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Last year, Amex offered an array of credits for Platinum and Business Platinum cardholders, but those since expired at the end of 2020. This time around, Amex says the focus for these perks is “on online shopping, small business needs, local travel and more.”
Let’s dive into all of the details with what Amex has unveiled so far in 2021.
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Up to $180 in PayPal credit
The perennial limited-time benefit on the personal Platinum was quietly announced earlier this week: an up to $30 monthly PayPal credit through June 30, 2021. The card has a $550 annual fee (see rates and fees).
That’s a total of up to $180 in statement credits with PayPal on purchases made at eligible merchants through the middle of 2021. Essentially, 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.
Up to $1,700 in value with new Amex Offers
Amex says that 53% of cardholders they surveyed indicate they plan to spend more on online purchases in 2021 than in the past. Thankfully, Amex is upping the ante on Amex Offers for online shopping.
A number of lucrative Amex Offers were launched earlier this week that total up to $1,700 in value through June 30, 2021. Below is a sample of current offers (there are also numerous other offers):
- Avis Car Rental – Spend $250+ on eligible purchases, Get $75 back, up to two times
- BestBuy.com – Spend $50+ on eligible purchases, Get $50 back, up to two times
- Goldbelly – Spend $100+ on eligible purchases, Get $50 back, up to three times
- Home Chef – Spend $50+ on eligible purchases, Get $50 back, one time
- HomeDepot.com – Spend $50+ on eligible purchases, Get $50 back, up to two times
- Instacart – Spend $250+ on eligible purchases, Get $50 back, up to two times
- Samsung – Spend $1,000+ on eligible purchases, Get $200 back, one time
- Scribd – Spend $9.99+ on eligible purchases, Get $9.99 back, up to five times
- The Container Store – Spend $150+ on eligible purchases, Get $50 back, up to two times
- Virtual Personal Training by Equinox – Spend $780+ on eligible purchases, Get $130 back, up to five times
- Wine Insiders – Spend $30+ on eligible purchases, Get $30 back, up to two times
However, note that these Amex Offers are not eligible for new cardholders; in fact, they’re limited to those who had an Amex Platinum card prior to Nov. 1, 2020.
Up to 400,000 additional points on select categories
Amex Business Platinum cardholders can now earn 5x Membership Rewards points (a bonus of 4x points) on U.S. purchases made across shipping, wireless, advertising, gas and office supplies categories. The offer is valid through June 30, 2021, and you can earn up to a total of 80,000 bonus points per category, worth $1,600 according to TPG valuations.
You must activate these elevated bonuses through Amex Offers.
If you have a single purchase of $5,000 or more, the Business Platinum card always offers 1.5x points per dollar (up to 1 million additional points per calendar year) so you have the potential to earn up to 5.5x points per dollar. The card has a $595 annual fee (see rates and fees).
Similar to the personal Platinum card, these bonuses are limited to those who had a Business Platinum card prior to Nov. 1, 2020. Amex noted that in the coming weeks, “new Business Platinum cardholders will also receive exciting offers for their first three months of membership.”
The end of 2020 also marked the conclusion of Amex’s many temporary credits. On the Business Platinum card side, the loss of the extra up to $200 Dell credit and up to $320 wireless and shipping credit were a significant blow, especially as travel remains limited with the ongoing pandemic.
However, along with these bonuses outlined above, the Business Platinum still retains other credits, such as its annual up to $200 airline fee credit and up to $200 in statement credits each year for any U.S. Dell technology purchases.
Up to $250 back
With this bonus, eligible Blue Business Plus, American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card, and other eligible Amex small business cards can receive $25 back via statement credit on purchases greater than $500 up to 10 times, through June 30, 2021.
That’s 5% back, which is a fantastic boost, especially for the Blue Business Plus card. That card already earns 2x Amex points on the first $50,000 spend on the card annually (then 1x). There are no bonus categories to keep track of and 2x points are equal to a 4% return based on TPG valuations.
Small business merchant offers
American Express also announced that small business merchant partners will continue to get new offers and tools to help them manage and run their business. Last year, Amex says it made more than $15,000 in discounts on services available to businesses to help them “save on shipping, connect with customers, streamline their operations, and more.” Some of the most recent offers include:
- 30% off social media management solutions from Sprout Social
- Get 4 months free from BigCommerce for building an online store
Hotel, car rental and air offers
According to Amex’s Trendex survey, 68% of respondents said they expect to take a trip in 2021 that they couldn’t take in 2020, with 28% of consumers in December reporting they are planning a trip in the next 60 days.
These offers are specifically targeted for staycations or nearby getaways. As we get examples and data points of the following benefits, we’ll share them here.
- The Hotel Collection complimentary night or property credit: Those with a U.S. Amex Platinum, Business Platinum or American Express® Gold Card can receive a complimentary night or property credit of up to $150 or more after booking an eligible stay through American Express Travel at participating Hotel Collection properties. Only select hotels are offering this and bookings must be made from Jan. 5 through March 31, 2021 for a stay starting on Jan 5. and completed by April 30, 2021.
- Fine Hotels and Resorts complimentary night or property credit: Those with a U.S. Amex Platinum or Business Platinum can receive a complimentary night or property credit of up to $250 or more after booking an eligible stay through American Express Travel at more than 350 participating Fine Hotels and Resorts properties. Only select hotels are offering this and bookings must be made from Jan. 5 through March 31, 2021 for a stay starting on Jan 5. and completed by April 30, 2021.
- Discounted flights: Those with a U.S. Amex Platinum or Business Platinum can access lower fares on select routes, flights and seats, with the ability to save up to 20% off the publicly listed ticket price. These lower fares are available with participating airlines for eligible flights and seats booked between Jan. 10, 2021 and March 31, 2021 for travel from Jan, 10, 2021 through May 31, 2021.
- Pay with points on prepaid car rental bookings: For those renting a car to enjoy a local getaway, Membership Rewards program enrolled cardholders can now use Pay with Points or earn 2X Membership Rewards points on prepaid car rental bookings through AmexTravel.com.
For all of these offers, you should be able to use your Amex Travel credit that is available to personal Platinum cardholders who renew their card between April 2020 and March 2021.
Additionally, American Express will waive the American Express Travel fee on flight modifications or new bookings now through March 31, 2021.
Additional reporting by Summer Hull.
Featured photo by The Points Guy.