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 $695 annual fee (see rates and fees). However, this fee can be offset by the plethora of travel perks and a generous welcome bonus for new applicants.
Right now, TPG has an exclusive offer to earn 150,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with The Business Platinum Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
An overview of the card
Here are just a few of the valuable features that accompany the Amex Business Platinum: up to $400 in statement credits each calendar year for U.S. Dell technology purchases, reimbursement for Clear’s $189 annual membership fee and up to $200 in annual airline fee statement credits on one selected airline. Combined, these three benefits alone can more than offset the card’s annual fee. Enrollment is required in advance for select benefits. But the perks don’t stop there.
In total, the Business Platinum has well near $1,500 in available statement credits each year, which vastly outweigh the annual fee if maximized. There are additional travel benefits such as access to Amex Centurion Lounges and Delta Sky Clubs (when flying 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 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 my favorite benefit to see why it’s so incredibly valuable to cardholders.
What is the Pay With Points rebate?
Most travel-focused premium cards offer flight-related benefits or credits, such as reimbursing you for fees incurred when traveling throughout the year. 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. On the face of it, that isn’t too exciting; TPG values Membership Rewards points at 2 cents apiece. However, the Amex Business Platinum card offers a unique perk: 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. When using this benefit, you can get up to 1 million points back each calendar year, meaning you would need to use 2,857,143 points to pay for flights with Amex Travel before exhausting this benefit in a year. With points worth 1 cent each on these redemptions, you would need to buy $2.8 million in airplane tickets during a year to reach this cap, which means most people won’t need to worry about the annual limit on this benefit.
You can also use the Pay With Points feature toward purchases on your card, gift card purchases and car rental and hotel bookings 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, offering from 25% to 50% of your Membership Rewards points back when you pay with points (terms apply):
- The Business Platinum Card® from American Express: New applicants can earn 150,000 bonus points after spending $15,000 on eligible purchases with your card within the first three months of cardmembership through our TPG exclusive offer. This card offers a 35% Pay With Points rebate on eligible flights (up to 1 million points back per calendar year).
- American Express® Business Gold Card: New applicants can earn 70,000 bonus points after spending $10,000 on eligible purchases in the first three months of cardmembership. This card offers a 25% Pay With Points rebate on eligible flights (up to 250,000 million points back per calendar year).
- Business Centurion® Card from American Express: Applications are 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.
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 up to $200 airline incidental fee credits available each year. 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 — regardless of airline — up to 1 million points back per calendar year.
Factoring in that 35% rebate means you can use your Amex Membership Rewards points at a value of 1.54 cents apiece, rather than the usual 1 cent apiece when redeeming through Pay With Points for flights using other Amex cards that don’t offer a rebate. That’s a 54% bonus.
As you can see from my screenshots, it took about a month to receive my 35% points rebate from a business-class flight I booked with Delta Air Lines using the Pay With Points option, flying from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) to McCarran International Airport (LAS) in Las Vegas.
With my original redemption, I spent 59,391 points for a $594 airfare, but that got slashed down to a 38,604 points thanks to the 35% Pay With Points rebate on my Business Platinum Card.
How to maximize the Pay With Points rebate
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 further when booking through the American Express International Airline Program (IAP).
When comparing your options for booking directly with the airline or booking through Amex Travel, you’ll notice fares are sometimes equal. However, thanks to American Express Insider Fares and the International Airline Program, 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.
Stacking discounts and rebates
This round-trip Iberia flight in business class costs $3,791 round-trip via Google Flights, which is the price you’d pay if you booked directly with Iberia.
The International Airline Program through Amex Travel shows the same base fare, but it’s discounted by $200. And instead of 379,068 Membership Rewards points, you’d need 359,068 of them at the standard 1-cent-per-point rate when making your payment.
However, when you stack the Amex Business Platinum’s 35% points rebate on top of that, you’ll get 125,673 points back. Your out-of-pocket cost is 233,395 points, which you redeemed at a value of 1.54 cents per point.
Earning miles and elite status
Aside from the tremendous points savings that are possible by stacking the benefits mentioned above, the other significant benefit to booking flights this way is that airlines treat these tickets like cash bookings. Instead of needing 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 paid tickets, you should earn award miles and elite-qualifying metrics just like you would if you’d paid cash directly to the airline.
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. It’s my favorite card perk and is one of the many reasons why I continue to keep my Business Platinum Card year after year.
TPG exclusive application link: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with The Business Platinum Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
Additional reporting by Juan Ruiz and Ryan Smith.
For rates and fees of the Amex Business Platinum card, click here.