On July 1 American Express is ending the ‘20% rebate on points when you redeem using the Pay With Points benefit’ on the American Express Business Platinum card. (The personal Platinum card lost this in 2012.)
I really didn’t care, because Pay With Points is not a valuable feature of this card for most. Sure, the rebate meant you could get 1.25 cents per point in value purchasing paid travel with your points (that earn miles and count towards status) instead of one cent. And 1.25 is better than 1.
- It’s not nearly the value you can get transferring points to miles.
- If you’re getting only a 1.25% rebate towards paid travel, you should be using a different card (Barclaycard Arrival+ for instance gives you 2.2% towards travel, and other cards have valuable category bonuses that help you earn faster).
If Pay With Points is your redemption choice, you’re using the wrong card for spend in my view.
American Express is replacing the benefit though. Instead of a 20% rebate, you can actually get a 30% rebate but only on the same airline you designate for your annual $200 fee credit.
This allows American Express to increase their ‘top line number’ to 30% while simultaenously limiting their cost or exposure.
It does not change my evaluation of the benefit of using Pay With Points at all, however.
If they wanted to do something interesting, they could expand this program. Sadly it’s too valuable to make that likely.
(HT: NYCUA1K on Milepoint)