Good morning everyone, happy Friday! A few weeks ago, I was looking at flights from San Francisco (SFO) to Orange County (SNA). I found this 7:15pm Alaska Airlines flight that was $155 for Saver (Basic) Economy and $209 for First Class. The flight is only 1.5 hours long and normally I do not fly First Class, but I remembered that the American Express Business Platinum Charge Card offers a 35% rebate when paying with American Express Membership Rewards Points on First Class flights. Based on my calculations ($209 x 65% = $135.85), the First Class flight should be cheaper than the economy flight after the 35% rebate. In this post, I will show you the steps to book the First Class flight using American Express Membership Rewards Points.
As I mentioned above, here are details of the 35% American Express Membership Rewards Points rebate. The 35% rebate should post to your account within 6-10 weeks of the booking.
To book the First Class Alaska Airlines flight, I went to the American Express Book or Upgrade Travel page, clicked Flights, entered my flight details, and clicked the magnifying glass to search.
I used the filters to find the 7:15pm Alaska Airlines flight. There was also a Membership Rewards Insider Fare that lowered the cost of the First Class flight from $208.31 down to $196.66. I selected the Insider Fare option and clicked the Select button.
Here are the complete terms of the Membership Rewards Insider Fares:
Membership Rewards®-enrolled Card Members can access discounts on select flights when using Membership Rewards® Points to cover the entire fare.
Available Insider Fares will appear in search results if you are logged in with an American Express Card account that has enough Membership Rewards® Points to cover for the entire flight booking. Otherwise, the publicly available fare will be displayed.
Membership Rewards® Insider Fares Terms and Conditions
To redeem for Membership Rewards® Insider Fares, you must charge purchase through AmexTravel.com to Membership Rewards® program-enrolled Card. Points will be debited from Membership Rewards® account, and credit for corresponding dollar amount will be issued to Card account used. The entire amount of the transaction must be covered using Membership Rewards® Points and the corresponding dollar value for your selected flight will be shown as the Membership Rewards® Insider Fare on the Checkout page.
Membership Rewards® Insider Fares are only available on select flights and are only available on AmexTravel.com. Available Membership Rewards® Insider Fares will be displayed in flight search results when Card Member is logged in with an American Express Card account that contains enough Membership Rewards® Points to cover the full cost of the flight booking. Otherwise, the publicly available fare will be displayed. Participating airlines and benefits are subject to change.
See membershiprewards.com/terms for the Membership
I reviewed the flight details and clicked the Continue Booking button.
I filled in my personal information and clicked the Save & Continue button.
I then clicked the Select Seats button to select my First Class seat.
1A sounds good to me. I clicked the Save & Continue button.
Now that I selected my seat, I clicked the Save & Continue button.
Instead of paying $196.66, I used 19,666 American Express Membership Rewards Points. I entered the security code on my American Express Business Platinum Charge Card, checked the box, and clicked the Book Flights button.
The Trip Summary page said I would be charged $196.66 and then I would receive a $196.66 credit. I would also redeem 19,666 American Express Membership Rewards Points.
I received 2 emails from American Express. The first email showed the $196.66 paid with my American Express Business Platinum Charge Card and the second email showed my flight details.
I used the record locator from the above email to find my Alaska Airlines reservation. I double checked that my seat assignment stayed the same, that my Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan number was on the reservation and that my TSA PreCheck number was also added.
As I mentioned earlier, there was a $196.66 charge and a $196.66 credit that posted to my card.
Here are more information regarding both transactions.
I paid for the flight around May 30, but as of June 27, the American Express Membership Rewards Points rebate has still not posted. Every few days, I check my American Express Membership Rewards account to see if the rebated points have posted (35% x 19,666 = 6,883). I may need to wait a few more weeks for the rebated points to post. If you have any questions about using American Express Membership Rewards Points to purchase flights, please leave a comment below. Have a great weekend everyone!