The Business Gold Card and the Business Platinum Card are American Express’ top two charge cards for businesses and entrepreneurs. Both cards are meant for different business needs, especially those regarding travel.
The Business Gold Card has a $295 annual fee. And the Business Platinum Card’s fee is just more than double at $595. Neither card’s fee is waived the first year.
As with everything in point and miles, your mileage may vary. One business owner might love the Gold while her globetrotting office neighbor might like the Platinum better.
After its revamp in 2018, the Business Gold Card did not have a sign-up bonus that included points. Fortunately, American Express changed this, adding a 35,000-point bonus. This bonus can be earned after spending $5,000 within the first three months. The bonus also includes a free one-year membership for G-Suite for up to three users. It also comes with a free one-year ZipRecruiter Standard membership for one user. Most people who get this card want the points and not the memberships.
The Business Platinum Card is famous in points and miles for having one of the best sign-up bonuses in the industry for any card. Currently, it has a two-part public sign-up bonus. The first part will earn you 50,000 points after spending $10,000 in the first three months. The second part will earn you another 25,000 points after spending another $10,000 in the same time period. That’s a total of 75,000 points for $20,000 in three months.
However, there are targeted bonuses worth at least 100,000 points for similar minimum spend. For many points and miles collectors, these targeted bonuses are like the holy grail.
The winner of this category depends on the level of minimum spend your business can hit within the time period. If you can spend between $5,000 and $9,999, the Business Gold wins. However, if you can spend at least $10,000, the Business Platinum wins. But if the amount is less than $5,000, I suggest looking at another card like the Amex Blue Business Plus or the Chase Ink Cash.
Earning & Burning
Earning is where the Business Gold Card truly shines. This card earns 4x Membership Rewards (MR) points on two categories of choice. It also earns 2x points on the remaining categories and 1x points on all other purchases.
The categories to choose from are:
- Advertising (TV, radio, and online only)
- Select Computing Merchants
- US Gas Stations
- Airfare (booked directly with the airline)
- US Restaurants
The Gold Card has a $150,000 per year limit across all bonus categories. That means you can earn up to six figures in each points currency per year if you spend within the categories.
Meanwhile, the Business Platinum Card earns 5x points on Airfare (booked directly with the airline) and travel purchases from amex.com. It also earns 1.5x points on all purchases of at least $5,000 and just one point for all purchases under $5,000.
Both cards also have a feature that gives you points back if you use points to pay for a flight. The Gold Card gives you a 25% rebate and the Platinum Card gives you a 35% rebate.
Like their personal counterparts, the Business Gold Card wins easily for earning. It was designed to be a powerhouse earner for business owners, managers, and entrepreneurs who spend within its categories. The Business Platinum is fantastic for flights, making it more of a niche card for earning.
Both cards are part of the Amex Membership Rewards “ecosystem”. This means they have the same transfer partners and other redemption options. It also means that there is no winner for points redemption.
Earning is to Gold where Perks are to Platinum. The Business Platinum shines brightly in the perks category.
The Gold Card’s most notable perks are its QuickBooks access, Premium Roadside Assistance, and the Amex Hotel Collection. The relatively few perks are one of the reasons why the Gold Card’s annual fee is about half of the Platinum’s. That’s not to say that it does not have perks. But nothing can compete with the Business Platinum (except for the invitation-only Business Centurion Card).
The Business Platinum has so many perks that I devoted an entire post to them. Highlights start with $200 in annual Dell credits, $200 in annual Airline incidental credits, and Global Entry / Pre-TSA fee waiver credits. It also comes with Marriott and Hilton Gold Status, as well as access to almost every airport lounge in the world, including Centurion Lounges. One of my favorite perks is access to the Centurion Suites in Staples Center (Los Angeles) and Barclays Center (Brooklyn, New York). These suites are great places to watch live sporting events and save hundreds on tickets.
Like their personal counterparts, some business owners might benefit from having both cards. Some businesses grow to the point where they need to spend a lot of money and travel for various reasons. These businesses might be able to benefit from the Gold’s earning structure, the Platinum’s perks, and the bonuses and transfer partners from both cards.
The catch is that both cards have a total annual fee of $890. This number could be relatively small for businesses whose owners and/or management spend and travel heavily. Some businesses might pair both cards with the Blue Business Plus and create one version of the Amex Trifecta.
The Business Gold and Platinum Cards from American Express are fantastic cards for entrepreneurs and businesses. Both cards have strengths and weaknesses and is aimed at different types of business owners.
The Business Gold Card is designed to be a “workhorse” card for common business expenses. Any business that can spend heavily within the categories will earn thousands of points each year. Business owners and entrepreneurs who travel occasionally at most will also benefit more from this card. They might not need the higher annual fee or benefits. The Gold Card’s strengths are its sign-up bonus, earning structure, and transfer partners. However, its weakness is its lack of perks (especially when compared to the Platinum).
The Business Platinum Card is the king of “benefits” cards. Any entrepreneur, business owner, or manager or who travels a lot will receive thousands of dollars in value from this card. It might also be the better option if you don’t spend within the Gold Card’s categories. The Platinum Card’s strengths are its sign-up bonus, transfer partners, and perks. But its weakness is its poor earning structure for most expenditures.
Your mileage may vary as one business is different from the next. Be aware of your business’ needs and in which categories your business spends money. Also note how often you travel for business.