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Still traveling less? Here are 7 Amex Platinum benefits you can use from home

July 15, 2021
9 min read
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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with the latest information.

With some travel benefits unusable during the pandemic, American Express responded with significant additions and bonuses for several cards in its lineup. Those benefit updates affected one of the most travel-heavy cards in the industry: The Platinum Card® from American Express. With limited-time perks and existing benefits, there was potential for cardmembers to extract value from this card even while traveling less.

But a recent move to make the Amex Platinum card more lifestyle-based gives cardholders more options than ever to justify keeping the card -- even with its new $695 annual fee (see rates and fees). Let's take a look at some of the non-travel benefits that continue to make this card worthwhile.

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$300 Equinox Credit

(Photo by Melanie Lieberman/The Points Guy)

Equinox is an upscale chain of gyms in the U.S., Canada and London. You’ll get up to $25 back via statement credit each month on select Equinox memberships or a digital subscription to Equinox+ (the on-demand fitness app) when you charge the fees on your Amex Platinum Card. Enrollment is required. If you don't live in a city with an Equinox gym, you'll get the biggest bang for your buck when you use the credit for a digital subscription to Equinox+, regularly $39.99 per month.

Value: Up to $300 (annually)

Related: Your guide to using the new Amex Platinum Equinox credit

$240 digital entertainment credit

During the pandemic, the Amex Platinum offered a temporary $20 monthly streaming credit from May 2020 through December 2020 that included Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, ESPN+ and Sling TV. With the new digital entertainment credit, none of these services made the cut. Instead, cardmembers can use up to $20 in statement credits each month to cover the cost of Peacock., Audible, SiriusXM and The New York Times. If you use any of these and use your Amex Platinum Card to pay for them, this is a good benefit to have. Enrollment required.

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Value: Up to $240 (annually)

Related: How to use the Amex Platinum digital entertainment credit

Uber Cash

(Photo courtesy of Uber)

In a time of social distancing, you can order a meal and get it delivered to your front door (or for pickup). Amex Platinum cardholders get $15 in Uber credit each month, plus an extra $20 in December (enrollment required). And that credit doesn’t just work for rides — it also works for food delivery and pickup through Uber Eats (for services in the U.S. only). Those with the Amex Platinum card now receive 12 months of complimentary access to Uber Eats Pass*, valued at $10 per month, if they enroll by Dec. 31, 2021. (Uber Eats Pass will auto-bill starting 12 months from initial enrollment in this offer, at then-current monthly rate).

Value: $320 (annually)

Related: 3 ways to use your Amex Platinum Uber credit while stuck at home

American Express Platinum Concierge

Restaurants owned by Chef Jose Andres are among those included in the Global Dining Access program. (Photo by John Parra/Getty Images for SOBEWFF®)

Short on time? Don't feel like researching things such as restaurant reservations and other mundane tasks? Let the Amex Platinum Concierge help. Your card gets you access to a special phone service to assist you in booking top restaurants and events, as well as finding a perfect dinner spot or even delivering items on demand and other tasks. And now that Amex has unveiled the Global Dining Access program powered by Resy, cardmembers receive special access to some of the world’s most sought-after restaurants. You can also book high-profile chef dinners, curated culinary experiences, virtual cooking classes and pre-sales of Resy events.

Related: Amex exec details the future of Resy, including exclusive dining access and events for cardholders

Saks Fifth Avenue credit

(Photo by Robert Alexander/Getty Images)

The Amex Platinum's Saks credit is available in the form of two $50 statement credits per calendar year. The first $50 credit is available from Jan. 1 through June 30 and the second credit is valid from July 1 through Dec. 31.

Anything that you purchase from Saks will automatically trigger the credit. And if you use an online shopping portal to shop at Saks, you'll double-dip on earnings from your purchase.

Saks is known for luxury apparel or accessories, but you can still score a great deal on everyday essentials, especially when there's a sale. From scented candles to hand wash (and we're all washing our hands diligently nowadays), you can complete your shopping list using the Amex Platinum credit. Enrollment required for select benefits.

Value: Up to $100 (annually)

Related: Guide to maximizing online shopping portals

ShopRunner membership

While this isn't a credit, this benefit can still prove to be valuable, especially if you've boosted your online shopping during the COVID-19 pandemic. Enrollment required.

ShopRunner is an Amazon Prime-like program that offers free two-day shipping at dozens of retailers. Even Saks is in the program, which means you can triple-dip: Use your Platinum card Saks credit, get free two-day shipping from ShopRunner and maximize your rewards with an online shopping portal.

From flowers to food and everything in between, ShopRunner has a wide variety of merchants where you can shop and get your items shipped pronto and free of charge.

Related: Guide to enrolling for ShopRunner

Purchase, return, and extended warranty protection 

(Photo by Busakorn Pongparnit / Getty Images)

Many credit cards offer purchase protection and extended warranty, and they're worth highlighting during tough economic times for the reassurance they offer cardholders.

With the Amex Platinum Card, purchases of up to $10,000 per incident are protected against damage, loss or theft. A limit of $50,000 in total claims per card applies. Purchase protection benefits are limited to 90 days from the date of purchase, down from the 120 days previously offered. Still, this is a fantastic benefit to have in case of loss, theft or accidental damage. Terms apply.

The Platinum card also offers 90 days of return protection. If a retailer does not accept a return, Amex will refund the entire purchase price up to $300 per item, excluding shipping and handling fees. This particular benefit is limited to $1,000 per calendar year.

Finally, Amex Platinum's extended warranty coverage offers one full year of coverage at $10,000 per item and up to $50,000 per calendar year.

Related: Guide to the best credit cards to use for purchase protection

Adding up your Platinum credits

The key to these Amex Platinum changes is being able to use all of the credits. However, if you have the Platinum in-hand and can make use of them, you'll come out ahead compared to the new $695 annual fee on this card during the 2021 calendar year.

  • Equinox credit: up to $300*
  • Digital entertainment credit: up to $240*
  • Uber Cash: up to $200*
  • Saks credit: up to $100*
  • Airline fee statement credit: up to $200*
  • Prepaid hotel credit: up to $200
  • Clear membership credit: up to $179*
  • Global Entry/TSA PreCheck credit: up to $100
  • Total credit = up to $1,519

*Enrollment required for select benefits.

Bottom line

(Photo by The Points Guy)

With an array of credits, ShopRunner membership, and shopping protections, the Amex Platinum card has plenty of non-travel benefits to offset the annual fee. That is to say, it softens the blow of missing out on some of the card's other perks if you're not still traveling (or traveling less).

And if you're new to the Amex Platinum, you can earn a generous welcome offer: a sizable 100,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $6,000 in purchases within your first six months of card membership. But the truly unique element of the offer is a bonus multiplier on non-travel items. New cardholders will now be able to earn 10x points on eligible purchases at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the U.S., on up to $25,000 in combined purchases during your first six months of card membership. That’s an additional 9x points on top of the 1x point you earn for these purchases.

Official application link: The Platinum Card from American Express

Check the CardMatch tool to see if you’re targeted for a 125,000 or 150,000-point Platinum card offer (after meeting minimum spending requirements). These offers are subject to change at any time.

Additional reporting by Benét J. Wilson.

For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum Card, please click here.

Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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