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Two of the most popular American Express cards each have a business card and personal card variant. The Platinum and Gold family of cards earn lucrative Membership Rewards points in various categories and are currently offering generous welcome bonuses to boot.
First, there is the premium Platinum duo of The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Business Platinum Card® from American Express.
Then there is the mid-tier Gold combination of the American Express® Gold Card and American Express® Business Gold Card.
If you’re deciding between one (or more) of these four cards, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s take a closer look at how the Platinum and Gold shake out in this head-to-head personal vs. business card comparison.
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At a glance
Each of these cards caters to a specific audience, as we’ll get more into below. They have generous perks and benefits that vary depending on what you’re looking for.
Comparing the cards
The Platinum Card® from American Express
- Welcome offer: 60,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening
- Annual fee: $550
- Personal or business? Personal
- Points bonuses: 5x on flights booked directly with airlines or with Amex Travel (capped at $500,000 per calendar year starting on Jan. 1, 2021); 5x on prepaid hotels booked on Amex Travel
- Annual statement credits: Up to $200 in Uber credits, up to $200 airline fee credit, up to $100 Saks credit
- Limited-time COVID benefits: Up to $320 in statement credits on select streaming and wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers (up to $20 per month) from May through December 2020
- Redemption bonus: None
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
- Welcome offer: 75,000 points after you spend $15,000 on qualifying purchases within the first three months of account opening
- Annual fee: $595 (see rates and fees)
- Personal or business? Business
- Points bonuses: 5x on airfare and prepaid hotels booked on Amex Travel; 1.5x on purchases of $5,000 or more (up to 1 million additional points per year)
- Annual statement credits: Up to $200 airline fee credit, up to $400 Dell statement credit (temporary for 2020) for U.S. purchases.
- Limited-time COVID benefits: Up to $320 in statement credits on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. purchases for shipping (up to $20 per month on each) from May through December 2020; Up to $100 in additional statement credits between July 1 and Dec. 31, 2020
- Redemption bonus: 35% points back on flights (up to 500,000 points each calendar year)
American Express® Gold Card
- Welcome offer: 60,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend $4,000 in purchases on the card in the first six months of account opening
- Annual fee: $250
- Personal or business? Personal
- Points bonuses: 4x at restaurants worldwide; 4x at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per calendar year; then 1x); 3 points per dollar on flights purchased directly with the airline or at Amex Travel
- Annual statement credits: Up to $120 dining, up to $100 airline fee credit
- Limited-time COVID benefits: None
- Redemption bonus: None
American Express® Business Gold Card
- Welcome offer: Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $5,000 within the first 3 months of account opening
- Annual fee: $295
- Personal or business? Business
- Points bonuses: 4x in two categories with the most spending each billing cycle (up to $150,000 in combined purchases each calendar year; then 1x)
- Annual statement credits: None
- Limited-time COVID benefits: None
- Redemption bonus: 25% points back on flights (up to 250,000 points back per calendar year)
Related: Best Amex cards of 2020
Is a personal card or business card best for you?
One of the first questions to consider is whether a business card or a personal card is right for you — or a combination of both.
Even if you don’t have a registered LLC, your side gig, work as a contractor, etc. can qualify you to open business credit cards. This helps you distinguish your spending between accounts — and also can help you reap the benefits of generous business card welcome offers.
Related: You may be eligible for a business card without realizing it
Additionally, with both the Amex Business Platinum and Amex Business Gold, you’ll get a few overlapping business-centric perks such as:
- Account manager: Most credit cards only allow the primary cardholder to make inquiries or changes to the account, but this service lets you easily designate employees or other individuals who can manage your account with either full or limited access, making it easier to delegate tasks like reviewing statements, adding authorized users, making payments and disputing charges.
- American Express Business App: This tool allows you to manage expenses from either your desktop or mobile device by entering receipts, tagging transactions and adding notes to your statements. You can also sync this data with QuickBooks.
- Employee card features: To help you earn rewards from your employees’ spending while mitigating the risk of fraudulent transactions, Amex small-business cards allow you to limit purchases by authorized cardholders and set real-time alerts.
Related: Review of the Amex Business Platinum
The Amex Platinum’s current welcome offer is 60,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.
Meanwhile, the Amex Gold has an enhanced offer that matches the Platinum — with less spending and more time to reach it. You’ll earn 60,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend $4,000 in purchases on the card in the first six months on that card.
Check the CardMatch Tool to see if you’re targeted for a 100,000-point Platinum Card or 75k-point Gold Card offer. Please note: These offers are subject to change at any time.
Related: Review of the Amex Platinum
On the business card side, the Amex Business Platinum earns a whopping 75,000 points after you spend $15,000 on qualifying purchases within the first three months of account opening. The Amex Business Gold gets a much more modest 35,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $5,000 within the first three months.
Related: Best ways to use Amex Membership Rewards points
The Amex Platinum has only one bonus category to speak of: 5x Membership Rewards points on airfare booked directly with an airline and airfare (which will be capped at $500,000 in spending per calendar year starting on Jan. 1, 2021) and prepaid hotels booked through amextravel.com.
The 5x return is a strong benefit, as it equates to a 10% return based on TPG’s valuations. However, it’s a bit lacking in comparison to the varied earnings of the Amex Gold:
With the Amex Business Platinum, you’ll earn 1 point for every dollar you spend on eligible purchases, and:
- 5x points on flights and prepaid hotels booked through amextravel.com.
- 1.5x points on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more, up to 1 million additional points per calendar year.
This is great for business with large transactions as that 1.5x return can come in handy.
Related: Reasons why you should have both the personal and business Amex Platinum
Meanwhile, the Amex Business Gold is ideal for its maximum flexibility. You’ll get 4x points — an 8% return based on TPG’s valuations — on your first $150,000 in combined purchases each calendar year (then 1x) from two of the following six categories where your company spent the most each billing cycle:
- U.S. purchases at restaurants
- Airfare purchased directly from airlines
- U.S. purchases for advertising in select media (online, TV, radio)
- U.S. gas stations (not including supermarkets or warehouse stores)
- U.S. shipping
- U.S. purchases made directly from select technology providers of computer hardware, software and cloud solutions
You earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases, with no limits. Amex will automatically calculate which categories you spend the most in each month to award your 4x points.
Related: Does it make sense to have both the Amex Gold and Amex Platinum?
Credits and travel perks
Overlapping Platinum and Business Platinum benefits
Both the Amex Platinum and Amex Business Platinum have a ton of overlapping benefits.
Each card offers a credit of up to $100 for the fee for either Global Entry or TSA PreCheck every four years.
Another great benefit offered by both cards is the credit of up to $200 for airline fees, which covers baggage fees and other incidental charges. As a holder of either card, you’ll also receive Gold status with Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy, which can help you earn more points for your hotel stays as well as offering benefits during your stays.
Speaking of hotels, you’ll also have access to Amex’s Fine Hotels & Resorts (FHR) program with either card.
Related: What still triggers Amex airline fee reimbursements?
Overlapping Gold and Business Gold benefits
Both the Amex Gold and Amex Business Gold have several overlapping card benefits. Namely, this includes purchase protection, extended warranty, baggage insurance, travel accident insurance and premium Global Assist. All of these are virtually identical across both cards.
Neither card charges a foreign transaction fee and both cards also offer access to The Hotel Collection, which includes hotel credits, room upgrades and more.
Unique Amex Platinum benefits
To justify its $550 annual fee, the Amex Platinum comes with a ton of unique perks. Some of the ones specific to the personal Platinum include:
Plus, through Dec. 31, 2020, you can earn the following statement credits each month:
Unique Amex Business Platinum benefits
The Amex Business Platinum has a few unique perks that make it a worthwhile option when it comes to benefits:
- A 35% points rebate when you redeem your Membership Rewards points to book any first- or business-class flight or any class of flight with your designated airline when booking through amextravel.com. Rebate is capped at 500,000 points back per calendar year.
Through Dec. 31, 2020, you can earn the following statement credits each month:
- Up to $320 in statement credits on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. purchases for shipping (up to $20 per month on each) from May through December 2020
- Up to $200 in additional statement credits (for a total of $400) for U.S. purchases with Dell: $100 in additional statement credits from May 1 through June 30, 2020, and up to $100 in additional statement credits between July 1 and Dec. 31, 2020.
Unique Amex Gold benefits
The Amex Gold has a much shorter list of benefits, but they still add a ton of value to the card. Cardholders can enjoy up to $220 in annual statement credits, including:
- Up to $100 airline incidental credit — Like with the Platinum Card’s credit, this credit cannot be used directly for airfare.
- Up to $120 in annual dining credits — Up to $10 a month at the following merchants: Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Boxed and participating Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
Unique Amex Business Gold benefits
What is unique to the Amex Business Gold (and Business Platinum) is a Pay With Points redemption bonus when booking airfare through Amex Travel. With the Business Gold, you’ll earn a 25% rebate when paying with points through your card (up to 250,000 points back per calendar year).
You can pay with points and get the rebate for first- or business-class airfare on any airline or economy class tickets with a carrier you can select each year. Award flights booked this way are treated as revenue tickets, so you’ll earn both redeemable miles and elite credit on them.
Which card is right for you?
There is a lot to consider in deciding which card(s) are the right fit for you.
If you’re looking for a premium credit card loaded with travel perks and you don’t have a business, then the personal Amex Platinum should be just what you need.
However, if you have large business expenses — and still want to benefit from rich travel benefits — the Amex Business Platinum may be a better fit.
Of course, if earning on dining and groceries is more your thing, the Amex Gold is likely your best option with 4x earnings on those categories.
Finally, plenty of small-business owners who can maximize the 4x bonus categories and the $150,000 annual cap (of combined purchases) will find the Amex Business Gold card invaluable. Just don’t expect a ton of perks or a bountiful welcome bonus on that card.
Still undecided? Head on over to each of the card’s reviews for an in-depth analysis of each product.
Additional reporting by Ethan Steinberg.
Featured photo by Eric Helgas/The Points Guy
Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.