American Express Travel Discounts
I thought I knew everything there was to know about booking flights through American Express Travel but today I found something amazing for Amex Platinum Cardholders “Recommended Flights” (basically American Express travel discounts on flights). From September 1 – December 31, 2020, Platinum Card Members can access lower fares on select domestic routes for travel through next year (very widespread). The discounts are valid for bookings from September 1st 2020 through December 31st 2020 for travel from September 1st 2020 through March 31st 2021. To see if the Amex Platinum airline discount could save me some money I did a ton of flight searches and the results were incredible. I booked an American Airlines Flagship Business Flight from NYC to LAX for 75% off- yes you read that right. (That doesn't even consider the miles you can earn on a transcon business class flight.) Make sure you subscribe to my Youtube Channel if you want to know more, I'm going to do a full post with routes and applicable flights over a bunch of dates.
Routes I Found Eligible Flights (So far, I'm going to be updating with all the other searches)
Between NY and all of the Airports in Hawaii (HNL, LIH, OGG, KOA)
East Coast to LAX
East Coast to LAS
For mile earnings and elite status qualifications, Tickets booked through Amex Travel count as paid fares so the outcome is the same whether you book direct with cash or through the Amex travel portal using Rewards Points or cash. You can take this a step further, since the Business Platinum card would give you a 35% point rebate on flights booked with membership rewards points.
What tickets are eligible for the Amex Platinum Flight Discounts?
Eligible Discounted fares include all booking class tickets with participating carriers on select routes. These fares can be refundable and non-refundable. Remember, Amex Platinum and Business Platinum cardholders earn 5X Membership Rewards points when booking revenue fares through the Amex Travel portal. Business Platinum cardholders will receive a 35% rebate in points for booking any flights on their designated airline and/or all first and business class flights, up to 500,000 points per year. Throughout my research I found that AA is the most widely available airline, American Airlines also had the largest discounts. Delta is also available on many of the routes I checked but the discounts were about 10% and there aren't as many discount flight options. I will definitely make use of this because of the awesome status match opportunity I got from Delta.
Cheap Flight Deal Examples
Let's Look at Some Actual Examples that I found. As you'll see this scenario offers excellent value for domestic upper class flight purchases. It's also great for status junkies since you'll get all your elite qualifying credit.
Here are the Exact Details of the Ticket I Booked (pictures above)
Published Cash Price of the flight = $819
Price with American Express Travel Recommended Flight = $381 or you can book with 38,100 Membership Rewards Points
35% Rebate = 13,300 Membership Rewards points
Total = 24,765 Membership Rewards Points
OR Cash Option: Save $438 on an $819 flight- yup that's a 54% savings if you choose to pay cash. You'll earn about 1900 Membership Rewards Points and lots of miles if you credit to a partner.
To take this a step further, since the Business Platinum card would give you a 35% point rebate on flights booked with membership rewards points, it's like paying $248 total.
How about a $330 savings on a lie flat flight from NY- Hawaii
This one was crazier- $1293 cash when booked through AA but only $446 with American Express Travel Discounts. I did notice something interesting here, if you wanted to pay with AA miles it was also a comparably cheap award compared to the cash price- so I'm wondering if cheap award tickets are a clue that the flight will qualify for the Amex Platinum Flight Discounts on recommended flights.
You can check out the video version of this post on my new YouTube Channel
Amex Platinum Flight Discount Details and Terms
From September 1 – December 31, 2020, Platinum Card Members can access lower fares on select domestic routes, as indicated by the Recommended Flight notation. The Platinum cardholder does need to be traveling but you can book for as many people as you like.