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Let’s take a look at what the 35% rebate is, how to use it, and when you may want to use it.
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In the world of award travel and rewards credit cards in general, The Business Platinum Card® from American Express is one of the best options in the industry. On top of being a fantastic business card, this card also offers some great travel rewards features that allow you to make the most of the American Express Membership Rewards program.
While the card has an annual fee of $695 (which was increased in January 2022, rates & fees), the Business Platinum Card has several ongoing benefits that can help you easily offset the annual fee if used wisely. These include:
- Access to thousands of airport lounges worldwide (including Amex Centurion Lounges)
- 5x points on prepaid hotels and flights booked through American Express Travel
- Hilton Honors Gold status and Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status
- $200 yearly airline incidental fee credit
- Access to the American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts program
- Various rental car status upgrades and discounts
- Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application or renewal fee reimbursement (up to $100)
- Up to $400 yearly Dell statement credit, issued as up to $200 semi-annually, enrollment required
- Up to $360 yearly Indeed statement credit, issued as a up to $90 credit per quarter, enrollment required
- Up to $150 yearly Adobe statement credit, enrollment required
- Up to $120 yearly wireless phone service statement credit, issued as up to $10 per month, enrollment required
- Purchase protection up to $100 on every item purchased with the card
As you can see, the list of outstanding benefits included with the Business Platinum Card goes on and on. However, on top of all of those other travel benefits, the Business Platinum Card also allows you to receive a 35% rebate when you use your Amex Membership Rewards points to redeem for flights via Pay With Points.
Let’s take a look at what the 35% rebate is, how to use it, and when you may want to use it.
What Is Pay With Points?
Most major credit card companies have a travel portal where you can use your points or miles to book flights. By using the Amex Pay With Points feature of the Amex Travel portal, you can book reward flights at a rate of 1 cent per point. You can also book cruises, hotels, and rental cars for between 0.7 and 0.85 cents per point.
In general, redeeming your Amex points this way is not the most lucrative. You’re typically better off transferring your Amex points to one of their many airline or hotel partners. However, with the Business Platinum Card’s 35% rebate, you can get some serious bang for your buck.
To use Pay With Points, you can simply go to the Amex Travel portal and find the flight you’d like to book. Then, when it’s time to check out, you can choose to pay for either all or a part of your flights using your existing Amex points balance.
When you pay with points, your Amex account will be charged for the purchase. You’ll then get a statement credit for the amount of the purchase that you paid with points shortly after.
Using the 35% Pay With Points Rebate
While you can pay for all flights available on the Amex Travel portal with points, only certain flights qualify for the 35% rebate with the Business Platinum Card.
Here are some of the terms and conditions for the 35% rebate that you should be aware of:
- To receive the 35% rebate, the airline you book with must be the same airline that you elected for the $200 airline fee credit if you’re booking economy class
- The 35% rebate is available for any first-class or business-class flight booked through Amex Travel
- Pay With Points can only be used for redemptions over 5,000 points
- You’re eligible to receive a rebate of up to 1 million points per calendar year
- To receive a rebate for flights booked with Frontier, Spirit or Southwest, you must book the flight over the phone by calling Amex at 1-800-553-9497
- Flights booked as part of a travel package or with the American Express U.S. Representative Travel Network are not eligible for a rebate
If you find a flight that’s able to meet these conditions, though, that 35% rebate will boost the value of your Amex points from 1 cent per point to 1.54 cents per point.
Also note that, since this is a rebate, you’ll need all of the required points before you actually make the booking. Any portion of the purchase price not made with points will not qualify for a rebate.
When to Use the Pay With Points Rebate
The ability to redeem at a rate of 1.54 cents per point is superior than the value offered by most other credit card rewards programs. Even the Chase Sapphire Reserve® can only achieve a value of 1.5 cents per point.
When it comes time to choose whether or not to use Pay With Points with the Business Platinum Card, the decision comes down to whether or not you can find better value by transferring your points to an airline.
If you find that you can transfer your points to an airline and purchase your desired flight at your desired date and time at a value greater than 1.54 cents per point, then transfer your Amex points to the airline. If you can’t, book through Pay With Points with the Business Platinum Card. It’s that simple.
One thing you should consider, however, is that when you book through Pay With Points you will earn miles from the airline you fly. This differs from award tickets booked through the airlines directly, where you won’t earn any points. It is worth taking the points you’ll earn into consideration before deciding which way to book.
Let’s look at several examples that illustrate when to and when not to use Pay With Points.
Use Pay With Points
For example, let’s say that you can transfer your Amex points to ANA (Amex allows you to transfer into this loyalty program at a 1:1 ratio) and buy a specific flight for 90,000 points. You can also buy the same flight through Pay With Points for for 130,000 points; however, with the 35% rebate, you’ll get 45,500 points back, meaning the flight would effectively cost 84,500 points. In this case, it would probably make sense to buy the flight through Pay With Points.
Another time when paying with points can make sense is when you’re trying to take advantage of a flight deal. Maybe you found a business class fare to Europe for only $1,100. By using the Pay with Points Rebate that would mean you’d spend 110,000 points up front, but get 38,500 points back. In total, you spent only 71,500 points for a business class flight.
Transfer to Airline Partner
On the other hand, let’s say that you can transfer your Amex points to ANA and buy a specific flight for 90,000 points. You can also buy the same flight through Pay With Points for 150,000 points; however, with the 35% rebate, you’ll get 52,500 points back, meaning the flight would effectively cost 97,500 points. In this case, it would probably be better to transfer your Amex points and buy the flight through ANA.
Pay Attention to Airline Mileage Rewards
In the example above, however, if you could earn a significant amount of airlines miles by booking through Pay With Points instead of through ANA, that might offset the difference in price. To clarify, you can’t earn airline miles by booking award flights through airlines but you can earn them by booking award flights through Pay With Points.
For instance, let’s say that you could buy the flight from ANA for 90,000 points and you could effectively buy the same flight from Pay With Points for 97,500 points with your 35% rebate. But, by booking the flight through Pay With Points, you could earn 8,000 ANA miles. This may more than make up for the 7,500-point difference between the two redemption options, depending on how valuable ANA miles are to you. In this case, if you frequently fly on ANA, it may be a good idea to book through Pay With Points.
It should also be noted that, if you care about gaining elite status on a particular airline, you’ll need to earn miles with that airline to do so. So, by booking your award flight through Pay With Points instead of the airline’s loyalty program, you’ll earn miles and be one step closer to that elite status.
Greater Flexibility for Families
For families traveling together, finding multiple award seats can often be a challenge, especially in a premium cabin. Using Pay with Points and the rebate can be the key to getting family travel in premium cabins.
The Bottom Line
The 35% flight rebate is just one of the many reasons why having the Amex Business Platinum Card in your wallet is a good idea (if you can justify the $695 annual fee). This rebate can increase the value of each one of your Amex points from 1 cent to 1.54 cents for select airfare via Pay With Points.
In many cases, purchasing an award flight through Pay With Points may be the best option out there, especially when you consider that you can earn airline miles by booking flights through Amex Travel as well.
New to the world of points and miles? The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is the best card to start with.
With a bonus of 60,000 points after $4,000 spend in the first 3 months, 5x points on travel booked through the Chase Travel Portal and 3x points on restaurants, streaming services, and online groceries (excluding Target, Walmart, and wholesale clubs), this card truly cannot be beat for getting started!
Cards in This Article
Membership Rewards® Points
after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership
Chase Ultimate Rewards® Points
after you spend $4,000 in 3 months
Editors Note: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.