AMEX Platinum: 5X on Airlines from October 6

AMEX Platinum: 5X on Airlines from October 6

AMEX Platinum card holders will earn 5X Membership Rewards points per dollar on airfare spend, starting October 6, 2016. Unfortunately, I've been told that this will only apply to the personal AMEX Platinum, and not to the AMEX Business Platinum card.

For the AMEX Business Platinum, the change is much less exciting: earn 1.5 Membership Rewards points per dollar on purchases of $5000 or more. 

Per this AP story, spokeswoman Charlotte Fuller says that the change has been in the works, and is NOT in response to the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, although certainly now AMEX must be feeling the heat, with all the excitement about the Sapphire Reserve (see Will AMEX Improve AMEX Platinum Benefits to Compete with the Chase Sapphire Reserve?)

Update per AMEX Press Release:

AMEX Platinum (personal card)

  • 5X Memberhip Rewards points per dollar spent on airfare booked directly with airlines or through American Express Travel

AMEX Business Platinum

  • Earn 50% points back when using Membership Rewards Pay with Points to book a flight with their selected airline
  • Earn 50% points back when booking a first class or business class ticket with American Express Travel for any airline
  • Earn 1.5X Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on any purchase of $5000 or more

Why the Chase Sapphire Reserve is Still Better for Most

For most travelers, the Chase Sapphire Reserve is still a more rewarding card, for several reasons:

  • 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points as a signup bonus (the new 5X on airline spend benefit for the AMEX Platinum is just adding it to an existing card, so there's no chance to earn a signup bonus again if you have or have previously had the card, since AMEX signup bonuses are once in a lifetime)
  • 3X Ultimate Rewards points on ALL travel, including hotels, trains, cruises, taxis, and commuter transportation, vs. 5X but only on airfare with AMEX Platinum 
  • 3X Ultimate Rewards points on dining (only 1 point per dollar on dining with AMEX Platinum)
  • $300 travel statement credit per year, vs. $200 airline incidental credit for the AMEX Platinum

Still, for those with the personal AMEX Platinum who spend significant amounts on airfare, this does make the AMEX Platinum the go-to card for airfare spend, even if not for much else.

Are you excited about AMEX Platinum adding 5x on airfare as a benefit?

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