Amex Pay With Points: The hassle-free way to get $1,300+ worth of airfare with the Amex Business Platinum card

Signing up for credit cards through partner links earns us a commission. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.

Update: One or more card offers in this post are no longer available. Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers. The Business Platinum Card® from American Express is an excellent card to consider — it offers up to 75,000 points as its current welcome bonus after meeting tiered minimum spending requirements (terms apply):
  • 50,000 Amex Membership Rewards points after spending $10,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening
  • 25,000 Amex Membership Rewards points after spending an additional $10,000 on qualifying purchases within the same time frame

Between the welcome offer and points from meeting the minimum spend, you can earn at least 95,000 Amex Membership Rewards points. These points can get you more than $1,300 worth of airfare by using Amex Pay With Points because Amex Business Platinum cardholders get an exclusive 35% points rebate (up to 500,000 points per calendar year). The Pay With Points perk also comes in handy if you’re booking the comfortable JetBlue Mint business-class seats or if you want to stretch your points by booking coach airfare on your favorite airline.

I’ll tell you everything you need to know about Amex Pay With Points.

With Amex Pay With Points, Business Platinum cardholders can easily redeem points for flights to destinations like London without having to worry about blackout dates. (Photo by Sven Hansche/Shutterstock)

Amex Pay With Points

We estimate Amex points value to average 2 cents each. That’s because you can redeem them through valuable Amex transfer partners for fancy business class flights or free hotel stays. However, you’ll often be subject to blackout dates and award availability if you use your points this way.

When you use your Amex Membership Rewards points for air travel through the travel portal, you won’t have to worry about all the blackout dates and award charts and confusing stuff. You’ll get 1 cent per point toward airfare with most Amex cards, including:

That’s obviously significantly less than our estimated 2 cents per point. But Amex Business Platinum cardholders get a 35% points rebate:

  • 35% of your points back for all first-class or business-class flights booked through the Amex travel portal
  • 35% of your points back for all flights, including coach tickets, booked with your selected airline through the Amex travel portal

You can designate one of nine airlines to use the Pay With Points perk for coach airfare when you first get the card. If you wish to change that selection, you may do so in January in subsequent years. Here is the list of airlines:

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

This table shows how earning 95,000 Amex Membership Rewards points can get you more than $1,300 worth of airfare.

PointsValue of airfare through the Amex Travel Portal35% points rebate amount
95,000 Amex Membership Rewards Points$95033,250 Amex Membership Rewards points
33,250 Amex Membership Rewards points$332.5011,638 Amex Membership Rewards points
11,638 Amex Membership Rewards points~$116.38~4,073 Amex Membership Rewards points
Total~$1,472

This example assumes you use all 95,000 points for one flight and the rebate points for additional flights. Of course, there are many redemption options and you’re not required to use all of your points at once.

You must redeem at least 5,000 points to use Pay With Points. Your 35% points rebate of Amex Membership Rewards points is automatic but you won’t see them in your account for eight to 10 weeks.

The Business Platinum Pay With Points perk is not just for the primary cardholder — as long as you use Amex Membership Rewards points linked to your Amex Business Platinum card, you’ll be eligible to get 35% of the points back after booking coach flights on your selected airline or on business-class or first-class flights on any airline. It doesn’t matter who the passengers are.

Pay With Points example: New York to London round-trip

Here’s an example of how Pay With Points with the Amex Business Platinum card works.

Through the Amex travel portal, I found a round-trip coach ticket from New York-JFK to London for ~$485. Using Pay With Points, this ticket would cost 48,583 Amex Membership Rewards points.

But Amex Business Platinum cardholders who select Delta as their airline get 35% of their points back (~17,004 points in this example), so the final cost of this flight is 31,579 Amex Membership Rewards points. This means you’re effectively getting a value of more than 1.5 cents per point ($485 cash price of ticket/31,579 net points required for ticket), which is a great deal.

Amex Business Platinum 75,000-point offer

The Amex Business Platinum card is offering a welcome bonus of up to 75,000 points after meeting the following tiered spending requirements (terms apply):

  • 50,000 Amex Membership Rewards points after spending $10,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening
  • 25,000 Amex Membership Rewards points after spending an additional $10,000 on qualifying purchases within the same time frame

This is a fantastic bonus, and the fastest way to earn Amex points, but note that the card occasionally offers up to 100,000 points. You can check the CardMatch tool to see if you’re targeted for a higher offer (which is subject to change at anytime). It’s important to apply for this card when the bonus is extra high, because Amex will only allow you to receive this bonus once.

For an in-depth look at this card, check out our Amex Business Platinum review here.

Bottom line

Pay With Points is an excellent benefit for anyone looking to avoid the hassle of dealing with award charts and blackout dates. It’s essentially like paying with cash.

When you use your Amex Membership Rewards points toward air travel through the Amex travel portal, you’ll get 1 cent per point toward your ticket with most Amex cards, but with the Amex Business Platinum card, you’ll get a 35% points rebate when booking select flights — which can translate into serious savings.

For anyone considering the 75,000-point offer on the Amex Business Platinum, it means you can get more than $1,300 in airfare from the offer when you account for the points you’ll earn meeting the minimum spending requirements, which is an incredible deal.

Let us know if you apply! And subscribe to our newsletter for more helpful points analysis like this delivered to your inbox once per day.

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

Join the Discussion!

Subscribe
Notify of
8 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
mauipeter
1 year ago

I am pretty good with Chase cards, and even some AA cards, but AMEX still mystifies me somehow. It would be great to just have a list of exactly which cards are available, and which ones are taboo once one had it due to the lifetime or 7 year rule. I have had the Delta Gold Skymiles Personal and Business ones, Personal closed, Biz about to close. So which AMEX are available to me ? Thanks

JetSetterFL
1 year ago

How does this work if you have SW as your airline since you can’t buy their tickets through Amex Portal?