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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 (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.