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Pay-with-Points flights. BUSINESS Centurion 50% refund, Platinum 35% (2024)

Old Jan 16, 2024, 9:17 pm
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Last edit by: mia
To read discussions from the origin of this feature in 2015 through 2023, click HERE.

Effective June 2017 the USA Business Platinum airfare Pay-with-Points refund was reduced to 35%. 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:

Originally Posted by Compare terms
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 (35% Airline Bonus). The maximum rebate per calendar year for Business Platinum Card Members is 1,000,000 points.
FAQ

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 [~30 days later]
  • Net: $1,000 ticket for 65,000 points = $0.0154/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.

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 or Personal Platinum, .


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. If you prefer the points refunded rather than a cash credit, phone into AMEX and they will restore the points and remove the credit.


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.







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Pay-with-Points flights. BUSINESS Centurion 50% refund, Platinum 35% (2024)

Old Dec 24, 2023, 7:47 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 282
Pay-with-Points flights. BUSINESS Centurion 50% refund, Platinum 35% (2024)

Booked a UA flight on 11/18 with points/cash using my personal Gold for the cash portion. Had a Business Gold at the time(have since upgraded that to a Business Plat). Still haven't received a points rebate. Not sure if I will. Not a big deal either way only ~10k points but this is the first time it hasn't happened like clockwork after 31 days.
CaptJOB is offline  
Old Dec 24, 2023, 8:02 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Programs: Marriott Bonvoy Platinum, Hilton Honors Diamond, Delta Gold
Posts: 4,340
Originally Posted by CaptJOB
Booked a UA flight on 11/18 with points/cash using my personal Gold for the cash portion. Had a Business Gold at the time(have since upgraded that to a Business Plat). Still haven't received a points rebate. Not sure if I will. Not a big deal either way only ~10k points but this is the first time it hasn't happened like clockwork after 31 days.
Was this a J or Y ticket and if Y is United your selected airline? Either way if this ticket qualifies for the rebate I would reach out to membership rewards to get it even if it's not a huge amount. 10k is still 10k - requires $10k in non- bonused spend or at the very least $2.5k in a 4x category on an MR earning card that has that option. I would at least try to get it.
friedablass is offline  
Old Dec 24, 2023, 8:09 pm
  #3  
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Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 282
Originally Posted by friedablass
Was this a J or Y ticket and if Y is United your selected airline? Either way if this ticket qualifies for the rebate I would reach out to membership rewards to get it even if it's not a huge amount. 10k is still 10k - requires $10k in non- bonused spend or at the very least $2.5k in a 4x category on an MR earning card that has that option. I would at least try to get it.
Y but UA is my airline and several tickets before this got the rebate without issue. Wondering if because I was just cashing out MRs the prior two tickets(cancelled both for refund) maybe they flagged the account. Or maybe the product change messed it up. Not sure. Will reach out in the next week or two to see what's up if they haven't posted by then.
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Old Dec 24, 2023, 9:18 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Programs: Marriott Bonvoy Platinum, Hilton Honors Diamond, Delta Gold
Posts: 4,340
Originally Posted by CaptJOB
Y but UA is my airline and several tickets before this got the rebate without issue. Wondering if because I was just cashing out MRs the prior two tickets(cancelled both for refund) maybe they flagged the account. Or maybe the product change messed it up. Not sure. Will reach out in the next week or two to see what's up if they haven't posted by then.
I would lean more towards the product change maybe messing it up because this past summer I booked 2 UA tickets over the phone using PWP and the agent somehow booked it incorrectly into basic economy (which normally doesn't even come up in online searches on their site so not sure how she managed to do that), so I couldn't use plus points to upgrade. I canceled them online right away for a refund and proceeded to book the correct tickets myself online. I got the rebates no problem.
friedablass is offline  
Old Jan 3, 2024, 12:34 pm
  #5  
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Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 282
Originally Posted by friedablass
I would lean more towards the product change maybe messing it up because this past summer I booked 2 UA tickets over the phone using PWP and the agent somehow booked it incorrectly into basic economy (which normally doesn't even come up in online searches on their site so not sure how she managed to do that), so I couldn't use plus points to upgrade. I canceled them online right away for a refund and proceeded to book the correct tickets myself online. I got the rebates no problem.
Reached out and the rep said the actual business account needed to be used for me to get the rebate. I'm not gonna do too much work for 11k points. Good to know for the future it's not guaranteed.
CaptJOB is offline  
Old Jan 3, 2024, 1:46 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Programs: Marriott Bonvoy Platinum, Hilton Honors Diamond, Delta Gold
Posts: 4,340
Originally Posted by CaptJOB
Reached out and the rep said the actual business account needed to be used for me to get the rebate. I'm not gonna do too much work for 11k points. Good to know for the future it's not guaranteed.
Did they cite the terms that says you have to do that? I never did points and cash, only full points but you still need to select one of your cards at checkout as the payment method and then they charge the tickets to that card and apply a credit for the same amount while deducting the applicable amount of points from you MR balance. So my personal plat is alway at the top of the list and I know my 4 digit code so many times I just used that card when booking flights. I've always received the 35% points regardless. I believe it only says you need to HAVE a Biz Plat and book a ticket in F/J or Y in your selected airline, it doesn't say you need to book using that card. But I'm going to double check the terms.

See below. It doesn't say anywhere that you have to charge it to your Business Platinum card. I'm not saying you have to fight this if you feel it's not worth your effort but I don't like when they lie to people.

​​​​​​ 35% Airline Bonus Disclosure

To use Pay with Points, you must charge your eligible airfare purchase through American Express Travel to a Membership Rewards® program-enrolled American Express® Card. Points will be debited from your Membership Rewards account, and credit for corresponding dollar amount will be issued to the American Express Card account used. If points redeemed do not cover entire amount, the balance of purchase price will remain on the American Express Card account. Points must be used at the time of booking. Pay with Points requires a minimum redemption of 5,000 points.

Business Platinum Card Members will receive 3.5 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 through American Express Travel (35% Airline Bonus), up to 1,000,000 bonus points per calendar year, per each Membership Rewards account. For First or Business class flights on a Card Member's selected qualifying airline, the Card Member will still receive only 3.5 extra points for every 10 points redeemed. Card Member must select a qualifying airline at https://global.americanexpress.com/c...iness-platinum. Qualifying airlines are subject to change. Only the Basic Card Member or Authorized Account Manager(s) on the Card Account can select the qualifying airline. The airline you select for the 35% Airline Bonus and the $200 Airline Fee Credit must be the same. Card Members who have not chosen a qualifying airline will be able to do so at any time. Card Members who have already selected a qualifying airline will be able to change their choice one time each year in January at https://global.americanexpress.com/c...iness-platinum or by calling the number on the back of your Card. Card Members who do not change their airline selection will remain with their current qualifying airline.

If you select Spirit Airlines or Southwest Airlines to receive your 35% Airline Bonus you must call Business Platinum Travel Service at 1-800-553-9497 to book. A flight booked as part of a travel package is not eligible for the 35% Airline Bonus. In addition, to be eligible to receive extra points, Card account(s) must not be cancelled or past due at the time of extra points fulfillment. If booking is canceled, the extra points will be deducted from your Membership Rewards account. Extra points will be credited to your Membership Rewards account approximately 6-10 weeks after eligible airfare purchases appear on your billing statement. See membershiprewards.com/terms for Membership Rewards program terms and conditions. This 35% Airline Bonus is the maximum Membership Rewards points you can get back for Pay with Points on flights booked through American Express Travel. Bonus ID: A6ZB.

Last edited by friedablass; Jan 3, 2024 at 2:09 pm
friedablass is offline  
Old Jan 12, 2024, 10:31 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 88
Is the 35% benefit supposed to show on the flight booking or confirmation page when booking with points, as I didn't see it anywhere so just wanted to make sure?
ascg is offline  
Old Jan 12, 2024, 10:54 am
  #8  
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Originally Posted by ascg
Is the 35% benefit supposed to show on the flight booking or confirmation page when booking with points, as I didn't see it anywhere so just wanted to make sure?
Not in my experience. About five weeks after booking, I get one of these emails:


dhuey is offline  
Old Jan 12, 2024, 12:30 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: May 2019
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Originally Posted by dhuey
Not in my experience. About five weeks after booking, I get one of these emails:


Agreed - I've gotten these as quickly as 3 weeks, as long as 6 weeks, typically about 4 weeks after I purchase the flight.
Happy Traveling Consultant is offline  
Old Jan 12, 2024, 12:36 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Programs: Marriott Bonvoy Platinum, Hilton Honors Diamond, Delta Gold
Posts: 4,340
Originally Posted by Happy Traveling Consultant
Agreed - I've gotten these as quickly as 3 weeks, as long as 6 weeks, typically about 4 weeks after I purchase the flight.
For me it's been pretty consistently 31 to 33 days. And usually the day after the points reimbursement already posted or at the earliest the same day.
friedablass is offline  
Old Jan 15, 2024, 2:06 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: May 2019
Posts: 23
Originally Posted by Happy Traveling Consultant
Agreed - I've gotten these as quickly as 3 weeks, as long as 6 weeks, typically about 4 weeks after I purchase the flight.
It's never taken me more than a week to get the email. I have a business Centurion card if that makes a difference.
JMo74 is offline  
Old Jan 15, 2024, 7:19 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Programs: Marriott Bonvoy Platinum, Hilton Honors Diamond, Delta Gold
Posts: 4,340
Originally Posted by JMo74
It's never taken me more than a week to get the email. I have a business Centurion card if that makes a difference.
Probably. For us lowly Platinum card holders it takes about a month to get those emails.
friedablass is offline  
Old Jan 16, 2024, 9:47 pm
  #13  
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Originally Posted by friedablass
Probably. For us lowly Platinum card holders it takes about a month to get those emails.
That’s been my experience (also as a mere Plat mortal). Most recent one: For a Dec. 12, 2023 pay-with-points purchase, I got an email this past Sunday (about five weeks later), telling me about my 35% MR rebate.
dhuey is offline  
Old Jan 16, 2024, 10:46 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Programs: Marriott Bonvoy Platinum, Hilton Honors Diamond, Delta Gold
Posts: 4,340
Originally Posted by dhuey
That’s been my experience (also as a mere Plat mortal). Most recent one: For a Dec. 12, 2023 pay-with-points purchase, I got an email this past Sunday (about five weeks later), telling me about my 35% MR rebate.
That's exactly 33 days, precisely as I stated in my post #10 above (31 - 33 days quite consistently for me).
friedablass is offline  
Old Jan 22, 2024, 2:30 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Philadelphia, PA
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Posts: 40
I have a business platinum card that I was planning to cancel in about a week (since that's the 30 day point from my annual fee hitting), but a great fare popped up today that made a lot of sense to book with the 35% rebate. Are there any data points on whether a flight booked while your business platinum was open will earn the rebate if the card is closed before the 30 day email? I'm probably just going to keep it open long enough to credit and then downgrade to a green since the difference in points would be pretty massive, but just figured I'd check
nutty92 is offline  

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