If you have the Business Platinum Card from American Express (a CreditCardForum advertising partner), log in and check your rewards statement closely. You may be missing out on a points rebate you are owed.
In what seems to be an error, some Business Platinum cardholders are getting a lower rebate than what they’re entitled to when it comes to redeeming points for airfare. Here’s how to know if you are affected — and what to do about it.
What’s the problem?
In a nutshell, some Business Platinum cardholders should be getting 50 percent of their points back on airfare redemptions. Instead, some are supposedly getting 35 percent.
Here’s the background: In late-2016, American Express started tweaking the benefits on its Platinum and Business Platinum cards — presumably to compete with the then-new and extremely popular Chase Sapphire Reserve card. One of those tweaks (to the Business Platinum card) was a new 50 percent rebate on points redeemed for airfare on your airline of choice (the airline you must select each year to get increased benefits on that airline) OR on business/first-class flights booked with any airline. This was a generous perk and doubled the worth of your points when you redeemed for flights on your selected airline or for biz/first tickets on any airline.
Perhaps it was a bit too generous, because, in June 2017, American Express reduced the rebate to 35 percent. However, this reduction came with the caveat that those who signed up for (or upgraded to) the Business Platinum card between Oct. 6, 2016, and May 31, 2017, would still get the 50 percent rebate until their first cardmember anniversary.
It appears, however, that this may not be happening. Rebates, you see, take 30 days to post, meaning the first rebates since the June change are posting. And some cardmembers who were supposedly grandfathered into the 50 percent rebate are getting just 35 percent. Various commenters on Reddit and Dr. of Credit are reporting this error.
How to know if you’re affected
Not everyone who has the Business Platinum card is due 50 percent, so don’t automatically assume your 35 percent rebate is incorrect.
If you meet all the following requirements below, though, log in and make sure you’re getting 50 percent back:
- You have the American Express Business Platinum card. The rebate does not apply to the personal version of American Express Platinum card.
- You were approved for the card or upgraded to it between Oct. 6, 2016 and May 31, 2017
- The airfare you booked was either a) an airfare on your selected airline or b) a first-class/business-class ticket on any airline
- You booked your airfare through American Express Travel (not directly via the airline, not via an aggregator site like Expedia or Kayak
What to do if you’re supposed to get 50 percent back
If you’re erroneously being rebated just 35 percent instead of 50 percent, contact American Express. Ask to have the extra 15 percent rebate you’re due deposited into your rewards account. Escalate to a supervisor if the rep you’re speaking with doesn’t seem familiar with the rebate benefit.
On Reddit and other forums, there isn’t a ton of consistency in American Express reps’ responses. But it seems that some Business Platinum cardholders’ accounts were not given the correct “grandfathered” designation.
Have you been affected by this error? Tell us about your experience and (hopefully) resolution in the comments.