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

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The Business Platinum® Card from American Express

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American Express has announced a welcome offer bonus for The Business Platinum® Card from American Express: up to 75,000 Membership Rewards® points! Those points could be worth more than $1,000 depending on how you choose to redeem them (more on that below).

You’ll earn the first 50,000 bonus points after you spend $10,000 and the next 25,000 after you spend an additional $10,000 all in the first three months, for a possible total of 75,000 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?

In a word, yes. That’s because, while the 75,000 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. Terms apply, See Rates and Fees; (American Express is a CardRatings advertiser).

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 $450 annual fee.

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. 

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 75,000 Membership Rewards® after spending $10,000 for the first 50,000 points and then another $10,000 for the next 25,000 points all in the first three months of card membership, but what are those points actually worth?

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 three years on its own!

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. 

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.

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 Starwood Preferred Guest 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

American Express® Business Gold Card

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Welcome Offer: 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.

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.) Get up to 1 year free on subscription to both G Suite Basic for up to 3 users and ZipRecruiter Standard, a combined value up to $3,188. 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. You can also add employee cards with a no annual fee option and earn rewards on employee purchases while tracking employee expenses with spending limits, alerts and summary reports.

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

Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card

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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 up to $2,000. Earn a $500 cash bonus when you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months of opening your account. Plus, earn $1,500 when you spend $50,000 in the first 6 months. Limited Time Offer.

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 up to 200,000 miles--earn a bonus of 50,000 miles when you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months of opening your account, then earn 150,000 miles when you spend $50,000 within the first 6 months. Limited Time Offer.

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.

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