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

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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 $695 annual fee (see rates and fees). However, the plethora of travel perks and a generous welcome bonus for new applicants can offset this fee.

Let’s dig into one of my favorite benefits of the card — the Pay with Points perk — which gives me a discount on business- and first-class flights.

Related: Is the Amex Business Platinum worth the annual fee?

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 (ends Dec. 31), up to $189 statement credit for Clear Plus 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.

THE POINTS GUY

In total, the Business Platinum has well over $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.

Right now, the card is offering 150,000 bonus points after spending $20,000 on eligible purchases with the card within the first three months of card membership.

But the one Amex Business Platinum perk 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 cardmembers.

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*Effective February 1, 2025: Eligible Platinum Card Members will receive 10 Visits per Eligible Platinum Card per year to the Delta Sky Club or to Grab and Go when traveling on a same-day Delta-operated flight.

**Eligibility and benefit levels vary by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for details. Policies are underwritten by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company.

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

What is the Amex 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 1 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.

ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY

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.

These Amex cards for small businesses that offer a Pay with Points rebate, offering from 35% to 50% of your Membership Rewards points back when you pay with points (terms apply):

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.

Related: Points of View: Can I cash out my points, and is it worth it?

How does the Pay with Points rebate work?

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 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.

AMERICANEXPRESS.COM

Assuming you have the Amex Business Platinum and redeem your points for eligible flights, you should receive the points rebate automatically. However, it can take up to a month.

AMEX

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 38,604 points thanks to the 35% Pay with Points rebate on my Business Platinum Card.

Related: 9 things to do when you get the Amex 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 more 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.

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

This round-trip Iberia flight in business class costs $3,791 via Google Flights, which is the price you’d pay if you booked directly with Iberia.

GOOGLE FLIGHTS

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 at the standard 1-cent-per-point rate when making your payment.

AMEX

However, when you stack the Amex Business Platinum’s 35% points rebate on top of that, you’ll get 125,674 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 available ticket.

Moreover, 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.

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. It’s my favorite card perk and is one of the many reasons I keep my Business Platinum Card year after year.


Apply here: The Business Platinum Card


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



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