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In October we learned about some major changes being made to both The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Enhanced Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN. Specifically:
- The Personal Amex Platinum Card now offers 5x points on airfare purchased directly with airlines
- The Business Amex Platinum Card now offers up to a 50% points refund when using the “Pay With Points” option, which is essentially an opportunity to redeem all your Amex points for two cents each towards the cost of airfare
Historically I’ve considered the best use of Amex points to be for airline mileage transfers, though with this change, I think redeeming them for two cents each towards the cost of an airline ticket can represent a great deal. You’d still earn miles for the tickets as you usually would, so it’s especially good for those looking to requalify for status.
How the 50% points rebate benefit works
Getting the 50% refund when using the Pay with Points feature is pretty straightforward.
The benefit applies on your designated airline, which you can choose once per year. On top of that, it applies for first & business class tickets on all airlines. So first you’ll want to select your airline, assuming you’re redeeming for economy. Personally I see there being a lot of value in this benefit for the purpose of booking discounted premium cabin tickets.
Then you’ll pay the full points price for the redemption — typically you’re charged one Amex point per cent of airfare.
So you need all the Amex points required for the redemption at the time you ticket, and then after the fact you’ll get a refund of half the points.
How quickly does the 50% refund post?
The terms of the Amex Business Platinum Card state that the 50% points refund should post within 6-10 weeks of when you make your booking:
Extra points will be credited to your Membership Rewards account approximately 6-10 weeks after charges appear on your billing statement.
That’s a long time to wait to get those points back, especially if you want to book another ticket with those points.
Well, my friend Robert made me aware that points are posting much faster than that in practice. The Amex Business Platinum Card 50% points refund seems to be posting within 1-2 days in practice, rather than taking 6-10 weeks.
That’s fantastic, as it means you can reuse those points again pretty quickly.