Negative Changes to AMEX Business Platinum 50% Points Back Perk!

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Bad news for folks with the Enhanced Business Platinum Card from American Express OPEN, or those considering the card.

Via The Points Guy, you will no longer get 50% of your points back on certain airfare you purchase through the AMEX travel portal.  You’ll only get 35% back!

AMEX Business Platinum Changes

This Is NOT Good News for Folks With the AMEX Business Platinum Card. I’ll Explain Why!

I’ll share more about this news.  And explain what it means for you.

AMEX Reduces Points Rebate for AMEX Business Platinum Card

Link:   The Enhanced Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN

Link:   My Review of the AMEX Business Platinum Card

Last year, American Express announced that if you had the AMEX Business Platinum card, your AMEX Membership Rewards points would be effectively worth up to 2 cents per point.  Because when you redeemed them for certain tickets using Pay With Points through the AMEX travel portal, you would get 50% of your points back.

But as of June 1, 2017, you’ll only get 35% of your points back.  And you’ll only be able to redeem 500,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points per year and get the rebate.

That effectively makes your AMEX Membership Rewards points worth only ~1.54 cents per point.  

For example, say you find a ticket on the AMEX travel portal that costs $600.  That would cost 30,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points after 50% points back (60,000 points – 30,000 points).  For a value of 2 cents per point ($600 / 30,000).

When you only get 35% points back (60,000 X 35% = 21,000 points), that same ticket will cost 39,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points (60,000 points – 21,000 points).  For a value of ~1.54 cents per point ($600 / 39,000 points).

Plus, it will take 6 to 10 weeks for the rebate to post to your account, instead of the usual ~24 hours.

This is all around bad news, but things are always changing in the world of miles and points.  So I never suggest hoarding your rewards. 😉

That said, if you signed up for your card between October 6, 2016, and May 31, 2017, you’ll still receive the 50% rebate (with no maximum!) for one year from the date your card was issued.

Otherwise, you’ll need to purchase your flight before June 1, 2017, to get the 50% rebate.

Should You Still Consider the Card?

The AMEX Business Platinum card is still a great option, because you can get LOTS of Big Travel with the sign-up bonus alone.

AMEX Business Platinum Changes

75,000 AMEX Membership Rewards Points Is More Than Enough to Fly to Paris!

With the current sign-up bonus, you can earn up to 75,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points after meeting tiered minimum spending requirements.

You’ll also get perks like:

And you’ll be able to take advantage of the 50% points back perk until June 1, 2017.

With the new 35% points back rebate amount, the 75,000 point sign-up bonus will be worth ~$1,155 (~1.54 cents per point X 75,000 points) for ALL First Class or Business Class flights booked through the AMEX travel portal using Pay With Points.  And for all flights, including coach tickets, booked with your selected airline through the AMEX travel portal using Pay With Points.

That’s still a better rate than what folks get when they book paid travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal.  But it’s not as exciting a perk as it used to be!

Bottom Line

Starting June 1, 2017, if you have the AMEX Business Platinum card, you will only get 35% of your points back when you redeem them for certain tickets using Pay With Points through the AMEX travel portal.

The old rate was 50% back.  And this perk hadn’t been around for very long.

That said, the AMEX Business Platinum card is still a good option, because it comes with a great sign-up bonus and perks!

What do you think about these changes?  Let me know in the comments!

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13 responses to “Negative Changes to AMEX Business Platinum 50% Points Back Perk!

  1. Keep in mind, if you open your account between October 2016 and May 31st, 2017, you get the 50% back for upto 1 year after you got the card. Not necessarily June 1st cutoff for those people

  2. Southwest is my airline of choice. I’m having trouble getting AmEx to honor the 50% rebate deal when I book tickets on southwest.com as per your December 2016 post on this topic. Please help me (and other Southwest fans) understand the process. Thanks!

  3. Tom Melzoni, Ph.D

    The cost of the card has increased to $550 per year with $200 in Uber credits each year! For me the increase in fee and loss of the 15% in points return is giving me pause!

  4. Hey Tom, that’s the personal version of the card. This is a business platinum perk, and this card is still $450/year. (For now, anyway.)

  5. I think the valuation of points is incorrect. Essentially all B class flights i targeted over a 1 month period through the AMEX portal ( or economy class flights) to Europe were either NOT AVAILABLE in all configurations (all dates and times) or SIGNIFICANTLY more expensive vis a vis booking directly with airlines or other sites, essentially nullifying the 50% bonus you are in theory getting. What i am trying to say is that you are either going to have to restrict your flight route (take more connections, later flights, early departures) or get lucky in order to book anything useful on AMEX site in order to get the 50% back. Might work for something like SW but not useful on international carriers.

    Extremely disappointing in my eyes.

  6. This promo is a joke with so many conditions. We tried to use this promo to book 8 first class tickets to Germany. We had to transfer miles from our black card bucket to the plat bucket and then the problems started. At the end of the day and about 2 weeks later we just bought the tickets using points dumped into delta miles one for one. The agent selling the plat program was not well trailed and made many mistakes misrepresenting the promo… Amex stepped up and made it right, refunded the $500 plat fee and told us to just keep the card, and then they added 100,000 miles to my account for the errors. This is on top of the 50,000 miles for spending 10 grand on the card in 90 days. Although we did not get half of 2.0 million miles back we did end up with about 200,000 free miles.

  7. i have been reading about this perk. i currently have amex platinum personal. Is it worth trying to switch it to business, if that can even be done? thanks!~