What is “5 X TLS” & Why Did I Earn Bonus American Express Membership Reward Points?

Good morning everyone.  I was looking at my American Express account and noticed that I just received 2,736 bonus American Express Membership Reward Points with the description of “5 X TLS”.  Maybe I am dumb, but I had never heard of TLS before and was confused why I received the bonus points (confused, but not ungrateful).  I reached out to a few of my travel hacking friends and I was told that TLS stands for “Travel & Lifestyle Services” and is related to booking paid flights and hotels through AMEXTravel.com with an American Express Business Platinum Charge Card.

Since it said “5 X TLS”, I divided 2,736 by 5 and got 547.2.  Therefore, I thought I had to find charges that added up to ~$547.20.  The only time I used my American Express Business Platinum Charge Card with AMEXTravel.com was when I booked 2 tickets on Icelandair.  I added up my 2 charges and got $683.96.  $683.96 is much more than $547.20, so I thought maybe I had to look at the base fares (total minus taxes).  When I added up the base fares for both tickets, I got a number that was much lower than $547.20.

I went back to the drawing board / calculator and divided 2,736 by 4 to get 684.  Bingo!  It looks like $683.96 x 4 = 2,735.84 (rounded up to 2,736).  This makes sense since the charge was from March 30 and I probably earned 1x Membership Reward Points on the original flight purchases.  If you see “5 X TLS” and a number of American Express Membership Reward Points, divide that number by 4 to get the dollar amount of your qualifying flights.

If any one was curious about the time range from when the original purchases were made (March 30) and when the bonus American Express Membership Reward Points posted (May 15), the total is ~47 days or ~6.5 weeks.  It looks like it took ~6.5 weeks for the 5x American Express Membership Reward Points to post for flights booked through AMEXTravel.com.  If you have any other data points, please share them below.

If you have any questions, please leave a comment below.  Have a great day everyone!

One thought on “What is “5 X TLS” & Why Did I Earn Bonus American Express Membership Reward Points?

  1. Derp

    Looks like we are getting throttled back on dumping our MR points for flights. I have been double dipping the 5x with 50% on my selected airlines for Business Platinum. You could have grandfathered yourself in for a year by downgrading your Platinum Biz to Gold, then Upgrading back to Plat between the new sign up period October 2016 to May 2017. This would lock in the 50% bonus for the year.

    Before you got the 50% back in a couple days, now we got to wait a really long time for the bonus to hit. Now I book a selected flight on the Biz, get the 5x points, then use MR points to wipe out the charge and get 50% back resulting in 2.22 cents per point. Now it takes 2 months to get the points back, 47 days for the 5x, 31 days for 35%, then 47 days on top for the 15%, which is a real bummer. When the annual fee hits, the bonus will drop from 50% to 35%, we only get 1.6 cents per point using this method.

    The other method was to choose a linked personal platinum card when paying with points. This would hit the 5x form the personal card from the charge, then we got 50% back from the biz card! This also take about two months, boo!

    I outlined my data points here:


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