No travel, no problem: 6 Amex Platinum benefits you can use from home
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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with the latest information including limited-time benefits in response to coronavirus.
With most travel benefits being unusable in the midst of a global pandemic, American Express has responded with significant additions and bonuses for many cards in its lineup. This includes one of the most travel-heavy cards in the industry: The Platinum Card® from American Express. With its new perks and already existing benefits, there is potential to extract incredible value from this card. Let’s take a look at some of the non-travel benefits that make this card worthwhile.
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Amex Platinum Benefits you can still use now
As non-essential travel and other activities are at a standstill, many of our purchasing behaviors are shifting. Two new temporary Platinum perks have been added as a direct response to coronavirus spending patterns. Here are all six notable Amex Platinum benefits that you can use in the comfort of your own home.
Consider your next Netflix binge session — and any other viewings for the rest of year — covered. Amex has introduced a $20 monthly streaming credit on the Platinum Card, from May through December 2020. While streaming has taken off in recent years, it has hit primetime (pun intended) now that everyone is in their homes and relying on these services for entertainment.
Like all of the other Platinum credits, it’s a use-it-or-lose concept each month. The $20 credit covers the following U.S. streaming services:
- Amazon Music Unlimited
- Apple Music
- Apple TV+
- AT&T Now
- CBS All Access
- Fubo TV
- HBO Now
- Kindle Unlimited
- NBA League Pass
- Prime Video
- Sling TV
- SiriusXM Streaming and Satellite
- YouTube Music Premium
- YouTube Premium
- YouTube TV
Value: $160 (May through Dec.)
Related reading: The best credit cards for streaming services
Amex is also introducing a new wireless credit on the Platinum Card to use towards your cell phone bill. This $20 credit applies towards monthly wireless telephone service charges made directly to U.S.-based wireless service providers. These merchants include (but are not limited to):
Unfortunately, accessories, repairs, bundled purchases, etc. won’t qualify which makes this credit slightly more limiting. However, there should be plenty of cardholders that will appreciate the $20 towards offsetting their monthly wireless bill.
Value: $160 (May through Dec.)
Related reading: Best credit cards for paying your cell phone bill
In a time of social distancing, you can order a meal and get it delivered to your front door. Amex Platinum cardholders get $15 in Uber credit each month, plus an extra $20 in December. And that credit doesn’t just work for rides — it also works for food delivery and pickup through Uber Eats.
With most restaurants closed for sit-down dining, the only way to support some of them is through pick-up or delivery. Uber Eats has announced it is waiving delivery fees for local restaurants (you do still have to pay a service fee), helping you extend your credit even further.
Value: $200 (annually)
Related reading: 3 ways to use your Amex Platinum Uber credit while stuck at home
The Amex Platinum’s Saks credit is available in the form of two $50 statement credits per year. The first $50 credit is available from Jan. 1 through June 30 and the second credit is valid from July 1 through Dec. 31.
Anything that you purchase from Saks will automatically trigger the credit. And if you use an online shopping portal to shop at Saks, you’ll double-dip on earnings from your purchase.
Saks is known for luxury apparel or accessories, but you can still score a great deal on everyday essentials, especially when there’s a sale. From scented candles to hand wash (and we’re all washing our hands diligently nowadays), you can complete your shopping list using the Amex Platinum credit.
Value: $100 (annually)
Related reading: Guide to maximizing online shopping portals
While this isn’t a credit, this benefit can still prove to be valuable. With millions of Americans under orders to stay home and nonessential businesses shuttered, online shopping is in full swing.
ShopRunner is an Amazon Prime-like program that offers free two-day shipping at dozens of retailers. Even Saks is in the program, which means you can triple-dip: Use your Platinum card Saks credit, get free two-day shipping from ShopRunner and maximize your rewards with an online shopping portal.
From flowers to food and everything in between, ShopRunner has a wide variety of merchants where you can shop and get your items shipped pronto and free of charge.
Related reading: Guide to enrolling for ShopRunner
Purchase, return, and extended warranty protection
Many credit cards offer purchase protection and extended warranty, and they’re worth highlighting during tough economic times for the reassurance they offer cardholders.
The Amex Platinum Card, purchases of up to $10,000 per incident are protected against damage, loss or theft. A limit of $50,000 in total claims per card applies. Purchase protection benefits are now limited to 90 days from the date of purchase, down from the 120 days previously offered. Still, this is a fantastic benefit to have in case of loss, theft or accidental damage. Terms apply.
The Platinum card also offers 90 days of return protection. If a retailer does not accept a return, Amex will refund the entire purchase price up to $300 per item, excluding shipping and handling fees. This particular benefit is limited to $1,000 per calendar year.
Finally, the Amex Platinum’s extended warranty coverage offers one full year of coverage at $10,000 per item and up to $50,000 per calendar year.
Related reading: Guide to the best credit cards to use for purchase protection
Adding up your Platinum credits
The key to these Amex Platinum changes is being able to use all of the credits. However, if you have the Platinum in-hand and can make use of them, you’ll come out ahead compared to the $550 annual fee on this card (see rates and fees).
- Streaming credit: $160
- Wireless credit: $160
- Uber credit: $200
- Saks credit: $100
- Total credit = up to $620
Also if you’re keeping track at home, the Platinum now has one annual credit, one bi-annual credit, two monthly credits and one monthly credit with a December bonus. The one downside to all of these credits is making sure you remember to use them in a timely fashion.
Benefits you can use later
American Express offers a host of other benefits with its premium travel card, including Centurion Lounge and Global Lounge Collection access, $200 in reimbursement for airline incidental fees, hotel and car rental elite status and much more.
Obviously, most of these benefits can’t be put to use right now, but you can use them for future travel. For instance, you have until the end of the calendar year to take advantage of the $200 airline fee credit.
When you’re ready to book travel, you can also take advantage of the Platinum’s 5x bonus on flights booked directly with airlines and through Amex Travel and 5x points on prepaid hotels booked via amextravel.com. (Note: Starting Jan. 1, 2021, you’ll earn 5x points on up to $500,000 on the airfare purchases per calendar year).
Related Reading: Should you book new travel now?
Amex’s recent coronavirus-related changes are a huge bonus for existing Platinum cardholders. For those who were on the cusp of canceling the card and can now make use of the new perks, it makes a lot of sense to hold onto for at least another year. And for others, it even might be worthwhile to apply for the card to take advantage of the temporary benefits.
With an array of credits, ShopRunner membership, and shopping protections, the Platinum card has plenty of non-travel benefits to offset the annual fee. That is to say, it softens the blow of missing out on all of the card’s other perks.
For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum Card, please click here.
Featured photo by The Points Guy
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TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,500
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: Delta Sky Club and Centurion lounge access, up to $200 annual airline fee credit and up to $200 in Uber credits annually
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- Earn 75,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $5,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
- Earn 10x points on eligible purchases on your new Card at U.S. Gas Stations and U.S. Supermarkets, on up to $15,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of Card Membership. That’s an additional 9 points on top of the 1 point you earn for these purchases.
- 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 and Additional Centurion Cards only.
- Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel. Starting January 1, 2021, earn 5X points on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.
- 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
- Enjoy complimentary access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
- Receive complimentary benefits through American Express Travel with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts® program at over 1,100 properties. Learn More.
- Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. That’s up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually. Enrollment required.
- $550 annual fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees