When it comes to business credit cards from American Express, there's a lot for business owners to love. The top Amex business cards let you earn points in the valuable American Express Membership Rewards program, which lets you transfer to airlines or hotels, redeem for airfare and hotels through AmexTravel.com, or redeem for gift cards, merchandise, and more.
Cards like the Business Platinum Card from American Express and the American Express Business Gold Card also offer valuable perks and travel benefits that can make traversing the globe a more comfortable experience. On top of that, each offers a unique earning structure that may help you earn more rewards based on how you normally spend.
If you're comparing these two cards, it's important to know how they stack up in terms of fees, rewards, and cardholder benefits. Here are all the main details and differences you should know about.
Keep in mind that we're focusing on the rewards and perks that make these credit cards great options, not things like interest rates and late fees, which can far outweigh the value of any rewards.
Amex Business Gold vs. Amex Business Platinum: The biggest differences
The first thing you'll notice is that the Business Platinum Card from American Express offers a much better welcome bonus. This card gives you 50,000 points when you sign up and spend $10,000 on your card within three months, but you can earn another 50,000 points if you boost your spending within that timeframe by another $15,000.
Spending $25,000 within three months to earn a bonus may be a difficult feat for some small business owners, but it can pay off in a big way if you have considerable business expenses you can charge to your card. Since American Express Membership Rewards are worth 2 cents each, according to travel website The Points Guy, this bonus alone could be worth $2,000 in travel.
While the American Express Business Gold Card has had a better welcome bonus in the past, all you get right now is $500 in statement credits if you spend at least that much on qualifying FedEx purchases within three months. (This offer is available until November 6, 2019.) That may work well for you if you spend a lot at FedEx anyway, but what if you don't? It's pretty clear that the Amex Business Platinum bonus is better either way.
Earning rates on purchases
The Business Platinum card gives you 5x points on prepaid hotels and flights booked through AmexTravel.com, but you also get 1.5x points on any purchase of $5,000 or more (up to 1 million additional points per year) and 1 point per dollar on everything else. That makes this card a solid option if you spend a lot on business travel through the Amex portal or tend to make a lot of large purchases with your card.
The Business Gold card, on the other hand, earns 4x points in the two categories where you spend the most each billing cycle, from the following list:
- Airfare purchased directly from airlines
- US purchases for advertising in select media
- US purchases at gas stations
- US purchases made directly from select technology providers of computer hardware, software, and cloud solutions
Considering the bonus categories you can choose from are broad, it's easy to see how you could use them to your advantage. Just remember that you'll only earn 4x points on up to $150,000 in combined purchases annually. After that, you'll earn the standard rate of rewards you earn on all purchases made with this card — 1 point per dollar spent.
If you're someone who doesn't want to minimize annual fees, be careful to note how much variation exists between these two cards. The Business Platinum comes with a whopping $595 annual fee, whereas the Business Gold card "only" charges $295 per year.
Of course, it could be worth paying either (or even both) of these fees, depending on your business' needs, but make sure you're aware of how much each card costs, and what you're getting in return, before applying.
Benefits — what's different?
Airport lounge access with the Business Platinum card
The Business Platinum card gives you access to the Global Lounge Collection, which includes more than 1,200 airport lounges worldwide. Options include lounges available in the Priority Pass lounge network but also Centurion Lounges, and Delta Sky Clubs when you're flying with Delta.
The Amex Business Gold doesn't offer airport lounge access at all.
WeWork benefit with the Business Platinum card
If you're a Business Platinum cardholder, you can show up at any of WeWork's 300+ workspaces in 75 cities nationwide. You do have to enroll in the program by December 31, 2019, to use it, however.
The American Express Business Gold Card doesn't offer WeWork access or any comparable benefits.
Airline fee credit
The Business Platinum card gives you a $200 airline fee credit each year you can use with a specific airline. This credit is good for travel incidentals like in-flight meals and checked baggage.
The Business Gold card doesn't offer any sort of airline fee credit.
Up to $200 in Dell credits
Carrying the Business Platinum card from American Express lets you qualify for up to $100 in statement credits from January through June and another $100 in credits for the remainder of the year when you make purchases with Dell within the US and enroll your card in the program.
The American Express Business Gold card doesn't offer any comparable benefits.
Credit for Global Entry or TSA Precheck
Carrying the Business Platinum card can make travel a lot more convenient. This card comes with a credit up to $100 for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck membership — and if you already have a membership, you can use this credit on someone else.
The Business Gold card doesn't offer this credit.
Elite status with hotels
Finally, the Business Platinum card gives you automatic elite status with a few hotel programs, specifically Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status and Hilton Honors Gold status. Having this status can help you qualify for special hotel benefits like early check-in, room upgrades, free breakfast, and more.
As you may have guessed by now, the Amex Business Gold card doesn't offer status with any hotel programs.
Benefits shared by the Amex Business Platinum and Business Gold
Both of these cards give you some of your points back when you make a Pay With Points redemption for flights through AmexTravel.com. With the Amex Business Gold card, you'll get 25% of your points back. With the Business Platinum version, that percentage goes up to 35%.
You'll get this rebate when you use points to book a first- or business-class flight with any airline, or when you use points to book a flight in any class of service with your selected qualifying airline (which you can pick through your Amex account each year).
No foreign transaction fees
Both cards waive foreign transaction fees, meaning you won't pay an additional fee to use your credit card for purchases made abroad.
Which card is best for you?
It's hard to say which card might work better for your needs, but it's pretty clear that the Business Platinum is a better deal for consumers who travel a lot. Not only do you get an airline fee credit each year, but you also get airport lounge access, a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit, and more points when you book travel with your card.
On the flipside, the Amex Business Gold card has some pretty intriguing bonus categories you could maximize. Plus, the annual fee is lower.
Make sure you consider all the pros and cons of each card before you decide. And if you think you could maximize each card in a different way, don't forget that you can always pick up both.