How to get 2.17 cents per point from Membership Rewards today

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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!

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