If you love earning rewards on all your personal spending, don’t forget to look into business credit cards that let you rack up points on all your business-related expenses. The Business Platinum Card® from American Express and American Express® Business Gold Card are two very popular business cards to consider, and that’s true even though both cards charge an annual fee.
With either business credit card, you’ll earn Membership Rewards points that can be cashed in for merchandise, gift cards, travel and more. You’ll also qualify for perks like a statement credit for either Global Entry or TSA Precheck and no foreign transaction fees, among others.
Which option will leave you better off—the Business Platinum Card or the Amex Business Gold Card? Our analysis below can help you decide.
Amex Business Platinum Amex Business Gold
Welcome bonus Earn 75,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $15,000 on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of account opening Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $5,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months of account opening
Rewards rate 5X Membership Rewards points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com
1.5X points on eligible purchases of $5,000 or more (up to 1 million additional points per year)
1X points on all other purchases
4X Membership Rewards points on up to $150,000 a year in combined spending in two of six categories that your business spends the most on each billing cycle
1X points on all other purchases
Intro APR None None
Annual fee $595 $295
Amex Business Platinum Card vs. Business Gold Card: Highlights
Both of these American Express credit cards can help you rack up considerable rewards for each dollar you spend, but each one stands out in a few important categories. We compared both cards to see which one comes out ahead in several areas:
Welcome bonus winner: Business Platinum
If you are hoping to earn a big welcome bonus right off the bat, you may want to consider the Business Platinum if your business can spend enough on your credit card each month. This card lets you earn 75,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend $15,000 within three months of account opening, which is more than twice the bonus you’ll get with the Business Gold.
Also keep in mind that, with American Express Membership Rewards points value being around 2 cents each according to recent valuations from our sister site The Points Guy, this bonus alone could be worth $1,500.
Rewards rate winner: Business Gold
While we like the fact you can earn 5X points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com and 1.5X points on purchases of $5,000 or more with the Business Platinum, not everyone can take advantage of those categories. With that in mind, the Business Gold is the clear winner in this category.
With this card, you’ll earn 4X points on up to $150,000 in combined spending in the two categories you spend the most in each year (then 1X points), as well as 1X points on all other spending. Categories you can choose from include airfare purchased directly from an airline, U.S. purchased advertising (to promote your business online, on TV or on the radio), U.S. gas stations, U.S. restaurants, U.S. shipping costs and U.S. computer software, hardware and cloud data made directly from select providers.
Annual Fee winner: Business Gold
Another major benefit of the Business Gold comes in the form of a $295 annual fee. While that’s a lot and it’s certainly higher than the fee you’ll pay with many other business credit cards on the market today, you’ll pay $595 per year if you opt for the Business Platinum instead.
Foreign transaction fee winner: Tie
Neither of these credit cards charges a foreign transaction fee on purchases you make outside the United States, so these cards tie in this category.
Which card earns the most?
The card that will net you the most points over the years really depends on which categories you spend the most in and how much your business spends.
While the Business Gold does offer 4X points in a broader range of categories, it’s important to note the $150,000 cap on bonus rewards you’ll face each year. This cap can limit how many points you can earn, yet you’ll notice the Business Platinum also sets a limit of 1 million additional points you can earn each year when you make purchases of $5,000 or more with your card and earn an extra half a point for each dollar spent.
Which card will leave you better off? Consider the spending example below.
Amex Business Platinum vs. Business Gold spending example
Imagine your business spends $120,000 per year, and it’s broken down into the following categories:
$20,000 in flights
$10,000 in U.S. shipping and U.S. gas station purchases
$5,000 in spending on workplace supplies
$75,000 per year in miscellaneous expenses and bills
If you had the Business Platinum, you would earn 200,000 points—100,000 points on flights if you booked with amextravel.com and 100,000 points on other purchases.
If you had the Business Gold, on the other hand, you would also earn 200,000 points—80,000 points on flights if you purchased from airlines, 40,000 points on U.S. shipping and U.S. gas station spending and 80,000 points on other purchases made with your card. This example is predicated on the idea that you spent in bonus categories in separate months, thus being able to earn 4X points in three major categories throughout the year.
Why should you get the Amex Business Platinum?
If you are considering the Business Platinum, you may be wondering why you would pay the higher annual fee. Here are a few factors to keep in mind.
The Business Platinum comes with more benefits than the Gold alternative. As a cardholder, you’ll receive a 35 percent back airline bonus when you use points to book business or first class fares (up to 500,000 points back per year), a $200 airline fee credit, a fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Precheck and broad airport lounge access that includes Priority Pass lounges, Centurion lounges and Delta Sky Clubs when you fly with Delta Air Lines.
You’ll also get purchase protection, extended warranties, a baggage protection plan and other protective perks.
American Express Membership Rewards points are good for plenty of different options, ranging from gift cards to merchandise. You can pay with points with select retailers and use points to book travel directly on amextravel.com.
Amex also has a number of hotel and airline partners that your points can be transferred to, like Delta Air Lines and Hilton Honors. Make sure to read Bankrate’s guide to Amex Membership Rewards points to find out all the different ways you can redeem your rewards.
Recommended credit score
You’ll need excellent credit to qualify for this card, which usually means a FICO score of 740 or higher. Consumers with “excellent” scores, or a FICO score over 740, have an even better chance for approval.
Why should you get the Amex Business Gold?
Consider signing up for the Business Gold if you want to pay a lower annual fee and you want to earn bonus rewards in more categories. You’ll earn a smaller welcome bonus and get fewer perks, but this card might be a better fit if you don’t travel very often.
As a cardholder, you’ll get a 25 percent airline bonus when you use points to book qualifying flights, up to 250,000 points per year. You’ll also get access to a Global Assist hotline that can provide emergency referrals anywhere around the world. This card also comes with purchase protection and extended warranties on eligible items.
This card also lets you earn Amex Membership Rewards points, which you can redeem for gift cards, merchandise, travel and more.
Recommended credit score
Applicants need excellent credit to qualify, which usually means a FICO score of 740 or higher. Those with “excellent” scores, or a FICO score over 740, have a better chance for approval.
The bottom line
While the Business Platinum comes with more cardholder benefits than the alternative, this card does charge an annual fee that is $300 higher than the Business Gold. Then again, the airline lounge access you get with the Business Platinum has a retail value of more than $400, so you can get excellent value in that perk alone if you use it.
When deciding between the two cards, it all comes down to how much your business normally spends each month as well as which categories your business spends the most in. In the meantime, also consider the cardholder benefits each one offers, as well as whether you can take advantage.
If you still can’t decide, take the time to compare these two cards to other business credit cards from major card issuers like Chase and Capital One.