Now doubled: Earn up to 1 million points back with the Amex Business Platinum’s Pay with Points rebate
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American Express quietly doubled the maximum number of points Amex Business Platinum cardmembers are rebated each calendar year when redeeming for flights through Pay With Points from 500,000 to a cool 1 million.
Unlike some of the other recent changes to the card, which included new and increased annual statement credits, this one wasn’t announced publicly. Cardholders received news of the change in their card member legal discloser in October and the higher points cap went into effect Jan. 1, 2022.
If you’re not familiar, Amex Pay With Points is an option where you can redeem your Membership Rewards points directly for flights through Amex Travel at a flat rate of 1 cent each. With the Amex Business Platinum, you get a rebate of 35% of your points when redeeming for first- or business-class ticket on any airline, or economy tickets on one airline of your choice. That effectively brings your per-point value through such redemptions to 1.54 cents.
Under the old cap, those who wanted to maximize the rebate could redeem up to 1.42 million points at the more favorable rate. Everything after that would be at 1 cent per point. Now, businesses can redeem up to around 2.85 million points and still receive the rebate. That might seem like a lot of points, but for many small businesses that rack up a lot of expenses during the year and like to use their points to offset the cost of employee travel, Pay With Points can be a tremendous money-saving benefit. Now it’s even more valuable.
Responding to an email inquiry about the change, American Express’s Global Commercial Card Executive Vice President, Courtney Kelso, wrote, “When we launched the new Business Platinum Card in the U.S. in October we wanted to provide Card Members with more ways to earn rewards based on their spending needs, plus even more ways to use their points. Increasing the cap on the 35% Airline Bonus benefit allows us to offer more value to more Card Members.” Although Kelso did not provide much detail, presumably this redemption method was popular among those with the Amex Business Platinum and raising the rebate limit is a development that many should find rewarding.
Why use Amex Pay With Points?
You don’t have to carry the Amex Business Platinum Card to use Pay With Points. It’s open to those with other cards that earn Membership Rewards points, including The Platinum Card® from American Express and the American Express® Gold Card.
However, the Amex Business Platinum Card is unique in that cardmembers get a 35% rebate on the points necessary for redemptions under certain circumstances noted above. It’s true, the American Express® Business Gold Card offers a similar rebate on first- and business-class tickets on any airline as well as economy tickets on the one airline of your choice, but it’s only 25% and is capped at 250,000 points back per calendar year.
For its part, the Centurion Business Card from American Express (more commonly known as the business version of the Black Card) offers a 50% rebate on all Pay With Points flight redemptions, but very few people carry this card. The information for the Centurion Business Card from Amex has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
By comparison, the unique combination of a substantial rebate and a high points cap that just got even higher make this Pay With Points perk a major selling point of the Amex Business Platinum Card. There are plenty of reasons you might want to redeem points this way rather than transferring your points to one of the program’s airline partners, too.
First, you get a solid base value of 1 cent per point, and even more with the rebate. Second, you don’t have to hassle with finding award availability through a frequent-flyer program. Finally, using Pay With Points is basically just paying cash for a ticket, only using points at a fixed rate. As such, you’ll still earn award miles and elite-qualifying metrics on your travels, unlike if you redeemed frequent-flyer miles for a ticket.
For businesses that accumulate a lot of Amex points and have significant travel needs, the rebate on Pay With Points redemptions that the Amex Business Platinum confers can mean substantial savings throughout the year.
New year, new benefits
The increased Pay With Points rebate cap is just one of the new or improved benefits the Amex Business Platinum Card has introduced recently. Among the other notable ones are better earning rates that include racking up 1.5 points per dollar on up to $2 million in eligible purchases in the U.S. per calendar year with:
- Electronic goods retailers.
- Cloud service providers.
- Construction materials and hardware supplies.
- Shipping providers.
- Purchases of $5,000 or more.
That’s in addition to accruing:
The card also now offers over $1,400 in annual statement credits:
|Credit||Annual amount||New or existing||How it works|
|Dell||Up to $400||Existing, but up from $200 as of October 2021||Annual statement credit on all U.S. Dell purchases, up to $200 semiannually. This is a $200 increase from the existing Dell benefit.|
|Indeed||Up to $360||New as of October 2021||Annual statement credit on all Indeed hiring and recruiting products and services to post open positions and find talent, up to $90 per quarter.|
|Adobe||Up to $150||New as of October 2021||Annual statement credit on select purchases, including Adobe Creative Cloud and Acrobat Pro DC.|
|Wireless telephone services||Up to $120||New as of October 2021||Annual statement credits for purchases made directly from any U.S. wireless telephone provider, up to $10 per month.|
|Clear||Up to $179||New as of July 2021||Statement credits toward an annual Clear membership for expedited airport security.|
|Airline fee||Up to $200||Existing||Annual airline fee credit of up to $200 on charges by the airline you select per calendar year.|
|Global Entry or TSA PreCheck||Up to $100||Existing||Statement credits for Global Entry ($100) or TSA PreCheck ($85) every four years (4.5 years for PreCheck).|
Enrollment is required for select benefits.
Just keep in mind that the card’s annual fee has now increased to $695 per year (see rates and fees).
All in all, the doubling of the Amex Business Platinum’s Pay With Points 35% Pay With Points rebate from 500,000 points per calendar year to 1 million is an excellent development for cardholders who enjoy this option. If you’re a cardholder and your redemption qualifies for the 35% rebate, you’re effectively getting a 1.54 cent-per-point value, and now you can do so on over 2.85 million points per year as opposed to the old cap of around 1.42 million.
For small businesses that can use points to cover the cost of employee travel, this new rebate ceiling can amount to considerable savings. This is also why it’s important to check the updated documentation your card issuers send you every year since, if you didn’t read about this perk revision there (or here), you might miss out on such savings.
If you don’t yet have The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, new applicants can currently earn 120,000 points after spending $15,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months of card membership.
Additional reporting by Chris Dong.
For rates and fees of the Amex Business Platinum Card, please click here.
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