Posted by William Charles on October 18, 2018
Credit Cards

Published on October 18th, 2018 | by William Charles

17

American Express International Airline Program Now Bookable Via Chat

American Express offers something called the ‘International Airline Program’ for personal and business Platinum and Centurion cardholders. Cardholders used to receive 2-for-1 business and first class tickets, in June of 2017 they changed this to provide discounts for premium economy, business and first class flights. Personal cardholders receive 5x points when booking through this program and business cardholders will receive 35% back in points (on first and business class flights for their selected airline. Up to 500,000 points back per year).

One of the downsides to the program has always been that to book tickets you needed to call in, American Express have made an update and you can now book via American Express chat. I personally think this is a significant upgrade, I hate calling in especially when trying to search for availability and pricing. At least when using chat it can be done in the background and I can do other things while I wait for them to get back to my queries. I still think it’s crazy they don’t let people have access to the booking platform itself, but this is still an improvement.

I’d never pay cash for premium economy/business or first because I’m incredibly cheap and I don’t mind flying economy, but I know some cardholders will find this upgrade useful.

Hat tip to keyjey



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Chaser123
Chaser123

The 35% points back is on any airline for business or first. For Coach it is only on your selected airline.

Paul
Paul

This is correct.

NinjaX
NinjaX

Amex is sneaky and doesnt make that clear in their ads, but it does in the T&C:

Business Platinum Card Members will receive 3.5 extra points for every 10 points they redeem for either a First or Business class flight on any airline, or for flights with their selected qualifying airline using Membership Rewards Pay with Points through American Express Travel (35% Airline Bonus), up to 500,000 bonus points per calendar year, per each Membership Rewards account. For First or Business class flights on a Card Member’s selected qualifying airline, the Card Member will still receive only 3.5 extra points for every 10 points redeemed.

W
W

How good are the discounts?

Thomas
Thomas

In my searches, I have come across 0% and 12% looking for business and Premium Economy.

So, you can say it is pretty hit or miss.

Below are some examples of the discounts I have seen in my 3x calling in:

-Business NYC-DUB-VCE = 0%
-Business NYC-PAR = 0%
-Business NYC-IST = 1% (Chalk this one up to variations in booking platforms and it is outweighed by the $39 booking fee)

-Premium Econ NYC-TYO = 12%

Happy to see this come to chat!

W
W

12% finds seem very good. Thanks for the reply!

Len
Len

It is good to see this in chat, but my experience with their pricing has been terrible, with the flights through IAP being 2-4x more expensive as going at it in my own. (Just spoke with them 2 days ago in fact to try another trip).

Maybe bad luck with my city pairs, but…

Rob
Rob

So the Business Platinum won’t get 5x when booking through IAP?

Mike
Mike

I believe that’s correct. Only Personal. So you either have to choose 5x points when booking with IAP and paying cash (Personal), or the ability to redeem points for 1.54 cents/pt when booking with IAP and paying points (Business). Of course, there are some other differences between the two cards as well.

Jason King
Jason King

Dear Delta/KLM/AF, world ceo’s are giving up on Saudis so is treasure secretary Mnuchin. I want to understand why Skyteam and their leaders Delta/KLM/AF has not thrown out Saudi Airline from Skyteam. Supporting murders?

Elmer
Elmer

Didn’t I read this somewhere else on the chat boards here? Thanks for repeating.

P
P

How good is their search engine when booking premium economy? Is it as bad as amextravel.com?

I live in Kona, Hawaii and when trying to book premium economy at amextravel.com to Tokyo or Australia via Honolulu, I always get an error. I think because the Kona-Honolulu part of has no premium economy. If I do Honolulu-Tokyo or Honolulu-Sydney only or change to to Biz or just economy then no problem.

Andrew
Andrew

Just chiming in with more Amextravel hate.

I’ve seen so many “the price of your tickets has increased since you put them in your cart” notices recently that I don’t trust the platform at all.

I was trying to use my 35% point rebate booking on my chosen airline, but the exact same flights were like $1K more from AmexTravel than booking directly through the airline.

OTOH – I found an amazing Biz Class mileage run through Asia that I couldn’t get to show up on any OTAs, that I was able to book through Amextravel.com. So, YMMV.

Rob
Rob

I don’t think the 5x points apply to this program… At least it didn’t for me last year when I booked thru it.

Ultimate Arsehole

Although this information is indeed listed, the staff at American Express are either poorly trained or the listing is wrong/premature.

I’ve now spoken to 2 different chat representatives and have had the following responses:

* Please close this chat and reinitiate from the IAP page – I can’t help you.
* (Initiated from the IAP page) Sorry, you need to call. I’ll pass on your feedback regarding improving our offerings.

Pathetic.

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