How to get 2.17 cents per point from Membership Rewards today

Business Platinum 2.17 cents per pointYesterday I described how I recently got 2.17 cents per point value from Membership Rewards points.  I had inadvertently stacked the Business Platinum Card’s 50% Pay with Points rebate with a 5X airfare promotion that I had been targeted for.  In that post I speculated that everyone with a Business Platinum card will be able to get the same value once the Business Platinum Card’s 5X Airfare feature kicks in on March 30th.

It turns out that many people do not need to wait.  Those with both a personal Platinum card and a Business Platinum card can get 2.17 cents per point value today.

Reader Topspin 46 told us about a Reddit thread on this topic.  Through the Reddit thread we learn that anyone with a personal Platinum card (including branded Platinum cards such as Mercedes-Benz, Morgan Stanley, etc.) and a Business Platinum card can get 2.17 cents per point value.  The key is that Amex’s terms do not require you to select your Business Platinum card when paying with points in order to get the 50% rebate.  Instead, you can use any Amex card linked to the same Membership Rewards account as your Business Platinum card:

To use Pay with Points, you must charge your eligible airfare purchase through American Express Travel to a Membership Rewards® program-enrolled American Express® Card. Points will be debited from your Membership Rewards account, and credit for corresponding dollar amount will be issued to the American Express Card account used.

How to get 2.17 cents per point value today

Here it is, step by step:

1. Use a 3rd party search engine to find the flights (and flight prices) you want.

Personally, I like Google Flights.  If the flight you want is with your selected airline or is in business or first class, then proceed…

2. Log into AmexTravel.com and try to find the same flights and price.

If you can’t find the same (or better) option online, you’ll have to call Amex Travel to complete the rest of the steps.

3. Book the flight and pay with points

If booking online, there are several steps to the checkout process.  When you get to step 4, you can select to pay with points:

Amex Travel Step 4 Payment Information

4. Use your personal Platinum card to verify your card information

Once you select to pay with points, you’ll be asked to verify your card information.  Select your personal Platinum card in order to earn 5X points for the transaction (really 4X).  You should still get the 50% Pay with Points Platinum Business Card rebate as long as both of your Platinum cards are linked to the same Membership Rewards account.

Amex Travel Step 4 Payment Information Verify Card

Why it works

Your Business Platinum Card offers a 50% rebate when you use points to book with your selected airline or in business or first class, with any airline.  And, your personal Platinum card offers 5X points for airline ticket purchases.  The way Amex handles that 5X is to give you 4X bonus points.  Those 4X bonus points post even though through Pay with Points, the entire ticket amount is refunded to you.

In total, the two benefits combine to give you a 54% point rebate. Given that your final point cost after rebates would be 46 points per dollar:  Point value: $1 / 46 = $0.0217!

About Greg The Frequent Miler

Greg is the owner, founder, and primary author of the Frequent Miler. He earns millions of points and miles each year, mostly without flying, and dedicates this blog to teaching others how to do the same.

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  1. […] How to Get 2.17 cents per point in value from Amex Membership Rewards points: Frequent Miler has a fascinating look at how you can maximize your Amex Membership Rewards redemptions by taking advantage of stacking the 50% pay with points rebate when you have the Business Platinum card with the 4x bonus with the Personal Platinum. […]

Comments

  1. Unless it’s a new benefit, it may just be an error on how Amex calculated your points. I’ve booked several tickets this way and never received any points. There’s also a thread on flyertak that discussed this.

  2. There seems to be great need for Greg to have a dedicated post to address the question: why bother with the 50% points rebate with Amex Biz Plat (which give you 2 cents per point), when there are 2% cash back cards out there. It may be obvious for some but I see many people have the same question and don’t seem to know the game well. People gotta realize earning and redeeming are separated things when dealing with points.

    • if you have the everyday preferred card you easily get 1.5 points/dollar spend on every transaction. Then, assuming you also have the business platinum, you redeem at 2.17 cents/point. So you are getting 3.25 cents worth of airfare for every dollar spent! A 2% cash back card would only give you 2 cents worth of airfare.

      Not to mention, there are several MR earning cards that pay 2x or more on certain spend categories.

    • Counterpoint: not all of us choose to spend dollars on flights either because we dont or cant fly a lot, or because all of our flights are paid for by work or by our airlines miles. I am perfectly happy with my BofA card that pays 2.625% cash back. Not saying the Biz Amex Plat isn’t a compelling deal, but its not ideal for everyone.

  3. Whoa!!!! Hyatt is reneging on the offer to allow people to qualify for diamond in Jan & feb. and transfer to globalist.
    I qualified for diamond on stays in Feb. Because my last stay didn’t post until march 1 (it was completed in feb) I transitioned into the lesser status and was manually upgraded. However it was in name only. I only have 4 club passes and didn’t receive the upgrades.
    Hyatt has decided not to honor their word and confer status if your stays post in march. If i re qualify under the new term I can earn the status.

  4. This has been discussed within the FT thread, and been working for several months. Why blogged about this obvious system glitch? Seriously?

  5. This is a system glitch, and your post will attract Amex attention. This bug will be fixed very very soon. I am so sad….

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