The small card perk that made our day — and gave us free cheesecake

May 1, 2021

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I don’t know where I first heard the saying that, when you look back, “It’s the little things that are really the big things.” But it’s a sentiment with which I wholeheartedly agree. Especially after the last year we all had, small things can be big.

For kids, letting them stay up well beyond bedtime to watch a funny movie with you, or unexpectedly bringing their favorite lunch and eating with them at school (back when that was possible) — those things matter. So, while I like to use credit card perks and miles to go big, I also enjoy the smaller perks.

It had been a long time since we went to the mall to pick up a few things and grab a snack. What was once a pretty mundane experience on the to-do list, was now a little foreign and exciting for my kids. My oldest became a full-fledged tweenager during the pandemic and ‘shopping’ in stores is now fun in her mind.

So while we were out doing a little shopping and strolling, we passed The Cheesecake Factory and a lightbulb went off in my mind. I remembered that we actually have a credit card that could give us a slice for free.

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(Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)
(Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

I’ve had the American Express® Gold Card in my wallet for a few years now, and while I love racking up 4x points per dollar at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 in U.S. supermarket purchases each calendar year; then 1x), it also has two built-in monthly $10 credits you can use towards food (up to $120 annually).

The first is a $10 monthly Uber credit that can be used for U.S. rides or Uber Eats orders (up to $120 in annual Uber Cash). This was actually just added to the card this year. (Note: Card must be added to your Uber account to receive this benefit).

But the second $10 monthly credit is valid at Ruth’s Chris Steak House, participating Shake Shack locations, Boxed orders, on Grubhub and Seamless orders and — you guessed it — The Cheesecake Factory. (Just be sure you register for this credit prior to use.) Enrollment required for select benefits.

Related: Why the Amex Gold is a great card for families

A $10 monthly dining credit wouldn’t cover much during a full-blown family dinner at the Cheesecake Factory, but it’s just enough for a slice of cheesecake to go. I asked the girls if they wanted to go in and pick out a slice of any piece of cheesecake they wanted, and you know their answer. It’s basically like taking kids to a very fancy candy store.

(Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)
(Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

Like everything at the Cheesecake Factory, the by-the-slice menu is hilariously long. But whether you choose original or strawberry, peppermint bark or chocolate cheesecake, they all cost around $10 a slice (at least here in Texas).

(Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)
(Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

One carefully selected, kid-friendly slice of Reese’s Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake Cheesecake and a small tip for the cashier later, and we were on our way out the door having spent just over $10 on the Amex Gold card — almost the exact amount of the monthly credit.

That one slice was plenty for the family to share after dinner that night, and the girls had a ton of fun with the whole thing.

(Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)
(Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

Bottom line

Getting a slice of cheesecake for free other than just a little overage for the tip thanks to the Amex Gold dining credit is, unquestionably, a small thing. But continuing a family tradition of taking turns picking out a slice of cheesecake when we are at the mall felt like a nice, familiar outing that we hadn’t done in far too long.

Related: Worked like a charm: How I discovered a new (favorite) restaurant thanks to the Amex Gold dining credit

Featured image by author

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases within the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn a $200 statement credit after your first Delta purchase within the first three months. Offer ends 7/28/21.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

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More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles after spending $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months and a $200 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months. Offer expires 7/28/2021.
  • Limited Time Offer: Plus, get a 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening, then a variable 15.74%-24.74%. Offer expires 7/28/2021.
  • Accelerate your path to Medallion Status, with Status Boost®. Plus, in 2021 you can earn even more bonus Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) to help you reach Medallion Status.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
0% on purchases for 12 months
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

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

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.