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I recently wrote a post exploring why the Amex Platinum card is worth it to my family even though it comes with a pretty large annual fee. Everyone’s situation is different, so the post wasn’t written to prove the card is worth it to anyone else, but rather to potentially help others think through whether it may also be worth it in their situation…especially beyond the first year where the math is usually much easier with the sign-up bonus.
One Amex Platinum benefit that I did not talk about in that post was the 2 for 1 international business class ticket perk, because even though it provides (or provided) a second ticket with the purchase of just one paid ticket, it wasn’t something that I thought most families would utilize as the first ticket had to be a full fare business class ticket which is often thousands upon thousands of dollars. I know I never used that benefit. However, that program has now been totally revamped and is more relevant for more normal-ish traveling folks beyond just those with very deep pockets or who are flying on their company’s dime.
The new International Airline Program now provides savings on international first, business class, and even premium economy class tickets booked via Amex Travel on both refundable and non-refundable fares for those with The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN or Platinum Card® from American Express! These discounts are available on a variety of airlines including:
- Virgin Atlantic
- British Airways
- Air China
- Air New Zealand
- Air France
- South African Airways
- Cathay Pacific
- Japan Airlines
- China Airlines
To get these discounts your travel must originate in and return to the US and select Canadian gateways. One-way travel from the US or Canada is also permitted on some airlines. The cardholder can book up to seven additional discounted premium cabin seats along with their original ticket, but these discounts won’t always stack with limited time flash sales or code-shares.
You can pay with old fashioned cash or even use the Amex ‘Pay with Points’ feature for all or part of your fare, and of course these tickets earn miles with the airlines.
That is all good news….the not so good news is that there is a $39 per ticket service fee and you have to check prices and book over the phone. Call me spoiled, but that is the worst part of the new offering in my view. However, if you are price comparing for a big international trip for your family, I suppose one call to Amex Travel to potentially save hundreds of dollars isn’t the worst thing ever.
1-800-525-3355 for Platinum Travel Service or
1-800-553-9497 for Business Platinum Travel Service.
I will also add that I have seen some Amex “Inside Fares” specific flight discounts when looking for flights online within Amex Travel even for domestic travel. In other words, it does pay to search online for flights discounts via Amex Travel, even if that is a different discount program than this new one that is available over the phone.
Thanks to View for the Wing for sharing this info!
Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.