Point redemption rates will change as of 15 April 2019. Please go to bit.ly/rwd415 for more details.
Take a deep breath and swallow the news about the $1,750 annual fee on the American Express Platinum Business Card before you do anything else. After this, the news is all good, and the card will introduce you to an elite corporate lifestyle that most people can only dream about. The pinnacle of travel, entertainment, dining, blue-ribbon insurance cover and rewards points will be yours, all in the name of business.
Up to 99 supplementary cardholders, free of charge
Once you’ve paid the $1,750 primary card fee, there is no further cost for up to 99 supplementary cards. So you can choose to have just one for your spouse, or a couple of extra ones for trusted employees, or make the fee a very economical prospect indeed by issuing cards to all employees who have purchasing authority. Amex says that “The Business, the Basic Card Member and each Supplementary Card Member are jointly and severally liable for all Supplementary Card spending”, which means that the liability is shared with your employees to some extent.
120,000 bonus points to get you started
Spend just $5,000 in the first two months – not too difficult for most businesses – and Amex will get you off to a flying start by crediting you with a massive 120,000 Membership Rewards Ascent Premium points. (Read more about the Membership Rewards Ascent Premium program below).
If in the previous 18 months you haven’t held any other American Express card, you are eligible for this bonus points offer.
What are 120,000 Membership Rewards points worth?
What could you do with 120,000 points? You could convert them into Qantas Frequent Flyer points at a 1:1 exchange rate. 120,000 QFF points is enough for a return business class flight flight from Sydney to Hong Kong, for example, worth at least $4,500.
Take note, however, that Membership Rewards redemption rates will change in April 2019. See below for more details.
Who knew that a charge card could package so many services designed to ease the stresses and challenges of a fast-paced corporate life? Here’s what Amex will give you with this card:
First class complimentary insurance cover
Most premium cards – and even some lesser ones – come with international travel insurance, but the travel insurance accompanying this card is particularly comprehensive and is designed to make business travel easier. There is also a suite of policies to cover goods purchased for both business and personal use, and typical emergency situations. The long list of policies includes:
It’s clear that this is head and shoulders above the average credit or charge card complimentary insurance, and there’s a definite slant towards business needs.
All this, and rewards points too
Although the rewards points are appearing way down the list here, they may feature in a higher position in your personal assessment of a card’s value. If that’s the case, you aren’t going to be disappointed. Choose this card and you’ll earn up to 2.0 American Express Membership Rewards points per dollar, not just in the standard Ascent program but at the Ascent Premium level.
The main significance of the Ascent Premium program is that Qantas is added to the list of airline frequent flyer programs to which you can transfer your points. The ten airlines are Qantas, Virgin Australia, Air New Zealand, Singapore Airlines, Emirates, Etihad, Cathay Pacific, Thai Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Malaysian Airlines.
Points earning rate now
The points earning rate will be particularly attractive for cardholders conducting a business, since they can earn points at a high level for many business expenses. Here are the details:
The 2.0 points per dollar earning rate has a threshold of 375,000 points per year, after which it drops to 1.0 points per dollar. But this is a very high threshold which shouldn’t trouble most small to medium businesses.
Points earning rate from April 2019
It’s all good news for this card when Amex points earning rates change on 15th April 2019.
From that date, earning rates will increase for this card. Cardholders will earn 2.25 points per dollar spent, except for government purchases, where the rate will also increase, to 1.0 points per dollar spent. The 375,000-point threshold will also be removed, so the 2.25 points rate will apply no matter how much you spend in a year.
Redemption of points is easy, with lots of options
Although transferring your membership rewards points to a frequent flyer program is one of the most cost effective ways to use them, there are lots of other things you can do, to keep business costs down, reward your staff, or just please yourself:
Points redemption rates will change in April 2019
Once again, there will be changes coming into effect on 15th April 2019. Most significantly, the exchange rates for Membership Rewards points to frequent flyer points, currently 1:1, will change to 2:1 (i.e. 2.0 Membership Rewards points in exchange for 1.0 frequent flyer points). Retail gift cards and account credit will also require more points to be exchanged for each dollar of gift card or credit value.
But remember that the points earning rate will also increase at the same time and that the value of Amex Membership Rewards per dollar spent will remain very competitive when compared with similar rewards cards.
Let’s not forget that it’s all about business
If there was any chance of forgetting that this is a business card, not a personal card, it will reinforce its business credentials every month when the account statement comes, with the following features:
Other business-ready cards to keep in mind
American Express has a wide range of business credit and charge cards, and if $1,750 a year seems too big a hurdle, the American Express Gold Business Card or even the straightforward American Express Business Card might be more appropriate for your needs. Remember though, that these are more down-to-earth cards which don’t cater to the aspirational lifestyle you may be aiming for.
The Citi Prestige Card, although not specifically designed for business purposes, also offers a tempting range of built-in benefits and rewards points, for a lower price.
The ANZ Business Black Credit Card allows cardholders to earn ANZ Rewards points and comes with complimentary travel insurance.
The NAB Rewards Business Signature Card and NAB Qantas Business Signature Card also come with points earning and travel privileges, but no travel insurance.
If the best is what you want, this is probably it
Measured in terms of the dollar value of built-in benefits, this is probably one of the best cards available in Australia, if not the best. The Citi Prestige Card runs a close second, but it doesn’t have the business orientation offered by the American Express Platinum Business Card.
So if you are confident about the future of your business and want to help guarantee your success with superior insurance cover and the opportunity to travel and entertain in style and comfort while earning rewards, don’t be put off by the price tag. You should be able to recover the cost several times over, each and every year.
The advantage of American Express is, if you have an issue with a purchase they take it off your account and they deal with it. The other banks don’t give this service. I never have to take breath to see if a charge goes through. It always works. Thank you AmEx.
The Platinum Business Card’s rewards are heavily geared towards travel, so if you don’t travel a lot for work, you’ll want to look at other cards.
This business card is also difficult to get. Companies must have excellent credit and a clear, well-established credit history. However, if your business meets the requirements and involves extensive travel, then the Platinum Business Card may be an option.
The card provides the best points that can be used for travel, and It provides good travel Insurance. It is recognised all over the world.
The annual fee is expensive, however.
If the card deteriorates and needs to be replaced before the scheduled renewal, a new card with a different number will be issued. This is a hassle because all scheduled payments have to be changed.
I like this card because it is very easy to use. It has a low interest rate and I receive my statement in due time. The card also reminds me when I am due for payment. It has a good and easy reward program. I can easily increase my daily limit if I need to.
The card has lots of cashback offers for household appliances. You can get rewards points if you spend a specific amount in the 1st transaction. Many online offers in the US but very less offers in the Asia Pacific region. Wish we had more offers in the Asia Pacific region
I have had a Gold AmEx for 20 years which is great and last year added a Platinum which I use more. I enjoy it and use it for most business and personal expenses and the only downfall is that I cannot use in Aldi and some restaurants and retail outlets.
The card has an excellent reward scheme, but it is frustrating that so many organisations do not offer its use, or put a heavy surcharge on its use. The statements are clear and provide separate purchases for each card holder attached to your account which is good. The website is easy to use, and comprehensive in its coverage.