The American Express Platinum cards are in my opinion, two of the best travel credit cards in Canada. They have the best travel perks, the best sign up bonuses and both earn American Express Membership Rewards (MR) points which I consider to be the best bank travel rewards program in the country.
Yes, it’s true that American Express credit cards aren’t as widely accepted as Visa and Mastercard, but that’s not the focus of this story. Many people want to know how the Amex Platinum vs. Business Platinum Cards compare, while both cards have many similar features, there are a few differences that are worth highlighting to help you pick the right card for you.
Here’s everything you need to know about the Amex Express Platinum vs. the Business Platinum in Canada.
Amex Platinum vs. Business Platinum
|Features||Amex Platinum||Amex Business Platinum|
|Sign up bonus||60,000 points after $5,000 spend||75,000 points after $7,000 spend|
|Earn rate||3 points per $1 on dining, 2 for travel, 1 all else||1.25 points per $1 spent|
|Hotel status upgrades||Marriott, Hilton, Radisson, Shangri-la||Marriott|
|Referral bonus||15,000 points||25,000 points|
|Transfer partners||Airlines & hotels||Airlines & hotels|
|Car rental status upgrades||Hertz, Avis||Hertz, Avis|
|Fine hotels & resorts access||Yes||Yes|
|Additional travel perks||Hotel collection access, YYZ benefits||Hotel collection access, YYZ benefits|
Amex Platinum vs Business Platinum: Annual fee
- American Express Platinum – $699
- American Express Business Platinum – $499 per year
The one thing that people notice right away when looking at the Amex Platinum vs. Business Platinum is that the Personal Platinum fee is $699 while the Business Platinum is $499. This is obviously a $200 difference. However, the American Express Platinum Card comes with an annual $200 travel credit so essentially both cards have an annual fee of $499.
Even at $499, a lot of people think that’s too much to pay for a credit card, but if you read my American Express Platinum Card review and my American Express Business Platinum Card review, you’ll quickly learn that there’s an incredible amount of value that you’re getting with both cards.
Amex Platinum vs Business Platinum: Sign up bonus
**The current sign up bonus for both cards are as follows:
- American Express Platinum public offer – 25,000 MR points
- American Express Platinum – via a referral – 25,000 MR points
- American Express Business Platinum public offer – 35,000 MR points
- American Express Business Platinum via a referral – 45,000 MR points
The below is the older offer. I’ve left the details including how to maximize your points as I believe these offers will be back when the COVID-19 pandemic dies down.
- American Express Platinum public offer – 50,000 MR points
- American Express Platinum – via a referral – 60,000 MR points
- American Express Business Platinum public offer – 40,000 MR points
- American Express Business Platinum via a referral – 75,000 MR points
With both cards, you get an increased sign up bonus when using a referral bonus, but it’s important to note that your minimum spend requirement also goes up. The American Express Platinum public offer gets you 50,000 MR points when you spend $3,000 in the first three months of opening an account but if you use my referral link, you’ll earn 60,000 MR points when you spend $5,000 in 3 months.
The American Express Business Platinum Card public offer gives you just 40,000 MR points when you charge $5,000 to your card in the first three months of card membership, but if you use my American Express Business Platinum Card referral link, you’ll get 75,000 points after spending $7,000 in the first three months.
$7,000 is a huge amount, but if you have a bunch of expenses coming up, signing up for the Amex Business Platinum Card would be well worth it. To give you some perspective, 75,000 MR points can be converted to Aeroplan at a 1:1 ratio. That means you’d have 75,000 Aeroplan Miles which is enough for three round trip tickets within the continental U.S. and Canada.
Amex Platinum vs Business Platinum: Earn rate
Both the Amex Platinum Card and the Amex Business Platinum Card earn Membership Rewards points, but they have slightly different earn rates.
American Express Platinum Card
- 3 MR points $1 spent on dining
- 2 MR points per $1 spent on travel
- 1 MR point per $1 spent on everything else
American Express Business Platinum Card
- 1.25 MR points per $1 spent on all purchases
As you can see, when comparing the Amex Platinum vs Business Platinum, the earn rate is slightly different. The Personal Platinum gives you more points on dining (grocery stores not included) and travel but the Amex Business Platinum Card gives you a higher base earn rate on everything else.
Obviously, if you spend a lot on dining and travel, then the Personal Platinum Card will appeal to you, but if your business does a lot of purchasing in other categories, then the Business Platinum Card would be a better fit.
A reminder, you’re not technically supposed to be using a personal card for business expenses. If you’re constantly charging things to your credit card for business purposes, then get one of the best business credit cards in Canada. The Amex Business Platinum card also gives you business benefits such as 55 days of interest free payments whereas the personal Platinum has the standard one-month grace period.
Amex Platinum vs Business Platinum: Hotel status upgrades
Another popular Amex Platinum benefit is hotel loyalty program status upgrades. Both cards give you some extra status, but the American Express Platinum Card gives you more.
American Express Platinum Card
- Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status
- Hilton Honor Gold Elite status
- Radisson Hotels Gold Elite status
- Shangri-La Hotels Jade Elite status
American Express Business Platinum Card
- Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status
Some people will likely be disappointed that the Amex Business Platinum Card only gives you Gold Elite Status with Marriott Bonvoy, but at least Marriott is the largest hotel chain in the world with over 7,000 properties in more than 115 countries.
These hotel status upgrades are a benefit of being a cardholder, but you still need to manually apply for the status which is done through your American Express online account.
Amex Platinum vs Business Platinum: Referral bonus
- American Express Platinum Card – You receive 15,000 MR points if you refer someone
- American Express Business Platinum Card – You receive 25,000 MR if you refer someone
As you read above, you can earn more points when using a referral link, but you also get additional points if you make a referral. This is obviously a win-win situation. For the American Express Platinum Card, you can only refer people to the same card to get the referral points. If you have the Amex Business Platinum card, you can refer others to the Business Platinum, the Business Gold or the Business Edge card to get the referral bonus.
With both cards, the maximum amount of referral points you can get a year is 225,000, so that’s 15 referrals with the Amex Platinum Card or 9 referrals with the Business Platinum Card.
Amex Platinum vs Business Platinum: Redeeming points
Membership Rewards points earned from both cards can be used to redeem at the same value for the following:
- American Express Fixed Points Travel Program
- Transfer to partners including Aeroplan, Avios, Delta and Marriott
- Spend on merchandise or gift cards
- Use as a statement credit to offset travel purchase at 1,000 MR = $10
The only distinction between Amex Platinum vs Business Platinum is when redeeming points to offset non-travel purchases charged on the card:
- Personal Platinum – 1,000 MR = $7
- Business Platinum – 1,000 MR = $10 on any purchase (not only on travel)
Generally speaking, you get the most value for your points when you transfer your points to Aeroplan or Marriott Bonvoy and when you use the Fixed Points Travel Program. That said, it really depends on what the value of your redemption is so blindly transferring your points is never a good idea.
Amex Business Platinum cardholders get an increased redemption rate on any purchase that’s not travel related of 1,000 MR = $10 which can be extremely handy if you need to manage your cash flow.
Additional Amex Platinum Benefits
I’ve basically covered all the differences when comparing the Amex Platinum to the Business Platinum Card. All the remaining benefits are the same, but I wanted to highlight them for you just so you have them all in one spot.
American Express Platinum cards have the best travel benefits of any card and both versions share the following:
- Access to American Express Global Lounge Collection which grants free access to over 1,200 airport lounges for the cardholder and generally one guest
- Access to American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts program which gives incremental value when booking premium hotel stays.
- Access to The Hotel Collection program
- Special benefits at Toronto Pearson airport including a fast lane for security
- International airline program
- Platinum concierge service
- Hertz 5 stars elite status
- Avis Preferred status
- Purchase protection
- Extended warranty
American Express Platinum Travel Insurance
|Emergency Medical Insurance||$5,000,000 - 15 days / Under 65|
|Trip Cancellation Insurance||$2,500 per person / $5,000 total|
|Trip Interruption Insurance||$2,500 per person / $6,000 total|
|Flight Delay Insurance||$1,000 - 4 hours +|
|Baggage Delay Insurance||$1,000 - 6 hours +|
|Lost or Stolen Baggage Insurance||$1,000 combined per occurrence|
|Car Rental Theft Damage Insurance||$85,000 - 48 days|
|Hotel/Motel Burglary Insurance||$1,000 per occurrence|
|Travel Accident Insurance||Up to $500,000|
Although the travel insurance is quite comprehensive, one thing that I should point out is that your travel medical insurance is only good for 15 days if you’re under the age of 65. This may not be long enough for some travellers so be sure to extend your coverage if you’re going to be away longer than that.
If you’re booking your travel with your Membership Rewards Points, your insurance would still apply as long as you pay any remaining balance with your American Express Platinum Card. Overall, the insurance included makes the American Express Platinum Card one of the best credit cards with travel insurance.
As you can see, the American Express Personal and Business Platinum cards are two great cards. The travel insurance and perks are similar but there are some differences when it comes to the sign up bonus, earn rate, points redemption and hotel status upgrades. That said, you can’t go wrong with any of these two cards and I would recommend them both (just pick the one better suits you).