Help Texas charities and 17 other ways to use Amex Platinum’s monthly $30 PayPal credit

Feb 19, 2021

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As 2020 came to a close, cardholders mourned the end of several temporary perks implemented during the coronavirus pandemic. For example, cardmembers of The Platinum Card® from American Express were disappointed when temporary streaming and mobile statement credits ended as scheduled on Dec. 31, 2020.

But, at the start of January 2021, American Express unveiled a new temporary perk for Amex Platinum cardmembers: an up to $30 monthly PayPal credit. Amex will automatically issue these monthly statement credits for eligible PayPal purchases that post between Jan. 1, 2021 and June 30, 2021.

Most cardmembers will be able to use this new PayPal credit at face value. TPG Lounge member Joey B. even noted, “this is basically a $180 rebate.” But some cardmembers have expressed confusion regarding how and where to use this new PayPal credit. So, today I’ll consider how to use the new monthly $30 PayPal credit currently available to Amex Platinum cardmembers.

As I’ll discuss in this guide, there are many ways to use this credit. But, if you are looking for ways to help those in Texas who haven’t had power, heat or water for days (and haven’t already used your February PayPal credit), you could use your credit to help someone in need without any out-of-pocket cost.

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How to use the $30 monthly PayPal credit

Woman using a laptop and looking at a card
(Photo by jacoblund/Getty Images)

A monthly PayPal credit may seem difficult to use. But it’s actually 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:

Walmart check-out options
(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 added additional Platinum Card users to 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.

If you want to use your Paypal credit to donate to a charity, a couple of Texas-based charities we found that are accepting Paypal include Austin Pets Alive and Houseless Organization Coalition in Houston. However, there are likely many other available options.

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

17 ways to use the $30  monthly PayPal credit

The best way to maximize the $30 monthly PayPal credit is to use it to cover one or more expenses you’d already be incurring. For example, some cardholders have reported using their $30 PayPal credit for the following:

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 this 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 the 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.

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 each of the first six months of 2021.

Featured image by Cavan Images/Getty Images.

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