So is the American Express Trifecta worth it?
Six-figure dog training family business owner Michele Forto reviews her twist on the popular American Express Trifecta showcasing the American Express Platinum, the American Express Blue Business Card, and the American Express Hilton Honors card.
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Michele Forto describes the benefits of each card for the American Express Platinum, American Express Blue Business Card, and the American Express Hilton Honors card.
Today we are talking about The American Express Trifecta and how it works for a busy family business!
As the owner of a six figure dog training empire we need robust credit tools to help us succeed in our growing business.
I am Michele Forto, the owner of Dog Works Training Company, based in the wilds of Alaska, and I am here to tell you about our twist on the popular trifecta from American Express.
Some things just work well in threes and when you travel as much as I do for business and pleasure there is no better trifecta than what American Express offers.
Our arsenal is a bit different than most people’s, whereas the typical Amex trifecta that usually includes the Platinum, Gold and Blue Cards ours includes the Platinum, Blue Cash and Hilton Honors card. Let me tell you why.
Used together, owning these three cards offer a powerful combination of earning rates, sign-up bonuses and perks. As a business owner that lives in a state that you pretty much have to travel out of to do anything, these cards really do work for us.
Let’s Dive into it.
Up First is the:
The Platinum Card from American Express
The Amex Platinum is one of the most valuable cards available, thanks to a hefty welcome bonus and a long list of luxury travel perks that can more than offset its $695 annual fee
The current welcome offer is 100,000 Membership Reward points after you spend $6,000 on purchases in your first six months of card membership.
In addition to regularly running transfer bonuses to select partners, Membership Rewards transfer to 20+ airline and hotel partners.
Thanks to a recent revamp of the Amex Platinum, cardholders can enjoy four new annual statement credits:
- Up to $200 in annual airline incidental credits, valid for baggage fees, seat assignments, lounge access and other incidental charges. This is a great perk for us because we often have to fly in and out of Alaska with a dog in tow. This annual credit is surely enough for one roundtrip flight with a dog.
- Up to $200 in Uber Cash annually. Cardholders receive $15 in credits each month, with a $20 bonus in December. This also works for Uber Eats too as we found out while stuck in a high-rise Hilton hotel with an eight-week-old puppy in the middle of a blizzard in Boston when the only thing open was Uber Eats
- A ton of credits for business services and tools you can use like discounted SiriusXM, HBO Max, Fed-Ex, and many more
- Up to $200 back in prepaid hotel bookings on Fine Hotels + Resorts or The Hotel Collection properties made through Amex Travel.
- Up to $179 in Clear membership statement credits per calendar year. We signed up for Clear just a couple months ago using this perk and while Clear is not in all airports, we have to fly in and out of Seattle almost every trip and having quick access through security is a huge perk.
- Up to $240 in digital entertainment statement credits per calendar year
- Up to $300 in Equinox, think fancy gym, statement credits per calendar year.
And then of course, you’ll receive up to a $100 statement credit for Global Entry or an $85 fee credit for TSA PreCheck every 4 to 4 1/2 years (depending on which application fee is charged to your card first). Whether you can maximize all of these credits or mix and match them to your own lifestyle, it’s easy to cover the ongoing $695 annual fee from these statement credits alone.
I like to think of the “out-of-pocket cost” as a discounted lounge membership, and the Amex Platinum has the most comprehensive airport lounge benefits of any card. In addition to a Priority Pass Select membership, which is available through several other cards, you’ll also receive access to Amex’s exclusive global collection of Centurion lounges and access to Delta Sky Clubs when flying same-day Delta. Enrollment required for select benefits.
The perks don’t stop there. The Amex Platinum also offers 5x points on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel (on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year) and 5x points on prepaid hotels booked with Amex Travel.
Furthermore, you can access a useful premium concierge service for all your travel and dining needs. Imagine if you will, you want to go to the Rolling Stones concert, and it is sold out. But the concierge works for you and before you know it they can have your entire trip planned and booked without you having to do anything.
Also, we travel to music festivals and concerts each year, as a platinum member you have access to a bunch of pre-sales. We have used this perk a few times and it is great.
Hotel stays are rewarding as well, whether you take advantage of the complimentary Hilton and Marriott Gold elite status or book through Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts to earn property credits and room upgrades. Finally, enjoy complimentary cellphone insurance protection — a great way to be reimbursed in the case of theft or damage to your phone.
The hotel perk works. We were at a podcast conference last summer and our reservation got messed up. They saw that we booked it with our platinum card and fixed it right away and gave us an upgrade for the inconvenience at the Fabulous Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville.
We use the Platinum card for a lot of our higher cost business expenses too. Recently we signed up for a $9000 coaching program and with the membership points for 18,000 points that can easily be used for a night at a decent hotel on the road. It may not sound like much but it adds up.
Up Next is the:
American Express Blue Business Cash Card
The Amex Blue Business Cash Card has emerged as one of the most valuable cards for everyday non-bonus spending. This no-annual-fee card earns 2% cash back points on the first $50,000 in annual spending (per calendar year) with no bonus categories to worry about, and 1x after that.
As with the other cards in our trifecta you’ll also get access to valuable Amex Offers, which can help you save money (or give you bonus points) for purchases you were already planning to make.
The Blue Business Cash Card is currently offering an elevated welcome bonus of 15,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first three months of card membership.
Here are some Little-known facts about Amex Blue Business Cash
Amex Blue Cash is one of 12 business credit cards in the Amex family
Add up to 99 employees free of charge
While some business credit cards charge a fee for adding authorized users, the Amex Blue Cash does not.
Use the card to track business spending
Not only does Amex allow you up to 99 authorized users at no charge, but you can set up spending limits and track their purchases through alerts via the American Express Business app. You can also use the app to compile receipts and even add notes to purchases. Set spending limits and purchase alerts on employee cards to protect your business and stay aware of who’s buying what.
American Express Blue Business Cash Card is a relatively new addition to the Amex line
Released in the summer of 2019, the Amex Blue Business Cash card is designed to help small-business owners manage and track their spending while earning cash back. Noticing that 65% of cardholders reported using their personal cards for business spending, Amex sought to give small-business owners a solid business card option without a hefty annual fee.
The Blue Business Cash card ranks as one of the best business credit cards for small businesses. Other cards might offer more valuable rewards, but for many small business owners, nothing beats getting cash back each month.
Last in our trifecta is the:
Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card.
Yes, I know that many people think the American Express Gold goes in the trifecta and I will admit that they are probably right, and I may apply for one soon, but it has been our experience that the Hilton Honors American Express fits nicely into our mix. Let me tell you why.
Right off the bat, when we applied, we got 150,000 Hilton honors points. That equates to roughly $1500 and like most Alaskans we travel to Hawaii every fall before the snow flies and that perk can easily pay for a four-day weekend at a nice resort. We have stayed at Hiltons Hawaiian village on Oahu and at Hilton’s Waikoloa three times on the Big Island and love the properties.
All of the cards earning rates and perks come with the platinum card for the most part, including automatic Hilton Honors Gold status (with the ability to earn Diamond after spending $40,000 on the card in a calendar year), 10 Priority Pass lounge visits every year and a weekend night reward after spending $15,000 on purchases on your card in a calendar year.
You also get a $250 resort statement credit. This is an awesome perk and will usually cover breakfast for two for a week or maybe even drinks and snacks by one of their awesome pools in Hawaii. You’ll also still be able to use the credit toward incidental charges such as meals and spa treatments — just remember to bill the charges to your room and pay with your Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card at checkout. The card will continue one weekend award night each year of card membership. How cool is that?
This is Our twist on the American Express trifecta and how we use it as a busy family business that trains dogs all over the Pacific Northwest.
We would love to hear your thoughts on the trifecta and what works for you. Leave us a comment down below and hey, do us a favor and hit that subscribe button while you are at it.
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