Your guide to the Amex Platinum Saks Fifth Avenue credit

Jun 26, 2020

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Editor’s note: This post updates the latest credit card information.

Of all the rewards-earning credit cards we have, the one that offers us the most perks and access is unquestionably The Platinum Card® from American Express. It may also be the one we have with the highest annual fee, at $550 (see rates and fees) — but we get our money’s worth with lounge access, up to $200 in annual Uber credits, up to $200 airline incidental fee credits and a statement credit of up to $100 per year at Saks Fifth Avenue.

(Photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy)
(Photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy)

As an added bonus, the credit now applies to purchases made at Barneys by Saks. As you might have heard, Barneys New York filed for bankruptcy in 2019. As The Cut explained, “Authentic Brands Group, the licensing company that partnered with B. Riley Financial to bid on the IP and assets of the bankrupt retailer, finalized its acquisition” on Nov. 1.

If you’re like me and spend more than $100 a year at Saks Fifth Avenue, this is like money in the bank. But even those who don’t typically shop at Saks can find value in this credit. If you associate Saks Fifth Avenue with $4,000 Prada dresses you aren’t wrong, but you might be surprised to find that they also offer much more reasonable and affordable items.

How the Saks Fifth Avenue Credit works

The Amex Platinum added this benefit back in July 2018, and it’s been a popular perk ever since. The credit is available in the form of two $50 statement credits per year. Your first $50 statement credit is available from July 1 to Dec. 31 and your second $50 statement credit is available from Jan. 1 to June 30. You need to enroll your Amex Platinum Card for this benefit to take effect, which you can do through your Amex account online.

And ABG has turned Barneys into a store-within-a-store — it’s focusing on rebooting Barneys New York on the fifth floor of Saks’ New York City flagship store, and then will work on launching Barneys New York at Saks shop-in-shops across North America. We confirmed with Amex that the Platinum benefit will apply to these purchases.

In short: The Amex Platinum Saks benefit just got even more useful.

There is no minimum purchase required to trigger these new statement credits, so you could make a purchase of $50 (or less) once every six months and not owe anything out of pocket once the credit posts to your Amex Platinum account. Believe it or not, Saks really does offer items at $50 and less. Their frequent sales drop the prices of all sorts of items to palatable levels, but there are some items that are always below that price point.

There are some limits to the credit. The terms state that this Amex Platinum statement credit is valid at Saks Fifth Avenue online or at locations in the U.S. and U.S. Territories. It is not valid on Saks Fifth Avenue Gift Cards or purchases at outlet locations (in stores and online), and it excludes purchases at restaurants located within the store and online bill pay for Saks credit. The credit also is not valid on online purchases shipped outside of the U.S.  You may have to wait anywhere from two to four weeks after an eligible purchase is charged to your card for a statement credit to be posted.

Maximizing Your Saks Fifth Avenue credit

If you’re not an avid Saks Fifth Avenue shopper, you might wonder how you can best take advantage of this credit each year — especially since many items they sell are in the “outrageously expensive” category. I’m going to walk you through a few tips on how to find the sweet spots and get the most out of this Amex Platinum benefit.

(Photo by Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
(Photo by Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Know what to buy

Yes, Saks is home to $1,595 Gianvito Rossi knee-high boots and a $6,850 Chanel jacket (both a bit out of most people’s price range). But you can also find plenty of great finds for under $50. For example, one of my favorite sunscreen primers, Unseen Sunscreen from Supergoop (which is an amazing travel primer if you’re headed to somewhere where you’ll be getting a lot of sun) is only $32 at Saks. You can also find products from popular makeup brands such as MAC and Benefit for well under $50. If you have kids, you can use your Saks credit on back-to-school items like a Herschel backpack ($49.99) or adorable dresses, raincoats and shoes.

Take advantage of sales

If you keep an eye out for sales, you can score a great deal on Saks items that would normally cost well over the $50 semi-annual credit. The Saks website has an entire section dedicated to sale items — for example, they were having a 60% off sale on designer selections as I wrote this guide. Items on the sale page under $50 included a box of Charbonnel et Walker truffles, Sperry deck sneakers, a Rebecca Minkoff nylon belt bag and Glow Recipe – ID.AZ facial toner.

Like any department store, sale items can be hit-or-miss, but if you’re patient you can find excellent deals. Even if you have your eye on a sale item that costs more than $50, think of your Saks credit as an additional $50 discount.

The aforementioned Barneys at Saks also has a sale section that’s worth taking a look at — including a Re/done The Shanty Classic T-Shirt.

Always use a shopping portal

Any time you are shopping online, start through a shopping portal to earn points, miles or cash back on your purchase on top of your Saks credit. You can check a site such as Evreward (which compares rewards comparisons for online shopping portals) to see which portal makes the most sense for you to use. Now through the end of August, British Airways is offering 6x Avios when you shop Saks through the Avios eStore. As an Amex cardholder, you also have access to ShopRunner, which offers free two-day shipping and returns at a ton of retailers — including Saks.

Related reading: TPG Talks episode one: Use online shopping portals and apps to save money and earn miles from home

Bottom line

Whether you’re obsessed with Saks Fifth Avenue or have rarely shopped there, you should take advantage of the $100 annual Saks credit offered by your Amex Platinum card. If you’re not familiar with the brand, it can be overwhelming to know how to best maximize the credit (especially since it’s broken into two $50 credits each year), but hopefully, these tips will help you find the best options to take advantage of it.

Not a current Amex Platinum Cardholder? Read our full review to see if it should be the next card in your wallet.

Prices accurate as of publication date. 

Additional reporting by Benét J. Wilson.

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

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