One of the perks of the American Express Platinum Card that do not get talked about very often is the International Airline Program (IAP). When I rationalised paying the S$1,712 annual fee for The Platinum Card late last year, I noticed that the Business Flex rate for an Emirates flight costed approximately 11.5% lower than the publicly available rate. Today, a number of changes to the IAP have been implemented for The Platinum Card by American Express.
The most significant change for most Platinum members in Singapore is the inclusion of Singapore Airlines to the list of IAP. Additionally, Qatar Airways has also been included but Cathay Pacific has been removed from the list published on the website.
If you are not familiar with the IAP offered by the American Express Platinum Card, it basically gives you special airfares on some of the world's finest airlines to destinations around the world - these opaque rates are not available in public but it is worth noting that heavily discounted Business Class fares can still be cheaper than IAP so it is always best to check before committing to a flight. It goes without saying that you will be able to utilise the S$400 Air Travel Credit that you get with your American Express Platinum Card with these special rates so this benefit can save you plenty of money if you travel quite a bit on a revenue ticket.
While I do not have time to compile a list of best cities to fly to using the IAP, a quick comparison on Singapore Airlines Business Class between Singapore and Haneda (Tokyo) reveals a staggering 28% discount when booking through American Express Travel. Remember that the International Airline Program discount only applies to Platinum (as well as Centurion) Card Members so you will not see this rate if you do not hold an eligible charge card.
While I did expect to see a slight discount under the IAP, I did not expect the difference to be this huge! Both fares are booked into Fare Class D and a difference of S$1,087 per adult is ridiculous (considering how you earn the same number of miles on these flights). I am personally very interested to see how much more I can save and I would not hesitate to book a few revenue tickets if they are priced this way!
More information: International Airline Programme