Amex Business Platinum Card Upgrade Fees

So last month I upgraded my Amex Business Gold card to the Platinum Card. The partial year membership fee didn’t hit until my statement closed last week. I logged in and saw two charges as they also automatically upgraded my wife’s card to Platinum as additional cardholder.

For my card, I got charged $187.50 for the five months remaining in my membership year while my wife got charged $100 dollars for four months remaining in the membership year.

$100 dollars was a bit high, as I figured it was only $175 for the full year. Well:

  • Business Platinum additional cardholders is $300 a year for up to three additional cards
  • Having the additional cardholder as Business Gold (with all the spending category bonuses) is only $45
  • Yearly fee is for the main card $450.
  • Green card is free but can’t earn any MR points. It does count for minimum spend, however.

I checked the website again and it lists the personal card as having $175 for additional cardholders. I could not find this information for the business card but a quick google search will find that additional card holders on a business card is $300. Even at $175, it was borderline and you would need a third cardholder to really make it worth it. $300 isn’t worth it so I downgraded her card to Gold so I can still take advantage of the bonus categories. Going forward, I will probably downgrade this card or cancel it once I get an offer for upgrading to the personal Platinum card as I currently have the Personal Gold card.

Note that there was a disrepency in the time the cards were put onto my account, which caused the fees to be different percentages of the total annual fee. My card was established instantly because of the upgrade, but it took a few days for my wife’s card to get processed via my upgrade. This delay actually bumped her into another month so she got charged a lower fee. I believe it is done by calendar month, and not calculated based on the exact day you became a cardmember. I unknowingly upgraded it at the end of September so got hit with a slightly higher fee.

I called in just to verify this fact. It took me a surprisingly long time to properly calculate why there was a difference in the fees. The American Express representative confirmed my suspicion and that this happens quite often. Most of the time, the main cardholders add in another card a few months or years later so they get hit with a different fee. I just didn’t understand how our cards were not made on the same day as she was already a cardholder. He gave me the explanation above.

He then offered to see what he can do about the fee. He then replied that he could reduce my fee by a month, so I would be getting a refund of $37.50. I was shocked that he offered it. I accepted and thanked him profusely for the refund. I wouldn’t count on this partial refund, but I wanted to write about it as it can happen. I have been an American Express cardholder for about three years and have spent probably 50k with them in those years. He kept saying how American Express appreciates my business, which may or may not be something they say to everyone.

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