The merits of business and first class need no introduction. Refined lounges, airport fast tracks and beds in the sky are a no brainer – if you can afford it. For those that carry the American Express Platinum card, the “affording” part may be more accessible than imagined. American Express Travel has refurbished their lucrative International Air Travel program – and the savings can be immense.

Not Just Two

The American Express International Air Program for US, UK, Canadian and ICC based Platinum and Centurion Card members originally represented a discount on any second ticket purchase for travel companions. The discount only applied to the most expensive fares and was hardly ever useful to a majority of travelers. That’s no longer the case. The new Air Program can unlock discounts on more than 20 airlines.

Origination

To unlock the benefit, tickets must originate the United States. If your card is issued outside of the US, you can use the benefit to book tickets from Europe, UK and elsewhere. You can go just about anywhere in the world! Eligible airlines include: Air France, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Delta, Emirates, Etihad, Qatar, Japan Airlines, Swiss Lufthansa and more. Unfortunately, if your desired airline is not included – you won’t be able to save.

Real Savings?

Savings are not guaranteed – but if you have an American Express Platinum Card – you’d be entirely remiss for not inquiring before making any first or business class booking. Sadly, this benefit is not available to Platinum cardmembers outside of the United States. American Express often has access to specially negotiated fares, unavailable anywhere else. Travelers have regularly saved 25-40% off on tickets, even on discounted business class tickets.

How To Book

Ok – you’ll need both an American Express Platinum Card, and a phone. Simply call the number on the back of your card and ask to reach the International Air Travel booking program. For best results: look up fares in advance of calling, so you have something to compare. If the same flights are lower through Amex, it’s a no brainer to book – especially when you throw in 5X points on all air travel, for booking with the Platinum Card.