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UPDATE: This credit card now earns a 35% rebate on all qualifying flights. If you opened the card between October 2016 and May 31, 2017, you’ll still be able to receive a 50% rebate for one year from account activation.
American Express also enhanced some of the benefits of The Enhanced Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN card which will give you way more value when redeeming your Membership Reward points. If you redeem solely through the Amex “Pay with Points Portal” on qualifying flights, if you have 100,000 points in your account, for example, it is worth a fixed $2,000! UPDATE: Starting June 1, 2017, the 50% rebate will decrease to a 35% rebate. The one caveat is that for those that opened their card between October 2016 and May 31, 2017, you’ll still receive the 50% rebate for a year from the date you opened your account.
This card is now offering a 50% rebate when you redeem your points through the “Pay with Points” portal. Typically, redeeming your points will give you a fixed 1 cent value. A $200 flight you find will cost you 20,000 points. However, now, with this 50% rebate, you’ll receive half of the points used back into your account. Ultimately, that $200 flight will only cost you 10,000 points! That now gives you a 2 cent per point valuation which is great! That is comparable with how I value Membership Reward points when transferring to a partner loyalty program.
There are a few things to know though with this rebate:
- It is only valid for coach flights with your selected airline (the same airline you select to receive your $200 travel credit with)
- It is valid for all business and first class flights with all airlines
- You must have the full amount of points in your account to redeem the initial number of Membership Reward points – you’ll then receive half of the points back as a rebate
Maximizing Your Membership Reward Points
If you have multiple Membership Rewards earning American Express credit cards, all points are combined into one account. So if you have the Amex EveryDay card, for example, and also receive this Business Amex Platinum card, the points earned from the Amex EveryDay card can also be redeemed through the Pay with Points portal and receive the 50% rebate. This is a great combo of cards to earn since the Amex EveryDay actually earns you more points on most purchases then the Amex Business Platinum card.
A Better Method Then Transferring Points
You actually might be better off redeeming your points through the “Pay With Points” site then transferring your points to a partner program. Here are some of the advantages you have when you pay with points:
- You’ll still earn miles for your flight – both redeemable miles and miles towards status. Airlines consider flights booked through this method the exact same as if you were to purchase the flight directly through the airline with a credit card. When you use points with an airline directly, you do not earn miles.
- You are able to use just a portion of points to pay for a flight. So if you do not have enough points to fully cover the flight, you can use some to help offset the cost. When you book with an airline directly, you must have the full number of points to cover your flight.
- There is no capacity control through the pay with points site. You’ll see the exact same availability as you would anywhere else. When you book directly with an airline and trying to use points, you’ll see that some flights are not available.
To see if you are better off with redeeming your points through the pay with points site or transferring them over to a partner loyalty program, you’ll have to do a cost analysis and see the number of points required to book the same flight through each respective site. As a general rule of thumb, you are probably better off redeeming your points for a coach flight through the pay with points site and transferring points to a partner airline program for a business/first class flight. This will not always be the case, so you should check both sites to compare.