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Business Platinum Is Back: Record-High 75,000 Points! Ricky September 24, 2020

Business Platinum Is Back: Record-High 75,000 Points!

The premium American Express Membership Rewards credit cards have been offering historically low welcome bonuses ever since May of this year, presumably due to the challenging economic environment that American Express has been operating in.

For most of the summer, American Express has been in preservation mode with very little appetite for acquiring new customers – and understandably so. As a financial issuer whose core spending categories of travel and entertainment have been decimated by the pandemic, and who, unlike the Big 5 banks, does not have other branches of financial services to provide ongoing revenue flows, the company was in no position to be doling out huge sums of Membership Rewards points to new customers.

That’s why it’s so exciting to see the American Express Business Platinum Card, historically one of the strongest credit cards in Canada with one of the highest welcome bonuses, rebounding in the positive direction.

As of today, the Business Platinum Card will offer a grand total of 75,000 Membership Rewards points upon spending $7,000 in the first three months when applying via a referral link, returning to its previous historical high. 

Higher Signup & Referral Bonuses Are Back

If you’ll recall, until May 2020, the Business Platinum Card had offered 75,000 MR points as a signup bonus when applying via a referral link, associated with a minimum spend of $7,000 in the first three months. If applying directly through the American Express website, then the offer was only 40,000 MR points after a minimum spend of $5,000 in the first three months.

In addition, cardholders would also be treated to a referral bonus of 25,000 MR points for every friend, family member, or personal or business contact they referred to an American Express business card of their own (either the Business Platinum, Business Gold, or Business Edge), up to a maximum of 225,000 MR points per year.

Then, in May, these bonuses were unceremoniously slashed to historically low levels: the welcome bonus decreased to 35,000 MR points via the public offer or 45,000 MR points via a referral link, with the same onerous spending requirements attached. Furthermore, the referral bonuses also dropped 80%, from 25,000 MR points to a measly 5,000 MR points.

That made the Business Platinum (and the personal Platinum Card, whose bonuses were slashed at the same time) a much less attractive card to sign up for, and as a result, we all kind of forgot about these products during the summer – at least in the context of making new applications for these cards, because existing cardholders were being showered generously with $680 in statement credits and all that.

A while back, I had speculated in one of our livestream sessions that we might see these bonuses rebounding to their historical steady-state levels sometime in the fall, as the pandemic becomes more of a known quantity in our lives and consumers’ appetite for spending gradually resumes. Indeed, we’ve already seen other issuers like HSBC making huge moves to entice new cardholders for the remainder of 2020.

Well, I’m happy to see that my prediction turned out to be correct: as of today, the Business Platinum will now offer 50,000 MR points upon spending $7,000 in the first three months when applying via the public offer…

…and 75,000 MR points upon spending $7,000 in the first three months when applying via a referral link.

Moreover, the referral bonus has rebounded as well, rising from 5,000 MR points to 20,000 MR points per referral. The annual limit on referral points remains at 225,000 MR points, so you’d earn 20,000 MR points per referral for the first 11 referrals, followed by 5,000 MR points for the 12th one.

The optimal signup bonus of 75,000 MR points matches what we saw before the pandemic, while the referral bonus of 20,000 MR points isn’t as good as it was pre-pandemic (25,000 MR points), but I think we can all agree that it’s a very welcome step in the right direction.

On the other hand, it’s also interesting to note that the public offer is now higher than pre-pandemic, rising from 40,000 MR points to 50,000 MR points, although that’s been accompanied by a corresponding increase in the minimum spending requirement, too, from $5,000 to $7,000 in the first three months. There’s now no way to apply for the Business Platinum without stomaching a $7,000 minimum spend.

Finally, don’t forget that if you’re in two-player mode or more, then your partner, family member, or friend would earn 20,000 MR points as a referral bonus if you applied via their referral link, which would bring the total household gain to a very attractive 95,000 MR points.

Business Platinum Card: Perks & Benefits

The $499 annual fee on the Business Platinum may appear intimidating at first glance, but the benefits of getting the card go a long way towards offsetting the impact of the annual fee.

First of all, the elevated signup bonus of 75,000 MR points could definitely justify that effective annual fee on its own. I value American Express MR points at roughly 2.1 cents apiece, which pegs the offer of 75,000 MR points at a cool $1,575 – more than triple the annual fee on its own.

If we were to factor in the points earned on the minimum spending as well, then the total household gain of 83,750 MR points would have a projected value of $1,759.

You could transfer the 83,750 MR points to Aeroplan before the program’s relaunch on November 8 and have enough miles for a round-trip flight in economy class from North America to Europe or Asia, or perhaps three round-trip flights in economy class within North America, all with plenty of points left over.

Alternatively, you could use the miles towards a larger redemption like an Aeroplan Mini-RTW in business class, which starts at 150,000 Aeroplan miles for a true round-the-world journey – as long as you book by November 8.

The Business Platinum Card offers one of the strongest signup bonuses in all of Canada.

After November 8, 83,750 Aeroplan points would be enough for most one-way flights in business class from North America to either Europe or Asia – and in particular, it’d just about hit the “Asia 3” sweet spot of flying up to 11,000 miles in distance on a one-way journey to the Pacific zone for 85,000 Aeroplan points.

And if you were to transfer the 83,750 points to British Airways Avios, you’d have enough Avios for six one-way flights between Toronto and Dublin or even a creative high-value round-the-world journey using the Avios multi-carrier award chart

In addition, the Business Platinum Card offers a flat 1.25 MR points per dollar spent on all purchases, making it an ideal card for business owners whose large volumes of spending may not fall into traditional credit card bonus categories.

(Last week, we had compared the Business Platinum against American Express’s newest small business product, the soon-to-be-launched Amex Aeroplan Business Reserve, and the Business Platinum emerged as the clear winner in large part thanks to its universal 1.25x earning ability.)

In my view, the Business Platinum Card’s premium travel benefits is what really moves the needle, although the value may debatable in these times of a pandemic.

You’ll get an unlimited Priority Pass Select membership, which grants complimentary access for yourself and one guest to 1,300+ Priority Pass lounges around the world, in addition to several other lounge networks like Plaza Premium Lounges, Centurion Lounges, and the international Amex-branded lounges.

Get access to American Express Centurion Lounges with the Business Platinum Card

Furthermore, the Business Platinum Card confers instant Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status, which can help you unlock room upgrades and better treatment at your Marriott hotel stays.

Throw in the competitive travel insurance, the Platinum Concierge access, the access to Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts, and the satisfying feeling of whipping out a metal card and tossing it on the table, and you can see why the Business Platinum Card is a favourite product among high-flying points collectors and business owners across all the land.

What About the Personal Platinum Card?

Despite the increase in the Business Platinum Card’s welcome bonus, the personal Platinum Card remains at its “COVID-19 bonus” of only 25,000 MR points upon spending $2,000 in the first three months (through both the public and referral offers), despite the card commanding a $699 annual fee. Clearly, that still isn’t a very attractive offer at which someone would consider applying for the Platinum Card.

One can only assume that, at this time, American Express views business owners as more likely to return to higher spending levels compared to consumers, and I’d tend to agree with that assessment. 

Nevertheless, here’s hoping that the American Express Platinum Card will either follow the lead of its business counterpart and ramp up its bonuses again sooner rather than later, or perhaps continue to offer existing cardholders extra benefits for keeping the card, like it did earlier this year with the incredible Double Rewards promotion

Conclusion

The American Express Business Platinum Card has proven that its fall from grace this summer was only temporary, as the optimal signup and referral bonuses on this card have now risen back to 75,000 and 20,000 MR points, respectively.

That’s amazing news, making this card once again one of the best in Canada to apply for despite its $499 annual fee, so now would be an excellent time to get the Business Platinum and benefit from these resurgent offers if you don’t have the card already. 

Top Offers

American Express Business Platinum Card

75,000 Membership Rewards points
upon spending $7,000 in the first three months

  • Points transfer 1:1 to Aeroplan & British Airways Avios
  • Unlimited Priority Pass lounge access
  • $499 annual fee
Signup bonus
75,000 MR points
Annual fee
$499
28 Comments
  1. Avatar
    CR

    Would referral from Biz Plat to other Biz cards (Biz Edge, Biz Gold) also yield the 20k MR?

    1. Ricky
      Ricky

      Yes!

      1. Avatar
        Sam

        Canadian Biz Platinum is eligible for International Airline Program for originating flights from select Canadian gateways but it’s clear which Canadian airports are eligible. Do you know if the select Canadian gateways include Ottawa airport?

  2. Avatar
    Laryngospasm

    Recently I was under quarantine after an exposure to a COVID19 patient. I had to change my travel plans which included an accommodation which had a strict cancellation policy and cost me out of pocket so that I could adhere to the quarantine order. I have submitted this claim as a “trip interruption” to Amex with my BP and am awaiting judgement. This was previously not a perk that I would have considered a huge deal but I have also utilized the purchase insurance from Amex BP (successfully) and if my claim for my trip is accepted this more than outweighs the cost nnual fee of the card.

    1. Ricky
      Ricky

      I’d be curious to hear about the outcome of your claim, as it’s my understanding that trip interruption insurance across Canadian credit cards do not cover interruptions due to COVID-19 as a valid reason at this moment. Please do report back!

      1. Avatar
        Laryngospasm

        Here’s the update with regards to my claim: AMAZINGLY, it was accepted and I have been refunded close to $600 for trip interruption due to an enforced quarantine placed on me after a patient exposure forced me to change my travel plans. The info I included apart from the air ticket difference and accommodation bill, was my public health order email, and the cancellation details. To be clear this is for travel arrangements made in July 2020 for travel in Sept 2020 which I had to change. I’m uncertain if this was an exception but I’m extremely pleased with the outcome.

        1. Ricky
          Ricky

          That’s amazing to hear! I’m very happy it worked out well for you.

  3. Avatar
    J

    A word of caution that they (amex) are also still operating at an elevated Financial Review level and continuously monitoring existing accounts for debt load and credit score changes. I have a good income and always pay my bills in full monthly but due to a large margin credit usage in my brokerage account recently (to buy TESLA, Apple), my platinum cars (P, B) got a credit limited imposed on them until I clear my margin.

  4. Avatar
    Justin

    I have biz plat in 2018, can I get signup again? I heard Amex is cracking down on repeat bonuses, but I haven’t seen many DPs either way.

  5. Avatar
    Bobby

    Any idea how long this offer will last?
    I got the Personal Plat in March and I would rather wait as long as possible to apply for the Biz Plat.

    1. Ricky
      Ricky

      No published end date and I wouldn’t be surprised if it were to stay for the long term (as it did prior to the pandemic).

  6. Avatar
    Dylan

    hey guys, I know Eric mentioned business cards can only refer themselves. but can the business gold card refer the business platinum? or is it a one way street. thanks!

    1. Ricky
      Ricky

      Yes, any member of the business card “family” can refer any other member.

  7. Avatar
    Jane

    Great card to begin with if you plan to refer other members in your friends / family network. The 20k referral bonus really adds up and makes the high annual fee worth it.

  8. Avatar
    bingo

    Tricky. On the one hand, the minumum spend bonus is great.

    On the other, AMEX Canada has been very aggressive with shut downs and behavior that goes against their T&Cs.

    Tough times for sure!

  9. Avatar
    Paul

    Thanks for the heads up, Ricky. I applied using your link and hoping to get the card soon. Looking forward to using the Bus Platinum for general company spending for the 1.25MRs/$, Amex Bus gold for the 3 merchants I selected. Is there a case to be made to hang on to my personal platinum given the overlap in benefits with the Bus Platinum?

    1. Ricky
      Ricky

      Most folks only choose one of the two Platinum series cards to keep at any given time, due to the overlap in benefits.

  10. Avatar
    BG

    I keep one BP alive year-round within my family for the priority pass alone. The 1.25x on base spend is a solid earn rate for all non-accelerated spend

  11. Avatar
    DT

    If i had a Amex bus plat before. Cancelled in 2019 November, can I still qualify for the new bonus?

    1. Avatar
      Hossam

      I tried with different AMEX products that I once had, no sign up bonus for the new card, reason was you received this bonus before. Escalation didn’t work.

  12. Avatar
    M

    Hey Ricky, any chance you know if new applicants get the COVID perks?

    1. Ricky
      Ricky

      I’m not 100% certain but I don’t believe they would — the Dell offer has already expired for example.

  13. Avatar
    Steven

    Can I refer someone to a Business Platinum Card from a Personal Platinum Card?

    1. Ricky
      Ricky

      As Eric said, nope, the Business Platinum can only refer to the other business cards.

    2. Avatar
      Eric

      If things haven’t changed business credit cards can only refer to other business cards. Except Marriott Bonvoy. So Business Platinum to Business Platinum, Business Gold, and Business Edge.

  14. Avatar
    Eric

    Good to see the higher sign up bonus back.

    I know the answer is YMMV but what are your thoughts on reapplying for the biz plat card with DPs of unilateral shut downs? I remember when I cancelled the biz plat, they said “you can reapply for the card in 6 months” but I don’t want to risk being blacklisted.
    Also I’m seeing my canceled cards in the AMEX app. Will I ever see this go away?

    Thanks in advance Ricky!

    1. Ricky
      Ricky

      I think it could be prudent to slow down applications compared to before given that the recovery is still ongoing and may be for a while.

      As Andrei said, it’s pretty easy to use “Remove Card from Online Services” to remove your canceled cards.

    2. Avatar
      Andrei

      You can unlink the canceled card, otherwise, it will stay there.

Ricky

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