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Why I love the Amex Business Platinum's Pay With Points perk

Nov. 05, 2021
10 min read
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The Business Platinum Card® from American Express offers frequent travelers several ways to add elements of luxury to their travel plans. From flight discounts to hotel elite status and a comprehensive airport lounge access benefit, the Amex Business Platinum Card delivers unparalleled travel perks that you can only find with a premium travel rewards card.

The card does come with a $595 annual fee that will be bumped up $100, to $695 (see rates and fees) on Jan. 13, 2022. However, this fee can be offset by the plethora of travel perks and a new welcome offer of 120,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months of card membership.

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Just to name a few of the valuable features that accompany the Amex Business Platinum, cardmembers can enjoy credits – such as up to $400 in statement credits each calendar year for U.S. Dell technology purchases and an up to $200 annual airline fee statement credit on one selected airline– that combined would roughly equal the soon-to-be increased annual fee. Enrollment required for select benefits.

The perks don't stop there.

In total, the Business Platinum has well over $1,000 in statement credits that outweigh the annual fee if maximized. There are additional travel benefits such as access to Amex Centurion Lounges and Delta Sky Clubs (on same-day Delta flights), hotel elite status with Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy and cellphone protection. Enrollment is required for select benefits.

But the one beloved Amex Business Platinum perk that I hold near and dear to my heart is the Pay With Points rebate. Let's take a closer look at this favorite benefit of mine and see why it's so incredibly valuable to cardholders.

Related: Everything you need to know about Amex Pay With Points

What is the Pay With Points rebate?

Most travel-focused premium cards offer flight-related benefits or credits, but the Amex Business Platinum has a unique airfare rebate for anyone who redeems their Membership Rewards points to pay for qualifying flights through Amex Travel.

By utilizing the Pay With Points function to pay for airfare through Amex Travel, Membership Rewards points are worth one cent apiece. While that isn't too exciting, with the Amex Business Platinum card specifically, you can get 35% of your points back on first- or business-class tickets on any airline or an economy ticket on one airline of your choice (up to 1 million points per calendar year).

You can also use the Pay With Points feature towards card charges, gift card purchases, car rental, and hotel purchases through Amex Travel, but you will be redeeming points at less than 1 cent each, well below the 2 cents apiece that TPG values Membership Rewards points, so using it toward airfare is a better proposition.

There are three Amex cards for small businesses that offer a Pay With Points rebate, ranging from 25% to 50% Membership Rewards points back when you pay with points (terms apply):

  • The Business Platinum Card® from American Express: Earn 120,000 points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with your card within the first three months of card membership. This card offers a 35% Pay With Points rebate on eligible flights (up to 1 million points per calendar year).
  • American Express® Business Gold Card: Earn 70,000 bonus points after you spend $10,000 on eligible purchases in the first three months of card membership. This card's Pay With Points eligible flight rebate is 25% (up to 250,000 points per calendar year).
  • The Centurion Business Card from American Express: Applications by invitation only. This card offers a 50% Pay With Points rebate on eligible flights.

The information for the Centurion Business card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

(Photo by Ryan Patterson/The Points Guy)

How does the Pay With Points rebate work?

Amex Business Platinum cardmembers are required to designate an airline each year with which they plan to use their annual up to $200 airline incidental fee statement credit. For the Pay With Points rebate, cardmembers will receive a 35% rebate of the total points used when paying for any flight on that selected carrier or on any business- or first-class flights booked through the Amex Travel portal, up to 1 million points back per calendar year.

Factoring in that 35% rebate means the value you can get from your Membership Rewards points is 1.54 cents apiece rather than the usual 1 cent apiece when redeeming through Pay With Points for flights using other non-bonused Amex cards – a 54% bonus.

Assuming you have the Amex Business Platinum and redeem for eligible flights, you should receive the points rebate automatically.

(Screenshot courtesy of American Express)
(Screenshot from American Express)

As you can see from my screenshots, it took about four weeks to receive my 35% points rebate from a business-class flight I booked on Delta from New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) to McCarran International Airport (LAS) in Las Vegas using the Pay With Points function.

With my original redemption, I spent 59,391 points for a $594 airfare, but that got slashed down to a mere 38,604 thanks to the 35% Pay With Points rebate on my Business Platinum.

How to maximize the Pay With Points rebate

(Photo by Markus Mainka/Shutterstock)

Amex Travel offers several ways to save on bookings, including "Insider Fares" and discounted "Recommended Fares." For international travel on certain airlines, you may be able to knock the price down even more when booking through the American Express International Airline Program (IAP).

When analyzing booking direct with the airline versus through Amex Travel, you'll notice sometimes fares are equal. However, thanks to American Express Insider Fares, travelers can get even greater discounts when booking their flights with Membership Rewards Points.

Here's how to stack those discounts along with the Pay With Points rebate to get even more value from carrying the Amex Business Platinum.

Related: How to maximize the Amex Business Platinum’s 35% Pay With Points rebate on flights and when you might want to do so

Stacking discounts and rebates

The Iberia flight in business class shown here is $2,228 round-trip via Google Flights, which is the price you'd pay if you booked directly with Iberia.

(Screenshot from Google Flights)

The Insider Fares through Amex Travel reflects the same base fare of just over $2,227, but it's discounted to $2,080 or so, and instead of 222,717 Membership Rewards points, you'd only need 208,017 of them at the standard 1-cent-per-point rate.

(Screenshot from Amex Travel)

However, when you stack the Amex Business Platinum's 35% points rebate on top of that, you'll only be out of pocket 135,211 points, which is closer to a 39% discount overall.

Earning miles and elite status

Aside from the tremendous possible points savings you can enjoy by layering these two benefits, the other significant benefit to booking flights this way is that airlines basically treat them like cash bookings. So instead of having to search for award availability and avoid blackout or peak dates, you can simply book any ticket that's available. What's more, since the flights are considered as paid ones, you should earn award miles and elite-qualifying metrics just as you would if simply paying for your flights.

Related: Why the Amex International Airline Program discount is worth it

Bottom Line

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express offers several great benefits, but the Pay With Points 35% rebate can be one of the most significant if you frequently fly in premium cabins. Not only can it save you hundreds of thousands of points per year, depending on how you book, but you can stack it with other discounts offered through Amex Travel.

This is a win-win in my book, my favorite card perk, and one of the many reasons why I continue to keep my Business Platinum Card year after year.

Here’s the official link to apply for the refreshed Business Platinum Card from American Express with a 120,000-point welcome bonus.

Additional reporting by Juan Ruiz.

For rates and fees of the Amex Business Platinum card, click here.

Featured image by (Photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

1 - 3X points
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Intro offer

Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points60,000 points
For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

Annual Fee

$95

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent, Good
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases
Best starter travel card
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

    Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points
    60,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $95
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent, Good

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases