AMEX Platinum Companion Ticket for Honeymoon: Worth It?

AMEX Platinum Companion Ticket - Worth It?

 

TravelSort reader Gary writes “I was wondering what your best suggestion was for booking 2 business class tickets from JFK to MLE for our honeymoon? So far I have found the Emirates route using Amex Platinum's Companion Ticket to be one of the best but wanted to hear your thoughts as well.”

Before getting to alternatives, I thought it would be helpful to describe the American Express Platinum Card's Companion Ticket benefit, and how it works.

AMEX Platinum Companion Ticket in a Nutshell

The American Express Platinum Companion offer allows you to receive a companion ticket by paying only the taxes and fees on the ticket, when purchasing a refundable business or first class fare on select airlines through the AMEX Platinum Travel Service.


Which Airlines are Eligible for the AMEX Platinum Companion Ticket?

  • Aer Lingus
  • AeroMexico
  • Air Canada
  • Air China
  • Air France
  • Air New Zealand
  • Alitalia
  • Asiana Airlines
  • Austrian
  • British Airways
  • Brussels Airlines
  • Cathay Pacific
  • China Airlines
  • Delta Air Lines
  • Emirates
  • Etihad
  • Japan Airlines
  • Jet Airways
  • KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
  • LAN
  • Lufthansa
  • Qatar Airways
  • Scandinavian Airlines
  • South Africa Airways
  • Swiss
  • Virgin Atlantic


Which Fares are Eligible for the AMEX Platinum Companion Ticket?

Only refundable fares booked through the AMEX Platinum Travel Service. Fares purchased through any other channel are not eligible.


Are First Class Fares Eligible?

Only these airlines offer eligible first class fares for the AMEX Companion Ticket:

  • Air China
  • Asiana
  • British Airways
  • China Airlines
  • Emirates
  • Etihad
  • Jet Airways
  • Lufthansa
  • Swiss


How to Book an AMEX Platinum Companion Ticket?

You must call the AMEX Platinum Travel Service at 800-525-3355 to get fare quotes and to book.


Comparison Examples: AMEX Platinum Companion Ticket vs. Paid Fares vs. Award Tickets

For purposes of the examples below, I checked for roundtrip fares departing 12/4/13 and returning 12/11/13.

Example 1: Emirates Business Class JFK-MLE

Airline: $9915 per person / $19,830 for two

AMEX Platinum Travel Service: $14,513 for two

Frequent Flyer Miles: 100K Japan Airlines miles, 145K Alaska miles

 

Example 2: Emirates First Class JFK-MLE

Airline: $21,953 per person / $43,906 for two

AMEX Platinum Travel Service: $24,870 for two

Frequent Flyer Miles:  155K Japan Airlines miles, 180K Alaska miles

 

Example 3: Qatar Business Class JFK-MLE

Airline: $9484 per person / $18,968 for two

AMEX Platinum Travel Service: $13,135 for two

Frequent Flyer Miles: 135K American Airlines miles (not bookable until Qatar joins the oneworld alliance late 2013)

 

Example 4: Cathay Pacific Business Class JFK-HKG

Airline: $7612 per person / $15,224 for two

AMEX Platinum Travel Service: $13,978 for two

Frequent Flyer Miles: 110K American Airlines miles

 

Example 5: Lufthansa Business Class JFK-FRA

Airline: $2944 per person / $5888 for two

AMEX Platinum Travel Service: $8587 for two

Frequent Flyer Miles: 100K United miles

 

Example 6: Lufthansa First Class JFK-FRA

Airline: $10,219 per person / $20,438 for two

AMEX Platinum Travel Service: $17,993 for two

Frequent Flyer Miles: 125K United miles

 

As you can see from the above, the AMEX Platinum Companion Ticket is really only a good “deal” if you were planning to book two very expensive paid business or first class tickets anyway, which is very small minority of travelers. Of the above examples, you'd save the most when using it for a first class companion ticket on Emirates, which at $24,870 for two saves $19,036. But how many folks would pay that much, even for Emirates first class tickets?

And sometimes the AMEX companion ticket offer is more expensive than buying the cheapest paid business class tickets–see Example 5, Lufthansa, where it would cost $8587 for two with the AMEX Companion Ticket, but $5888 for two when buying discount business class. 

Perhaps the best use of the AMEX Platinum Companion Ticket is if you're lucky enough to have an employer who reimburses you for business or first class refundable fares and lets you buy the ticket using your AMEX Platinum. You could then bring your spouse or partner with you, for just the cost of taxes and fees on the ticket. But that's again likely a minority of folks, since few employers are willing to fly their employees on fully refundable business, let alone first class, these days.

 

AMEX Platinum Companion Ticket: Worth It for a Honeymoon Trip?

Back to Gary's question: is the AMEX Platinum Ticket worth it for his honeymoon to the Maldives? As I noted above, I don't think the AMEX Platinum Companion Ticket is worth it for most people, and especially not for the Maldives given that there are other miles and points options. While not as easy to earn Japan Airlines or Alaska Airlines miles, these would make possible award tickets on Emirates (see Alaska Airlines: New Emirates Award Chart and FAQ). Other options include using American AAdvantage miles for Etihad First Class or Business Class, Membership Rewards points to transfer to KrisFlyer for Singapore Suites to Singapore then onward to Male.

Agree or disagree: is the AMEX Platinum Companion Ticket worth it?

Related Posts

Maximizing the AMEX Platinum Airline Fee Credit

American Express Platinum Card Global Entry Benefit Tips

Review of the American Express Platinum Card

AMEX Membership Rewards Points Advance Ends June 30

 

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