The Business Platinum Card from American Express is arguably the leading travel rewards credit card in Canada. It’s got it all: best-in-class travel perks, a high base earn rate in a transferable points currency, and the premium allure of a flashy metal finish.
Despite the steep annual fee, the huge welcome bonus makes the card unquestionably worth it for the first year, and the ongoing benefits might even tempt you to keep it for years to come.
Bonuses & Fees
For an annual fee of $499, the American Express Business Platinum Card offers 100,000 Membership Rewards points upon spending $10,000 within the first three months if applying via a referral link.
The standard offer on the Amex website is only 75,000 MR points upon spending $7,000 in the first three months; only applying through a referral link gives you the 100,000 MR points.
The card has an annual fee of $499.
You can also earn 20,000 MR points for every successful referral you make to any eligible card in the Membership Rewards family, up to a maximum of 225,000 MR points per calendar year.
In terms of earning points on your everyday spending, the Business Platinum Card offers a straightforward 1.25 MR per dollar spent on all purchases – no need to worry about different rates for each category.
The Membership Rewards program offers outstanding redemption opportunities as well. This is primarily because it’s a flexible, transferable rewards currency.
You can transfer your MR points at a 1:1 ratio to Aeroplan and British Airways Avios, as well as a host of other global frequent flyer programs (including Cathay Pacific Asia Miles) at a 1:0.75 ratio. Moreover, you also have the option of converting points to Marriott Bonvoy at a 1:1.2 ratio for booking hotel stays.
Furthermore, you can redeem MR points directly for flights through the Amex Fixed Points Travel reward chart, although these are limited to round-trip flights departing from Canada.
Essentially, you can use a fixed amount of points towards the base ticket price of a regular cash ticket, up to a certain maximum. The number of points required and the maximum ticket price depends on the geographical region you are visiting (you can only book roundtrip flights that originate in Canada).
Lastly, you have the option of redeeming MR points directly against travel purchases at a rate of 1 cent per point (cpp), although this is typically not recommended, as the value pales in comparison to what you could get by booking flights through Aeroplan, Avios, or even the Fixed Points Travel chart.
Perks & Benefits
As with the Platinum Card, the Business Platinum also comes with similar travel-related benefits. You can earn instant Gold Elite status with Marriott Bonvoy, giving you benefits such as room upgrade, free internet, and late checkout when staying at hotels.
It’s worth deliberating on the lounge access benefits of the card. The Business Platinum Card grants complimentary access to Priority Pass lounges for you and one guest, as well as Plaza Premium lounges and American Express Centurion Lounges for you, your spouse, and two children under the age of 21 or one travelling companion.
Another outstanding benefit is access to American Express’s Fine Hotels & Resorts program, which allows you to book special rates at select luxury hotels around the world. These rates include perks such as suite upgrades, daily breakfast for two, and benefits unique to each property (examples include a private airport transfer or a spa & dining credit). The FHR program often pops up with third-night-free or fourth-night-free offers as well, meaning that there’s plenty of good deals to be had.
Lastly, the Platinum Concierge is worth a brief mention. They’re an extremely professional “global concierge” team that’s able to help you out with any and all requests you may have, wherever you are. In the past, they’ve helped me out with everything from restaurant bookings to last-minute flower orders.
They aren’t miracle workers, so don’t expect them to be able to snag a spot for you at the hottest restaurant in town for tomorrow evening, but they will proactively put you on the waitlist or look to confirm a spot for you on some future date. Personally, I do find it incredibly useful to have a capable, service-oriented Platinum Concierge just a call away.
The insurance provided by the Business Platinum Card is extremely comprehensive. In fact, I’d say that the coverage provided by the Business Platinum is the most complete out of all the Membership Rewards cards, since the card offers both top-notch travel insurance benefits and insurance geared towards small business owners.
There’s the essential emergency medical insurance up to $5,000,000, travel accident insurance up to $500,000, and the usual assortment of insurance against flight delays, trip interruption, trip cancellation, car rental accidents, hotel burglaries, and lost, stolen, or damaged baggage.
But there’s also the Disability Plan for Small Business, which covers you as a sole proprietor for up to $10,000 in the unfortunate event of permanent, total disability as the result of an accidental injury. In terms of insurance coverage, the Business Platinum Card offers the best of both worlds.