Changes To The American Express Business Platinum Card
Today we saw one of the biggest devaluations to travel hacking in recent memory with changes to the American Express Business Platinum Card. This product has long been one of my favourite cards to recommend for its amazing welcome bonus and referral program. Today we’re seeing multiple changes, and it’s all bad (though I suppose it could be much, much worse). In summary, the changes include:
- Decreased welcome bonus to 40,000 Membership Reward points. This is disappointing but doesn’t surprise me.
- Decreased referral bonus from 25,000 to 15,000 Membership Rewards per eligible referral, up to 225,000 points per year. Again, this is what’s offered on The Personal Platinum, and doesn’t come as much of a surprise
- Increased spending requirement to $5,000 in the first three months of membership to be eligible for the welcome bonus. This one shocked me, and will probably be the biggest deterrent for many consumers.
Worst of all, we just saw the annual fee increase from $399 per year to $499 per year, so taking everything into account, this is a much less appealing card than it was just a few months ago, though there are still circumstances where it would make sense to get one.
Is This Still A Good Card To Get?
Well, maybe. While the changes to the American Express Business Platinum Card are negative, most novice travel hackers will argue it’s still a product to consider. Being able to earn 40,000 Membership Reward points on a single credit application is still great, and for many, it will make sense to get this card, especially when leveraging the referral program.
However, I would now lean more towards the Personal Platinum Card as the best premium product in Canada. Although the annual fee is higher at $699 compared to $499, New cardmembers will get a $200 travel credit.
Furthermore, the card comes with 50,000 Membership Reward points as a welcome bonus and 15,000 points per eligible referral – exactly the same as what the Business Platinum Card now offers. However, the minimum spend requirement is only $3,000 in the first three months, which is a lot easier to reach without relying on manufactured spending.
Changes like this are annoying but inevitable. The good news is that as some opportunities close, others open up. While the changes to the American Express Business Platinum card are negative, it could be much worse. 40,000 Membership Reward points is still a lot, and American Express continues to offer a very generous referral program.
For beginners though, I would recommend starting out with the Platinum Card for the same benefits and point earning opportunities, with a much lower first-year cost with the annual travel credits and lower spending requirement for the welcome bonus.
Alternatively, some will want to consider the Business Gold card instead, which comes with 30,000 Membership Reward points and currently offers the annual fee waived for the first year, which is really great. Also, the Business Gold card can earn 10,000 Membership Reward points per eligible referral!
What do you think of the changes to the American Express Business Platinum Card? Will they stop you from applying in the future?