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As of February 2019 the annual fee for the Business Platinum Card from American Express is increasing from $450 to $595. Amex had added a few extra benefits to the card’s offering to attempt to placate cardholders but I suspect most aren’t going to be happy when they see what they’re paying for.
If you’re not happy with the Business Platinum Card from American Express you may soon be looking around for alternatives so, below, is a list of suggestions (in no specific order) that may be helpful.
Before I dive into the details let’s get a few things straight:
- I’m not going to mention welcome bonuses in this post because I’m trying to offer up real alternatives to the Business Platinum Card. Some of the cards mentioned below have some great welcome bonuses right now but, for the purposes of this post, I’m going to concentrate on card earnings, benefits and cost.
- I’m not going to assume that just because you have a Business Platinum card you necessarily want a high-cost card with lots of frills attached – this post has the word “affordable” in the title for a reason.
- If you’re looking for a card to flash around and hopefully impress the person you’re with most of the cards below are not for you.
- Below are just a few of the many credit cards available and these are just the cards I think I’d be considering if I was unhappy with the recent changes to the Business Platinum Card – you may wish to consider other cards too.
Platinum Card From American Express for Ameriprise
If you don’t absolutely have to have a business card and you like a lot of the benefits you get with the Business Platinum Card there’s a good chance you’ll like this card too.
The Platinum Card from American Express for Ameriprise is a personal Platinum Card and comes with all the usual personal Platinum Card benefits:
- 5 Membership Rewards points/dollar on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
- 5 Membership Rewards points/dollar on eligible hotels booked on the American Express Travel website.
- $200 annual fee credit
- $100 per calendar year credit with Saks 5th Avenue
- Global Entry
- Access to Centurion Lounges
- Access to Delta SkyClubs when flying with Delta
- Priority pass Select membership
- Uber VIP status and $15 in Uber credits for U.S. rides each month, plus a bonus $20 in December
- No foreign transaction fees.
Ordinarily this card comes with an annual fee of $550 ($45 less than the new Business Platinum Card annual fee) but American Express waives the annual fee for the first year.
You can try out all the benefits listed above free of charge for a year.
Note: The card will not give you access to the enhances earnings on purchases of $5,000 or a 35% points rebate when you use the Pay with Points feature for all or part of an eligible flight as the Business Platinum Card does.
Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card
As the name suggests this is a Business credit card and its one that’s very popular with Ultimate Rewards fans.
This isn’t a card that comes packed with additional benefits like lounge access or an airline fee credit but it’s a very solid choice as a business card.
Here’s what you get for the $95 annual fee:
- Earn 3 Ultimate Rewards Points/dollar (up to $150,000/cardmember year) on spending in the following categories:
- social media advertising
- cable/phone/internet services
- Earn 1 point/dollar on all other spending.
- Cell phone insurance for cardholder and all employees listed on the phone bill
- Primary rental car insurance
- Trip delay and cancellation insurance
- Baggage insurance
- Travel accident insurance
- No fee for additional cards
- No foreign transaction fees
You get a lot for $95 and the earning categories make this a very useful card for a lot of small business owners.
American Express Business Gold Card
it may be that you’re not happy with the new changes to the Business Platinum Card but you still need a business card and you’d like to earn Amex Membership rewards….so that’s where this card comes in to play.
The annual fee is a significant $295 but it comes with a few benefits that some will find attractive:
- Earn 4 Membership Rewards Points/dollar on spending the two categories (from the ones below and up to a limit of $150,000 in combined spending) in which you spend the most each billing cycle:
- Airfare purchased directly from airlines
- U.S. purchases for advertising in select media (online, TV, radio)
- U.S. purchases made directly from select technology providers of computer hardware, software, and cloud solutions
- U.S. purchases at gas stations
- U.S. purchases at restaurants
- U.S. purchases for shipping
- Earn 1 point/dollar on all other purchases
- Get a 25% points rebate when you use the Pay with Points for all or part of an eligible flight
For people/business owners who spend heavily in at least two of the categories mentioned, this card could be worth the annual fee. Also, if you’re currently a Business Platinum Card holder who likes the 35% points rebate when you use points o pay for your flights, the 25% offered by this card may be an acceptable compromise.
Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card
Yes, this is the second Chase credit card in this short list but I can’t help it if Chase happens to issue good business cards 🙂
The Ink Business Cash Credit card comes with no annual fee and is more versatile that it may appear at first sight.
- Earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases in the following categories:
- Cable/Phone/Internet services
- Office supply stores
- Earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases in the following categories:
- Gas stations
- Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases
- Purchase protection for 120 days
- Collision damage waiver for rental cars
- No fee for additional cards
Where this card can really shine is if you happen to hold either the Chase Sapphire Reserve card or the Chase Sapphire Preferred card.
If you hold either of those personal cards the cash back you earn from the Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card can be converted to Ultimate rewards points. Ultimate Rewards points are one of the more versatile points currencies you’ll find as they can be transferred over to a significant number of other loyalty programs in a 1:1 ratio.
For a credit card that costs nothing to hold this card that comes with powerful earning potential.
The Blue Business Plus Credit Card From American Express
This is a remarkably basic credit card (that’s part of its charm) but it’s great if you want to keep costs down and you want to keep earning Membership Rewards Points.
The Blue Business Plus Card comes with no annual fee and with a very simple points earning structure:
- Earn 2 Membership Rewards points/dollar on all purchases (up to $50,000/year) with no category restrictions.
If you’re tired of having to remember which card offer a bonus in which spending category then this is a card for you…it’s also a great card to use for spending in categories that don’t trigger a bonus on most other cards (e.g. drugstores, department stores etc…)
This card is just about as unglamorous as you can get in the credit card world so it’s a far cry from the sleek metallic Business Platinum card…..but I could make a good argument that says that this card offers better value for a lot of people.
Clearly the 5 cards I’ve listed out above don’t form an exhaustive list but they are a list of decent alternatives to the Business Platinum Card. They may not be alternatives in the sense that they come with a lot of shiny benefits like lounge access and airline fee rebates but I don’t think they need to.
The cards listed above are all very affordable business cards, most come with a good set of benefits and all come with good earning rates – they’re great standalone cards. But, if you want a business card and you also want some higher-end benefits, why not get one of the affordable cards listed above and pair it with one of the premium personal cards (like the Chase Sapphire Reserve)?
Between the two cards you’ll probably pay less in annual fees and end up with a very nice set of benefits as well.
If you’re considering disposing of your Business Platinum Card from Amex what are you planning to do next?