The American Express AIR MILES Gold Business Card

Do you have a startup that’s about to take off on a low budget? The no-fee American Express AIR MILES® Gold Business Card could be the perfect option for you! You can get Amex perks for free, while still acquiring benefits for yourself and your newborn business. Add in the fact that you earn air miles on every purchase you or your employees make, and the possibility to redeem those miles for great rewards in the AIR MILES program, and you’ll quickly see that this is not just another credit card.

In this post:

Basic Features And Benefits Of The AIR MILES Gold Business Card

The AIR MILES program touches almost two thirds of Canadian households, making it the biggest loyalty program in Canada. Small business owners can make the most of this program by signing up to the American Express AIR MILES Gold Business Card. You won’t have to pay a dime for your card or for any supplementary card for your employees. Even so, you still get a welcome bonus of 150 miles if you charge $1,000 of purchases to it during the first three months. It’s not huge, but you’re still getting it for nothing, so it’s only profit.

The ability to earn miles on any purchase, and to earn miles twice on AIR MILES sponsors also makes it a great way to boost you dream or cash balance and earn rewards faster.

The American Express AIR MILES Gold Business Card’s Perks For Small Businesses

The first business benefit is the fact that you can get free supplementary cards for your employees. This was to be expected considering that the basic card is free as well.

As a no-fee credit card, the Amex AIR MILES Gold Business Card doesn’t bring many benefits. However, it does include great business expense management tools to keep track of your businesses expenses as well as your employees’ expenses. You could use quarterly or annual expenses reports to assess areas where you can cut operational costs, for example.

Finally, you can also get access to cash at any Interlac ATM in Canada, or Amex branded ATMs worldwide. Keep in mind that foreign transaction fees do apply.

Earn More Rewards With Your American Express Gold Business Card And Your Employees’ Additional Cards

The Amex AIR MILES Gold Business Card will boost your miles earning potential in two ways

Combine that with extra earnings from every single additional card you give your employees’, and you’ll be on your way to Onyx status in no time flat.

The Amex AIR MILES Gold Business Card’s Coverage

No-annual-fee credit cards like the AIR MILES Gold Business Card don’t provide much insurance coverage because you normally have to pay for those. Even so, this card does include and embedded $100,000 travel accident insurance policy, which is great, considering that the card’s free.

Apart from this limited travel coverage, all Amex cards also come with the standard purchase coverage composed of the following:

Other Perks In The AIR MILES Gold Business Card

The AIR MILES Business Gold includes Amex perks like American Express Invites, which gives you access to great events and experiences. It also comes with Front of The Line, which opens up the possibility to purchase tickets to great concerts and events be it before they are sold to the public or even after they’ve sold out to everyone else.

Add in American Express’ world-class 24/7 service to all its cardmembers, emergency card replacement wherever you are and fraud protection, all free of charge, and you’ll soon be running out of excuses not to sign up now. It’s a complete winner. You don’t risk anything and you get a package of benefits and rewards potential with which you just can’t go wrong. If you want a no-fee business card with rewards, this is one good choice.

The Bottom Line With The American Express AIR MILES Business Card

You should consider choosing this credit card if you meet the following criteria:

Other Business Cards To Consider

The Amex AIR MILES Business Card

If you use AIR MILES, don’t plan to carry a balance on your card every month, and you don’t mind paying a $180 annual fee, the AIR MILES Business can be a better choice. It has a great 2,000 miles welcome bonus, it gives you a 55 interest-free period, and it has a good travel insurance package.

The Business Gold Rewards Card

If you’re not in love with AIR MILES, you can also consider the Amex Business Gold Rewards Card that is also a credit card. This card’s annual fee is a bit higher than the AIR MILES Business, but it also brings more perks and earns MR points which can be more flexible than dream miles or cash miles.

The Marriott Bonvoy™ Business Card

Finally, as our winner in the mid-range fee, we recommend the Marriott Bonvoy™ Business Card. It’s also a credit card, it has a lower fee of just $150 but it offers an Annual Free Night award that alone is worth twice that much, making this card a sure win.

The Amex Centurion Card AKA American Express Black Card

Is it just a status card or is it worth earning?

The evolution of technology has made us much too impatient in life. We want everything fast in almost every (if not all) aspects in life. While we keep up to speed, it’s needless to say we expect quick & efficient service when money is spent. Such is the purpose of the Amex Centurion Card, otherwise best known as the Amex Black Card. 

The general perception of this card is being primarily a travel charge card. However, the brilliance of the Amex Centurion card is in its top notch service quality that makes the generally impossible requests from cardholders become possible.

In the following post you’ll find:

How do you get an Amex Centurion card

Amex Centurion card can’t be applied for. It’s by invitation-only. Amex has maintained that exclusivity and takes pride in the benefits provided. This explains why the perks are not officially available or publicized on public platforms. It really is so lucrative to own one that it doesn’t even require advertising. 

How do you earn an Amex Centurion card?

The best way to increase your chances of being invited to become an Amex Centurion cardholder is as follows: 

Now this is just to boost your chances of getting an invite from American Express. It doesn’t necessarily ensure that you will by following the above tips. American Express still reserves the right to choose who they invite, and they’re not letting on their selection criteria.

Key Benefits of Amex Centurion (Black) Card

24/7 Personal Concierge

As an Amex Black cardholder, you could have access to a ‘personal concierge’. Assuming you enjoyed the service quality from a particular concierge, you can request the same person for the subsequent usage of this service. Communication via emails would always go directly to that person, and you will have his or her personal extension number to reach when needed. 

It may seem as it’s like any other concierge service or similar to the Amex Platinum concierge, yet such is not the case. 

Picture this – You need tickets to a supposed sold out concert or you need a reservation at the busiest restaurant. Your Centurion concierge makes it happen. All it takes for the Centurion concierge to say, when calling a business or restaurant,  “This is so and so from American Express Centurion Concierge…” That one word, if said to a high end business/hotel/restaurant, makes all the difference. 

Your concierge can assist you as a personal travel agent: regardless of where you want to go, or how challenging the booking reservations would be, Centurion concierge makes it happen, on time, as requested, 99% of the time – mindblowing!

It has also been said that your concierge can arrange for a personal shopping experience at your requested mall after hours. Talk about living life in style! You can also expect special treats on your birthdays – exclusively taken cared off by your concierge.

Elite Memberships

As a Centurion cardholder, you are automatically upgraded to the topmost elite category for airlines, hotels, certain private clubs, lounges and special events. According to an Amex Black Card user, ‘It’s an automatic by-pass to the top tier ranking for the most valued customer status all around the world.’ 

Hotels: 

Being part of the top tier hotel programs, you can also enjoy these additional benefits:

Flights: 

As an Amex Centurion Card holder, you automatically acquire Platinum Medallion Status with Delta.

With this status, your personal concierge can assist with these perks:

Airport Lounges:

The card comes with access to the finest lounges globally via the American Express Global Lounge program. This includes the exclusive Centurion Lounge where you are able to experience the muted surrounding with fine quality amenities. The entry to this lounge is exclusive to Amex Centurion and Platinum card holders. 

The difference is Centurion card holders have no time limit to enjoy the Centurion lounge. Platinum card holders are limited to 3 hours (departure and transit passengers only). 

The Centurion Lounge by American Express

It still does raise the question of how do you earn the amazing Amex Centurion card. The most practical way, it seems, is to start with the Amex Platinum card to match the spending requirement ($100,000 – $450,000) as listed above. 

Having said so, in terms of the benefits, the closest card that can compare to the Amex Centurion card is the Amex Platinum card. 

Comparative review of Amex Platinum & Amex Centurion

BenefitsAmerican Express Platinum CardAmerican Express Centurion Card
Card TypeCharge CardCharge Card
Initiation/Annual Fee• Initiation Fee: None
• Annual Fee: $699
• Initiation Fee: $5,000
• Annual Fee: $2,500
24/7 Personal ConciergeAvailable for free. 
Concierge service personnel is assigned to the cardholder
Available for free including travel agent.
Cardholder may request for a designated personal concierge. 
Companion TicketsDiscounts available for participating airlines for companion ticketsFree upgrade for selected airlines
Airport Travel LoungeGolden Lounge Program 
(incl. Centurion Lounges within a time frame of 3 hours only)
Global Lounge program
(incl. Centurion lounges for any period of time and Maple Leaf Lounges)
Foreign Transaction Fee2.5%None
Travel Credit$200 annually $200 annually 
Global Entry Fee CreditYes. $100 application fee credit every 5 years when applied for.Yes. $100 application fee credit every 5 years when applied for.
Free WiFi on FlightComplimentary Boingo WiFi access• Complimentary Boingo WiFi access
• Complimentary Gogo WiFi access
Centurion International Arrival ServicesNoYes.
To fast track the arrival, customs, immigration, and coordinate grounds transportation at selected airports.
Hotel Elite Statuses• American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts program
• Hilton Honors Gold Status
• Shangri-La Golden Circle Jade membership
• Marriott BonvoyTM Gold Elite status
• Radisson RewardsTM Gold Status
• American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts program
• Hilton Honors Diamond
• Shangri-La Golden Circle Jade membership
• Marriott BonvoyTM Gold Elite status
• Radisson RewardsTM Gold Status 
• IHG Priority Club Rewards 
• Centurion Hotel Program
Relais & Châteaux 5C 
Fine Hotels & Resorts Exclusive Benefits YesYes
Car Rental Elite StatusHertz9 and Avis10 Car Rental Benefits• Centurion Auto program
• Avis Presidents Club, 
• Hertz #1 Club
Elite Rent-A-Car
Additional Card• Up to 9 cards total. 
• $175 for additional Platinum cards. 
• $50 for additional Gold cards
• $2,500 for each additional Centurion Card (up to 2 only)
• $175 for up to 3 additional Platinum Cards
• $0 for additional Gold Cards.
Front of the Line(advanced access/tickets to concerts)YesYes
Travel InsuranceYesYes
Shopping ProtectionYesYes

In a nutshell…

The American Express Centurion Card is undoubtedly one of the most prestigious charge cards to be used. It has beyond believe perks that takes luxury living to the next level. The service that comes with the card  alone makes the annual fee worthwhile, considering the time and effort saved with the Centurion concierge. 

Assuming you receive the coveted invitation, you could use the Delta Platinum Medallion status, access to exclusive invite-only events, and the privilege of being a part of one of the most exclusive communities worldwide.

Increase your chances today of getting an invitation, by starting out with the Platinum Card from American Express. It shares similar benefits with the Amex Black Card, and it’s the closest option you’ll find if the Amex Centurion seems too far fetched to earn.

Reviews – By Centurion Cardholders

If you have the budget, the Amex Centurion is a dream come true, but don’t take our word for it; here are quotes from actual Amex Centurion cardholders…

‘There’s nothing you cannot do with the Centurion card but if you travel enough or want to experience the best things in life; nothing compares to the centurion. 
I had friends in my network with the Centurion card long before I got it, so not much surprised me. When I say there’s nothing you cannot do with a centurion I am not exaggerating. I know people who have got front row seats to sold out shows, backstage with celebrities, bought jets and even rare luxury cars on their centurion. 

After having a platinum card for over a year, I reached out to my concierge about booking a yacht charter for a client (I own a luxury chartering service) and happened to in conversation bring up the centurion, which he asked if I would like to apply for. I was denied. A year later, I had changed a few things financially and increased my spend on both of my cards drastically, and asked again and was accepted within 2 days. I used my existing points to pay my annual fee and the rest is history so they say.

You definitely need a near perfect credit score, never missed or late on a payment (not just with Amex no late payments on your report at all) and over 150k a month in spend. I have heard 250 before but can tell you I got my personal centurion much easier after having the business one. I’ve also heard you need a net worth over 2 million dollars however I’m not sure how they would verify that as they only asked me for tax documents. Yes, they will ask for tax documents, bank statements, and will not accept you no matter what you spend without them. 

It’s better to hold because of the perks, as well as the prestige. I know people who barely have a 600 credit score who have a platinum card. The platinum is only a stepping stone to the centurion in my opinion. If you stay at 5 hotels a year and go from a basic room to a suite (let alone a presidential suite) upgrade the card has paid for itself.’ – Kovach.B. (Kovach Companies. Inc)

‘Overall, I get way more out of this card — more than $45,000 in benefits a year — than I spend on keeping it in my wallet. Granted, I do have a business with more than 20 employees, so not everyone will be able to get this much out of this card, but some may be able to get even more out of it. Having a dedicated concierge at Amex who is always available to me is essentially priceless. Combine that with the rest of the perks on this card and it’s well worth the $2,500 annual fee.

It’s a very exclusive card, of course, so you can’t just apply for one — you have to be invited to apply by American Express. While nothing’s guaranteed, there are a couple of tricks that you can try that will (likely) get you on Amex’s radar. The first of these is to spend — a lot — on your Business Platinum card, and the second is to simply ask. 

I love booking hotels with Amex Fine Hotels and Resorts because of the perks you get like room upgrades, free Wi-Fi, a $100 amenity benefit and late checkout. I just recently was upgraded to a Penthouse Fountain View Suite at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, and as you can see below, that definitely didn’t suck. As a Centurion cardholder, these perks go a step beyond, and most upgrades will be confirmed at booking. I also get an additional $200 benefit per two-night or longer stay.’ – Kelly, B (ThePointsGuy)

The Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card is the perfect card for business owners who travel at least once a year. The card comes with a 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy points welcome bonus, though it’s in Year 2 and beyond, when the annual Free Night Award kicks in, that the real magic begins.

Add in Marriott Bonvoy™ Gold Elite status and the card’s comprehensive insurance package, and you’ll want to keep your Marriott Bonvoy Business Card for years.

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Released in early 2019, the Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card has made a splash amongst Canadian business owners as a card that offers a fantastic ROI.

In this post, I’ll let you in on all the numbers that show why the card is such a great a long-term investment, and why you’ll want to keep it in your wallet for years to come.

To make things easier to follow, I’ve broken the post down into the following sections:

The Marriott Bonvoy Business Card’s Main Features & Benefits

Welcome Bonus 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy points
Annual Fee $150
Additional Card Annual Fee $50
Travel BenefitsAnnual Free Night Award: 1 free night at a participating property with a room rate of up to 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy points
Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status every year you charge $30,000 to your card
15 Elite Night Credits every calendar year
Points Earning Rate • 5 Marriott Bonvoy points per $1 spent on eligible Marriott Bonvoy properties
• 3 Marriott Bonvoy points per $1 spent at stand-alone gas stations
• 3 Marriott Bonvoy points per $1 spent at restaurants, quick service restaurants, coffee shops and drinking establishments in Canada
• 3 Marriott Bonvoy points per $1 spent on travel services and travel bookings, including air, water, rail and road transport, but not including local and commuter transportation
• 2 Marriott Bonvoy points per $1 spent on any other purchase
• 15,000 bonus points when transferring 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points to frequent flyer programs like British Airways Avios or Air Canada Aeroplan
• 10,000 bonus points per every approved referral
Business Benefits • Business and Expense Management Tools
• Business Insurance Coverage
• The annual fee for main and supplementary cards may be tax deductible
• Payment flexibility (pay in full or carry a balance)
• Up to 99 supplementary cards for employees
American Express Invites
Travel Coverage • Travel Emergency Assistance
• Travel Accident Insurance up to $500,000
• Car Rental Theft and Damage Insurance
• Lost or Stolen Baggage Insurance
• Baggage Delay Insurance
• Flight Delay Insurance
• Hotel/Motel Burglary Insurance
Purchase Coverage • Purchase Protection® Plan
• Buyer’s Assurance® Protection Plan
Business Coverage • Employee Card Misuse Protection
Eligibility 1. You are a Canadian resident and have a Canadian credit file.
2. You are the age of majority in the province or territory where you live.
Type of Card • Credit Card
Applied interest rate • 19.99% on purchases
• 22.99% on funds advance

Looking Beyond The Welcome Bonus

We value Marriott Bonvoy points at 0.8 cents apiece, since they can be transferred to airline programs like British Airways Avios or Air Canada Aeroplan at a rate of 3:1, and those programs’ points are worth 2-3 cents apiece when used on flights to Asia or Europe.

Related: The American Express Business Edge™ Card

That means that the 50,000 points welcome bonus that comes with the Marriott Bonvoy Business Card has a value of about $400, making it clearly worth the card’s $150 annual fee. But what about after the first year?

This post will explain why the Marriott Bonvoy Business Card offers excellent value to Canadians, both in the first year and for many years beyond that.

3 Reasons The Marriott Bonvoy Business Card Is A Great Long-Term Choice

Benefit #1: Annual Free Night Award

Every year after your first anniversary, you’re eligible for a free night at a participating Marriott Bonvoy property worth 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy points or less. In our opinion, this is the single most valuable benefit that comes with the Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card.

It’s a long-term benefit that you get every year, as long as your account is in good standing and hasn’t been canceled before the award is issued. There are no minimum purchase requirements, no minimum number of nights booked in a Marriott Bonvoy property during the year… nothing! Your biggest concern for this annual free night award will be deciding in which of the thousands of Marriott Bonvoy properties across the globe to use it.

Understanding Marriott Categories

Finding out which hotels offer the right room rate is simple enough, though, because as I explain in my post on the personal Marriott Bonvoy Card, Marriott classifies its hotels and properties into 8 categories, depending on the number of points you have to trade in to stay for a night.

The total number of points needed depends on several factors: the price of the hotel, whether you’re traveling in low season or high season, and whether or not the hotel participates in the PointSavers program. Here’s the complete list of categories, with the PointSavers rates in brackets:

Hotel Category Off Peak Standard Peak
1 5,000 (4,000) 7,500 (6,000) 10,000 (8,500)
2 10,000 (8,000) 12,500 (11,000) 15,000 (13,000)
3 15,000 (12,000) 17,500 (16,000) 20,000 (18,000)
4 20,000 (17,500) 25,000 (22,500) 30,000 (27,500)
5 30,000 (27,500) 35,000 (32,500) 40,000 (37,500)
6 40,000 (35,000) 50,000 (45,000) 60,000 (55,000)
7 50,000 (45,000) 60,000 (55,000) 70,000 (65,000)
8 70,000 (65,000) 85,000 (80,000) 100,000 (90,000)

As you can see, the 35,000 points limit for the free night award could get you a room in a hotel anywhere from Category 1 – 6.

Category 5 Case Study: Booking A Free Night At The St. Kitts Marriott Resort & The Royal Beach Casino

An example of a great redemption is a room at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort & The Royal Beach Casino.

Marriott Bonvoy Business card free night award at the St Kitts Marriott Resort
St. Kitts Marriott Resort & The Royal Beach Casino

In this case, you could use your free night award to book a room for up to 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy points and save, depending on the season, about $270 USD, as shown below. This particular room has a king bed and a spacious balcony, perfect for your St. Kitts vacation.

Category 5 hotel booking through Trip-Advisor
Actual room rate you would have to pay if you were to book with cash instead of using the free night award

There is an incredibly large number of hotels where you can redeem your Free Night Award, and the value of the benefit is how much you’ll save on the room ($269, in this case). In any case, it’s very easy to see that this benefit alone outweighs the $150 annual fee, and will for as long as you keep the card in your wallet.

And we’re just getting started…

Benefit #2: Gold Elite Status + 15 Annual Elite Night Credits

These are actually two long-term benefits that work in conjunction to improve your experience when staying at a Marriott Bonvoy hotel. To understand the value of these benefits, you first need to understand what “Gold Elite status” and “Elite Night Credits” mean.

The Elite Night Credits program is divided into different levels or tiers that you progressively reach the more you stay at Marriott Bonvoy properties.

After signing up to the program, you initially start off as a regular member who earns an Elite Night Credit for every night stayed at a Marriott Bonvoy property.

Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status

Every night you stay in a Marriott Bonvoy property you receive one Elite Night Credit, which determines the status you’ll have the following year. Here are the number of Elite Night Credits you need to earn within one year to reach each status level:

When you charge $30,000 to your Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card in one year, you’ll bypass the regular membership structure and receive Gold Elite status, whether you’ve stayed in Marriott Bonvoy properties or not. You’ll also receive 15 Elite Night Credits every year, giving you a significant head start on the higher tiers.

Benefits Of Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status

Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status comes with plenty of great perks you can capitalize on every time you stay at a Marriott Bonvoy hotel. Here are some of our favourites:

How Much Is Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status Worth?

The following table shows my estimated value for each of these benefits. The numbers correspond to a single 2-day stay at a full service Marriott Bonvoy property. To make things easier to follow, I’ll assume an average room rate of $200 per night ($400 for the two nights) and an average value of 0.8 cents per Marriott Bonvoy point, as mentioned above.

Benefit Value (For a single 2-night stay)
25% bonus Marriott Bonvoy points $6
250 or 500 Marriott Bonvoy points check-in bonus $2 – $4
Complimentary Room Upgrade (subject to availability) $20 – $100
Complimentary enhanced internet access (estimated at $1 per day) $2
TOTAL $30 – $112

This is a good estimate of the value of the Gold Elite status for a single 2-night stay at an average Category 4 or 5 hotel. If you stay at a higher category hotel, spend more nights or, better yet, if you stay at a hotel more than once during the year (to get the check-in bonus several times), the final value of the Gold Elite status multiplies.

Reaching Platinum Elite Status With The Marriott Bonvoy Business Card

After achieving Gold Elite status, the 15 Elite Night credits that the card includes will get you that much closer to the threshold you need in order to upgrade to Platinum Elite status. Platinum Elite status gives you really great benefits at Marriott Bonvoy properties like:

Benefit #3: Comprehensive Insurance Coverage

The Marriott Bonvoy Business Card comes with extensive travel, business and purchase insurance policies. The generous coverage in health insurance, life insurance, personal effects protection, trip delay, trip interruption and more, stacked on top of all the other benefits of the card, make it an even sweeter deal.

But just like the Business Platinum Card, the Marriott Bonvoy Business Card also offers special insurance policies geared toward protecting small businesses. In particular, the Employee Card Misuse Protection may cover small businesses against unauthorized charges made to the Marriott Bonvoy Business Card if you terminate the Supplementary Cardmember and cancel their Card within 2 business days.

If you want to learn more about all the embedded insurance policies that come with every Amex card, as well as other stand-alone insurance plans that American Express offers, you can read our dedicated post on American Express Travel Insurance. That’s where you’ll learn all the details about coverage, making claims, and what all the footnotes and fine print means.

How Much Is The Marriott Bonvoy Business Card’s Insurance Coverage Worth?

As with so many other perks, this one is very tough to put a price on. However, if you were to choose an insurance plan as extensive as the one that comes with your Marriott Bonvoy Business Card, it would cost much more than the $150 annual fee on this card.

The Bottom Line

The long-term benefits of the Marriott Bonvoy Business Card are fantastic. You’ll save hundreds of dollars per year using your Annual Free Night Award, potentially hundreds more with your Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status, and be safe and secure thanks to an impressively comprehensive insurance plan that covers both you and your business.

If you’re a Canadian business owner who stays in a hotel at least once per year, this card will boost your travels and give you an excellent return on your investment at the same time.

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The Business Platinum Card by American Express

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express has offered excellent value to Canadian business owners for years. The card’s impressive 40,000 MR points welcome bonus is enough for a flight to just about anywhere in Europe or Asia, but the long-term benefits – worldwide airport lounge access, impressive travel and business insurance policies, Amex Concierge, and more – also make this card a winner every single year.

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One of the things many American Express cardholders love most is how generous Amex is to their new cardmembers. Welcome bonuses regularly reach 25,000 (the Gold Rewards Card), 40,000 (the AeroplanPlus® Platinum Card) and even 50,000 points (the Platinum Card® and the Marriott Bonvoy™ Card), which are exceptional offers if you have any desire to travel the world. The Business Platinum Card offers its own welcome bonus of 40,000 MR points.

But many people don’t see past those welcome bonuses: they believe that once the welcome bonus is gone, much of the value of these cards is, too.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

That’s why this post is designed to show you that the Business Platinum Card® by American Express isn’t just a no-brainer for its huge welcome bonus, but also because of all the long-term benefits that come with it. These benefits outweigh the annual fee every single year, and once you know how to make use of the Business Platinum Card, you won’t want to go back to life without it.

Since we’ll be focusing our attention on the long-term benefits, we won’t linger much on the welcome bonus, as you only get it once during the first year. You can read our separate posts on the Business Platinum Card® and on the personal Platinum Card if you want to learn more about the welcome bonus, how best to redeem your MR points, and how to maximize your return on your initial investment during the first year.

To make this post easier to read, I’ve broken it down into the following sections:

The Business Platinum Card’s Main Features & Benefits

Welcome Bonus 40,000 MR points
Annual Fee $499 (may be tax deductible)
Additional Card Annual Fee Additional Business Platinum Card $199
Additional Business Gold Card $50
Travel BenefitsThe American Express Global Lounge CollectionTM:
· The Centurion® Lounge
· International American Express Lounges
· Plaza Premium Lounges
· Delta Sky Club®
· Airspace Lounges
· Escape Lounges
· Priority PassTM

As a Canadian Business Platinum Cardmember, you can also access the following lounges in Canada by presenting your Business Platinum Card:
· Executive LoungesTM by Swissport
· Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport VIP Lounge

Hotel Benefits:
· Fine Hotels & Resorts
· The Hotel Collection from American Express®
· Premium Hotel Program Membership

Car and Limousine Rental Services:
· Hertz
· Avis
· Carey

Additional Travel Benefits
· International Airline Program
· Platinum Card Travel Service
· Special benefits at Toronto Pearson International Airport
Points Earning Rate 1.25 Membership Reward points for virtually every $1 in purchases charged to your Card.
Business Benefits Cash Flow Management
Dynamic Purchasing Power
Expense Management Report
Business Servicing
Business Insurance Coverage
American Express Invites
American Express Concierge
Travel Coverage Emergency Medical Insurance (Out of province/country)
Trip Cancellation Insurance
Trip Interruption Insurance
StandbyMDSM Travel Medical Concierge
Travel Emergency Assistance
$500,000 Travel Accident Insurance
Car Rental Theft and Damage Insurance
Lost or Stolen Baggage Insurance
Baggage Delay Insurance
Flight Delay Insurance
Hotel/Motel Burglary Insurance
Purchase Coverage Purchase Protection® Plan
Buyer’s Assurance® Protection Plan
Business Coverage Employee Card Misuse Protection
Eligibility1. You are a Canadian resident and have a Canadian credit file.
2. You are the age of majority in the province or territory where you live.
Type of Card Charge Card
Applied Interest Rate 30% on any unpaid balance

Looking Beyond The Welcome Bonus

If you’ve read our other post on the Business Platinum Card, you’ll know by now that the 40,000 MR can be worth $400 simply by redeeming them for a statement credit. American Express may occasionally offer a transfer bonus, offering a better rate on all transfers of MR points to an airline partner like British Airways Avios or Air Canada Aeroplan, for example, for a limited time. We’ve seen bonuses reach 25% or 30% in the past, which means that if you transfer your MR points to an airline partner at the right time, you may be able to turn those 40,000 points into 50,000 or 52,000 points.

Valued at an average of 2.5 cents per Avios or Aeroplan mile, those 52,000 points turn into $1,300. If you use them to fly creatively, as we show you how to do in this post, you can reach point values in excess of 4 cents per point, which means 52,000 points would be worth more than $2,000 in travel to you.

So there’s no doubt that the welcome bonus is great, and it’ll cover the annual fee completely, making signing up for the Business Platinum Card an easy decision. But the really important question here is: What happens after your first anniversary, when you have to pay the annual fee again?

Three Reasons Why The Business Platinum Card Is A Great Year-Over-Year Investment

Benefit #1: The American Express Global Lounge Collection™

One of the most important highlights of the Business Platinum Card is the incredibly extensive lounge access you get with it. Amex partnered with the best names in the industry to give Platinum Cardmembers a place to relax almost anywhere they travel. Amex’s worldwide coverage is made possible through their own networks, The Centurion® Lounge and The International American Express Lounges, as well as access to other networks such as Plaza Premium Lounges and Priority Pass™. Nevertheless, I’ll give you a short summary of the most important features these lounges offer, and how much they’ll be worth to you.

The Centurion® Lounge

American Express sets itself apart from the competition by being the only card-issuing company to offer its own lounge club to its members: The Centurion Lounge. Inspired by the invitation-only Centurion Card, commonly known as the Black Card, these lounges are exclusively for premium American Express Cardmembers, so only Platinum, Business Platinum, Corporate Platinum and, of course, Centurion cardholders can get in. Today, there are 9 Centurion Lounges around the world, with another six preparing to open their doors.

Centurion Lounge access thanks to your American Express Business Platinum card
The Amex Centurion Lounge at San Francisco International Airport (SFO), Terminal 3

Lounges like the San Francisco Centurion Lounge shown above offer food, drink, resting areas, showers, newspapers, magazines, TV, high speed Wi-Fi, and more.

How Much Is Centurion Lounge Access Worth?

You can’t buy a Centurion Lounge membership, so it’s not possible to give you an exact figure of how much you would have to spend to gain access to these lounges, if you didn’t apply for the Business Platinum Card. Nevertheless, the guest entrance fee is $50 USD per guest, so that could be taken as an estimate of how much it would be saving you, per visit, per person.

Plaza Premium Lounge Access

With the Amex Business Platinum Card, you gain access to all Plaza Premium lounges around the world. There are over 70 different lounges in over 40 different airports that offer great service and a place to lay back and relax while you wait for your flight.

There is a lounge for every taste: some are classier, others are simpler, but they sure beat having to wait on a hard bench for a couple of hours before your departure.

How Much Is Plaza Premium Lounge Access Worth?

Unlike other lounge clubs, Plaza Premium isn’t a membership club, which means that anyone can get in, as long as they pay the entrance fee. This makes it hard to estimate how much this benefit is worth to you, especially considering that there are many different price tags on different classes of lounges. But we can get some rough numbers.

The Plaza Premium lounge access that comes with the Business Platinum Card gives the cardholder and 1 guest complimentary access.

How much are these fees worth? It depends on the lounge you choose.

For example, when I fly out of Toronto Pearson (YYZ), I’ll sometimes head to the Plaza Premium lounge in Terminal 1.

Accessing Plaza Premium Lounges thanks to Amex Business Platinum
Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) Plaza Premium Lounge (International Departures, Terminal 1)

This lounge costs $43 USD per person, so if you were traveling with a guest, the Business Platinum Card would save you $86 USD.

And that’s only for using it once in one single trip. If you travel frequently, you could save this sort of money every time you fly. There are more expensive lounges in the program as well, and you’ll have to pay more if you want to stay for 5 or 6 hours instead of the standard 2 or 3, so you could easily be saving hundreds of dollars in Plaza Premium lounges alone.

Priority Pass™ – Worldwide Lounge Access

Priority Pass is a behemoth in the airport lounge industry, with over 1,200 lounges in its program. Priority Pass boasts some of the best, most innovative lounges available, like the PrimeClass Lounge at Muscat International shown below, which includes all the regular amenities that you would expect from a great lounge, and other less common like a cinema, children playing area, gaming zones, and more.

Innovative Gaming Zone at the Muscat Airport PrimeClass Lounge of Priority Pass.
Muscat International Airport (MCT) PrimeClass Lounge, available with Priority Pass

How Much Is A Priority Pass Membership Worth?

This is a membership club, and its membership is expensive. Offering three separate membership plans, the one that best compares to the access granted with the Platinum and Business Platinum cards is the Prestige membership for frequent travelers. This is an annual membership plan that grants unlimited, complimentary access to all Priority Pass lounges, all over the world, and it costs $429 USD.

Delta Sky Club

The Delta Sky Club lounge access grants you complimentary access to all Delta Sky Club lounges, as long as you have a Delta flight boarding pass. Additional guest access and fees are subject to terms and conditions of participating airport clubs.

JFK Delta Sky CLub lounge thanks to The Amex  Business Platinum
Delta Sky Club lounge at JFK Terminal 4

How Much Is Delta Sky Club Membership Worth?

The membership included with the Business Platinum Card is comparable to Delta Sky Club’s annual Individual Membership plan, which costs $545 USD. However, we’d say that most Canadian travelers will find their Priority Pass and Plaza Premium memberships more valuable, since there are many more of those lounges in Canadian airports than there are Delta Sky Club lounges, which is more US-focused.

The Bottom Line: Lounge Access

When you add up the retail values of the Priority Pass ($429 USD) and Delta Sky Club ($545 USD) memberships, plus access to the Centurion Lounges and Plaza Premium lounges, you’re saving in excess of $1,000 USD per year. Of course, how much those memberships are actually worth to you depends on how often you fly, but a reasonable ballpark is $25 – $50 per lounge visit.

That means that if you take a roundtrip flight every three months, which is 8 airport visits per year, you’d be saving $200 – $400 per year just in lounges alone. Many of us travel much, much more than that.

Benefit #2: Amex Concierge

Amex Concierge is one of those services that are simply priceless. Sometimes planning a trip can be a hassle, so having an expert to back you up and get things sorted out for you is just what you need to be able to really relax and enjoy the ride. Other times, the stress of work and other day-to-day obligations don’t leave enough time to plan something original for that special occasion you’ve been thinking of.

Whether you need to book tickets for a show you want to see, send a gift and you just don’t have the time to look for one, or need advice on what to do at your city of destination, an American Express Concierge will be there to help.

Having the Amex Concierge service is pretty much like having a 24/7 personal assistant, travel planner and lifestyle counselor, all rolled into one.

How Does Amex Concierge Work?

It’s really simple.

Whenever you have a request, all you have to do is contact Amex Concierge, from anywhere in the world, by phone or by email, to let them know what you need. Any of Amex’s concierges will respond by asking a series of questions to get to know you a little better, get to know your likes and dislikes, and what you expect out of the service.

A little while later, they’ll let you know if he or she can do what you ask, and will get to work on it immediately. The service is completely free for Platinum Cardholders. If the service you’ve requested requires making a purchase (eg. booking flights or hotels, shipping an item, etc.), your concierge will inform you of the charges for your approval before charging them to your card.

Tasks You Can Outsource To An American Express Concierge

People get really creative when it comes to testing the reach of an Amex Concierge. Here are just a few of the most popular things you can ask him or her to do:

If there’s something you need help with, and you’re unsure whether a concierge will be able to deliver, all you have to do is ask. You’d be surprised at how many things they’re able to help you with.

Benefit #3: Impressive Insurance Coverage

The Business Platinum Card offers highly extensive coverage for everything related to travel, shopping and your business.

The generous coverage in health insurance, life insurance, personal effects protection, trip delay, trip interruption and more, stacked on top of all the other benefits of the card, make it an even sweeter deal.

If you want to learn more about all the embedded insurance policies that comes with every Amex card, as well as other stand-alone insurance plans that American Express offers, you can read our dedicated post on American Express Travel Insurance. That’s where you’ll learn all the details about coverage, making claims, and what all the footnotes and fine print means.

How Much Is The Business Platinum Insurance Coverage Worth?

As with so many other perks, this one is very tough to put a price on. However, if you were to choose an insurance plan as extensive as the one that comes with your Business Platinum Card – one that covers you, your spouse and any dependent children, for an unlimited number of trips, it would cost much more than the $499 annual fee on this card.

The Bottom Line

By now, you can probably tell why I love this card so much. Even by just looking at the three benefits we’ve described here, you get an exceptional return on your $499 investment, the card’s annual fee. Once you add in the different hotel benefits, limousine and car rental benefits, and everything else shown in the benefits table at the beginning of this post, you’ll see why so many Canadians are happy, year after year, with their Business Platinum Cards.