Archives for May 10, 2018

The Business Platinum Card from American Express: 100,000 Point Limited-Time Offer

amexbusplatLMThe Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN is the premium AmEx business card with a variety of perks, including the best airline lounge access program (American Express now has their own Centurion lounges too). Right now, they are running a limited-time offer of up to 100,000 Membership Rewards points. Offer ends 8/8/18. Here are the details:

  • 100,000 Membership Rewards Points Welcome Bonus. Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $10,000 & an extra 50,000 points after you spend an additional $15,000 all on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer ends 8/8/18.
  • 5X points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com.
  • 1.5X points per dollar on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more. Up to 1 million additional points per year.
  • 1 point per dollar on all other purchases.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit. Up to $200 a calendar year in baggage fees and more at one airline.
  • $100 Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.
  • Free Unlimited Boingo WiFi access + 10 Free Gogo inflight internet passes annually.
  • $450 annual fee.

American Express Global Lounge Collection. Some other travel cards give you Priority Pass Select, which is nice but not as inclusive as this card’s list of partners. Domestically, you get Delta Skyclub access (Individual Skyclub membership costs $495 from Delta) as well as the new Centurion Lounge network built specifically for American Express cardholders.

  • The Centurion® Lounge
  • The International American Express Lounges
  • Delta SkyClub®
  • Priority Pass Select
  • Airspace Lounge
  • Escape Lounges

Other benefits:

  • 35% Airline Bonus: Use Membership Rewards® Pay with Points for all or part of a flight with your selected qualifying airline, and you can get 35% of the points back, up to 500,000 bonus points per calendar year.
  • 35% points back on all First and Business class flights, with all airlines available through American Express Travel.
  • Automatic Starwood Preferred Guest (Marriott) Gold status.
  • Automatic Hilton Honors Gold status.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.

Note the following language: “Welcome bonus offer not available to applicants who have or have had this product.”

35% Airline Bonus details. Let’s say your selected airline is Delta, and you want to buy a couple economy Delta tickets for $1,000 using their Pay with Points features. This means that $1,000 ticket booked through AmEx Travel will only cost you 65,000 Membership Rewards points net (100,000 points and then 35,000 point rebated back). This improves the 1 cent per point value to 1.54 cents per point value. This means that 100,000 Membership Rewards points can be worth $1,540 in airfare on your selected airline.

Transfer partners. You can transfer Membership Rewards points to 16 airline and 3 hotel partners including Delta, British Airways, Hawaiian, JetBlue, Air Canada, Hilton, Starwood Preferred Guest, and Choice Hotels. If you’re good at snagging award tickets, you can get even better value this way.

Overall, this small business card is meant for big spenders that travel regularly and value convenience and comfort. Spending $25,000 within 3 months is a relatively high spending hurdle. (Given the 5X bonus category, it would be perfect if you needed to book some business flights/hotels soon.) If you can swing that, then this card can offer a lot of value in a year. In addition to the 100,000 membership rewards points (see above for value), the $450 annual fee can be offset by the $200 annual credit towards airline fees and the $100 Global Entry credit. I think the biggest value factor is the wide lounge access which includes more domestic lounges than Priority Pass Select alone.

Bottom line. The Business Platinum Card from American Express card tries to make your air travel more pleasant by addressing things like baggage fees, economy upgrade fees, TSA PreCheck security lines, Global Entry customs lines, inflight WiFi, free snacks and drinks at airline lounges, etc. Right now, they have a limited-time 100,000 point welcome offer if you meet the qualifying spending requirements for new cardholders.

Urbanr: Pay Rent With Credit Card – 1.5% Transaction Fee

urbanr0Urbanr is an apartment rental website that allows renters to pay rent to landlords using a credit card. Urbanr accepts all Visa, MasterCard, and Discover credit and debit cards. The 1.5% transaction fee can be paid by renter, paid by the owner, or split evenly between them (owner pays 0.75% and the renter pays 0.75%). The owner/landlord must sign up on the service first to accept payments (direct deposited to their bank account).

Urbanr wants to make it so that everyone pays rent with a credit card, and they claim that they are not losing money on the transaction fees. If so, they must be very good negotiators. You’ll need both parties interested for this to work. That means renters perhaps with a 2% cash back credit card or similar miles/points card, and an agreeable landlord (easier rent collection?).

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