American Express is running another limited time offer on the Business Platinum Card from American Express OPEN. This small business card won’t be for everyone, but if you travel regularly and value convenience, this offer is a way to effectively get a year’s worth of airport lounge access for you and your family for free.
- Welcome Offer: Get 25,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $5,000 in the first three months of Card Membership. Sadly, the normal bonus for this business card is zero points. You can transfer 25,000 MR points into 25,000 airline miles (more with seasonal promotions), or you can get $250 in gift cards at store like Home Depot or Macy’s. Or, you can use the Pay with Points feature to get $300 towards travel booked through American Express Travel which is comparable to Expedia, pick any flight, etc. (1 cent = 1 point, but Platinum cardmembers get a 20% rebate, so a $300 ticket would only cost a net 24,000 points).
- You also get $200 of auto-refunded statement credit annually with the airline of your choice to use towards baggage fees, flight-change fees, in-flight food and beverage purchases and more. Essentially, anything other than airfare that’s charged to your designated airline (ex. American Airlines or AA.com, even gift cards) will be automatically be credited back to you up to $200.
- This card will pay for your $100 application fee for Global Entry, a U.S. government program that provides you expedited clearance when returning to the US after international travel. You basically go through a background check, and if you’ve traveled recently you may have noticed little kiosks where people whisk by after scanning their passports instead of standing in the long customs lines. Lasts for 5 years before you have to renew.
- Free Starwood Preferred Guest Gold Preferred status. Free late 4pm checkout, room upgrades when available, and free internet access.
- Free elite status at car rental companies. Get automatic upgrades with complimentary access to the premium car rental programs of Hertz, Avis, and National.
- No foreign transaction fees.
- Free airport lounge access for you and your family. Get access to the first-class lounges, even if you are flying coach. Valid at American Airlines Admirals Club, Delta Sky Clubs, US Airways Clubs. One card will cover you and two companions, or your spouse and children under 21. Also, you get an individual membership to Priority Pass Select, with 600+ airport lounges throughout the world when you enroll in Priority Pass Select (many international ones have shower facilities).
- The annual fee is $450. It is not waived the first year.
So there you have it. The annual fee is $450, and you’ll have to decide if you can get $450 of value from the above benefits. If you take full advantage of the $300 towards booked travel using Pay with Points, $200 airline credit, and $100 application fee, then you’re definitely already ahead. Then, on top of all that, you’ll get unlimited airport lounge access for you and your family for an entire year. Finally, the $450 annual can be a deductible business expense which can offset the net cost. Is this better than an upfront point bonus? That’s up to you.
Note: “Welcome bonus offer not available to applicants who have had this product or any other Business Gold or Green Card account within the last 12 months.” So I’m currently out after my last AmEx application spree.
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