Internal Debate: Do I Take The Amex Business Gold or Business Platinum No Lifetime Language Offer?

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Amex Business Gold vs Amex Business Platinum

Amex Business Gold vs Amex Business Platinum

To say Amex has lost its mind a bit would be an understatement at this point. At least in the business new acquisition center that is. Last year I shared how I had 7 no lifetime language (NLL) offers at one time and Amex is stacking them up for me again. Not only do the offers keep coming, they keep getting bigger and bigger too. Pure insanity! What makes these offers with no lifetime language so good is they don’t follow the normal rules Amex has. You can get the same card more then once with them instead of “once per lifetime“, even hold multiples of the same card at the same time. That is the exact situation I find myself in right now, as many others are, and I need to decide between taking an Amex Gold Business NLL offer or an Amex Business Platinum NLL offer. Both offers came via email but they are showing up in people’s Amex log in, as well as regular post. I don’t really know which way to go so I am looking forward to figuring this out together.

Offer Details

My plan was to slow down a bit over the summer, not taking on any new cards really, so I only have time and space for one of these two offers. Early in the year I jumped on both on my way to almost $14K in cash earnings. This time around I want to be more selective though. Let’s take a look at the offers, we can break down the value and see which one is best for me.

American Express Business Platinum Benefits Guide - Over 30 Perks

American Express Business Platinum Offer

The first offer is for the Business Platinum card:

  • Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards after spending $15,000 in the first 3 months.
  • Earn 10,000 Membership Rewards by adding an authorized user at the time of application when they spend $1000 within the first 3 months.
  • $695 annual fee

American Express Business Gold Offer

  • Earn 90,000 Membership Rewards after spending $10,000 in the first 3 months.
  • Earn 10,000 Membership Rewards by adding an authorized user at the time of application when they spend $1000 within the first 3 months.
  • $295 annual fee

Breaking Down The Value Of The Offers

Alright, now it is time to get into the nitty gritty. I’ll break down each offer, my valuation for the perks or credits you get and subtract the annual fee to see which card comes out on top. For the exercise I’ll value the Membership Rewards at 1.1 cents each since that is their cash out rate with the Schwab Platinum (what I would likely do with either of these offers). Plug in your own valuations for the points and credits though.

American Express Business Platinum Value

For the Business Platinum I’ll break down the points earning and list off the credits I find value in. Unfortunately, the Business Platinum card’s earning structure is pretty weak so I will likely only earn 1X on the required spend.

  • The 160,000 points would be worth $1,760
  • 15,000 points from the spend worth $165
  • Dell Credits worth $450
    • $600 in the first 12 months. I would get $200 until June 30th, then another $200 from July 1 – December 31st and another $200 starting January 1st. I valued these at 75% for this exercise even though I have been getting close to 100% for them myself.
  • Amex airline incidental credits worth $380
    • I would get this credit twice in the first year, $200 now and another $200 on January 1st. My valuation for this is at 95% since I can use it to book flights. I discounted it slightly for the lower earn rate on the airfare spend.
  • Wireless credit worth $114
    • You get $10 a month but I discounted it 5% for the lower earn rate on the purchase. If your cell provider gives you $5-$10 a month to auto pay with a checking account etc. this may be worthless to you.
  • Subtract $695 Annual Fee

You can see all of the more than 40 different card perks and credits broken down here. I don’t value the rest of them here since I already have them covered with my other cards.

Net Value In Year 1 – $2174

Amex Business Gold vs Amex Business Platinum

American Express Business Gold Value

The Amex Business Gold calculations will be a lot more straightforward. It doesn’t come with a ton of perks or credits like the Business Platinum. The card does have a much better earning structure though. I have been able to complete most of the spend in one of the 4X earning categories in the past and would assume to be able to do that again. You get 4X points in the 2 categories you spend the most in each month from the following list:

  • U.S. purchases for advertising in select media (online, TV, radio)
  • U.S. purchases made directly from select technology providers of computer hardware, software, and cloud solutions
  • Airfare purchased directly from airlines
  • U.S. purchases at gas stations
  • U.S. purchases at restaurants, including takeout and delivery
  • Purchases for shipping in the U.S.

I am able to put a good chunk of spend in the gas and restaurant categories. If you aren’t able to maximize one or two of these categories then your numbers may be different.

  • The 100,000 points would be worth $1,100
  • 30,000 points from the spend worth $330
    • That is how many points I have earned on average from the $10,000 in spend the last few Business Gold applications.
  • Subtract $295 Annual Fee

Net Value In Year 1 – $1135

Comparing The Numbers

Wow, that is a pretty massive gap in value. The Amex Business Platinum would bring me $1039 more in value the first year. I figured these would be a bit closer in value than this. A lot of this depends on what you peg the valuation for the Business Platinum credits though.  The Platinum does require $5000 more in spend too, which is a deal breaker for some. In terms of value, I would spend $5,000 more to get over $1000 back, that is a 20% return on that spend.

What if you don’t want to use any credits? How would the numbers look then?

Values With No Credits

  • Business Gold would still offer $1135 in value
  • Business Platinum would offer $1230 in value

Even when giving every single credit and perk zero value the Business Platinum comes out slightly ahead. The $95 in added value wouldn’t be worth the additional $5,000 in spend required for the Platinum card, a return of under 2%, but I doubt anyone is going to value everything at $0.

Amex Business Gold vs Amex Business Platinum

Amex Business Gold vs Amex Business Platinum Final Thoughts

If you were sitting there debating which no lifetime language offer to grab, like I am, then now you know. The Business Platinum soars ahead of the Business Gold offer in the first year. Even when giving every perk and credit the Business Platinum has to offer a zero value, it still comes out slightly ahead.

This of course assumes you can meet the required spend of either card. If $15,000 required is a stretch for you then the Business Gold may win by default. That isn’t a terrible thing, it is a great offer. The card also offers a much better earning structure. If you maximized the 4X categories for the year, which has a massive $150,000 cap, then that could change things for you. Continued spend could be more important to you and your business. If you put $150K on each card the numbers would be the following:

  • $3659 in value for the Business Platinum (including all of the credits and $150K in 1X spending)
  • $7405 in value for the Business Gold (assuming $150K in spending in the 4X categories)

Those numbers change things quite a bit, don’t they? Which card will work best for you depends on what you want, or don’t, out of the card long term. For my purposes, chasing the low hanging fruit, the Business Platinum comes out well ahead.

Mark Ostermann
Mark Ostermann is a father, husband and miles/points fanatic. He left the corporate world after starting a family in order to be a stay at home dad. Mark is constantly looking at ways to save money and stay within budget while also taking awesome vacations with his family. When he isn't caring for his family or taking a weekend trip, Mark is working towards his goal of visiting every Major League Baseball ballpark.

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14 COMMENTS

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14 COMMENTS

  1. Even if you auto pay your cell phone bill for a discount, you can still use the $10 credit monthly. Your cell phone company will not withdraw more than you owe if you have already paid $10 during the billing period.

  2. I already have two business platinum cards and one business gold, plus a couple of other business cards. I was a little edgy about it but bit the bullet and just got approved for my third business platinum with the 150K offer. I wanted to get it before too long to use the Dell credit. Any idea how many is too many?

    • I’ve opened 3 Biz Plat and 1 Biz Gold, all within just over a year, then this week another Biz Plat 150K NLL offer arrives in my email. So tempted; they must know what they’re doing right? AFAIK everyone hitting this is fine, but one day, it could be suddenly not fine anymore.

      • I don’t think there seems to be a limit outside of the 10 card one. I am guessing they are trying to pad their new accounts stats. Only thing that makes sense to me right now.

    • That is true. I am like 1 for 4 on good upgrade offers though so I wouldn’t count on it but it is something to consider.

  3. At this point the issue for me is this: Can I make the spend requirements. I can find value in the Dell credit – but I’m already using the cell phone credit with my main line, so that is no longer valuable. I’ve gotten so many cards because of these offers. And, they are upgrading the retention offers. Sounds like I may go for another one. I wish I got the flyer for the 250K points!

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