Your guide to the Amex Platinum Saks Fifth Avenue credit
Of all the personal travel cards on the market, the one that offers the most perks and access is The Platinum Card® from American Express.
It's also one of the most expensive cards due to its $695 annual fee (see rates and fees) — but you can get your money’s worth with lounge access, up to $200 in annual Uber credits (for use in the U.S.), up to $200 in airline incidental fee credits and a statement credit of up to $100 per year at Saks Fifth Avenue.
If you’re like me and spend more than $100 a year at Saks Fifth Avenue, this is like money in the bank. Even those who don’t typically shop at Saks can find value in this credit — which resets every six months.
If you associate Saks Fifth Avenue with $4,000 Prada dresses, you aren’t wrong. However, you might be surprised to find that they also offer much more reasonable and affordable items. Enrollment is required for select benefits.
Let’s take a closer look and see what this credit offers.
How the Saks Fifth Avenue credit works
The credit is available as two $50 statement credits per calendar year. Your first $50 statement credit is available from Jan. 1 to June 30, and your second $50 statement credit is available from July 1 to Dec. 31.
You need to enroll for this benefit to take effect, which you can do through your Amex account online.
There is no minimum purchase required to trigger these statement credits, meaning 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. To many people's surprise, Saks offers items costing $50 or less. While the merchant’s frequent sales drop the prices of all sorts of items to palatable levels, some items are always below that price point.
There are some limits to this cardmember credit, however.
First, you must enroll before you can use it.
Second, 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.
Third, the credit isn't valid on online purchases shipped outside of the U.S.
Finally, you may have to wait up to four weeks after an eligible purchase is charged to your card for a statement credit to be posted. That's because Saks typically won't charge your card until after your item(s) ship, which means waiting until the last minute to use this benefit may mean missing out on the statement credit due to potential delays in shipping.
Read more: How to maximize benefits with the Amex Platinum Card
However, if you've made a qualifying purchase with plenty of time before the June 30 or December 31 deadline, you should receive your statement credit in an average of four days.
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. Here's how to find the sweet spots and get the most out of this Amex Platinum benefit.
Know what to buy
Yes, Saks is home to $1,695 Gianvito Rossi knee-high boots and a $3,850 Givenchy bomber jacket (both a bit out of most people’s price range). But you can also find plenty of great items for under $50.
For example, one of my favorite sunscreen primers, Unseen Sunscreen from Supergoop (which is an amazing travel primer if you’ll be out in the sun) costs around $40 for a 1.7-ounce bottle 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 many adorable kids’ items, such as dresses, raincoats and shoes.
Take advantage of sales
If you watch for sales, you can score a great deal on Saks items that normally cost over the $50 semi-annual credit. The Saks website has an entire section dedicated to sales items. Like any department store, sale items can be hit or miss, but you can find excellent deals if you're patient. Even if you have your eye on a sale item that costs more than $50, think of your Saks credit as a $50 coupon.
You can find all items currently $50 or less at this link.
Always use a shopping portal
Any time you shop online, start through a shopping portal to earn points, miles or cash back on your purchase on top of your Saks credit. Numerous sites function as shopping portal aggregators, which compare rewards to see which portal makes the most sense for you to use.
Rakuten offers anywhere from 1%-10% cash back (or 1-10 Amex points per dollar spent) on Saks Fifth Avenue purchases, depending on current promotions. And as an Amex cardholder, you also have access to ShopRunner, which offers free two-day shipping and returns at many retailers — including Saks. Enrollment is required.
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 unfamiliar with the brand, it can be overwhelming to know how to maximize the credit (especially since it’s broken into two $50 credits each year). However, these tips will help you find the best options to utilize the available statement credits.
Not a current Amex Platinum Cardholder? Check out our full Amex Platinum card review to see if it should be the next card in your wallet.
Additional reporting by Ryan Smith, Ryan Wilcox and Benét J. Wilson.
For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum, click here.