American Express Extending 20% Pay with Points Rebate for New Amex Platinum Cardholders Through October 31, 2013

by on January 31, 2013 · 11 comments

in American Express

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A few months ago, American Express announced that the 20% rebate on Pay With Points (so that points are worth 1.25 cents each rather than just 1 cent each) that cardholders of the personal version of the Platinum Card get as a benefit will end in February.

However, TPG reader Marc-Andre wrote to let me know that he recently signed up for the personal Platinum card and due to the short window that he has had the card, American Express is extending this benefit for him through October 31, 2013 so he may take advantage of it for another nine months before its gone for good.

Amex Plat

Amex is extending the 20% Pay with Points rebate for new Amex Platinum cardholders.

In case you’re not familiar with it, this benefit – a 20% rebate or a 25% bonus depending on how you look at it – matters when you want to redeem points to pay for airfare directly with Amex travel. Normally 1 point = 1 cent, but with the Platinum and Centurion cards, 1 point = 1.25 cents. So a $500 flight which would normally cost 50,000 points, would only cost 40,000 points if you have a Platinum card.

One of the sweet spots is using them for domestic coach airline tickets that cost $312.50 or below since those would require 25,000 points using Pay With Points – generally the standard domestic economy roundtrip threshold for award tickets with the legacy carriers. Plus, you earn miles (including elite miles) on Pay With Points purchases, so this can be a valuable benefit if you want to save money on airfare, but still earn elite status.

While I generally can get more value with my points when transferring directly to the airline partners (especially during transfer bonuses), Pay With Points can come in handy when you have points to burn and are looking to save money while still earning elite status.

The fact that this benefit is disappearing on the personal Platinum card is definitely a negative change for a card that people get specifically for valuable perks like this one. However, I wouldn’t really call it a game changer- at least not for me since Pay With Points isn’t the reason why I keep my Platinum (lounge access) or Premier Rewards Gold card (Membership Rewards transfer partners and 3/2/1 earning ratio) open.

An Alternative: The Business Platinum Card

The other thing to note is that while the 20% Pay With Points rebate is going away for the personal Platinum Card, it will remain as a benefit for the Business Platinum card, which essentially carries all the same benefits, so you could always apply for that card instead and cancel your personal card.

I do hope American Express decides to add other benefits to the personal Platinum card (though I think it’s unlikely), because the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Ink Bold and Ink Plus still offer 1.25 cents per point when redeemed for travel and their annual fees ($95) are drastically lower than the Platinum ($450) and Premier Rewards Gold ($175) cards. I’m hoping Amex gets creative and starts to reinvest in their program, because they are making the decision easy for me to put more and more of my spend on other credit cards.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • Mj miles

    I just recently got this card with the 100k offer. Do I have to be targeted or register to get this?

  • cindy

    hello, TPG, I remember in your previous post about downgrade you AAdvantage card to no fee citi forward card. Have you done that successfully?

  • Brabbit

    Any chance it will stick around for us longtime cardmembers?

  • rinnovare

    Interesting you mention this. I actually just called AMEX last night and was speaking with an account manager. I was considering downgrading from my Platinum to Gold due to the disappearing benefits such as the 20% rebate as well as the bonus points mall that went away a while back. I also brought up customer service concerns with regard to my concierge experience lately. I am starting to wonder if the card is worth $450 a year. She did assure me however that the 20% rebate is good till October 2013 (even though I am not a new member). She also assured me that thy are “in the works” of new personal benefits on the card. We will see!

  • corys401

    I signed up for the Platinum Card sometime in December and politely asked via secure message if the same courtesy extended to my “friend” would be extended to me as well. The rep said he will look over my account and get back to me within 48-72 hours. Fingers crossed.

  • Boo AMEX

    This isn’t true – I just got the card in January and when I called in they said they will no be extending this offer. Called in twice, two different CSRs and same response.

  • rinnovare

    Try asking for an account manager in the cancellation/downgrade extension. That’s the department I spoke with because I was seriously considering downgrading.

  • Corys401

    Just an update. I was approved for the extension until Oct 2013 via Secure message. Doesn’t hurt to ask!

  • jony

    Here’s the message that I got this morning through secure message:

    Dear ___,

    I understand your concern.

    I’d like to inform you that effective February 1, 2013, Personal Platinum Cardmembers are no longer eligible for the Pay With Points (PWP) 20% Bonus for Travel Redemptions.

    Do not worry. We have various promotions throughout the year for loyal Cardmembers like you, which you would receive by mail or email from us.

    You can also visit our website and check for exclusive offers just for American Express Cardmembers. New offers are added on a regular basis so you never know what exciting offer may be waiting for you!

    I hope you find this information useful. Should you need any assistance, please feel free to contact us.

    (Name Removed)
    Email Servicing Team
    American Express Interactive Services

  • Pingback: Amex Business Platinum Card Bonus Back Up to 25,000 Points | The Points Guy()

  • Chino

    As a business centurion cardholder, I’ve only ever used this benefit once. MR points are pretty worthless outside of the occasional transfer bonus, and I have so many of them that it deters me from using my Amex other than for things I want the purchase protection on. The Amex centurion benefits and service have been declining for many years, but these past few years I and two other centurion cardholder friends have noticed a steep decline. I sincerely hope that they do a full reboot of the program and make it a good value again. I’ll hold on for another year or two while they figure it out. I know they have made some big layoffs at the company and hopefully that leads to new blood and fresh thinking. Their Travel business is a joke at this point, it takes longer to authenticate myself and just get someone on the phone than it does to just book a flight using an iPhone app. Something’s gotta change.

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