Selecting an Airline With the AMEX Business Platinum & Why I Chose Southwest

Selecting an Airline With the AMEX Business Platinum & Why I Chose Southwest

Million Mile SecretsSelecting an Airline With the AMEX Business Platinum & Why I Chose SouthwestMillion Mile Secrets Team

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Besides the huge 100,000 point sign-up bonus, a major reason I got The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN was the 50% points back perk.

Because I’ll get 2 cents per point when I use my AMEX Membership Rewards points to book coach airfare on my selected airline.  So picking 1 of the 9 eligible airlines is important to make sure I make the most of this benefit!

Plus, the airline selection matters for earning the Business Platinum’s $200 airline incidental credit.

I decided on Southwest.

American Express Business Platinum Airline Credit
I Selected Southwest as My Business Platinum Airline.  I’ll Get a Great Deal With My AMEX Membership Rewards Points and Use the $200 Airline Incidental Credit!

I’ll show you how to select your airline for the American Express Business Platinum airline credit.

Select an Airline for AMEX Pay With Points & $200 Credit

Link:   The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN 

Link:   American Express Business Platinum Airline Credit

Link:   Get 50% of Your Points Back With AMEX Business Platinum

If you have the AMEX Business Platinum card, you’re eligible to receive a $200 statement credit each calendar year for incidentals on an airline of your choice.

And you’ll get 50% of your points back for coach tickets booked with Pay With Points on your selected airline.

You can choose from 1 of these 9 airlines:

  • Alaska Airlines
  • American Airlines
  • Delta
  • Frontier Airlines
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • JetBlue
  • Southwest
  • Spirit Airlines
  • United Airlines

You’ll be able to select an airline after you activate your card.  Then, you’ll only be able to change your selection in January of each year.

How to Enroll and Pick Your Airline

The $200 annual credit and 50% pay with points perk only work after you select an airline.  Here’s how to do it.

Step 1.   Log-In to Your AMEX Account

Log-in to your AMEX account from the airline choice website.

American Express Business Platinum Airline Credit
Log-In to Your Account on the AMEX Airline Choice Page

Step 2.   Pick Your Airline

Then, you’ll see a screen with a drop-down menu.  When you click “Select an Airline,” you’ll see your options.

American Express Business Platinum Airline Credit
Click “Select an Airline” and Pick Your Choice

Note:   Remember, after you select your airline, you can NOT change it until January of each year.

Step 3.   Confirm Your Selection

After you make your choice, you’ll see your airline selection underneath your Business Platinum card.  I chose Southwest.

American Express Business Platinum Airline Credit
The Airline You Select Will Be Listed Underneath Your Card Information

You’ll also get an email from AMEX verifying your selection.

American Express Business Platinum Airline Credit
AMEX Sends an Email Confirming Your Airline Selection

Step 4.   Use the $200 Airline Credit & Pay With Points Perk

You’re all set!

You can now use the Business Platinum card to pay for airline incidentals like in-flight beverages and get up to a $200 statement credit each calendar year.

Also, you can book any coach flight on your selected airline using Pay With Points and get 50% of your points back!

Note:  To get 50% of your points back with Spirit Airlines or Southwest, you’ll have to pay with your Business Platinum card.  Then call AMEX Membership Rewards at 800-297-3276 to get your points back. 

Why I Chose Southwest

I love Southwest because you can check 2 bags for free and there are no change or cancellation fees.  And some Southwest flight attendants give very funny safety briefings!

Southwest is NOT a direct AMEX airline transfer partner.  Before the new Pay With Points perk, there was no way to use American Express Membership Rewards points to book Southwest flights.

I selected Southwest because I’ll always get 2 cents per point when using Pay With Points.

That’s a better value than if I transferred Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Southwest or if I booked through the Chase Travel portal.

For example, I found a round-trip Southwest flight from Orlando to San Diego, which costs ~$344.

American Express Business Platinum Airline Credit
A Sample Round-Trip Southwest Flight From Orlando to San Diego Costs ~$344 If You Pay Cash

Or you can redeem ~22,000 Southwest points for the same flight.

American Express Business Platinum Airline Credit
Redeem ~22,000 Southwest Points for the ~$344 Flight From Orlando to San Diego

In this case, your Southwest points are worth ~1.5 cents each (22,000 / $344 – $11 for taxes).

You can also book this flight through the Chase travel portal using Chase Ultimate Rewards points earned on your Chase Sapphire Reserve card.

Because points on your Sapphire Reserve are worth 1.5 cents each when you book travel.  So you can book the ~$344 flight for ~23,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points ($344 X 1.5 cents).

American Express Business Platinum Airline Credit
You’ll Use the Fewest Amount of Points by Using AMEX Pay With Points. Pay ~34,000 AMEX Membership Rewards Points for a ~$344 Flight and Get 17,000 AMEX Membership Rewards Points Returned to You!

But you’ll use the lowest number of points when you book with AMEX Pay With Points.  You’ll pay ~34,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points for the ~$344 flight.  But, then you’ll get 50% points back.  So in the end, it only costs ~17,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points.

And using Pay With Points you earn points and loyalty credit with Southwest because it’s basically like paying cash for a flight.

Bottom Line

With the AMEX Business Platinum card, you can select 1 airline for your annual $200 incidental credit.

And with the airline you select, you’ll get 50% of your points back on coach flights when you use Pay With Points.

Choose wisely because you’ll only be able to change your selection in January of each year.

I selected Southwest because I’ll get 2 cents per point on all flights when I use Pay With Points.  That’s better than I’d get using Chase Ultimate Rewards points!

Which airline did you select with your Business Platinum card?

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  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards

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I don't think I am getting the full scope of this.

If you pay $340 for the initial Southwest ticket with the business platinum card, why would amex deduct 34K points first? Isn't that like paying for the ticket twice then? Why would I pay $340 PLUS 34K (even if 17K if returned)???

Wouldn't it be 50% back if I paid $340 and then Amex just credited my account with 17K points?

Hi Darius,

I just applied for Amex Business Platinum using your link. How can I get $200 airline credit for Southwest? Can I buy $200 gc on SWA website and they will reimburse the purchase? Or I have to call them for the reimbursement? Thanks.


Hi Jimmy! I purchased two $100 gift cards on the Southwest website and the $200 airline credit automatically posted on my AMEX statement within 2 days.

Are gift card purchases from SWA eligible for the $200 incidental fees reimbursement? Otherwise, I don't see how I would ever get that benefit from SWA. I never have more than 2 checked bags, they have no change fees, I never have to buy drinks (drink coupons out my ears) the don't have lounge...etc. Thanks!


It worked for me! I purchased two $100 Southwest gift cards and received the $200 credit from AMEX.

Still not quite getting it. We have the companion pass. Booking with points with the companion pass is great. But still don't understand how you can book with points and still get earning points With Southwest when you have to call Amex to get the credit

Gladys, this post is about using your American Express Membership Rewards points to pay for your Southwest flight; it is saying that if you have Amex MR points, you get a much better value per point using those points to book flights on Southwest versus using Southwest points.

Does this info apply to Amex platinum personal card. Thanks.


You can get a $200 statement credit with the personal version. But the Pay With Points perk is only available on the business version.

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