We’ve discussed the upcoming changes to the Amex Platinum personal and business cards starting tomorrow, October 6. Today Amex put out an official press release with the changes.
There’s one interesting paragraph about an upcoming change we hadn’t known until now:
Business Platinum Card Members can now earn 50% points back when using Membership Rewards® Pay with Points through American Express Travel to book a flight with their selected airline. They will also receive this benefit when booking a first or business class ticket with any airline.
Platinum business cardholders can redeem Membership Rewards for flights with a 50% rebate on the points used. Pay with Points costs one cent-per-point when redeeming for travel. By getting 50% back, you’ll effectively be getting two cents-per-point with travel redemptions. For example, if you buy a $300 flight and use 30,000 points, you’ll get 15,000 points back. The $300 flight ends up costing you 15,000 points, or two cents-per-point.
This is good news as having a business Platinum now means a straightforward way of redeeming MR points at 2 cents-per-point on flights.
The big limitation here is that this 2x redemption is limited to two scenarios:
- Get 2 cents per point for all first class or business class flight booked via Amex Travel
- Get 2 cents per point for all flights, including economy, booked with your selected airline booked via Amex Travel
Suddenly, choosing your airline with Amex Platinum business cards has more implications than just figuring out how you’ll cash out the $200 airline incidental bonus.
For someone who pays for flights occasionally, this puts a minimum MR redemption value of 2 cents-per-point if you have the business Platinum card. And it means that if you have both the personal and business Platinum cards, you’ll end up with an effective 10% discount on your flights (purchase with personal Platinum for 5x and redeem with business Platinum for 2 CPP).
Recap of Changes Starting October 6
- All versions of the Amex personal Platinum card will get 5x points on airfare booked directly with airlines or through Amex Travel. This benefit will not apply for business Platinum cards.
- Amex business Platinum will have two new benefits: 1) 1.5x points on all large purchases, $5,000 or more; 2) The ability to redeem MR points for 2 cents-per-point on your selected airline or on first and business class tickets with any airline. These benefits will not apply to personal Platinum cards.