The new perk that increases the value of your points
The biggest new perk that was announced for the Amex Business Platinum Card is that you now receive a 35% refund on points when using Membership Rewards Pay with Points to book a flight with your selected airline, or when booking a flight in first or business class on any airline.
Typically using the Pay with Points option doesn’t represent a great value, as you’re basically getting one cent per point of value (a $1,000 ticket would typically cost 100,000 points). That’s not a good deal at all, given that I value Membership Rewards points at ~1.7 cents each.
However, now that you get a 35% refund, you’ll basically be getting 1.54 cents of value per Membership Rewards point, which is pretty good. It’s the most cents per point you’ll get towards the cost of a ticket from any transferrable points currency.
Use your Amex points to book a paid business class ticket on EVA Air
Using this benefit to increase the value of all your Amex points
I’ve been getting a lot of questions about how this works in practice if you have other Amex cards. Can you pool all your Amex points to redeem them at the better rate? Does it matter when you apply for this card?
Well, the good news is that Amex lets you link all your accounts that accrue Membership Rewards points. As a result, all the Amex Membership Rewards points you earn can be redeemed with the 35% off Pay with Points benefit. So it doesn’t matter whether the points were actually accrued with the Amex Business Platinum Card or not, since they can all be redeemed at that level.
Even points earned prior to when you got the Amex Business Platinum Card qualify. So if you have millions of Amex points that you’ve earned with other cards, signing up for the Business Platinum Card would allow you to get roughly 1.54 cents of value out of all those points. As long as you actively have the Business Platinum Card, you can redeem all your Membership Rewards points at that rate.
So for example, one of my favorite cards for everyday spend is The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express, so now the points earned on that card can be redeemed for up to 1.54 cents each. Given that the card offers up to 4.5x points per dollar spent, that’s essentially like a return of up to ~7% on select spend with that card.
Earn up to a 9% return at grocery stores with the EveryDay Preferred using this combination
Do keep in mind the one major restriction, though. You need enough points to redeem for the ticket you want to book at the rate of one cent per point, and then you get the refund of 35% afterwards. So you need to have the points required for the “normal” award cost upfront, and then will get the 35% of points back pretty quickly.
On top of that, while the card has a $595 annual fee (Rates & Fees), it has so many perks that help offset it, including a $200 annual airline fee credit (before you pay your second year’s annual fee you can receive two of those), access to American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts, access to Delta SkyClubs, a Priority Pass Select membership, access to Amex Centurion Lounge, a Global Entry fee credit, and Gold elite status in Hilton HHonors and Marriott Bonvoy.
The Amex Platinum Card gets you access to Centurion Lounges
Not only does the Amex Business Platinum Card have a great welcome bonus and fantastic perks, but it can potentially increase the value of all your Amex points. Plenty of people have a big balance of Amex points (I even know a few people with balances of over 10 million points), and those people especially have a lot to gain by picking up this card.
While the current welcome bonus is limited time and a reason to get this card soon, getting this card at any point in the future would also get you the higher redemption value, even on the points you earn on other cards now.
The following links will direct you to the rates and fees for mentioned American Express Cards. These include: The Business Platinum® Card from American Express (Rates & Fees).