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REMINDER (5/31) – Today is the last day to sign up for The Enhanced Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN card and get the 50% points rebate for a year.  You can see this as well as other top business cards through this link – I appreciate your support if you apply through my link.  (sorry to the newsletter folks that get this a day late!)

Read about these changes to The Enhanced Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN card below.


I have been loving the 50% rebate benefit on the Enhanced Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN since the benefit was introduced last October. Well, it looks like good things never last long. Amex announced last month four changes to its The Enhanced Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN, and 3 of those changes are bad!

Rebate points reduced from 50% to 35%

The current 50% rebate benefit on Business Platinum Card applies to economy airfare on your selected airline as well as all business class airfare. This effectively made Membership Rewards points worth about 2 cents per point. My husband and I both have this card since November last year, so we have been taking advantage of this great benefit. We were able to book many one-way flights for our family of five for less than 12,500 points while there weren’t any saver-level awards available with Delta and American Airlines on the dates we want, especially during peak holiday travel season.

Amex Business Platinum Benefit

Unfortunately, starting June 1 Amex is reducing the Business Platinum Card rebate benefit to 35%. The only exception is for cardholders who signed up or upgraded from Business Gold card between October 5, 2016 and May 31, 2017. These cardholders will receive the 50% rebate for a full year. So in theory my husband and I would be receiving the 50% rebate on both our cards through November this year. Hopefully Amex’s computer system will know how to handle this exception smoothly.

With this change, a $250 fare that used to cost only 12,500 Membership Rewards points will now cost 16,250 points, no longer cheaper than airline’s standard saver-level award if it is available.

Longer rebate time

Up till now, the 50% rebate has been processed rather quickly, in only a few days. But soon, the relate will take 6 to 10 weeks. This change makes the rebate benefit and Amex points significantly less valuable. For example, you need to book two business class tickets that cost $1000 each. Previously you could book one ticket using 100,000 points. Few days later you would receive 50,000 points back, and then book the second tickets. But now you need enough points in your account for both tickets, and then still won’t have access to the 50% points back for about two months.

Annual cap of 500,000 rebated points

Amex is capping rebated points to a 500,000 points per calendar year. While I don’t redeem nearly any amount close to that limit, I can imagine that this change would be a big blow for heavy users of the rebate benefit.

5x points on AmexTravel air and hotel bookings

This is the only positive change to The Enhanced Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN. Effective immediately, you can earn 5x points on air and hotel books made through AmexTravel using the Business Platinum card. The personal platinum card also has this benefit. Personally I don’t think this new benefit is enough to offset the reduction of point rebate, as I am less inclined to purchase my airfares from Amex if it weren’t for the 50% rebate.

Conclusion

It is surprising to see Amex taking away the benefits so fast after they were introduced, especially when they are battling with Chase and Citi in the luxury card market. It seems that Amex is basically admitting that they made a mistake. The popularity of 50% point rebate was simply too much for them to handle.

With the rebate benefit reduced to 35%, I am not sure I will keepThe Enhanced Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN as I have previously planned. What about you? Do you plan to keep your Business Platinum card after these changes?

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