American Express Business Platinum Card Increases Annual Fee

American Express Business Platinum Card Increases Annual Fee

By |2019-02-20T15:51:54+00:00February 16th, 2018|Categories: News|Tags: |

*** Update: As of March 22, 2018 American Express has changed the welcome and referral bonus on this card, and increased the minimum spend requirement. Details can be found here.

Increased Fee And Better Lounge Benefits On The American Express Business Platinum Card In Canada

As of today, The American Express Business Platinum Card in Canada has a higher annual fee, increased from $399 to $499, with the addition of an enhanced Priority Pass Membership that will no longer require a $27USD fee for airport lounge visits. This comes just months after the removal of the Fairmont accelerated status benefit, which was a big devaluation to the Platinum Card family.

Improved Lounge Access On The American Express Business Platinum Card

Improved Lounge Access On The American Express Business Platinum Card

For most readers, I would consider this a net negative change, and here’s why:

  • Most people interested in travel hacking are using their points for premium cabin flights, which includes lounge access with the airline ticket already. There are very few instances in my years redeeming points where I needed to use a Priority Pass lounge through American Express (I think the only time was when I purchased an economy flight from Kuala Lumpur to Bali, and the lounge was bad).
  • Many readers also carry the Personal Platinum Card from American Express, which includes unlimited lounge access as a benefit.

If, however, you are someone who uses points for economy travel primarily and takes flights more than a few times a year, this could be a great benefit for the incremental price difference. Previously American Express Business Platinum cardmembers could access lounges for $27USD, so it only takes a few visits per year to justify the annual fee increase (given you don’t have lounge access already).

Plaza Premium Lounge YVR - A Priority Pass Lounge

Plaza Premium Lounge YVR – A Priority Pass Lounge

American Express Platinum Canada

American Express Platinum Card®

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Is The American Express Business Platinum Card Still Worth It?

For most, absolutely yes! Fee increases are never great, but this is still one of the most important Canadian credit cards on the market for those looking to leverage welcome bonuses. Reasons you should still consider getting this card include:

Use Your Welcome Bonus For Business Class On EVA Air!

Use Your Welcome Bonus For Business Class On EVA Air!

Other Options For Premium Cards

The American Express Business Platinum Card used to be one of the first premium cards I recommended people get for the huge welcome bonus and generous referral program, but in a lot of ways The Personal Platinum Card is starting to look like a better choice:

American Express Business Platinum Card Fee Increase Bottom Line

I’m never happy when I see a product devalued, either in the form of benefits being removed or in this case, annual fee increases. While $499 is a lot to pay for a premium credit card, I do think for most travellers there are enough benefits to justify the fee (for the first year at least). The welcome bonus is the best in Canada, with a good opportunity to boost Membership Reward balances quickly by leveraging the referral program. Also, the enhanced airport lounge access and hotel status with Marriott and SPG certainly have some value.

There are rumours The Personal American Express Platinum Card will be getting some new benefits in Canada soon – I just hope it doesn’t come with a fee increase also!

If you’re interested in applying for either card, you can find the application with the best available welcome bonuses through the links below!

The American Express Business Platinum Card – 40,000 Membership Reward Point Welcome Bonus

The American Express Personal Platinum Card – 50,000 Membership Reward Point Welcome Bonus

What are your thoughts on the added benefit and fee increase for The American Express Business Platinum Card? Are you less likely to apply for this card now?

American Express Platinum Canada

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About the Author:

Champagne taste on a beer budget has always been reminiscent of Tyler’s travel style. Raised in British Columbia, Tyler has an unquenchable thirst for more adventure, which is fueled by leveraging airline and hotel loyalty programs to travel the world in luxury and style.

4 Comments

  1. john m February 16, 2018 at 4:18 pm - Reply

    Another excellent review. Once again I find your analysis a little more critical the others I have read on this topic. It is refreshing to have a well thought out, alternative opinion,

    I noticed that some people are speculating a devaluation in the referral bonus for the Amex Business Platinum card in the near future. Any thoughts on this?

    • Tyler Weatherup February 16, 2018 at 4:50 pm - Reply

      Hi John,

      Thanks for the kind words. Amex has changed the language on the referral page, implying there will be some changes coming March 21, 2018.

      My best guess is the referral bonus will be lowered, most likely to 15,000 points per eligible referral. I suspect the annual limit of 225,000 will remain unchanged.

      Some bloggers are speculating the welcome bonus will be changed, but I’m not so convinced on this one. Definitely a great time to refer friends or family for a card though, as I’m almost certain the referral bonus won’t be increasing!

      • john m February 18, 2018 at 4:19 am - Reply

        Interesting. So as you allude to in your post it looks like the Amex Personal Platinum card is looking comparatively better and might end up being the better card to get int the future, at least in the first year.

        • Tyler Weatherup February 18, 2018 at 9:08 am - Reply

          Exactly – Without considering the referral bonuses, The Personal Platinum will be a better starting point for most, since the annual fee is effectively reduced to just $299 for the first year after the travel credits, whereas the Business Platinum is $499 with no travel credits. Although the welcome bonus is slightly less at 60,000 MR points, so is the minimum spend requirement, which seems to be a psychological barrier for beginners.

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