Editor’s note: This post has been updated with the latest information.
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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. Let’s take a look at some of the non-travel benefits that make this card worthwhile.
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Streaming credit (temporary)
Consider your next Netflix binge session — and any other viewings for the rest of 2020 — covered. Back in May, Amex introduced an up to $20 monthly streaming credit on the Platinum Card through December 2020. While streaming has taken off in recent years, it has hit primetime (pun intended) this year, with more people relying on these services for entertainment than ever before.
Like all of the other Platinum credits, it’s a use-it-or-lose concept each month. The up to $20 credit covers the following U.S. streaming services:
- Amazon Music Unlimited
- Apple Music
- Apple TV+
- AT&T Now
- CBS All Access
- Fubo TV
- HBO Now
- Kindle Unlimited
- NBA League Pass
- Prime Video
- Sling TV
- SiriusXM Streaming and Satellite
- YouTube Music Premium
- YouTube Premium
- YouTube TV
Value: $160 (May through Dec.)
Wireless credit (temporary)
Amex also introduced a limited-time wireless credit on the Platinum Card to use toward your cell phone bill. This $20 credit applies toward monthly wireless telephone service charges made directly to U.S.-based wireless service providers. These merchants include (but are not limited to):
Unfortunately, accessories, repairs, bundled purchases, etc. won’t qualify, which makes this credit slightly more limiting. However, there should be plenty of cardholders that will appreciate the $20 toward offsetting their monthly wireless bill.
Value: $160 (May through Dec.)
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. And that credit doesn’t just work for rides — it also works for food delivery and pickup through Uber Eats. Those with Amex Platinum card now receive 12 months of complimentary access to Eats Pass, valued at $10 per month, when they enroll by Dec. 31, 2021.
Value: $320 (annually)
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.
Value: $100 (annually)
While this isn’t a credit, this benefit can still prove to be valuable, especially during the holiday shopping season.
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
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.
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 2020 calendar year (see rates and fees).
- Streaming credit: $160
- Wireless credit: $160
- Uber credit: $320
- Saks credit: $100
- Airline fee credit: $200
- Total credit = up to $940
Also if you’re keeping track at home, the Platinum now has one annual credit, one bi-annual credit, two monthly credits 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.
Travel benefits you can still use
American Express offers a host of other benefits with its premium travel card, including Centurion Lounge and Global Lounge Collection access, $200 in reimbursement for airline incidental fees, hotel and car rental elite status, an up to $100 Global Entry or TSA Precheck credit and much more.
As of this writing, most Centurion lounges have reopened. And 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 via amextravel.com (note: Starting Jan. 1, 2021, you’ll earn 5x points on up to $500,000 on the airfare purchases per calendar year).
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.
Featured photo by The Points Guy