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One of the best perks of The Business Platinum Card® from American Express was the 50% rebate on pay with points bookings. Sadly, this great benefit, which wasn't even one year old, has been devalued effective June 1, 2017. Fortunately, this is the only devaluation, and many of the other great perks and benefits such as complimentary Marriott Gold Elite status, and complimentary lounge access are still in place.
The Devaluation of Pay With Points Rebate
As of June 1, 2017, there are three changes to the pay with points rebate system:
- The rebate is reduced from 50% to 35%
- There is now a cap on the total points that can be rebated per year, a maximum of 500,000 points can be rebated per year
- The cap is 1 million points per year for Business Platinum Card cardholders, as of January 2022
- Rebate processing will increase from a typical 2-day to 6-10 weeks
Apart from the devaluation, there are no other changes to the system. The rebate will still apply to all First and Business class flights, but still only applies to your chosen domestic airline for economy fares. There is no change to the fact that it is a genuine rebate since you still need to have enough points to cover the total price of the booking before any rebate is taken into account.
The 50% rebate effectively gave each point a value of 2 cents/point. The reduction to 35% drops the value to 1.538 cents/point when booking through Pay with Points.
Is There Any Good News
After announcing the devaluation, American Express announced a reprieve for some cardmembers. Amex confirmed if you opened your account between October 2016, and May 31, 2017, they will honor the 50% rebate with unlimited points for a whole year from your card issue date.
The devaluation is disappointing news, especially so quickly after the introduction of the perk. Although clearly it must have been very successful and was costing American Express a lot and they had to reduce it. Even with this devaluation, the points are still marginally better than using points with other premium cards on the market. With the devaluation in mind, if you have any planned pay with points booking coming up, it is well worth your while to move your booking forward to before June 1, 2017.
Source: Frequent Miler
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