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American Express has drastically improved its International Airline Program, which was once inaccessible and essentially useless for many of its cardholders. Now, instead of getting 2-for-1 on business and first-class tickets, you’ll get discounts on first, business and premium economy tickets.
As a reminder, the International Airline Program is available for cardholders of the Platinum Card from American Express and the Business Platinum Card from American Express OPEN (or Centurion Cards). With the updated program, you can buy up to eight tickets with participating airlines with the discounted fares. Note that a Platinum or Centurion cardholder must be traveling. For example, if a parent with the card was booking the trip for their child, but the child doesn’t have their own Amex Platinum card, the child couldn’t fly alone.
You can use Pay with Points for all or part of your fares, and you’ll still get miles from the airline. In addition, there’s a $39 service fee per ticket, but that’s waived for Centurion cardholders. Note that even if you’re a Platinum or Centurion cardholder, you won’t be able to see these discounted fares online — call either 1-800-525-3355 (personal Amex Platinum) or 1-800-492-8468 (Business Platinum) to receive a price quote and then book.
Here are the airlines that are eligible with the new International Airline Program:
The amount you’ll save can vary on a number of factors, but we wanted to run a few examples through Amex and see the potential savings:
New York (JFK) to Madrid (MAD) in Delta One:
When making a dummy booking on Google Flights, this round-trip was pricing out to $2,643. On the same dates, an Amex Travel rep was able to price out the trip at 2,323.
In total, booking through Amex would have saved $320, representing a 12% discount.
New York (JFK) to Seoul (ICN) in Asiana First:
When priced out through Google Flights, this trip would have cost $8,447. When we called Amex, the agent was able to quote a price of $7,432 for the same trip on the same dates. In addition, the fare Amex offered was fully refundable, potentially offering tremendous value if your plans change.
In total, booking through Amex would have saved a substantial $1,015, representing a 12% discount.
These new updates could pose a significant amount in savings if you’re looking to fly in a premium cabin on your next flight with one of the above carriers. If you’re thinking about booking a ticket, it could be worth it to check with Amex to see if the fare it’s offering is any lower than what you’d find elsewhere.
H/T: View From the Wing
Featured image of Asiana first class courtesy of Zach Honig.
The American Express Platinum card has some of the best perks out there: cardholders enjoy the best domestic lounge access (Delta SkyClubs, Centurion Lounges, and Priority Pass), a $200 annual airline fee credit as well as up to $200 in Uber credits, and mid-tier elite status at SPG, Marriott, and Hilton. Combined with the 60,000 point welcome offer -- worth $1,140 based on TPG's valuations -- this card is a no-brainer for frequent travelers. Here are 5 reasons you should consider this card, as well as how you can figure out if the $550 annual fee makes sense for you.
- Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
- Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
- 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
- 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
- Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
- Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
- $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
- Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
- $550 annual fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees