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18 creative ways to use Amex Platinum's monthly $30 PayPal credit

May 7 2021
6 min read
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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with new information.

At the start of 2021, American Express unveiled a new temporary perk for The Platinum Card® from American Express cardmembers: an up to $30 monthly PayPal credit. Amex will automatically issue these monthly statement credits for eligible PayPal purchases that post until June 30, 2021. This means you have just two more months to take advantage of up to $60 in remaining credit.

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Most cardmembers will be able to use this new PayPal credit at face value and get the full $30 in value out of it. So, today I'll consider how to use the new monthly $30 PayPal credit currently available to Amex Platinum cardmembers.

How to use the $30 monthly PayPal credit

Many online merchants accept PayPal at checkout. (Photo by jacoblund/Getty Images)

A monthly PayPal credit may seem difficult to use if you aren't already a regular user of the service. But it's actually quite easy. And, as I'll discuss in the next section, you'll likely be able to use the credit to cover one or more expenses you already incur each month.

To use the new PayPal credit, you must pay via PayPal with your Amex Platinum card at checkout. Amex's page on the PayPal credit recommends setting up your PayPal account as follows before you start to make a purchase:

  1. Create or log in to your PayPal account
  2. Go to Account Settings and select “Banks and Cards”
  3. Follow prompts to add a new card to your PayPal Wallet
  4. Add your Amex Platinum Card
  5. For the most seamless checkout experience, set your Amex Platinum Card as your preferred method of payment

Next, you need to find a merchant that allows you to pay via PayPal at checkout. Luckily, many online retailers allow you to pay via PayPal, including Target, Walmart, Home Depot and Walgreens. For example, here's what it looks like for a Walmart purchase:

(Image courtesy of Walmart)

When checking out at Walmart, you'd need to click on the PayPal button, log in to your PayPal account and then select your Amex Platinum Card under the "Pay With" section. Alternatively, if you didn't add your Amex Platinum Card to your PayPal Wallet ahead of time, you can click on "Add debit or credit card" at this point.

If you have additional authorized users on your Amex Platinum account, PayPal charges made on the authorized user cards will count. However, authorized users don't get their own $30 monthly credit. So, their purchases will count toward your $30 credit each month.

Additionally, only purchases made in U.S. dollars at U.S. merchants with a U.S. PayPal account are eligible. Person-to-person payments won't trigger a statement credit.

Related: Why the Amex Platinum card is still in the wallets of these TPG staffers

18 ways to use the $30 monthly PayPal credit

The best way to maximize the $30 monthly PayPal credit may be to use it to cover one or more expenses you're already incurring. Or, you can use your $30 PayPal credit to treat yourself to something you normally wouldn't purchase. Or, you could use it as a pain-free way to help someone else. We asked current cardholders and TPG staff to share how they maximized their credit:

And if you don't need or want to use it on yourself, you can help a charity that accepts PayPal. TPG reporter Chris Dong said, "I use it every month now to support a different friend’s charity fundraiser."

Related: The best credit cards to maximize your charitable donation

You'll likely find many opportunities to use the temporary PayPal credit once you start looking for merchants that accept PayPal. But, if you need more ideas, check the full list on PayPal's website. However, remember that using your Amex Platinum for these purchases isn't enough. Instead, you must pay via PayPal with your American Express Platinum card at checkout.

If you have any doubts about whether your purchase will trigger a statement credit, I recommend making your purchase early in the month and then watching for the statement credit. Reports show that the pending charge will initially list the merchant name. However, once the charge posts, the transaction will indicate payment via PayPal. Most cardholders report Amex posted their statement credit within a few days of their purchase posting.

Related: How one TPG staffer is saving $500 this January with his Amex Platinum

Bottom line

Once you realize how many merchants allow payment via PayPal, you should have no trouble using Amex Platinum's temporary $30 per month PayPal statement credit. Best case, you'll be able to use this credit to pay for expenses you'd already be incurring -- or you can even use it as an easy way to help someone else via a charity donation.

Even if you can't think of anything to buy with your monthly credit, you still have options. For example, you could reload a Starbucks card or order food delivery. In short, there's no reason you shouldn't be getting $30 of value from this temporary perk that will stick around for two more months.

Additional reporting by Stella Shon.

Featured photo by (Photo by Isabelle Raphael/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

TPG featured card

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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

5X points
5XEarn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.
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Intro offer

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Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.

Annual Fee

$695

Recommended Credit

670-850
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Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

Sometimes it's worth a large investment to reap the benefits of a great credit card. That's exactly the case with the Amex Platinum card. In exchange for the annual fee, you'll unlock access to the Amex Membership Rewards program that let you access airline and hotel transfer partners, along with new lifestyle and travel credits. This card is also incredibly rewarding for travel purchases, helping you rack up a ton of Membership Rewards points for your next award trip.

Pros

  • The current welcome offer on this card is quite lucrative. TPG values it at $2,000.
  • This card comes with a long list of benefits, including access to Centurion Lounges, complimentary elite status with Hilton and Marriott, at least $500 in assorted annual statement credits and so much more. (Enrollment required for select benefits.)
  • The Amex Platinum comes with access to a premium concierge service that can help you with everything from booking hard-to-get reservations to finding destination guides to help you plan out your next getaway.

Cons

  • The high annual fee is only worth it if you’re taking full advantage of the card’s benefits. Seldom travelers may not get enough value to warrant the cost.
  • Outside of the current welcome bonus, you’re only earning higher rewards on specific airfare and hotel purchases, so it’s not a great card for other spending categories.
  • The annual airline fee statement credit can be complicated to take advantage of compared to the broader travel credits offered by competing premium cards.
  • Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum Card®, Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • Get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings, which requires a minimum two-night stay, through American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®. And if you fly, you can receive up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year after you select a qualifying airline and incidental fees are charged by the airline to your Platinum Card®.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 back each month on eligible purchases made with your Platinum Card® on one or more of the following: Audible, Disney+, The Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, Peacock, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card. Cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax. Plus Ups are excluded.
  • American Express has expanded The Centurion® Network to include 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations worldwide. There are even more places your Platinum Card® can get you complimentary entry and exclusive perks.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one select qualifying airline.
  • $200 Uber Cash: 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 only.
  • $300 Equinox Credit: Get up to $25 back each month on the Equinox+ digital fitness app, or eligible Equinox club memberships when you pay with your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $189 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $189 back per year on your CLEAR® membership. CLEAR® is available at select airports and stadiums.
  • $695 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Apply for The Platinum Card® from American Express
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best luxury travel rewards card
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

5XEarn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.
5XEarn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.

    Earn 100,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $695
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

Sometimes it's worth a large investment to reap the benefits of a great credit card. That's exactly the case with the Amex Platinum card. In exchange for the annual fee, you'll unlock access to the Amex Membership Rewards program that let you access airline and hotel transfer partners, along with new lifestyle and travel credits. This card is also incredibly rewarding for travel purchases, helping you rack up a ton of Membership Rewards points for your next award trip.

Pros

  • The current welcome offer on this card is quite lucrative. TPG values it at $2,000.
  • This card comes with a long list of benefits, including access to Centurion Lounges, complimentary elite status with Hilton and Marriott, at least $500 in assorted annual statement credits and so much more. (Enrollment required for select benefits.)
  • The Amex Platinum comes with access to a premium concierge service that can help you with everything from booking hard-to-get reservations to finding destination guides to help you plan out your next getaway.

Cons

  • The high annual fee is only worth it if you’re taking full advantage of the card’s benefits. Seldom travelers may not get enough value to warrant the cost.
  • Outside of the current welcome bonus, you’re only earning higher rewards on specific airfare and hotel purchases, so it’s not a great card for other spending categories.
  • The annual airline fee statement credit can be complicated to take advantage of compared to the broader travel credits offered by competing premium cards.
  • Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum Card®, Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • Get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings, which requires a minimum two-night stay, through American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®. And if you fly, you can receive up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year after you select a qualifying airline and incidental fees are charged by the airline to your Platinum Card®.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 back each month on eligible purchases made with your Platinum Card® on one or more of the following: Audible, Disney+, The Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, Peacock, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card. Cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax. Plus Ups are excluded.
  • American Express has expanded The Centurion® Network to include 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations worldwide. There are even more places your Platinum Card® can get you complimentary entry and exclusive perks.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one select qualifying airline.
  • $200 Uber Cash: 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 only.
  • $300 Equinox Credit: Get up to $25 back each month on the Equinox+ digital fitness app, or eligible Equinox club memberships when you pay with your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $189 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $189 back per year on your CLEAR® membership. CLEAR® is available at select airports and stadiums.
  • $695 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees