I’ve had my AmEx Business Platinum card for 5 years, and have extensively written about all of the ways that I maximize the card’s benefits year after year, including a way to save on paid business class flights.
This morning, card members received notice of changes coming in 2019, which include new “benefits”, along with a $145 annual fee increase effective February 2019.
- One year of complimentary Platinum Global Access from WeWork, a network of premium workspaces around the world with over 300 workspaces in 75+ cities and 20+ countries. American Express values this benefit at $2,700.
- An expansion of Centurion Lounge locations including Philadelphia, Hong Kong, JFK, Los Angeles, and Denver, and newly-renovated locations in Dallas and Miami
- Up to $200 in statement credits annually for U.S. purchases with Dell
- $100 hotel credit on qualifying charges at hundreds of properties in The Hotel Collection (increased from $75) for new reservations made after January 1, 2019 when you book through Amex Travel
Some of my favorite Business Platinum perks include the $200 annual travel credit, purchase/return protection, Centurion Lounge access, and premium roadside assistance. At first glance, none of these new benefits jump out at me to immediately justify paying $145 more each year.
Keep or Cancel?
The increase in fee certainly was not what I was looking forward to in February 2019, especially since that’s when my account renewal is. I’m sure many people can make use of the $200 Dell credit, but I just don’t like having to go through another process (aka buy something and resell it) to recoup my increase in annual fee. It would be interesting to see if gift card purchases count, and if it’s a $200 lump sum statement credit or if it comes in “waves” like Uber credits on the personal Platinum Card.
Keep in mind that if someone in your household (or close friend or family member) has a personal American Express Platinum card, you can pay $175 per year for up to 3 authorized user cards for the first year. Split 3 ways, that’s roughly $58 per person for a year of Centurion Lounge access. Additionally, each authorized user also gets a $100 Global Entry application credit, Hilton and Marriott Gold status, and more. That’s a route I’m seriously considering, since Centurion Lounge access is an extremely valuable perk for me.
While I appreciate when cards add new benefits, there comes a point where you need to ask yourself if those benefits are valuable to you and are worth paying for. While WeWork has wonderful workspaces, I am perfectly content working at my home or at my local Starbucks while my kids are in school. I never book hotels with Amex Travel, so I don’t see how the $100 hotel credit will directly benefit me at the time.
On the other hand, if you want to get in on the AmEx Business Platinum Card before the annual fee increases, now is the perfect time to get the card if it’s on your radar. Not only will you be able to lock in the $450 annual fee rate for a year, but you’ll also be able to receive a $200 travel statement credit for 2018, and another one on January 1, 2019.