Military Money Manual has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Military Money Manual and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. Thank you for supporting my independent, veteran owned site.
The American Express Business Platinum Card waives the $595 annual fee for active duty military servicemembers. Military spouses married to a servicemember on active duty orders are also eligible for the AMEX SCRA annual fee waiver.
AMEX waives all annual fees on all of their business and personal cards for military servicemembers under their interpretation of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA).
- Learn how to apply here
- $595 annual fee waived for US military personnel
- 75,000 POINT WELCOME OFFER after $20,000 spend in the first 3 months of card membership, broken into two parts:
- Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $10,000 in the first 3 months
- Earn ANOTHER 25,000 MR points after an additional $10,000 spend in the first 3 months
- 5x points on flights booked directly with the airline
- Earn 1.5x points per dollar on eligible purchases over $5000, up to 1 million per year
- 35% bonus on airline purchases with MR points: Use “Pay with Points” for a flight and get 35% of the points back
- $200 in Dell statement credits (similar to the AMEX Platinum personal Saks credit, $100 Jan-Jun and $100 Jul-Dec)
- $200 airline fee credit
- One year Platinum Global Access from WeWork. Access 300+ workspaces in 22+ cities. Must enroll by 12/31/2019. $2700 value
Active duty troops and their spouses are always eligible for the AMEX SCRA fee waiver.
For National Guard, Air National Guard or Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard Reserves: You are eligible for the AMEX SCRA fee waiver if you are on active duty orders over 30+ days. Title 10 and Title 32 orders are eligible for the AMEX fee waiver.
If you are Guard or a Reservist, I recommend you apply and open the card before going on 30+ day active duty orders, then follow my 3 step guide to getting your AMEX annual fees waived with SCRA.
AMEX Business Platinum Military Offer
The spending hurdle is high on this card because it's mainly focused on small business owners. Businesses can have thousands of dollars in expenses per month, between overhead, rent, inventory, payroll, and taxes.
Many military servicemembers run businesses on the side or have a second source of income. If your spouse owns his or her own business, that also opens up this card to you.
Business owners may also have to make estimated tax payments every quarter. Estimated tax payments can be made with a credit card through sites such as Pay1040.com. There are three official credit card processors listed on the IRS website.
Let's say you make estimated tax payments of $25,000. Since the purchase is over $5000, you will earn 1.5x points on the transaction. That's 37,500 points.
Plus, with this tax payment you'll meet the welcome bonus minimum of $20k spend in 3 months and earn an additional 75,000 points. That's 125,000 points for $20,000 of spend, or 6.25 MR points per dollar spent.
That's a fantastic return on spend! MR points are typically valued at 2 cents per point, so you're getting 12%+ back on the $20,000 in purchases.
If you have a Charles Schwab account, you may be eligible for the American Express Platinum Card for Schwab. With the Schwab Platinum, you can transfer MR reward points to your Schwab checking account at a value of 1.25 cents per point.
That puts the 125,000 points at $1562 for $20,000 of spend, or 7.8% cash back. Again, that's a great return and easily covers the 1.87% fee on credit card tax payments.
AMEX Business Platinum for Military Servicemembers
I recently opened my own AMEX Business Platinum. I had a lot of spending related to running this website, travelling for FINCON and Military Influencer Conference in DC, and my PCS to Hawaii.
Because of the AMEX SCRA fee waiver on the Business Platinum, this is one of the best credit cards for military servicemembers. Other cards to consider are the best business credit cards for veterans.
Applying for AMEX Business Cards Without An LLC
I currently run my business as a sole proprietor. Wikipedia defines a sole proprietor as:
A sole proprietorship, also known as the sole trader, individual entrepreneurship or proprietorship, is a type of enterprise that is owned and run by one person and in which there is no legal distinction between the owner and the business entity.
Running a business as a sole proprietor is the easiest way to gain access to lucrative business credit card welcome bonuses. If you ever sell anything on Etsy, Amazon, eBay, that's income outside your W-2.
If you ever drive for Uber or Lfyt, that's a side business as well. In the “gig economy” of today, many people have side businesses and don't even realize it.
To apply for a business credit card as a sole proprietor, you just need your personal Social Security number. You don't need a tax ID number or EIN.
I have personally opened up dozens of business credit cards over the years with just my SSN as a sole proprietor.
AMEX Business Platinum WeWork Benefit
WeWork is a fantastic resource for military servicemembers running an online business or freelancing online. Veterans who recently left the military may work for corporations that allow or promote working from home.
A co-working space like WeWork provides many of the benefits of a corporate office, cafe, or bar like networking, good coffee, quiet work space, meeting rooms, or high speed internet.
One of the biggest issues with working from home is creating a work/life balance. Having a separate space that you physically go to do work and you leave at the end of the day creates that healthy mental space.
The AMEX Business Platinum Card gives you Platinum Global Access, opening up all 300+ WeWork locations in over 22 cities around the world. During normal business hours you get an open hot desk, access to all the location amenities like coffee and water, and a dedicated member support team.
This is a great benefit that unfortunately I can't maximize at the moment because of my location in Hawaii. However, if you are located near any of the WeWork locations, this is definitely a great benefit of the card.
How to Use 75,000 Membership Rewards Points
American Express has 16 airline transfer partners. This makes it easy to get great value out of MR points. I transferred points to Singapore Airlines and flown business class from Dubai to Australia and New Zealand.
Recently I booked ANA First Class to Tokyo, Japan. I paid less than $500 cash for $27,000 tickets. You can see how I earned over 11 cents per AMEX point in my AMEX Gold Card for military post.
How Long Does AMEX SCRA Fee Waiver Take?
Here's the email I received from AMEX. I applied for AMEX SCRA benefits on my AMEX Business Platinum card on 12 August and received this email 7 weeks later on 3 October.
This is the longest SCRA review I've had yet, usually it only takes a few days to weeks.
To support the men and women who serve in the United States Armed Forces, we are handling your account referenced above in accordance with the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.
The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act provides for a maximum annual interest rate of 6% per year on loans you received before starting active military duty. As of today, your account does not have a balance owed which generates interest charges so there is no eligible balance. However, we've credited your account for any applicable fees and previously billed interest if applicable, which you'll see reflected on an upcoming billing statement(s). Additionally, we have suppressed the following fees from billing on your account statement for the duration of your active military duty:
*Annual Membership fees
*Late Payment fees
*Returned Payment fees
*Statement Copy Request fees
This completes our review of this account. If there are any additional accounts you would like reviewed for Servicemembers Civil Relief Act benefits, please call us at 1-800-253-1720. If you are outside the United States, please call us collect at 1-336-393-1111.
We are grateful for the service and devotion you have shown to our country.
American Express Customer Care
Summary of AMEX Business Platinum Military Benefits
- AMEX Business Platinum Card $595 annual fee waived for US military servicemembers
- 75,000 points welcome bonus offer
- 5x points on airfare booked directly with the airline or on amextravel.com