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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
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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 Jan 26, 19, 5:24 am
  #961  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 27
Originally Posted by Colin View Post
my Dec 16th and 18th pay with points bookings (using my Biz Plat) have not posted the 35% rebate yet.
come to think of it, i never got the usual rebate confirmation email a few days after ticketing either.
I was recently told by Amex CS it now takes 6-10 weeks per their new Ts&Cs. I bought my ticket on Nov 20th and the 35% rebate is yet to post.
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Old Jan 26, 19, 8:30 am
  #962  
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 45
Originally Posted by nate79 View Post
I was recently told by Amex CS it now takes 6-10 weeks per their new Ts&Cs. I bought my ticket on Nov 20th and the 35% rebate is yet to post.
I bought a ticket on 12/5/18 using PWP and the 35% rebate posted 32 days later (1/6/19). Hopefully, your CS (as usual) was not correct.
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Old Jan 26, 19, 8:39 am
  #963  
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Posts: 4,175
i called on my rebates.
amex mr agent said they were not flagged for rebate.
she asked if they were for first/business, accepted my "yes", and immediately posted the rebates on the phone.
10 minute call.
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Old Jan 26, 19, 10:20 am
  #964  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 27
Originally Posted by holyPockets View Post
I bought a ticket on 12/5/18 using PWP and the 35% rebate posted 32 days later (1/6/19). Hopefully, your CS (as usual) was not correct.
Thanks! Just called and got my points back. What the hell.....
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Old Jan 26, 19, 10:28 am
  #965  
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Posts: 4,175
it might be all good. last time i got the rebate via manual request a few weeks later the automated rebate posted too.
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Old Jan 26, 19, 11:15 am
  #966  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 27
Originally Posted by Colin View Post
it might be all good. last time i got the rebate via manual request a few weeks later the automated rebate posted too.
Glad I got the points back. Not sure why the inconsistency. By the way, the chat reps are useless when it comes to MR.
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Old Jan 26, 19, 1:16 pm
  #967  
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 45
Originally Posted by nate79 View Post
Glad I got the points back. Not sure why the inconsistency. By the way, the chat reps are useless when it comes to MR.
I'm glad it worked out for you. Your datapoint scared me, to be honest. To your Amex rep's defense, the T&Cs do state that the rebate will take between 6 to 10 weeks. If that ever becomes the new normal, I'll be cancelling my Biz Plat. 32 days is plenty of delay.
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Old Jan 26, 19, 7:13 pm
  #968  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 27
Originally Posted by holyPockets View Post
I'm glad it worked out for you. Your datapoint scared me, to be honest. To your Amex rep's defense, the T&Cs do state that the rebate will take between 6 to 10 weeks. If that ever becomes the new normal, I'll be cancelling my Biz Plat. 32 days is plenty of delay.
Initially, I inquired on day 35th about my rebate and got pointed to the same T&Cs by a supervisor stating it was now being enforced. I really didn't push back after that. I agree, 6-10 weeks would be too much.
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Old Jan 27, 19, 8:50 am
  #969  
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: LAX-SNA
Programs: BA Gold, AF Silver, UA 1K, AA 2mm LT PLT
Posts: 19,200
I've noticed a slowdown in the last month... 54 days now and I'm still waiting for the rebate from two 12/4 charges.

Recent activity.
• 9.28 charge with rebate received 34 days later on 11.1
• 11.5 charge with rebate received 32 days later on 12.7
• 12.4 charge... still waiting for rebate 54 days and counting

I've been using more Chase UR of late as the 33.3% discount is immediate, although their agents are generally useless if you try to find anything not available online.
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Old Jan 27, 19, 10:35 am
  #970  
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Posts: 4,175
Chase UR is good when buying coach (on any airline) or buying business on an airline like UA that doesn't offer InsiderFare savings.
I always like to keep a large AMEX MR balance for easy (online, self-service) and fee-free access to discounted business InsiderFares on AS, AA, DL.
If you don't have the AMEX Biz Plat or you don't have sufficient points, then you have to call Plat Travel to book with an agent and pay the $39 ticketing fee.
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Old Feb 11, 19, 10:29 pm
  #971  
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Seattle WA USA
Programs: Hyatt Globalist, IHG Spire, Wyndham Diamond, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 533
Originally Posted by holyPockets View Post
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.

Thanks for your update holyPockets. Looks like my most recent pay with points purchases on Alaska are posting the same way, now with a 0x points bonus. Would have been nice if they would have given notice of this change. I suppose they figured they never meant to give that bonus in the first place...

I guess now there's no reason not to use for airfare on the the selected airline any MR earning card linked to the appropriate Business platinum...
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Old Feb 12, 19, 1:45 pm
  #972  
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 45
The newest concern for me is with the 35% rebate turnaround time. Initially, it was very quick. Then it increased to 31-32 days. Now data points are starting to show up thread of 6 to 10 weeks delays. I haven't yet decided if this would represent a deal breaker for this card for me. Even though, technically, each point would still be worth $1/65, it would introduce airline ticket volatility as a potential neutralizer to this benefit—especially for people who need to book multiple fares on the same flight. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that 32 days delay is still valid.
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Old Feb 12, 19, 2:12 pm
  #973  
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Seattle WA USA
Programs: Hyatt Globalist, IHG Spire, Wyndham Diamond, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 533
I'm less concerned about the delayed posting personally (though it is an annoyance), largely because I have enough MR points to not have it effect most bookings. But without the extra 4x kicker, I'm less persuaded of the value proposition of PWP vs other uses of MR points.

Note that if you have an Amex platinum card, you get 5x points to charge (any) ticket. Keep in mind that if points are worth 1.5c , then effectively you're only paying 92.5% of face value...plus you don't have to settle for Amex's clunky shopping portal, allowing for portal / other travel agency bonuses.

On these assumptions, the effective opportunity cost of using PWP is not 1/.65 cpp , but .925 / .65 = 1.423 cpp -- before taking portal / OTA bonuses into account. At that level, I'm leaning towards saving points for other uses, like transfers to other programs.
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Old Feb 12, 19, 2:46 pm
  #974  
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Posts: 4,175
i save and then redeem AMEX points for pay-with-points only when buying a business class "insider fare" on AA/AS/DL.
you need sufficient AMEX points and an AMEX Biz Plat in order to have it make sense to book these fares easily (online, self-service) at AMEXTravel.com.
without sufficient AMEX points and an AMEX Biz Plat, you are stuck having to call Platinum Travel (and pay $39/ea fee) to pay with cash for these "insider fares".

absent an "insider fare", i'd redeem via Chase Sapphire Reserve portal.
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Old Feb 12, 19, 3:16 pm
  #975  
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Seattle WA USA
Programs: Hyatt Globalist, IHG Spire, Wyndham Diamond, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 533
Colin, how often do you find insider fares to places you want to go on AS? And how large are the discounts you are able to get?

I see AA not infrequently, occasionally DL, and never AS.

Agreed if you can get discounts this is a great way to go.
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