File this in “Marketing Failure 101”. American Express is cutting its popular 50% rebate on “Pay with Points” purchases on its Business Platinum Card.
Effective 01 June 2017:
- Amex Business Platinum Card Pay With Points benefit drops from 50% to 35%
- Bonus will be capped at 500,000 rebated points per year
- Rebated points will take longer to post (as much as 6-8 weeks)
One reprieve: if you do not have the card, you can sign up until 31 May 2017 and still receive the 50% rebate (without cap) for one year from the date your card was issued.
This is a huge bummer that devalues a prime incentive for signing up for this card. As One Mile At A Time points out, in many leisure markets like Hawaii, the benefit was immensely useful.
What was American Express Thinking?
This policy change severely diminishes the credibility of American Express. Are the folks running this card program so dull that they could not understand people would take advantage of this benefit? If this benefit represents a money loss to them, why was it introduced in the first place?
Offering 50% and clawing it back to 35% makes customers (like me) rightfully angry or at least disenchanted. Had AMEX simply offered 35% off from the start, there certainly would have been less sign-ups, but fewer lost customers and swift cancellations in the months to come. That process has already begun.
The 35% offer is still compelling in some cases, but getting 1.54 cents instead of 2 cents per point is a notable reduction that undermines the primary benefit of the Business Platinum card.
Will you cancel your card? If you have not signed up for it yet, remember that you have another month to lock in an uncapped 50% rebate for one year.
(H/T The Points Guy)