Your guide to the Amex Platinum Saks Fifth Avenue credit

Dec 31, 2020

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Of all the personal travel credit cards on the market, the one that offers us the most perks and access is unquestionably The Platinum Card® from American Express. It may also be the most expensive with its $695 annual fee (see rates and fees) — but we get our money’s worth with lounge access, up to $200 in annual Uber credits (for use in the U.S.), up to $200 airline incidental fee credits and a statement credit of up to $100 per year at Saks Fifth Avenue.

In a year when some of those other benefits such as lounge access likely weren’t used much, the non-travel credits such as the Saks Fifth Avenue benefit are even more beneficial.

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. Enrollment required for select benefits

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In This Post

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 remember, 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.

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

American Express Platinum_Montreal
(Photo by Isabelle Raphael / The Points Guy)

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. (enrollment required for select benefits).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 in 2021) 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 for a number of adorable kid’s items such as dresses, raincoats and shoes. Enrollment required for select benefits

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. 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. Enrollment required for select benefits

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.

As I write this, Rakuten is actually offering 11% (or 11x Membership Rewards points if you have your account set up to earn Amex points) on Saks Fifth Avenue.  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. Enrollment required for select benefits.

Related: 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. Enrollment required for select benefits.

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.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

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CARD HIGHLIGHTS: Delta Sky Club and Centurion lounge access, up to $200 annual airline fee credit and up to $200 in Uber Cash annually (only for use in the U.S.)  (Enrollment required for select benefits)

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum Card®, Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • Get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings, which requires a minimum two-night stay, through American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®. And if you fly, you can receive up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year after you select a qualifying airline and incidental fees are charged by the airline to your Platinum Card®.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 back each month on eligible purchases made with your Platinum Card® on one or more of the following: Audible, Disney+, The Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, Peacock, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card. Cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax. Plus Ups are excluded.
  • American Express has expanded The Centurion® Network to include 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations worldwide. There are even more places your Platinum Card® can get you complimentary entry and exclusive perks.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one select qualifying airline.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member only.
  • $300 Equinox Credit: Get up to $25 back each month on the Equinox+ digital fitness app, or eligible Equinox club memberships when you pay with your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $189 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $189 back per year on your CLEAR® membership. CLEAR® is available at select airports and stadiums.
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