Via View from the Wing, there are some reported changes coming to the American Express Business Platinum card as of March 30th, 2017. We have previously reported on changes to the personal Platinum card. According to Gary Leff’s sources at American Express, the Business Platinum changes are a bit different. New benefits (key points in bold) will include:
- 5X Membership Rewards points on airfare and prepaid hotels booked through AmexTravel.com. Bookings will need to be paid through AmexTravel.com to qualify for 5X points.
- Access to the Global Dining Collection, Global Lounge Collection, and Global By Invitation Only events.
- Priority Pass Select with 2 complimentary guests.
- No increase in annual fee. The fee will remain at $450 per year.
Assuming these changes are correct, they would be a nice value-add to the Business Platinum card. With the 50% points rebate on premium cabins and your preferred airline, it is now easy to get at least 2 cents per point in value from Membership Rewards points. An effective 10% rebate on on flights is very strong. I have booked through Amex Travel several times over the past year and found prices consistent with what I found elsewhere. Note that Amex Travel initially adds a $10 fee on all tickets, but that fee is waived for Platinum/Business Platinum cardholders. Once you log in, that $10 fee should disappear.
There is less appeal to prepaid hotel bookings. Not only do they limit flexibility, prepaid 3rd party bookings will often prevent travelers from receiving elite benefits or loyalty credit for stays. The Global Dining Collection is said to partner with top chefs to bring access to special culinary events and restaurants — time will tell how this benefit plays out. The addition of two complimentary guests with Priority Pass is long overdue in my opinion, but a net positive anyway.
However, adding 5X for airlines and not increasing the annual fee seems like a net win.