MR for Flights Stacking Bonus Datapoints

We have been shut down! I just got off the phone with the RAT and they said I could not do both 5x AND 50% back! I had to pick one or the other! Also lots of grumblings here on reddit about the lack of 5x on the Business Platinum.

First off the 5x booking on with AmEx Biz Plat is a lie! Even booking on the site, the charge is getting coded as if I had phoned it in! I called Membership rewards and they said their “research” shows it was done via phone, there was nothing to be done. I called amex travel and they confirmed it was done online and not via phone. I had to conference call in with both reps to resolve the conflict.

The MR Biz reimbursement game has changed since 01 June 2017. Here is what we know so far according to this flyer talk thread:

  1. The bonus is now only 35% (1.5 cents net) versus 50% (2 cents net), and takes 31 days to get 35%, then 7 days for the other 15% (if grandfathered)
  2. If you got the card (or downgraded to gold and upgraded) between Oct 2016 to May 2017 you are grandfathered in for the 50% for one membership year
  3. We get 5x points for sure booking Airlines (direct or via AmEx travel) on the Personal Platinum
  4. We should be getting 5x points on the biz (AmEx travel Only), but only 1x shows up, you have to call and complain for biz (no success, yet)
  5. Reports of getting the 5x by choosing the Personal Plat and just having a linked Biz gets you the 35% (or 50%) back after 31 days, you have to be super patient. You also might need to wait another 7 days for the other 15% to show!
  6. Must use to book for 5x points on biz card, even then it codes as not online.

I went ahead and listed my datapoints here:

Scenario Cost Points Booked Applied 5x Bonus 50% Rebate Card
1 $118.20 11,820 8-Jul 17-Jul ? ? Business
2 $248.20 24,820 3-Jul MR @ Book July Statement ? Personal
3 $650.38 65,038 14-Jun 17-Jul No: Claimed it was called in, not online ? Business
4 $1,119.86 111,986 28-May MR @ Book 28-May 28-Jun Personal

In each scenario I switched up how I did it for the bonuses. I will have a better report one the points hit.

  1. Cash Book Online, Call In MR (9 days) – I booked on AmEx travel, and paid with my Biz Plat to get the 5x. I Then called in a week later to apply points to get the 50%
  2. Personal MR Online – I used MR points and picked the personal card on the website to get 5x and 50% (with shared points pool with a business card)
  3. Cash Book Online, Call In MR (33 Days) – I did the same thing as the first, but waited till the statement closed. I only got 1x points, I did online chat to complain, rep claims I booked over phone or used Platinum Travel to book, does not qualify for 5x
  4. Personal MR Online (May) – I booked on AmEx travel before the hammer came down in May, I picked personal platnum and got 5x, and all the 50% bonus points came back 31 days later.

Bottom line, we are getting throttled back since this MR points bonanza is killing AmEx at the moment! Just be patient, looks like the way to go is to pick the personal card for 5x, then wait 40 days for the 35% and 15% to make it back in your account. Even though this deal is maximized with 50% with 5x it will still be useful when it drops to 35% after the anniversary date. For example I book a flight to Hong Kong for $1,000 or 100,000 points. We get this valuation:

 Bonus Book Cost Biz Bonus Personal Bonus Net Points Cents Per Point
50% 100,000 50,000 5,000 45,000 2.22
35% 100,000 35,000 5,000 60,000 1.67

This is still better than Chase UR points which are valued at 1.5 cents per point. Now let’s say they shut down the 5x then we get these values:

 Bonus Book Cost Biz Bonus Net Points Cents Per Point
50% 100,000 50,000 50,000 2.00
35% 100,000 35,000 65,000 1.54

Still a good value for points since the basement value for a MR point is 1.25 cents right into your Schwab account.

Note: as an additional datapoint I booked 23 July 2017 a flight for 30,640 MR on United right onto a linked personal platinum. Will let you know when the points hit!


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