Additional Amex Platinum Benefit Revealed in Press Release, Two Cents-per-Point Flight Redemption

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.

Press Release

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.

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Dan
Dan

If Amex were to revise it’s ridiculous once in a lifetime bonus language I might bother to think about this. These tweaks are nice and may help keep some people from jumping ship to Chase but what about actually bringing in new business? Sooner or later the restrictive bonus language will being to bite.

Travel Griz

At least they had more than 5x om airfare up their sleeve. With the 2x on flight redemption it makes the Plat more valuable for those that book cash fares alot.

For me I don’t book enough cash flights to make it worthwhile. Also the limitation on how the 2x works is a pain. Glad I cancelled the Plat last month, no retention offer for me.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob

wow. this is a huge hook to try and get people to hold both the personal and biz plat cards for max earn and redemptions.

Runtheroad
Runtheroad

Is it safe to assume that this is the big reveal and there isn’t a new product coming? If that’s the case, I think this is going to be pretty underwhelming for many people.

Dave C
Dave C

Sorry, just not a big deal to me. Have never booked through any card’s portal and probably never will.

Johnny

This is a pretty big perk for sure but I’d really like to see the earn rate increased. So let’s just assume that for simplicity, this means each point is worth 2 cents when redeemed for travel on the new amex plat.

With the CSR, I still get 3x back on dining/travel, and 1.5x back on everything else (because of free unlimited). Most of my spend in NYC is in the dining/travel category and when i redeem points for flights, I get 50% premium so I get something closer to 4.5c per point. At the minimum, I’m getting 2.25x because of the freedom unlimited. This is still better than AMEX new structure. For example:

I spent 25k on dining/travel with CSR
25k x 3 = 75k UR points
75000*1.5 = 112500 points which is good for $1125 flight

I spend 25k on dining/travel with AMEX
25k MR points
Good for $250 flight,
12500 points back
Redeem that for $125 flight
Get 6725 points back
Redeem for $67.25 flight
….
Using summation formulas, this approaches $500 value which is one hell of a way to get 2x back on your points lol

Josh Trout
Josh Trout

This was clearly designed by someone who loves Zeno’s paradox.

Lantean
Lantean

Amex just don’t get it… CSR is popular not only because it’s so rewarding but also because of how simple the rewards structure is.

Amex is once again coming up with silly limitations and registrations etc… they won’t win customers over from CSR this way.

Dima
Dima

They probably needed to give at least something to their customer service reps to tell all those people who call in to cancel Amex Plat in favor of CSR.

Ron
Ron

what a shame. Docofcredit delete my post!!! Shame on you and Amex

SG
SG

Will this 50% be on top of the 30% airline bonus they already give fore Frontier Airlines, Spirit Airlines, Southwest Airlines, or AirTran Airways?

Ron
Ron

amex is the cheater. I won’t trust them anymore. if you get too much rebate, they will deduct your points with some kind of ridiculous reasons.