Update: This post references an American Express Business Platinum benefit that has changed. As of June 1, 2017, the pay-with-points rebate has changed to 35% for your chosen airline or any airline in business or first class. Additionally, there is a cap of 500,000 rebated points annually.
If you’ve just finished reading about how paying with points may soon yield 2.17 cents per point in value for Amex Business Platinum holders (and perhaps already does for those previously targeted for 5x airfare spend), you might be chomping at the bit for a cheap business class fare sale to Europe. Wait no more — via View from the Wing, Aer Lingus has some great business class round trip fares to Ireland from New York and Boston starting at just $1999. There is a lot of availability throughout the summer. Here is the calendar for June via Google Flights to Dublin or to Shannon:
These flights would be a great use of the Amex Business Platinum 50% rebate when paying with points. For example, New York to Dublin would cost you a net 100,800 points round trip. If you happened to have been targeted for 5x airfare on your Business Platinum as Greg was, you may additionally earn another 8,000 points back, for a net cost of about 92,800 Membership Rewards points round trip. Furthermore, your flights will earn miles. According to wheretocredit.com, class D fares on Aer Lingus should earn 250% of distance flown, or about 15,900 British Airways Avios if credited to BA. That’s an excellent value for round trip business class to Europe.
(Update: According to a reader who commented on Greg’s earlier post, if you have both the Business Platinum and personal Platinum cards, you can choose to initially pay for your flights with your personal Platinum and then get both the 50% points rebate as a Business Platinum cardholder and the 4x airfare bonus as per Greg’s prediction).
Of course, you’re not limited to staying in Ireland. From Dublin and Shannon, Aer Lingus can get you to many European cities with one more hop. Discount carriers can probably get you there a bit cheaper, but when you factor in choosing your seat and checked baggage, you might as well grab a few extra miles for your business class fare. You could tack on Nice for an extra $156:
Alternatively, if you’d like to spend a few less Membership Rewards points and stretch out your mileage earning a bit, it looks like Avianca has the Olympic Special to Barcelona:
At $1992 round trip, this would be 99,600 points round trip after the rebate and would earn almost 22,300 Lifemiles on the round trip flight. You’ll have to take an angle-flat to Colombia, but you’ll get a lie-flat to Barcelona from there!
To read more about dates and fare restrictions on the Aer Lingus sale, see this View from the Wing post. It sounds like everything from changes of date to changes of name can be done reasonably on these fares. See his post for more info.