How to use the Amex Platinum digital entertainment credit
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The already expensive premium travel rewards card has increased its annual fee to $695 (see rates and fees). At first glance, that figure looks colossal for a single card. But American Express has added a suite of new features that can potentially make the Amex Platinum more appealing than ever.
One such feature is a monthly statement credit toward digital entertainment. If you can max out this new benefit alone, the card is automatically a better deal than before.
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What is the new Amex Platinum digital entertainment credit?
The Amex Platinum offers up to $240 in “digital entertainment” statement credits annually, doled out in monthly $20 increments. You can use these credits for a very select few subscriptions:
- Sirius XM
- The New York Times
While these entertainment groups are far from the most popular (we were hoping for Netflix, Hulu, YouTube TV, etc.), they’re likely relevant enough to appease some cardholders and entice new ones. I already subscribe to Peacock and Audible, which almost exactly maxes out the monthly credit. If this describes you, it’s truly like getting an effective $240 off the annual fee each year.
However, there are a number of reasons why this credit may be worth significantly less — or even zero dollars — to you. Let’s examine how to use the credit.
How to use the Amex Platinum digital entertainment credit
First note that you must enroll your card before making a qualifying purchase. You won’t receive any statement credits of you fail to do this.
Head to your Amex Platinum home page and click the “Benefits” tab at the top of the screen.
You’ll now see a large number of tiles outlining each of your card benefits in full. Scroll until you see “New: $240 Digital Entertainment Credit.” You can click either the “Get Started” button or the “Learn More” button.
Scroll past the details and tips until you see a picture of your card. Indicate that you understand the terms and conditions of the card benefit, and click “Enroll Now.”
That’s it! you’re ready to start saving.
Let’s now look at the opportunities of each digital entertainment subscription. Keep in mind that you must enroll directly with the provider for your Amex credit to trigger. You can’t sign-up via a mobile app or third party.
Peacock offers two paid products:
- Premium: $4.99 per month
- Premium Plus: 9.99 per month
You will not be reimbursed for subscriptions bundled with cable services or other bundles. You also can’t use it for gift cards of any sort.
Pro tip: I have Peacock Premium, and while I tend to get good use from it, the free version may suit you just as well. The big difference is that you get double the available content, as well as live sports. If your investigation reveals that the shows you’re interested in are available on the free version, the Amex Platinum credit won’t do you much good here. Springing for the ad-free Premium Plus subscription would the real difference-maker, as you can also download content for the plane.
Audible is Amazon’s audiobook platform, allowing you to download and stream more than 200,000 books. Audible offers two plans:
- Plus: $7.95 per month
- Premium Plus: $14.95 per month
But it also gives you the option to purchase books. Whether you’re paying for a subscription or purchasing audiobooks, your Amex Platinum monthly credit will kick in. Just note that you must make your purchase directly through www.audible.com.
Pro tip: There are many membership options to Audible, some monthly and some yearly. By choosing the Premium Plus plan, you’ll receive one “credit” per month, which you can use on books that aren’t included with an Audible Plus subscription. You can use these to purchase any book on the platform. I just used a credit to buy a book that costs $56 — a steal considering the credit only cost $14.95.
You’ve got one year from the time each credit was issued before it expires. Think of this Amex digital entertainment credit as 12 free Audible credits each year. If you like audiobooks, you could rather effortlessly receive $500+ in books from this credit annually (though note that you won’t actually save anymore than ~$180).
The New York Times
Ignoring limited-time/introductory offers, here’s what you can expect to pay for a subscription with The New York Times:
- Digital subscription: $4.25 per week
- Paper copy: Starting at $10 per week (Sunday edition)
- NYT Cooking: $1.25 per week
- New York Times Games: $1.25 per week
You’ll need to visit www.nytimes.com to trigger the Amex Platinum credit. Unfortunately, you cannot use your credit for ad services, NYT conferences, gift cards, the TimesDigest or any purchases from the NYTimes company store.
Pro tip: Many of these subscriptions are discounted when purchasing an annual subscription instead of paying monthly. For example, NYT Cooking costs $60 per year when you pay each month, but only $40 in value if you pay a lump sum. That sharply diminishes the value of this digital entertainment credit.
Sirius XM offers three tiers of service. Again, ignoring introductory offers, here are the prices:
- Streaming Platinum: $10.99
- Car + Streaming: $16.99
- All Access: $21.99
The Amex Platinum credit is valid towards purchases made directly with SiriusXM (U.S.) online at www.siriusxm.com, through SiriusXM telephone sales or direct mail order purchase transactions. The only stipulated exceptions are SiriusXM safety, security or Telematics services (Connected Vehicle), SiriusXM for Business subscriptions, SiriusXM ad sales and Pandora.
Pro tip: If you’ve never subscribed to SiriusXM, they’re desperate to keep customers. My wife has had wild success calling (or online chatting) to cancel, and eventually receiving an additional six months of membership for under $10. If you’re not averse to chatting with customer service reps, you can likely maintain a SiriusXM subscription so cheap that you won’t get much use from the Amex Platinum credit.
FAQs on Amex Platinum digital entertainment credit
Is the Amex Platinum digital entertainment credit a good deal?
Sort of. The issue is that many of us purchase our memberships annually because there is often a steep discount. The Amex Platinum statement credit works counterintuitive to a strategy like this. To get the biggest value from this benefit, you’ll need to pay for your subscriptions monthly, which can raise the price of your annual subscriptions.
For example, paying a lump sum for an annual subscription to various New York Times assets can save you 33% over monthly payments. Doing the same for an Audible Premium Plus account will save you 16% over monthly payments. In other words, you shouldn’t necessarily value the digital entertainment credit at $240 per year.
Which other digital entertainment companies participate?
The only providers that trigger the reimbursement for the Amex Platinum statement credit are Peacock, Audible, Sirius XM and The New York Times. We are hoping very much that Amex will expand this partnership over time, and we’ll let you know when we hear something.
What is the best use of the Amex Platinum digital entertainment credit?
This credit is limited enough that we aren’t seeing any non-obvious methods for redeeming. If you’ve got any of these subscriptions already, this credit is a good deal for you. If not, the credit may be enough to spur you from trying a new thing — but do not calculate this credit into your annual savings unless it’s money you would have spent anyway.
American Express has tacked a $240 digital entertainment statement credit onto their new (and improved?) Amex Platinum suite of benefits, distributed in $20 increments each month. Audible and Peacock are likely the most typical uses for most of us. Though, I suppose if you live in a city where driving is essential, a SiriusXM subscription could be useful for those long commuting days. Just remember to enroll your card first before paying for any subscriptions or the credits won’t activate.
Official application link: The Platinum Card from American Express
Check the CardMatch tool to see if you’re targeted for a 125,000 or 150,000-point Platinum card offer (after meeting minimum spending requirements). These offers are subject to change at any time.
Featured photo by Harrer/Bloomberg/Getty Images.
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