Last month I wrote that American Express was getting rid of the 20% rebate when using the Pay With Points option for the Amex Business Platinum card. While I personally typically use my points to transfer to partner programs as I get a better value, this was a decent loss for many customers.
However, to replace this loss, they are adding in another benefit. Once the 20% rebate goes away on July 1, 2015, you will instead get a 35% rebate with the The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN. While this is a much higher rebate, there is one big caveat – you will only receive this when redeeming on the airline that you have designated for your $200 incidental credit. For example, if you have American Airlines selected in your settings to get the $200 statement credit for, you’ll only receive the 35% rebate back when you book American Airline flights through the Pay with Points option. If you go to book Delta, for example, you will not receive the rebate unless Delta is selected as your airline of choice. All you have to do is use your Membership Reward Pay with Points for all or part of a flight, up to 500,000 bonus points per calendar year.
This swap in benefits is good for some, but not others. If you always fly the same airline, then you will be ahead. However, if you use the Pay with Points option often and constantly flying different airlines, you probably will not get back as big of a rebate as you would if it stayed at a flat 20% rebate.
This benefit no longer applies to me as I cancelled my The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN card a few months ago and instead applied for the The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express. (Related post: “Bye Bye Platinum, Hello EveryDay”). Even if I had the card, I still wouldn’t use the “Pay with Points” option as I still get more value when transferring to airline partners than a 35% rebate.