Turn Your Amex Business Platinum Into a Card That Gets You 2-9% Back On All Purchases

16
2348

The Business Platinum card from American Express is offering 100,000 total bonus points through January 25, 2017 (that’s just a few weeks from now):

  • 50,000 bonus points after spending $5,000 in the first three months
  • 50,000 more bonus points after spending another $10,000 in the first three months

Credit card links have been removed from posts and added to the menu bar at the top of every page of MileValue under the heading Top Travel Credit Cards.

Check out my review here.

One thing I didn’t mention in that review is that in October American Express added a killer benefit to the card that allows you to earn 2% to 9% on all your purchases.

New Killer Benefit

“Business Platinum Card Members can now earn 50% points back when using Membership Rewards® Pay with Points through American Express Travel to book a flight with their selected airline. They will also receive this benefit when booking a first or business class ticket with any airline.”

Before the change, Membership Rewards could be redeemed for 1 cent each toward any flight. That was something you should never have done because the points are worth far more when transferred to partner airline miles.

Now, though, Business Platinum Card Members can get 2 cents per point toward flights in economy on one airline and 2 cents per point toward any First or Business Class flight. You have to call in and select one airline to get 2 cents per point of value for its coach flights. The Business/First benefit is automatic.

Then you have to have enough points to cover a booking at 1 cent per point and book through American Express Travel inside your Amex account. You will quickly be rebated half the points back.

Why You Care

Getting 2 cents per point on redemptions is very good, and many people will prefer it to transferring Membership Rewards to a partner airline either to earn status or to book cheap flights.

Status

Any flight you book with Membership Rewards through American Express Travel is considered a cash flight by the airline selling the ticket because they get cash from AMEX. So if you want to earn status with, say, Delta, you could select Delta as your airline for the 50% rebate on redemptions for coach tickets. Then when it’s time to book yourself a ticket, book Delta flights through American Express Travel and get 2 cents per Membership Reward. In the process, earn Delta miles and status when you fly the flights.

Cheap Flights

Imagine you find a $300 cross-country roundtrip. That would be 15,000 Membership Rewards, which is far less than the 25,000 traditional airline miles you’d need to redeem for such a flight. You’d also earn miles and status for your trip if you redeemed the Membership Rewards through American Express Travel.

Or imagine you find a $2,000 roundtrip Business Class fare to Europe. That would be 100,000 Membership Rewards, which is far less than the 125,000 to 140,000 traditional airlines miles for such a flight. Plus the 100,000 Membership Rewards is all you’d pay. With traditional miles, you’d pay taxes of $100 to $300 on the award. Plus with the 100,000 Membership Rewards, you’d earn miles and status on the trip. You wouldn’t earn either with the traditional miles.

Even Better: 2-9% Back

If you have the Business Platinum card and other cards that earn Membership Rewards, link the accounts. Other cards have better category bonuses to earn Membership Rewards faster, and you can then redeem those Membership Rewards with the Business Platinum’s new 50% rebate.

For instance, the Amex Everyday Preferred Card offers:

  • 3x Membership Rewards at U.S. supermarkets, up to $6,000 per year
  • 2x Membership Rewards at U.S. gas stations
  • 1x Membership Rewards on everything else

If you have at least 30 transactions per billing period, you get 50% more points, bringing the category bonuses to:

  • 4.5x at U.S. supermarkets (9% back when pooled with Business Platinum and redeemed through American Express travel)
  • 3x at U.S. gas stations (6% back)
  • 1.5x on everything else (3% back)

Credit card links have been removed from posts and added to the menu bar at the top of every page of MileValue under the heading Top Travel Credit Cards.

Similarly American Express Gold cards have better earning than the Platinum Card.

The strategy is obvious. Get the Business Platinum for its bonus, lounge access, airline fee credits, hotel status, and 50% rebate on redemptions through American Express Travel. But get another American Express card to actually use for purchases.

Bottom Line

If you have a Business Platinum Card and book flights through American Express Travel, you will get 2 cents per point in value on all Business and First Class tickets and the economy tickets of the airline of your choice.

Earn your Membership Rewards on a card with a better earning structure and then redeem them this way when you are chasing status or find a cheap cash flight.

Keep in mind that if you want the elevated sign up bonus of 100,000 Membership Rewards for spending $15,000 in three months, you need to sign up by January 25, 2017.


Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

16 COMMENTS

  1. Great review about benefits of having combined Amex business platinum with another Amex daily card. I currently have Amex Gold premier rewards card with Business platinum and it has better travel MR point earning structure than the Everday Preferred card, but without need to use the card 30 times a month. The effective annual fee for gold premier rewards card is same as everyday preferred card ($95) after you get the $100 travel credit. I calculated my wife’s annual spend with each category below with 3;2;1 MR award structure for the gold card:
    Dining 8000 X 2 = 16000
    Gas 2000 X 2 = 4000
    Groceries 4000 X 2 = 8000
    Shopping 15000 X 1 = 15000
    Travel 10000 X 3 = 30000

    Total annual spend = $39000 ; Total MR points from Amex Gold Premier =73000 MR points

    Redemption of MR points via Business Platinum (50% return may eventually work out as x2 points after multiple redemptions) = 73000 X 2 =146000 = $1460

    Final annual cash gain from the card minus annual fee for both cards (95+250) – 1460-345 =$1115.

  2. […] If you have an Amex Business Platinum and other cards that earn Membership Rewards, all the Membership Rewards earned by all the cards can be redeemed at this 2 cents per point rate. Many other Membership Rewards-earning cards have higher earning rates than the 1-point-per-dollar-spent Business Platinum–up to 4.5x in fact. That means this benefit can mean getting 2 to 9 cents back per dollar of spending toward airfare. […]

  3. If you couple the Business Platinum with the Personal Platinum, you can get 10% back on all airfare purchases.

  4. How do you get 2 cents per point? If it’s 50% back, isn’t that 1.5 cents per point? What am I missing?

    Thanks

    • Here’s an example: Let’s say there’s a business class fare that costs $1,800. You’d have to put down 180,000 Membership Rewards to book, and then you would get half of those points rebated. So essentially you’d be paying 90,000 Membership Rewards for a $1,800 flight.

      $1,800 / 90,000 = .02

  5. When you designate one airline for the redemption benefit is that for an entire year? Do you have to only redeem on that airline, or can you use other airlines as well?

    • You designate an airline for economy redemptions that you’ll receive 50% of your points back on as well as the $200 statement credit (the same airline). You designate your chose airline in January, either here or by calling the # on the back of your card. For premium cabin redemptions you’ll get the rebate on all airlines.

    • It was previously 40k Membership Rewards for spending $5k in three months which I believe is the standard offer.

LEAVE A REPLY