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The American Express Enhanced Business Platinum 50% pay-with-points rebate has quickly become one of our favorite benefits. Unfortunately, it seems this benefit became everyone’s favorite — and therefore it has become too expensive for Amex to continue to offer it. As reported by The Points Guy, Amex has announced that effective June 1st, they will be decreasing the pay-with-points rebate to 35%. Additionally, there will now be a cap of 500,000 rebated points per year. Furthermore, rebate processing time has increased from a couple of days to 6-10 weeks.
Summary of Changes
- Business Platinum pay-with-points rebate decreasing from 50% to 35%
- Annual cap of 500,000 rebated points
- Rebate processing time has increased to 6-10 weeks
This drops the effective per-point value to 1.54 cents per point. While that is still marginally better than using points with the Chase Sapphire Reserve or the forthcoming US Bank Altitude Reserve, those cards are much less restrictive in that you can use Ultimate Rewards or US Bank points to pay for any flight or hotel. As far as we know, Amex has no plans to expand the current benefit, which applies to all business and first class flights, but only your chosen domestic airline for coach fares.
Additionally, the pay-with-points rebate requires you to have more points up front in order to make a redemption. For example, a $1,000 airfare will require you to have 100,000 points initially. You will receive 35% back (35,000 points) for a net cost of 65,000 points. You’ll pay a bit more with Chase or US Bank — 66,667 points in total — but you won’t need to have 100K in your account in order to buy the ticket.
There is no doubt that this change is a disappointment. For Amex to pull the benefit less than a year after launching it, it must have been proving far more costly than anticipated. If you have any pay-with-points uses on your radar, make sure to take advantage of them before June 1st.
H/T: The Points Guy