The American Express Platinum Card and its business counterpart are great options for booking airfare. Both cards offer strong earnings for the category as well as some of the best perks in the industry. This post goes over the rules regarding the American Express Platinum Card 5x bonus categories.


The Rules

The personal version earns 5x MR points on flights booked directly with the airline or through Personal Platinum cardholders have more flexibility when it comes to booking flights given these two options.

Conversely, the business version only earns 5x points on flights booked through Flights booked directly with the airline only earn one point per dollar when using the Business Platinum Card. This is unfortunate because many people make this mistake because they don’t know better or they get the personal and business versions mixed up. It would be nice if American Express let flights booked directly with the airline earn 5x points with the Business Platinum Card.

There is an exception if you use your Platinum Card to book airfare with an Amex Offer. Some Amex Offers are good for airlines and they will give you either cash back or extra MR points. The best way to book in this situation is to stack the offer with your card. Such stacking can earn you additional MR points or cash.


Alternatives: Chase Sapphire Cards

Any version of the Amex Platinum can get you into some of the best lounges in the world. However, that does not mean that you should book airfare with the card. The Platinum Card should still be with you on your trip because of the lounge access and other benefits that come with it.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve and Preferred are the best two alternatives to the Platinum Cards for booking airfare. You will earn either three (Reserve) or two (Preferred) Chase Ultimate Rewards (UR) points per dollar for general travel purchases. The most common subcategory within general travel is booked airfare.

Furthermore, the Chase Sapphire cards give you more flexibility than the personal Platinum Card. Booking options include using UR points, booking through the Chase Travel Portal, or using a third-party website like The Reserve also comes with its famous $300 general travel credit, which can help to offset part of your airfare. Likewise, both cards also come with the best set of travel insurances in the industry. That includes primary car rental insurance, trip delay insurance, and baggage delay insurance. The Platinum Cards do not come with such insurances.


Final Draw

The American Express Platinum Card and its business counterpart are some of the best cards for perks in the industry. However, you must know when and when not to book airfare with them. That’s because there are rules about the American Express Platinum Card 5x bonus categories.

If you are in doubt, you can either read PYCR further or call American Express’ customer service. The customer service numbers can be found on the back of your card towards the bottom.