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Pay-with-Points flights. Business Centurion 50% refund. Business Platinum 35% refund.

Pay-with-Points flights. Business Centurion 50% refund. Business Platinum 35% refund.

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Old Mar 2, 18, 9:41 am   -   Wikipost
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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 Rewards points back when you use the Pay with Points feature for all or part of a flight on any airline. The maximum rebate per calendar year for Centurion members is (_______?)

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% 35% Airline Bonus). The maximum rebate per calendar year for Business Platinum Card Members is 500,000.

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]
  • _15,000 Membership Rewards points returned [after 10~14 additional days, IF still eligible for 50% refund]
  • Net: $1,000 ticket for 65,000 points = $0.015+/point [or 50,000 points = $0.02/point IF still eligible for 50% refund.]

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 Apr 19, 17, 6:56 am
  #391  
mia
FlyerTalk Evangelist, Moderator: American Express, Citi, Diners Club, Signatures
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Miami & London
Programs: AA & Marriott Perpetual Platinum; HH Gold
Posts: 35,180
Originally Posted by oneworld82 View Post
...she should receive 50% of those points back - am I correct?
First, she should receive an email with a subject line like:

Congratulations! Your flight redemption qualifies for the 50% Airline Bonus

The time for the actual points rebate to post seems to vary from one day to several weeks. The terms state: Extra points will be credited to your Membership Rewards account approximately 6-10 weeks after charges appear on your billing statement.
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Old Apr 19, 17, 9:28 am
  #392  
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Seattle WA USA
Programs: Hyatt Globalist, IHG Spire, Wyndham Diamond, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 485
Originally Posted by mia View Post
First, she should receive an email with a subject line like:

Congratulations! Your flight redemption qualifies for the 50% Airline Bonus

The time for the actual points rebate to post seems to vary from one day to several weeks. The terms state: Extra points will be credited to your Membership Rewards account approximately 6-10 weeks after charges appear on your billing statement.
I am seeing odd MR behavior in the last week.

Bought two tickets on April 15 on AS (my designated airline for the Business and the Personal platinum card) using personal platinum and paying with points. As of today, April 19, the point rebate has yet to post back. I took this up with chat, and they responded with:

"Effective April 11, we have updated the Airline Bonus Benefit to ensure that only elligible transactions are bonused. All bonus points will now be awarded and posted within 10 weeks after the filght redemption in order for the elligibility to be verified and the bonus points to be deposited."

Are others seeing this new lag? I'm guessing it was caused by people paying with points, then cancelling the flights so as to treat the credit as cash...


Another odd bonus issue: bonus points from > $5K charges to Business Platinum, and to all charges on Blue for Business, are nowhere to be found. Charges that posted on a Blue for Business statement April 16 on a statement closing April 17 still show up neither as pending, nor as posted as of April 19.


It makes me wonder if there is some hold or glitch on my MR account, but Amex says that's not it..weird.

Anyone else seeing similar behavior?
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Old Apr 19, 17, 9:44 am
  #393  
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: DFW
Programs: AAdvantage Platinum, Hilton HHonors Gold
Posts: 2,797
Originally Posted by mia View Post
First, she should receive an email with a subject line like:

Congratulations! Your flight redemption qualifies for the 50% Airline Bonus

The time for the actual points rebate to post seems to vary from one day to several weeks. The terms state: Extra points will be credited to your Membership Rewards account approximately 6-10 weeks after charges appear on your billing statement.
Mm she did not receive any email but when bookin the flight there was an icon indicating the flight was eligible for the rebate.
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Old Apr 19, 17, 9:54 am
  #394  
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 4,148
Originally Posted by DaveH View Post
Bought two tickets on April 15 on AS (my designated airline for the Business and the Personal platinum card) using personal platinum and paying with points. As of today, April 19, the point rebate has yet to post back. I took this up with chat, and they responded with:
The 50% rebate only applies to the Biz Plat card, not the personal card unless there's some wonky glitch at Amex that allows this.
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Old Apr 19, 17, 10:05 am
  #395  
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Posts: 3,659
I bought an AMEX Pay With Points ticket for DL first on 04/13/2017.
I have AMEX Biz Plat and AMEX Personal Plat.
I used AMEX Personal Plat for the charge.
Received "Congratulations! Your flight redemption qualifies for the 50% Airline Bonus" email on 04/14/2017.
Have not received 50% rebate yet.

My partner bought an AMEX Pay With Points ticket for DL first on 04/13/2017.
He has AMEX Biz Plat and used AMEX Biz Plat for the charge.
He received "Congratulations! Your flight redemption qualifies for the 50% Airline Bonus" email on 04/14/2017.
He has not received 50% rebate yet.

So, am not worried yet about not getting 50% rebate due to putting the charge on AMEX Personal Plat.
However, given this new 04/11/2017 guidance and the current delay, my advice to others would be to forgo the 4x bonus from using AMEX Personal Plat.
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Old Apr 19, 17, 10:32 am
  #396  
mia
FlyerTalk Evangelist, Moderator: American Express, Citi, Diners Club, Signatures
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Miami & London
Programs: AA & Marriott Perpetual Platinum; HH Gold
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Originally Posted by Colin View Post
... forgo the 4x bonus from using AMEX Personal Plat.
The strategy tested earlier in the thread of paying with a personal Platinum to earn the bonus points seems irrelevant because Business Platinum now offers the same bonus for tickets purchased through American Express Travel. If the refunded transactions still earn the four bonus points it should work with Business Platinum. There doesn't seem to be any reason at all to pay with the personal card.
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Old Apr 19, 17, 11:00 am
  #397  
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Posts: 3,659
seems so, but have not seen confirmation that the 4x points works on pay with points tickets when using AMEX Biz Plat.

i will have confirmation myself, as I also have such a ticket, when my statement closes next week.

point being, caution about using AMEX Personal Plat instead of AMEX Biz Plat
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Old Apr 19, 17, 11:51 am
  #398  
foo
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Programs: MR, TY, UR
Posts: 9
Angry

Originally Posted by DaveH View Post
I am seeing odd MR behavior in the last week.

Bought two tickets on April 15 on AS (my designated airline for the Business and the Personal platinum card) using personal platinum and paying with points. As of today, April 19, the point rebate has yet to post back. I took this up with chat, and they responded with:

"Effective April 11, we have updated the Airline Bonus Benefit to ensure that only elligible transactions are bonused. All bonus points will now be awarded and posted within 10 weeks after the filght redemption in order for the elligibility to be verified and the bonus points to be deposited."

Are others seeing this new lag? I'm guessing it was caused by people paying with points, then cancelling the flights so as to treat the credit as cash...

Anyone else seeing similar behavior?
Yes, experienced the same behavior this week. Purchased a ticket on 4/16. In the past, 50% rebate has posted within 24 hours. As in your case, rebate has still not posted. Called and received the same canned response about April 11 protocol change and the 10 weeks timeframe. I have both the Personal Platinum and the Biz Plat cards, but paid with the Biz Platinum Card.

Last edited by foo; Apr 19, 17 at 11:57 am Reason: Updated information
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Old Apr 19, 17, 2:44 pm
  #399  
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 46
50% refund pay with points

How likely is this to eventually make its way to the personal platinum, or a lesser amount to the PRG? I really want this perk!

Last edited by mjgoldstein9; Apr 19, 17 at 3:02 pm
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Old Apr 19, 17, 3:00 pm
  #400  
mia
FlyerTalk Evangelist, Moderator: American Express, Citi, Diners Club, Signatures
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
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Programs: AA & Marriott Perpetual Platinum; HH Gold
Posts: 35,180
Originally Posted by mjgoldstein9 View Post
... personal platinum, or a lesser amount to the PRG?
Once upon a time both personal and Business Platinum had this feature, but it was a 20% rebate and it ended in 2012:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/ameri...ay-points.html

...the personal version went away completely, while the Business version morphed into a 30% rebate for one airline only, and then into the current version which offers 50% rebate on one airline (economy) and 50% rebate on all business/first.

The older versions generated no perceptible interest. The current version is appealing BUT already American Express is tinkering, perhaps because the benefit has been gamed to cash out points at 2%, or perhaps because of something else that they didn't expect. The most recent change (rebating the points after ~10 weeks) slows the pace of redemptions without changing the arithmetic, but if this doesn't accomplish their objective 50% might become 40% etc.

If you like this approach I would follow this thread, even if you don't have the card now.
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Old Apr 19, 17, 3:33 pm
  #401  
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 46
Thanks Mia. I've only been with Amex for about two years. I'm wanting the Biz Platinum because you can find excellent value with a 50% refund, at times that are better than award charts which will only get devalued.
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Old Apr 19, 17, 9:03 pm
  #402  
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: AUS
Programs: UA Gold, DL Gold, Marriott Platinum, HH Diamond
Posts: 288
Experiencing similar delays here. All of my bookings since weekend have not posted bonus.
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Old Apr 20, 17, 12:14 am
  #403  
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 164
Experiencing delays as well, I have used this benefit a lot and the points are always there within 1-2 days, however this time booked a ticket on 4-15 and still no rebate, maybe Amex is trying to slow down the pace of redemptions.
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Old Apr 20, 17, 10:46 am
  #404  
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: DFW
Programs: AAdvantage Platinum, Hilton HHonors Gold
Posts: 2,797
I did not get any email... Called Amex Travel and keep gettign same canned response: "It might take 7-10 weeks..." How can we know if it was elegible/fine?

We booked a LHR-VIE-KBP ticket with my wife's biz plat card on my name, in business class.

thanks
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Old Apr 20, 17, 11:45 am
  #405  
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Seattle WA USA
Programs: Hyatt Globalist, IHG Spire, Wyndham Diamond, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 485
Originally Posted by foo View Post
Yes, experienced the same behavior this week. Purchased a ticket on 4/16. In the past, 50% rebate has posted within 24 hours. As in your case, rebate has still not posted. Called and received the same canned response about April 11 protocol change and the 10 weeks timeframe. I have both the Personal Platinum and the Biz Plat cards, but paid with the Biz Platinum Card.
Thanks for confirming, foo and others.

Several more tickets purchased, all with no rebate posted yet.
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