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Old Jul 23, 17, 8:33 am   -   Wikipost
FlyerTalk Forums Thread Wiki: Pay-with-Points flights. Bus Cent 50% refund. Bus Plat 50% reduced to 35% ~June 2017
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Effective as soon as June 1, 2017 the USA Business Platinum airfare Pay-with-Points refund will be reduced to 35%. The effective date of the change will reportedly depend on when the Business Platinum card account was opened. This brings the net value to $0.0153 per point, essentially the same as Chase Sapphire Reserve's Pay-with-Points redemption rate.

USA Business Centurion cardholders will continue to receive a 50% refund. The Centurion version is also broader than the Platinum benefit:

Centurion: beginning October 6, 2016 you will get 50% Membership RewardsŪ points back when you use the Pay with Points feature for all or part of a flight on any airline.

Platinum: Business Platinum Card Members will receive 5 extra points for every 10 points they redeem for either a First or Business class flight on any airline, or for flights with their selected qualifying airline using Membership Rewards Pay with Points with American Express Travel (50% Airline Bonus).

FAQ (Example has been updated to reflect 35% refund

Q1. How does the process work?

A1. Here is an example, buying a $1,000.00 ticket:
  • $1,000 charged to American Express card [Day 1]
  • 100,000 Membership Rewards points redeemed [Day 1]
  • $1,000 credited to American Express card [Day 2]
  • _35,000 Membership Rewards points returned [~a month later]
  • Net: $1,000 ticket for 65,000 points = $0.015+/point

Q2. Must the Business Centurion or Platinum card be used to purchase the ticket?

A2. When the benefit was refreshed in October 2016 you could pay with any card linked to the same Membership Rewards account, but it appears this changed in April 2017. (There is not good data because posting of refunds abruptly slowed from a couple of days to several weeks.)


Q3. Will I earn Membership Rewards points on the purchase price?

A3. You will not earn base points, but you may earn bonus points if you pay with a card that awards a bonus for airline ticket purchases, such as Business Platinum, Personal Platinum, Business Rewards Gold, Premier Rewards Gold.


Q4. What happens if I cancel the ticket?

A4. There are mixed reports, but in most examples the cost of the ticket is refunded (a second time) to the card account. In one example American Express refunded the remainder of the points instead.


Q5. Can this benefit be combined with the International Airline Program companion ticket?

A5. One poster was told no, but another was able to do so. IAP sells the first ticket at full price, and collects taxes and fees on the second. Begin reading HERE to understand the successful example. Read forward to at least post 282 to fully understand the arithmetic and tradeoffs versus buying discounted tickets or using mileage awards.
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Old Jun 5, 17, 10:44 am   #616
  
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: LIT
Programs: DL DM, WN CP, HH Gold, SPG/MAR Gold, Hertz PC, National Exec
Posts: 345
31 days for me as well- I have several hitting at various points this month.
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Old Jun 5, 17, 4:14 pm   #617
  
Join Date: Feb 2012
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Has anyone else made a redemption after June 1st (i.e. bought your flight ticket after Jun 1st) and if you have can you confirm:

- Did you see the little icon on amextravel.com showing the flight was eligible, as it used to show before Jun 1st?
- Did you get an automated email saying "Congrats you used the plat benefit", as it used to do before Jun 1st?

Amex reps are completely unhelpful because they don't want to do anything till 10 weeks have passed.

I'm concerned that the benefit isn't attaching correctly any more after Jun 1st (but we likely won't know till 10 weeks, so mid-August).
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Old Jun 5, 17, 5:53 pm   #618
  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nomii View Post
Has anyone else made a redemption after June 1st (i.e. bought your flight ticket after Jun 1st) and if you have can you confirm:

- Did you see the little icon on amextravel.com showing the flight was eligible, as it used to show before Jun 1st?
- Did you get an automated email saying "Congrats you used the plat benefit", as it used to do before Jun 1st?

Amex reps are completely unhelpful because they don't want to do anything till 10 weeks have passed.

I'm concerned that the benefit isn't attaching correctly any more after Jun 1st (but we likely won't know till 10 weeks, so mid-August).
My last redemption was on 5/31. I did get the "Congrats, your flight purchase is eligible for 50% rebate email" for that.

Searching today, I don't see the "Eligible for 35% rebate" or whatever it used to say anywhere in the results or when selecting one.
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Old Jun 5, 17, 6:17 pm   #619
  
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 1
Which card to use?

Quote:
Originally Posted by aubreyfromwheaton View Post
What is the latest thoughts on this (sorry if basic question):

assuming your MR pts are all in one account:

Are all your MR pts eligible for 50% pts back?

Does it matter which card you charge the airfare on as long?
I spoke with 2 different reps in the last 2 days. 1 told me that any card that I used, attached to my MR profile, would cause the rebate to kick in as long as I made an eligible choice (i.e., Biz or 1st Class, or my selected airline for Economy). 2nd Rep today told me that I MUST use the Biz Plat info while booking to receive the rebate.

So, who knows?
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Old Jun 6, 17, 10:00 am   #620
  
Join Date: Jun 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ps3451 View Post
I spoke with 2 different reps in the last 2 days. 1 told me that any card that I used, attached to my MR profile, would cause the rebate to kick in as long as I made an eligible choice (i.e., Biz or 1st Class, or my selected airline for Economy). 2nd Rep today told me that I MUST use the Biz Plat info while booking to receive the rebate.

So, who knows?
I do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thexfactor View Post
As long as the subject MR account has a Biz Plat attached to it, you can use any card also tied to that MR account and receive rebate.
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Old Jun 6, 17, 1:10 pm   #621
  
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Columbia, SC
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Posts: 2,279
Today I saw a credit in my MR account of "5x TLS" and the # of points seems to match quadruple balance of a travel purchase I made last month and offset with MR points. In other words, I made a travel purchase, paid partially with points and partially with cash. The 50% rebate posted 31 days after the transaction. This MR earnings approximates the cash portion that remained after the points offset x 4, which with the 1x earning on the statement would give the advertised 5x on airfare purchases through Amex Travel.

This answers my quandary of whether the entire purchase amount earns 5x, or just the cash balance.
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Old Jun 6, 17, 1:40 pm   #622
mia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ps3451 View Post
... 2nd Rep today told me that I MUST use the Biz Plat info while booking to receive the rebate.
What would be the benefit of using a different card? A risk when using another card is that if the points refund doesn't post automatically, customer service can use that as an explanation and decline to investigate further.
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Old Jun 6, 17, 2:13 pm   #623
  
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: DFW, TPA
Programs: AA, MR, HH
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akcae View Post
Today I saw a credit in my MR account of "5x TLS" and the # of points seems to match quadruple balance of a travel purchase I made last month and offset with MR points. In other words, I made a travel purchase, paid partially with points and partially with cash. The 50% rebate posted 31 days after the transaction. This MR earnings approximates the cash portion that remained after the points offset x 4, which with the 1x earning on the statement would give the advertised 5x on airfare purchases through Amex Travel.

This answers my quandary of whether the entire purchase amount earns 5x, or just the cash balance.
That's interesting. I was under the impression that if ANY part of a ticket was purchased with a redemption, then the entire purchase is deemed a redemption purchase and not eligible for the 4X bonus or the 1X point regular purchase.
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Old Jun 7, 17, 8:01 am   #624
  
Join Date: Jun 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mia View Post
What would be the benefit of using a different card?
...an additional 4x.
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Old Jun 7, 17, 8:07 am   #625
mia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thexfactor View Post
...an additional 4x.
Business Platinum offers 5X on airfare booked through American Express travel. How would using another card increase that?
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Old Jun 7, 17, 8:15 am   #626
  
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: New York City
Posts: 675
Quote:
Originally Posted by mia View Post
Business Platinum offers 5X on airfare booked through American Express travel. How would using another card increase that?
IIRC, using Biz Plat for booking does not result in extra 4x when using rebate perk.
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Old Jun 7, 17, 11:20 am   #627
  
Join Date: Sep 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thexfactor View Post
IIRC, using Biz Plat for booking does not result in extra 4x when using rebate perk.
Except it does, as I previously reported a few posts up.
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Old Jun 7, 17, 12:04 pm   #628
  
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: DFW, TPA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akcae View Post
Except it does, as I previously reported a few posts up.
Quote:
Originally Posted by akcae View Post
DP:

Qualifying redemption - 5/3
50% rebate posted - 6/3

Looks like 31 days is holding. I made another redemption last week, so I'll keep an eye on whether the time for the rebate to post reduces now that we're in the 35% land.
Is this the 50% redemption you spoke that also resulted earning 5X points on the ticket price? if so, what was the posting date of the "5x TLS" line item?
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Old Jun 7, 17, 1:08 pm   #629
  
Join Date: Aug 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akcae View Post
Except it does, as I previously reported a few posts up.
Quote:
Originally Posted by txpenny View Post
Is this the 50% redemption you spoke that also resulted earning 5X points on the ticket price? if so, what was the posting date of the "5x TLS" line item?
I also received the 5x points, a day before 50% (this was back when 50% posted 3 days after initial purchase)
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Old Jun 7, 17, 2:00 pm   #630
  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txpenny View Post
Is this the 50% redemption you spoke that also resulted earning 5X points on the ticket price? if so, what was the posting date of the "5x TLS" line item?
Yes. Here is the sequence:

5/3 - Purchased airfare that qualifies for 50% rebate. Total airfare was ~ $410. I used 30,000 MR for net cash outlay of ~110. Transactions on the card showed $410 airfare charge, and then $300 Amex travel credit. At the same time, MR account showed 30,000 MR debit for Amex Travel.

6/3 - 15,000 MR points credited as "Airline bonus: pay with points".

6/5 - "5 X TLS" MR earning posted with the number of points corresponding to 4x the net cash cost from the transaction on 5/3.
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