Just last month we saw AMEX enhance the Business Platinum airport lounge benefits and in turn, charge an extra $100 for a new annual fee of $499. PointsNerd also mentioned the possibility of more changes to the card after Mar 21, 2018.
Well, today we have the second official changes to the Business Platinum card.
- 60,000 Membership Rewards sign up bonus from a referral link (previously 75,000)
- $7,000 minimum spend requirement in first 3 months for the sign-up bonus (previously $5,000)
Is the Business Platinum still worth it?
Yes. In addition to the benefits that come with an AMEX Platinum level card, earning 60,000 bonus points for an annual fee of $499 is like purchasing points at a cost of $0.0083 per point or 0.83 CPM. This is not the best points acquisition rate from credit card signups but it is still below a cost of $0.01 per point which is the threshold we don’t want to exceed.
How do I reach $7,000 minimum spend?
Spending $7,000 in 3 months ($2,333.33 per month) can be a challenge for those who primarily use the card for personal expenses but is still possible with smart planning.
You’d want to apply for the card a couple weeks before large payments such as electronics, jewelry, home renovations, annual car insurance payments, or property tax payments. Other large payments you may be able to use third-party processing services like PayTM and Plastiq for a fee. But if it means achieving minimum spend for a 60,000 bonus, a 2.5% fee on $2,000-$4,000 is a small price to pay.
If you’re not sure what you will be purchasing, getting the new card before birthdays, anniversaries, holidays and trips are not bad ideas. And if you are still running short on the minimum spend, you can always pick up a $500 prepaid VISA/Mastercard from the grocery store to use later at your pace.
Analyzing the Playing Field for AMEX Membership Rewards Bonuses
Amongst the four AMEX Membership Rewards Select cards, the Gold Business Card is still the overwhelming favourite with 40,000 bonus points at no cost. See chart above.
Between the Gold Business and Platinum Business, the marginal difference in points is now only 20,000 bonus points and the difference in the First Year Annual Fee is $499. Without valuing the Business Platinum benefits (hotel status, lounge access, etc), the marginal cost for the 20,000 points difference is $0.025 (2.5 CPM). Unless you need the Platinum benefits or the extra 20,000 points for an award, the Gold Business is the way to go.
Is the Business Platinum still the best bonus?
No, not the best bonus anymore. At 60,000, the Business Platinum bonus is now on par with the Platinum Personal bonus and the Platinum Personal card has a much lower minimum spend requirement of $3,000. Also, the Platinum Personal bonus points are obtained at a much lower cost if we factor in the travel credits offered during the first cardholder year.
Will the 75,000 Bonus Come Back?
My guess is no for the next 12 months, but I sure as heck hope I am wrong. Scaling back the bonus to 60,000 puts the Platinum Business back in line with the bonus on the Platinum Personal card. Remember, the Platinum Personal also offered a 75,000 bonus back in March 2016 but was quickly dropped back to 60,000 within four months. We have not seen that 60,000 bonus budge for the last 18 months.
For the last two years, AMEX has blessed us Canadians with a significant sign-up bonus close to what our neighbours down south would expect from a premium travel card. Today sadly marks the end of the 75,000 sign-up bonus period.
The 60,000 sign up bonus is still very attractive for $499 but only if you have exhausted the other AMEX options like the Business Gold or Personal Platinum. Although 60,000 point bonus no longer covers a roundtrip ticket to Asia on Aeroplan like the previous bonus did, it still covers a roundtrip to Europe. Today definitely sucks with the news but the points game must go on!