Chase Sapphire Reserve℠

Amex Business Platinum Losing 20% Pay With Points Rebate

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.

The family of American Express Platinum cards has been under duress lately. Not only have they lost many of their lounge access benefits – including access to both American Admirals Clubs and US Airways Clubs, but also more limited access to Delta SkyClubs.

Screen shot 2015-03-24 at 9.45.17 PM

On the plus side, the Platinum cards have added unlimited complimentary access to Boing WiFi hotspots and a TSA application fee statement credit options worth $85, and 10 GoGo in-flight WiFi passes for The Enhanced Business Platinum Card from American Express OPEN cardholders specifically.

It was probably only a matter of time, but like the personal card, The Platinum Card from American Express, the Business Platinum Card is going to discontinue the 20% points rebate when you redeem your Amex Membership Rewards points with Amex’s “Pay With Points “option on July 1, 2015.

That 20% rebate (or 25% bonus, depending on how you looked at it) meant that, instead of just 1 cent per point in value when redeeming points for airfare directly with Amex travel, you would actually get 1.25 cents per point in value if you were an Amex Business Platinum cardholder. In concrete terms, instead of redeeming 50,000 points for a $500 flight, you would only need to redeem 40,000 points.

That was one of this card’s selling points, in my opinion, and a reason to consider getting it instead of or in addition to another Membership Rewards points-earning Amex card like the Premier Rewards Gold or EveryDay Preferred cards.

However, unlike those other two cards, which offer some great category spending bonuses on things like airfare, gas and groceries, the whole reason to get a Platinum card is not the earning or redeeming opportunities, but rather the purchase protections and perks that come with being a cardholder.

I am a big fan of the Amex Centurion lounges, and can't wait to try out the Miami one (especially the new Michelle Bernstein menu)
The Platinum Cards still confer plenty of great benefits like access to the new Centurion Lounges.

Like the personal version, the Business Platinum Card offers a $200 airline fee credit per calendar year as well as access to Delta SkyClubs and the growing family of great Centurion Lounges. You also get the Global Entry application fee reimbursement (instead of TSA PreCheck), which is worth $100, and Amex Fine Hotels and Resorts has its perks, which I used for my recent visit to Bali, and will use again for an upcoming trip for a free night stay at the Ritz-Carlton in Seoul.

In addition, the Business Platinum Card carries all the OPEN Savings benefits including either a 10% discount or 4 bonus Membership Rewards points per dollar (although sometimes a lower 3% discount and 2 bonus points) automatically at certain merchants, a 5% discount or 2 additional Membership Rewards points for each eligible dollar spent up to $10,000 per calendar year with Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, discounts or bonus points on Hertz and FedEx purchases, and more.

In general, I get far more value out of the benefits that the Platinum and Business Platinum Cards confer than the $450 annual fee, and while I regard this redemption change as a devaluation, there are only a limited number of cases where I’d use the “Pay With Points” option anyway.

It is useful to have the “Pay With Points” option to redeem those Membership Rewards points at a value of 1.25 cents apiece and earn elite miles/credit on flights – for instance, when a domestic ticket is less than $312.50 roundtrip. But the whole point of transferable points as I see it is to have the flexibility to top up certain points or miles accounts when you need to, rather than redeeming points for airfare outright.

That said, I do know some folks like the simplicity of simply being able to redeem points at a set rate, so if that sounds like you, this might affect your credit card strategy. If you decide to cancel you card, your annual fee should be prorated, and you could potentially use this as a negotiating point if you intend to keep your card, but want another form of compensation such as points, a discount on the annual fee, or a higher airline fee reimbursement.

What are your thoughts on this change? Do you intend to keep your Business Platinum Card or negotiate for compensation? Share your strategies and experiences in the comments below.

The Enhanced Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN

Apply Now
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn up to 100,000 Membership Rewards® points. Offer expires January 25, 2017.
  • Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $5,000 and an extra 50,000 points after you spend an additional $10,000 all on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • New: Get 50% more Membership Rewards® points. That’s 1.5 points per dollar, on each qualifying purchase of $5,000 or more. You can get up to 1 million additional points per year.
  • Plus, continue to get one point per dollar for qualifying purchases under $5,000.
  • New 50% Airline Bonus: Use Membership Rewards® Pay with Points for all or part of a flight with your selected qualifying airline, and you can get 50% of the points back.
  • New: You can also receive 50% points back on all First and Business class flights, with all airlines available through American Express Travel.
  • You can enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Terms & Restrictions Apply
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR Regular APR Annual Fee Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Rating
N/A N/A $450 0% Excellent Credit