Getting More Value from Your Membership Reward Points with New Perks!

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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 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.

New Benefits!

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.

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.


  1. You forgot the 1.5 X MR points for charges $5k or more. I am already utilizing it and it is huge! Increases the value to $.03 per point for flights since the bulk of my charges are for inventory that are way over $5k! So awesome to get a bonus for buying inventory!

  2. All the bloggers are reporting the news, but what I’d love to hear are thoughts on how to best utilize this. One issue for me, and what’s holding me back from getting the card, is that I spend my airline dollars on American as they offer the best routes and prices for my business travel needs (which I spend cash and accrue points). So they would be my logical choice as my selected airline. But in regards to using my points to fly, I would likely want to use those on Delta, as I would want to use the points for pleasure travel, not business. So having to select a single airline makes this a tough one for me to figure out how to use the benefit.

  3. I am with Pam. I live in Dallas so the main options are AA and SW. Already get free bags on AA with the Citi Advantage card and SW does not have bag fees. Also have Citi Prestige with the 60% deal. I talked to an agent last night and confirmed that even though upgrades are disqualified that seat fees are covered so may claim AA this year to get better seats then fret about it again for next year. The rep also told me that we have from December 1 to January 31 to make our airline chose for next year. Couple of other things I found out, Centurion and Airspace lounges allow member plus 2 free guests. Sky Club is member free but $29/ea for up to 2 guests then full price for others. If Delta is your selected airline then the fee will be reimbursed. Finally, if you book a flight on your selected airline don’t purchase the seat at that time because the system will not recognize the seat. Buy the seat in a separate transaction.

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