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Savvy Saturday: Maximizing the Saks Fifth Avenue credit on the Amex Platinum (with a partner)

July 31, 2021
6 min read
Savvy Saturday: Maximizing the Saks Fifth Avenue credit on the Amex Platinum (with a partner)
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Editor’s note: Some travel cards come with awkward benefits that are difficult to maximize. This article is part of a series that shows you unique/fun/unintended ways to use your credit card benefits. If you've got any questions or have an example of a unique way to use a credit card perk, tweet us at @thepointsguy, message us on Facebook, or email us at info@thepointsguy.com.


Of my 20+ open card accounts, one of my least favorite ongoing benefits is the Saks Fifth Avenue credits that come with The Platinum Card® from American Express. Here's how they work (enrollment required):

  • Receive up to $50 in statement credits with Saks Fifth Avenue to be used between Jan. 1 and June 30
  • Receive up to $50 in statement credits with Saks Fifth Avenue to be used between July 1 and Dec. 31

That's a total of $100 in credits per calendar year -- but infuriatingly, you can only spend $50 at a time. At Saks Fifth Avenue, that'll buy you a travel pack of moist towelettes.

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If you're like many of us in the miles and points community, you and your partner/travel buddy both have an Amex Platinum. Lately, the welcome bonus has been off the charts, causing many more of us to open the card (Currently 80,000 points after you spend $6,000 in eligible purchases in the first six months of card membership).

Official application link: The Platinum Card® from American Express with a 80,000-point bonus.

Two Amex Platinum cardholders have a much wider selection of free stuff at Saks. I’ll quickly explain how my wife and I used our credits to actually get a fair deal. You can read our post on the Amex Platinum benefits and perks to learn about the more valuable benefits that come with this card.

Related: 10 gifts you can buy using your Amex Platinum $50 Saks Fifth Avenue credit

I’d normally never step into a Saks Fifth Avenue. The Amex Platinum has me trying new things. (Photo by Joseph Hostetler/The Points Guy)

The secret: Splitting payments at the cash register

Let me first say that I don’t belong in Saks Fifth Avenue. Stores like that make me uncomfortable: Business casual shirts with $400 price tags; burlap scarves that could pay a month’s rent. Maybe it’s the miles and points lobe of my brain, but it seems like a waste.

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My wife and I visited Waikiki in May. We decided we'd duck into Saks when we spotted it on Kuhio Ave. It was our first time in such a place, and we felt immediate unease at the helpfulness of the staff. They were so obsequious that I didn’t know if I was meant to tip them. My wife tried on some shorts, and the employee helping us never left our side from that point, endlessly reaffirming how fantastic we’d look in every article our hands touched. She was extremely nice, but we did spend about 40 extra minutes walking around pretending to shop, so she didn’t know we had strayed from our social/financial boundaries.

My wife and I both have Amex Platinum cards. That means we collectively can get up to $100 in Saks credits every six months by splitting tender at checkout. If you and a partner or travel buddy are in the same situation, this is an easy way to get $100 off a single item (instead of just $50). That opens up many more possibilities — though it still takes sifting to find a desirable item around that price.

She eventually found me a shirt on the 40% off the rack that she liked. After the discount, the shirt cost $99.27 (remember, the goal was to get as close to $100 as possible).

At the register, I asked for the bill to be split into two payments. I put $50 on my Amex Platinum and the $49.42 on my wife’s. The Saks Fifth Avenue credit doesn’t require any minimum spending — it’ll basically just reimburse the first $50 you spend directly with Saks.

After purchasing a Saks bag for 15 cents, we’re just 58 cents away from maxing out our Saks credits. (Photo by Joseph Hostetler/The Points Guy

Our Saks credits have since replenished, so now it's my wife’s turn to spend $100. Just be aware that you can't split tender online at the Saks website -- you'll have to be at a brick and mortar, unfortunately.

Note: I have heard that a good use for these credits is chocolate. I've never purchased chocolate from Saks Fifth Avenue, but it does seem like an easy and fun way to spend your $50 credit biannually. I'm curious to hear how you all spend your credits!

Bottom line

The Amex Platinum comes with a ridiculous amount of statement credits — $1,400+ every year, in fact. And while the card's $50 Saks Fifth Avenue credits are easy to use, it’s not a lauded benefit because Saks is such an expensive store to begin with.

If your household has more than one Amex Platinum cardholder, you can much more easily find a decent free item from Saks by splitting your payment at the cash register between two cards. My wife and I combined our credits to buy one article of clothing off the fire sale rack, giving us a $100 value. I do not say I “saved $100” because there’s not the slimmest chance I’d have stepped into that store without the prod of the Amex Platinum.

Still, it’s a nice little bonus for having a card that saves me $1,000+ annually anyway. You can read our super easy-to-follow guide of Amex Platinum benefits to see what I mean.

Related: Your guide to the Amex Platinum Saks Fifth Avenue credit

Featured image by Getty Images
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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TPG featured card

Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

2 - 10X points
10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day

Intro offer

75,000 bonus miles
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

Annual Fee

$395

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023