Book flights with up to 35% off

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  • Transferring points to airlines usually offers the best value for money, but sometimes it just doesn’t make sense.
  • Amex Travel’s Pay with Points feature allows cardholders to use points to cover almost any flight.
  • Some Amex Small Business Cards offer a point discount when you redeem them for certain flights.
  • Read the Insider Guide to the Best Credit Cards with Travel Rewards.

Generally, if you need to book a flight, you will get the best value for your money from your flexible credit card points if you transfer them to a partner airline. But this is not always possible, and it is not always the best choice for a given situation.

You may not be able to find award availability on your preferred route, for example, or you may be looking for elite status and looking to book a paid fare that will earn you qualifying miles. Or, in the case of a cheap fare, it might not make sense to redeem airline miles for a bonus because the flight is so cheap.

Fortunately for customers who hold cards that earn American Express Membership Rewards points – including Learn More About Personal Finance Insider, Learn More About Personal Finance Insider, and Learn More About Personal Finance Insider – Amex offers a simple solution to these problems.

Read more: The best American Express cards in 2021

Amex Travel’s Pay with Points feature allows cardholders to use their points to offset ticket prices in cash, and it’s also flexible: you can use the tool to cover your entire flight or just part of it. Plus, if you have Learn More About Personal Finance Insider or Learn More About Personal Finance Insider, you’ll receive a points discount when you redeem for qualifying flights.

Here’s how you can save money on flights using Amex Pay With Points.

How Amex Travel Pay works with points

Learn more about Personal Finance Insider

American Express Travel’s Pay With Points feature allows cardholders to book travel using Membership Rewards points without having to worry about transferring rewards to airline or hotel loyalty programs.

Perhaps the biggest advantage of Pay with Points is that you can use it to book any flight, whether or not the airline has made award seats available.

But it’s not necessarily the best way to book in all situations. When you use Pay With Points, you usually sacrifice value for convenience. Booking this way only earns you a cent per point, which means that a $ 600 flight will cost you 60,000 points – a sum in points that could earn you a $ 6,000 business class ticket between New York. -JFK and Frankfurt if transferred to Air Canada Aeroplan, for example.

Read more: How to earn, redeem and maximize Amex Membership Rewards points

There are exceptions if you have certain cards. With Learn more about Personal Finance Insider, using the Pay with Points feature for certain flights will automatically trigger a 35% points discount – meaning that after booking you will see 35% of the points spent being returned to your account (as this is a discount, you will need to have the full amount of points needed for your flight in your account before making your reservation). The discount makes your points worth 1.54 cents each when you redeem them through Pay with Points.

With Learn more about Personal Finance Insider, you’ll get a 25% discount, earning you 1.33 cents in points each.

The discount is valid for any first class or business class fare, but if you want it to apply to the purchase of an economy class flight, it must be done with an airline of your choice (the same airline that you selected for your airfare credit). Each January, you will have the opportunity to change your selection, which will span the rest of the calendar year.

The benefit is also capped; you can collect up to 500,000 points per calendar year with Learn more about Personal Finance Insider, and 250,000 points back with Learn more about Personal Finance Insider.

How to use American Express Travel Pay with points

Learn more about Personal Finance Insider

Start by going to amextravel.com and logging in. If you’ve never used the website before, check out our guide to booking through Amex Travel for an overview.

You will see a field where you can enter your flight search details:

Screenshot of Amex Travel's main search screen showing an example of a flight search from Chicago to Portland.


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Once you have entered them, you will be able to select the desired flight.

Screenshot of flight search results for a route from Chicago to Portland on the Amex Travel website.


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On the next screen you will see your flight summary, and in the right column you will see your flight price reflected in both cash and points.

Scroll down and select “Continue Booking”.

Screenshot of the payment option screen for a flight booking on Amex Travel showing the cost in points or cash.


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On the next two screens, you will enter your traveller’s information and select options for seats and travel insurance. Tap “Save and Continue” after each one, and on the third screen you will see the option to pay with points.

Screenshot of the final payment screen for a flight booked through Amex Travel, showing payment in points, cash, cash and points, and Plan It options.


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Here you’ll also find a Points + Card option which will allow you to split the fare between payment options if you don’t have the points needed to fully cover the ticket (or if you save the rest of your points for something else) . There is a minimum of 5,000 points to use this option.

Screenshot of the card and points payment option for a flight booked through Amex Travel.


American Express


If you have an Amex personal card, you will also see an option to split the cost of cash into monthly payments with Amex’s installment payment program, Plan It.

Otherwise, if you want to cover the entire cost of your trip with points (and you have the required number in your account), click on “Use only points” and the total cost of the trip will be filled in automatically. Click “Apply” and your remaining cost will automatically be set to $ 0.

Screenshot of the Amex Travel booking screen showing the "use points only" option selected and confirmed.


American Express


After that, all you need to do is enter your card information (Amex will need it even if you have covered the full cost of the trip with points), review your information and press ” Book a flight”.

You will see the airline ticket charge appear in your account, but then you will receive a credit on the statement for the amount you have chosen to pay with points.

If you are considering any of these cards, be sure to read our comparison of Amex Business Platinum and Business Gold to help you make the best choice.

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