Traveling less? Here are 5 Amex Platinum benefits you can use from home

Feb 18, 2021

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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with the latest information.


With some travel benefits unusable during the pandemic, American Express has responded with significant additions and bonuses for several cards in its lineup.

Those benefit updates affected one of the most travel-heavy cards in the industry: The Platinum Card® from American Express. With limited-time perks and existing benefits, there is potential to still extract value from this card — even while traveling less. The card has a steep $550 annual fee (see rates and fees), which can make it harder to justify unless you’re taking advantage of the perks offered. Let’s take a look at some of the non-travel benefits that continue to make this card worthwhile.

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Paypal credit (temporary)

(Photo by Jirapong Manustrong/Shutterstock)

Last month, American Express announced it was adding an up to $30 monthly PayPal credit on the Amex Platinum Card through June 30, 2021.

Any merchant that accepts PayPal online will trigger the credit. It is very easy to simply check out via PayPal at thousands of online retailers (such as Target, Walmart, Home Depot, Walgreens and many more) and pay via PayPal with your Amex Platinum card. Note that person-to-person payments, gift card purchases and prepaid card reloads are not eligible for statement credits.

Value: $180 (through June 30, 2021)

Related: You can now use PayPal and Venmo directly within the Amex app

Uber credit

Medium shot of a paper food bag on a table while a chef cutting meat with a cleaver in background. (Photo courtesy Uber)
(Photo courtesy of Uber)

In a time of social distancing, you can order a meal and get it delivered to your front door (or for pickup). Amex Platinum cardholders get $15 in Uber credit each month, plus an extra $20 in December (enrollment required). And that credit doesn’t just work for rides — it also works for food delivery and pickup through Uber Eats (for services in the U.S. only). Those with Amex Platinum card now receive 12 months of complimentary access to Uber Eats Pass, valued at $10 per month, if they enroll by Dec. 31, 2021. (Uber Eats Pass will auto-bill starting 12 months from initial enrollment in this offer, at then-current monthly rate). Click here for Uber Eats Pass terms and conditions

Value: $320 (annually)

Related: 3 ways to use your Amex Platinum Uber credit while stuck at home

Saks Fifth Avenue credit

(Photo by Robert Alexander/Getty Images)
(Photo by Robert Alexander/Getty Images)

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.  Enrollment required for select benefits.

Value: $100 (annually) 

Related: Guide to maximizing online shopping portals

ShopRunner membership

While this isn’t a credit, this benefit can still prove to be valuable, especially if you’ve boosted your online shopping during the COVID-19 pandemic. Enrollment required.

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: Guide to enrolling for ShopRunner

Purchase, return, and extended warranty protection 

(Photo by Busakorn Pongparnit / Getty Images)
(Photo by Busakorn Pongparnit / Getty Images)

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 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: 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 during the 2021 calendar year (see rates and fees).

  • PayPal credit: $180 (temporary)
  • Uber credit: $200
  • Saks credit: $100
  • Airline fee credit: $200
  • Total credit = up to $680

Also if you’re keeping track at home, the Platinum now has one annual credit, one bi-annual credit, one monthly credit through June 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. Enrollment required for select benefits.

Travel benefits you can still use

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

American Express offers a host of other benefits with its premium travel card, including Centurion Lounge and Global Lounge Collection access, up to $200 annual reimbursement for airline incidental fees, hotel and car rental elite status, an up to $100 Global Entry or TSA Precheck credit and much more. Enrollment required for select benefits.

As of this writing, most Centurion lounges have reopenedAnd 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 with American Express Travel (note: you’ll earn 5x points on up to $500,000 on the airfare purchases per calendar year). 

Bottom line

With an array of credits, ShopRunner membership, and shopping protections, the Amex 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 some of the card’s other perks if you’re not traveling (or traveling less). 

And if you’re new to the Amex Platinum, you can earn a generous welcome offer: a sizable 75,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $5,000 in purchases within your first six months of card membership. But the truly unique element of the offer is a bonus multiplier on non-travel items.

New cardholders will now be able to earn 10x points on up to $15,000 in combined purchases at U.S. gas stations and U.S. supermarkets during the same first six months of card membership. That’s an additional 9x points on top of the 1x point you earn for these purchases.

Additional reporting by Benet Wilson. 

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

Featured photo by The Points Guy

The Platinum Card® from American Express

WELCOME OFFER: 75,000 Points Terms Apply.

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 savings annually (only for use in the U.S.)  (Enrollment required for select benefits)

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • 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 with American Express Travel.
  • 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.
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