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Pay-with-Points flights. BUSINESS Centurion 50% refund, Platinum 35%, Gold 25%.

Pay-with-Points flights. BUSINESS Centurion 50% refund, Platinum 35%, Gold 25%.

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Old Mar 2, 18, 9:41 am   -   Wikipost
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
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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 Oct 30, 18, 7:58 pm
  #931  
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Posts: 4,175
cancelling a refundable ticket within 30 days of ticketing does not vitiate the 35% points rebate 31 days after ticketing.
some airlines, AS for instance, are quite willing to process such refunds themselves without involving AMEX Travel.

AMEX agents have the ability to intervene, upon customer request, to refund the original miles redeemed when cancelling the a refundable ticket with 30 days of ticketing.
this points refunds would vitiate the 35% rebate.
Colin is offline  
Old Oct 31, 18, 7:24 am
  #932  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 4
Thanks MaxVO and Colin. I have 2 different answers, so I will report back in a month to let you know what happened. It was a fully refundable FC ticket with AS. My hunch is that I will get the 35% rebate, but that's uncertain..... With respect to the rebate taking 31+ days, AMEX did that while the 50% MR rebate was in effect. It seemed to me that the rationale was to prevent cycling through points rapidly. Before it was slowed down, one could book a 100,000 point reward, get 50,000 back 2 days later, then apply those 50,000 points for a new reward. A smart strategy by AMEX, if the intent was to slow down overall redemption at the $0.02 per MR point level.
pedunc is offline  
Old Nov 4, 18, 9:54 am
  #933  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Programs: United GS, Marriott Ambassador Elite
Posts: 232
Originally Posted by holyPockets View Post
Yes, if you hold the Biz Plat you will get the 35% rebate even if you use another card. Note, that you must book economy tickets with your selected airline in order to qualify for the 35% rebate. This is easy to forget.

My personal experience has been that using the Biz Plat earned zero net MR points whereas using the regular Plat netted 4 points per dollar spent on said airfare.
How recent is this experience? I'm curious if placing the AmexTravel charge on a personal Platinum will still work to both trigger the 35/50% MR rebate as well as let you keep the 4x MR earned on the eligible airfare charge.
supergabe is offline  
Old Nov 4, 18, 9:58 am
  #934  
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Seattle WA USA
Programs: Hyatt Globalist, IHG Spire, Wyndham Diamond, Hilton Diamond
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Originally Posted by supergabe View Post
How recent is this experience? I'm curious if placing the AmexTravel charge on a personal Platinum will still work to both trigger the 35/50% MR rebate as well as let you keep the 4x MR earned on the eligible airfare charge.
This has been confirmed repeatedly, over many data points, including several of my own as recently as last month, FWIW.
DaveH is offline  
Old Nov 6, 18, 1:03 am
  #935  
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: LA/NYC
Programs: Hyatt Glob, AA Exp, HLT Dia, SPG Amb 100, AS MVP 75k
Posts: 304
I'm considering booking a J ticket to europe for Christmas. It looks like lately, my rebate has taken 1 month to arrive. If I book this ticket on Dec 1 or later, the rebate won't post until early 2019. Will this count against this years or next year's 500k quota?
TalkingPoint is offline  
Old Dec 19, 18, 12:50 pm
  #936  
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 45
Uh, oh. I used my personal Plat as the card to facilitate the pay-with-points transaction and I didn't earn a net of 4x MR points. Looks like Amex may have finally closed that loophole. $1,800 Amex Travel airfare purchased 12/5; $1,800 refunded by redemption of 180,000 MR points on 12/5; statement closed on 12/13. I earned 87 (pending) points for other purchases and 0 (pending) for the airfare purchase made through Amex Travel

That's too bad too because I thought the newly renovated PRG (now Gold) would net 2x when used in this matter.
holyPockets is offline  
Old Dec 19, 18, 3:47 pm
  #937  
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: PHL
Programs: AA Exec Plat, WoH Glob, HHonors (faux) Diamond
Posts: 2,981
Originally Posted by holyPockets View Post
Uh, oh. I used my personal Plat as the card to facilitate the pay-with-points transaction and I didn't earn a net of 4x MR points. Looks like Amex may have finally closed that loophole. $1,800 Amex Travel airfare purchased 12/5; $1,800 refunded by redemption of 180,000 MR points on 12/5; statement closed on 12/13. I earned 87 (pending) points for other purchases and 0 (pending) for the airfare purchase made through Amex Travel

That's too bad too because I thought the newly renovated PRG (now Gold) would net 2x when used in this matter.
Doesn't it usually take another cycle for the points to post? Because what you are referring to as a loophone is Amex's willingness to give a 35% points rebate by dint of having an Amex Business Plat card, even when the purchase is made on an Amex Personal Plat card. The really wrong thing that would be happening is failure to receive the 35% back. But that hasn't happened (because it takes 31 days for that rebate), and the other thing isn't a loophole -- it's what is explicitly promised when you buy airfares with an Amex Personal Plat card.

The bad news is that the lag in getting MR points is really annoying and potentially confusing.

The good news is that there is no evidence here of any problem whatsoever.
Biggie Fries is offline  
Old Dec 19, 18, 3:51 pm
  #938  
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 1,864
Originally Posted by holyPockets View Post
Uh, oh. I used my personal Plat as the card to facilitate the pay-with-points transaction and I didn't earn a net of 4x MR points. Looks like Amex may have finally closed that loophole...
When did that "loophole" exist, i.e. the last time you both paid with points and collected 5X?
MaxVO is offline  
Old Dec 19, 18, 7:41 pm
  #939  
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 45
My last pay-with-points transaction was on 8/25 with reimbursement from redeemed MR points posting the same day. Upon statement closing on 9/12 the pending points reflected the 4x net multiplier of 5x/$ spend minus 1x/$ credited. This time around the pending points reflect a net 0x earned from purchasing and then subsequently crediting for the airfare purchase. In my experience, pending points have never posted differently than they appeared when pending and MR points have never magically appeared without first being visible in the Pending Points window. Perhaps others have had different experiences in this regard.
holyPockets is offline  
Old Dec 24, 18, 3:03 pm
  #940  
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 159
Originally Posted by Biggie Fries View Post
Doesn't it usually take another cycle for the points to post? Because what you are referring to as a loophone is Amex's willingness to give a 35% points rebate by dint of having an Amex Business Plat card, even when the purchase is made on an Amex Personal Plat card. The really wrong thing that would be happening is failure to receive the 35% back. But that hasn't happened (because it takes 31 days for that rebate), and the other thing isn't a loophole -- it's what is explicitly promised when you buy airfares with an Amex Personal Plat card.

The bad news is that the lag in getting MR points is really annoying and potentially confusing.

The good news is that there is no evidence here of any problem whatsoever.
I think we need more data points, no?
robchow is offline  
Old Dec 24, 18, 6:09 pm
  #941  
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 45
Since this thread got a bump, I guess I'll update some information. My personal Plat purchase of United Airlines tickets through Amex Travel posted with "PwP…" in front of the purchase and indicated no points earned at all….


In the past, it expressly indicated the purchase earned 5x points and it didn't start with the "PwP…" description….

I don't know if this will be the new normal going forward. We shall see.
DaveH, mia, MaxVO and 2 others like this.
holyPockets is offline  
Old Dec 30, 18, 12:42 pm
  #942  
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Programs: Whatever's Cheapest, Accruing Miles, Redeeming for Premium Cabins, Not Chasing Status Unnecessarily
Posts: 2,217
minors

Wanted to buy 1 international F ticket for 17 year old on DL with points / 35% rebate

Unable online because a minor

Unable via call in "DL doesn't allow it"

Booked it in 1 minute online at DL.com... DL DOES allow it

Trip flown

Online chat no help (requested points be used to cover, and 35% rebate etc)

Called in, they pulled points to cover the ticket at 1 cpp. Said they would review it for the 35% points because of "website problems".

I'm not too optimistic. I'm not too thrilled at redeeming at 1 cpp in general. Would have rather they pull only if they promise to give the 35%

Can't believe so much headache just to use points at ~1.55 cpp or whatever it is

RANT OVER
aubreyfromwheaton is offline  
Old Dec 30, 18, 12:49 pm
  #943  
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Posts: 4,175
just use a wrong bday, correct after ticketing directly w DL
Colin is offline  
Old Dec 30, 18, 3:02 pm
  #944  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
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In almost all cases buying an adult ticket costs exactly the same a buying a ticket for a minor - and specifying a minor when buying will cause all sorts of prblems as you've seen. To avoid problems, as in this case, just buy an adult ticket. The systems I've used have never compared the birth date provided with the type of fare/ticket. They will be happy to take your money.
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Old Dec 30, 18, 4:53 pm
  #945  
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: PWM
Programs: UA Silver
Posts: 842
Originally Posted by nomiiiii View Post
"Your booking has been charged to your credit card, however, we were unable to process your Pay With Points request due to a system issue. Please call American Express Travel at 1-800-297-3276 and choose the option for Travel if you'd like to use your Membership Rewards points® for this purchase."
I also got this error recently. Called in an it took them about 30 minutes to figure out that the system would only allow the points to come from one of my two MR cards. It preferred the BB+ to my MS Plat. Agent was able to successfully ticket using that card. Presumably this would've worked online but I didn't try. Such a pain to have to cancel on the phone.
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