First Class Flights Cheaper than Economy with AMEX Business Platinum 35% Membership Rewards Points Rebate

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!

13 thoughts on “First Class Flights Cheaper than Economy with AMEX Business Platinum 35% Membership Rewards Points Rebate

  1. Points For Four

    Could this also be done for Southwest and then stacked with a companion pass for Kid 1? and then again with Player 2 and Kid 2 for a total of four tickets? For a grand total of four tickets for 130% the coast of one regularly priced ticket? Assuming Player 1 and Player 2 have companion pass for Kid 1 and Kid 2.

    Reply
    1. Grant Post author

      I don’t think so. You probably need to book your SWA flights directly on the SWA website, but call AMEX and give it a try.

      Reply
  2. Pingback: Airline Status Saves 20% at Restaurant, 10 Amazing Scenic Drives, Using Biz Platinum's 50% Back Perk - Miles to Memories

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