A small business credit card comes out with a healthy welcome bonus offer – but should you take it?

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American Express has announced a welcome offer bonus for The Business Platinum® Card from American Express: up to 100,000 Membership Rewards® points! Those points could be worth more than $1,000 depending on how you choose to redeem them (more on that below). American Express is a CardRatings advertiser. Terms apply. 

You’ll earn the first 50,000 bonus points after you spend $10,000 and the next 50,000 after you spend an additional $15,000 all in the first three months, for a possible total of 100,000 bonus Membership Rewards® points. There’s no doubt it’s an eye-popping offer – worth more than $1,000 if you redeem those points for certain flights through Amex Travel – but does that mean you should apply for the card? Terms apply. 

In a word, yes. That’s because, while the 100,000 bonus Membership Rewards® points will get you off to a great rewards start, that bonus offer really just sweetens the pot for a card that already brings numerous perks, features and rewards-earning opportunities to the table for the right small business owner.

First things first: Who is the right small business owner? Well, this card is designed for business owners who travel regularly, desire to save time and money and appreciate making all those trips in comfort.

How does The Business Platinum® Card from American Express save you money and time?

With The Business Platinum® Card from American Express, you’ll receive up to $200 each year in statement credit to cover incidental airline fees – think checked bag fees and in-flight purchases – on your pre-selected airline. That perk alone goes a long way toward offsetting the card’s $595 annual fee (Terms apply; See Rates and Fees).

Additionally, every four years, you’re eligible for a statement credit to cover your Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® application fee of $100 or $85, respectively. Even better, each card on the account is eligible to receive this credit, so your employees can also receive a fee credit for their applications. Terms apply. 

Now let’s talk about the rewards. Membership Rewards® points are lucrative and flexible and that welcome bonus certainly warrants a second look on its own. New cardholders earn up 100,000 Membership Rewards® after spending $10,000 for the first 50,000 points and then another $15,000 for the next 50,000 points all in the first three months of card membership, but what are those points actually worth? Terms apply. 

The best value for Membership Rewards® points comes when you redeem them for flights through AmexTravel.com where they’re worth $.01 each. Furthermore, if you Pay with Points for a first or business class flight with any airline through American Express Travel, you’ll receive 35 percent of your points back to use on a future redemption; or redeem your points for any class ticket with your pre-selected airline through AmexTravel.com to receive that 35 percent back (up to 500,000 points back each year). Doing the math, that means the welcome bonus alone is worth more than $1,000 in flights. That kind of value will offset your annual fee for nearly two years on its own! Terms apply. 

On an ongoing basis, you’ll earn five Membership Rewards® points for every $1 spent on flights and prepaid hotels booked through AmexTravel.com, 1.5 points for every purchase of $5,000 or more (up to 1 million extra points each year) and one point per $1 for all your other purchases. Terms apply. 

It’s easy to see how those points will add up quickly and how your business could realize some serious savings doing nothing more than meeting your everyday business purchase and travel needs.

And, by the way, save yourself some time by delegating tasks such as booking business lunches, securing concert tickets to entertain clients or arranging for ground transportation to your Business Platinum Card Concierge. That’s what they’re there for.

Lastly, in case it doesn’t go without saying, there are no foreign transaction fees with this card.

What are the luxury features and perks of The Business Platinum® Card from American Express?

When it comes to getting where you’re going, you know the airport can be the worst part of the trip. Good thing cardholders of The Business Platinum® Card from American Express enjoy complimentary access to more than 1,100 airport lounges in 120 countries around the globe through the American Express Global Lounge CollectionSM. Say goodbye to the hassle and noise of the airport terminal. Terms apply. 

The comfort continues if you book a stay through Fine Hotels & Resorts, through which you’ll enjoy complimentary perks like room upgrades, free breakfast for two, late checkout and more.

If you’re a regular guest at Starwood or Hilton properties, you’ll also appreciate the automatic Gold status cardholders enjoy with both the Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy™ programs.

Overall, The Business Platinum® Card from American Express is an excellent choice when it comes to small business credit cards. That said, it’s not for everyone, but don’t let that discourage you. There are plenty of small business cards out there that offer excellent rewards earning opportunities as well as additional perks and features for a lower annual fee.

Here are a few additional options:

American Express® Business Gold Card

Welcome Offer: New cardholders can earn up to $500 in statement credits when you purchase qualifying services from FedEx on your new card within the first three months of card membership (offer ends Nov. 6, 2019; terms apply). Plus, get 25% points back after you use points for all or part of an eligible flight booked with Amex Travel, up to 250,000 points back per calendar year. Terms apply. 

Rewards: Get 4x Membership Rewards® points on the two select categories where your business spends the most each month. (4X points apply to the first $150,000 in combined purchases from these 2 categories each calendar year.) There is also a flexible payment option that can help manage cash flow on purchases of $100 or more. Access expense management tools: Connect to Quickbooks, access SpendManager℠, receive a Year-End Summary, and more. Terms apply. 

Annual Fee: $295. Terms apply. See Rates and Fees

Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card

Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card

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Welcome Offer: Receive 80,000 Ultimate Rewards® bonus points after spending $5,000 in the first three months.

Rewards: Earn three points per $1 on up to $150,000 spent annually on travel expenses; shipping costs; Internet, cable and phone services; and advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines. Earn one point per $1 after the cap and on all your other purchases. Redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® and they're worth 25 percent more. That means the welcome bonus is worth as much as $1,000 when redeemed for travel.

Annual Fee: $95

Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card

Welcome Offer: Earn $500 in bonus cash back after spending $3,000 in the first three months.

Rewards: Earn 5 percent cash back at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services for the first 25,000 spend in combined purchases each account anniversary year. Earn 2 percent back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year and earn 1 percent back on all your other purchases.

Annual Fee: $0

Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business

Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business

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Welcome Offer: Earn a one-time $500 cash bonus when you spend $4,500 in the first three months of opening your account.

Rewards: Earn a flat 2 percent cash back on all your purchases. There are no categories or spending caps to keep up with, so this is a simple rewards option for busy business owners.

Annual Fee: $0 intro for first year; $95 after that


Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business

Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business

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Welcome Offer: Earn a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles when you spend $4,500 in the first three months of opening your account.

Rewards: Earn a flat 2 miles per $1 spent on all your purchases. Once again, there are no categories or spending caps to keep up with, so this is a simple credit card option for busy business owners who are looking for travel rewards.

Annual Fee: $0 intro for first year; $95 after that

Looking for something else? Research an even wider range of small business credit cards.

To see the rates and fees for the American Express cards mentioned in this post, please visit the following links: American Express® Business Gold Card (See Rates and Fees); The Business Platinum® Card from American Express (See Rates and Fees)


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