early check-ins with partner hotels. Cardholders get a complimentary upgrade to Hilton Honors Gold status and a £150 credit for every private home rental booked with onefinestay.
- Payment period – As this card is a charge card, you will be required to pay your statement balance in full each month. However, the card does offer a little grace period of up to 54 days until the payment is due on purchases, enabling your business to have a little bit more flexibility.
- Insurance – A lot of benefits with this card are focused on travel, and the insurance is much the same: the card comes with comprehensive worldwide travel insurance.
- Metal card – Do you need a metal card in your wallet? I suppose not, but as long as you’re paying a premium-level £595 annual fee, it’s nice to have a premium-level metal card to show off.
- Other benefits – The Platinum Business Charge Card includes the purchase and refund protection offered by American Express, which applies to returns or refunds required within 90 days of purchase.
- Worth knowing – You are not eligible for the welcome bonus if you hold or have held an American Express card with Membership Rewards in the past six months.
What could be improved?
This card carries a high price tag, and those exclusive benefits are quite literally not for everyone.
- Annual fee – A £595 annual fee is high, really high. Especially in comparison to other cards available. So make sure the benefits outweigh the cost.
- Supplementary cards – Here is the catch: as part of the deal you can have one complimentary Platinum employee card and 98 complimentary Gold employee cards. So in reality only two members of your business will benefit from the top-level exclusive travel offers and services.
- Overseas usage – Strange for a card that offers so much in the way of travel perks, but it carries a 2.99% non-sterling transaction fee. So just watch out if you do plan for this card to be used abroad.
How does it stack up?
Remember again that this is a charge card, so when comparing it to other cards on the market, remember that there’s the advantage of not having to worry about interest rates here, but you also can’t use this for credit-based financing of your business.
You’ll have a tough time finding another card that has the kind of rewards, services and exclusive access that this card offers. If translating business spend into perks is a priority for you, this card is hard to top. With that in mind, the annual fee on this card is significantly higher than for other cards on the market. So you have to run the numbers to see if the benefits outweigh the annual fee.
Also, as noted above, there is a non-sterling transaction fee. That’s a disappointment for a card of this caliber. There are other business cards that don’t charge that fee.
In order to be eligible to apply for this card, your business must have a UK bank or building society account. Additionally, you and the business must not have any county court judgements (CCJs) for non-payment of debt. You, the applicant, must also be aged 18 or over and a UK resident.
How do you apply?
Applications can be made through the American Express website. As part of the application, you will be required to provide personal details as well as details about your business and your company structure.
Is the American Express Platinum Business Charge Card right for you?
The American Express Platinum Business Charge Card sets itself up as a luxury option. If you are happy to pay a comparatively high annual fee in exchange for access to a range of travel benefits, Membership Reward points, purchase protection and complimentary travel insurance then this card fulfils that brief. But with only one other complimentary Platinum card available, you need to ask yourself what your money is actually buying and how much your business as a whole will benefit from this card versus one with a more reasonable annual fee.
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