This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Update: The offer mentioned below for the Business Platinum Card from American Express has expired. View the current offer here.
Offer Expired February 24, 2014
TPG follower Jeff tweeted at me during the week asking how to utilize American Express Pay with Points:
“@thepointsguy I have 800,000 Membership Rewards points along with many hotel points and airline miles. Any advice on how to buy 4 tickets using Pay with Points for an upcoming trip for my family? I currently have the Amex Premier Rewards Gold.”
For starters, you need to know that when using Pay with Points you only get one cent per point in value. However, if you have the American Express Business Platinum card linked to your Membership Rewards account, your points will be worth 1.25 cents apiece. The personal Platinum Card used to offer Pay With Points at the same ratio, but Amex recently just dropped that down to one cent per point.
Right now, Amex will give you a value of $8,000 for those 800,000 points when booking through American Express Travel using Pay With Points, but the Business Platinum card would make them worth $10,000 – a pretty significant difference! Once you link the Business Platinum card to your account, you’re instantly going to unlock all those existing points and increase their value by 25% just by getting that one card.
Now, Jeff also told me that he’s in a rare and extremely lucky situation because he recently received a targeted offer for a 100,000-point sign-up bonus for the Business Platinum, which is an absolutely amazing deal. With that amount of points plus the benefits that come with this card, you will far exceed the $450 annual fee in value, whether you choose to redeem those points for travel or even if you decided to liquidate them for gift cards.
Right now the public sign up offer is 25,000 points which isn’t bad since I value Membership Rewards points just under 2 cents apiece. At that value those 25,000 points are already worth more than the annual fee. But like the personal version of the card and the Mercedes-Benz Platinum card that I just got, the Business Platinum also offers other great benefits including $200 in annual airline rebates, free Global Entry, access to Fine Hotels and Resorts and many other perks that you can read about here. That $450 annual fee might dissuade some, but since it comes with 100,000 points and unlocks an additional $2,000 in value just with Pay With Points than Jeff has now, that’s what I would do.