Home Credit Cards Pandemic Prompts American Express to Add New Credits to Platinum Card

Pandemic Prompts American Express to Add New Credits to Platinum Card

Amex has added a slew of new credits to balance the loss of key travel benefits.

Get a limited-time $20 monthly credit towards your cell phone bill with The Platinum Card from American Express
Get a limited-time $20 monthly credit towards your cell phone bill with The Platinum Card from American Express
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The many benefits and rewards associated with The Platinum Card® from American Express help offset (and justify) the $550 annual fee of the card. But given that the majority of the card’s top-tier benefits and rewards are travel-related, the Amex Platinum suddenly feels less relevant in today’s COVID-19 world. In particular, the card’s top benefit—and definitely our favorite—is complimentary access to the Centurion Lounge Network, the card’s signature, state-of-the-art lounge collection. With plenty of high-end amenities and high-design elements, these lounges are the very reason we have arrived at the airport early (and sometimes very early) in recent years.

With the closure of Centurion Lounges due to COVID-19 and the temporary loss of other travel benefits, The Platinum Card has added some other excellent, short-term benefits to soften the blow and justify the card’s hefty annual fee. Here are some new temporary card benefits you should know about.

Streaming service and wireless telephone credits

American Express is offering its Platinum cardholders up to $320 in combined monthly credits for select US streaming subscription services and US wireless telephone services. For each service, monthly credits can be earned once per month from May 1, 2020, to December 31, 2020, maxing out at $20 in statement credits for streaming subscriptions as well as $20 in statement credits for eligible wireless telephone service charges. That’s $40 per month for eight months, for a total of $320. Not bad!

Small business credits

According to American Express, “Two-thirds of local businesses need their regulars to come back in order to survive in 2020. That’s why [the company] is committing more than $200 million to help jumpstart spending at small businesses and fuel the economy.” How this plays out on the consumer end is that enrolled cardholders can get $5 back after spending $10 or more at an eligible small business on their Platinum Card by September 20, 2020. This can be done up to 10 times, in-store or online, for a maximum of $50 in credits. Cardholders must be enrolled by July 26, 2020, to take advantage of this offer. Note that this is not exclusive to The Platinum Card and is available on Amex’s other personal cards.

Uber Eats credits

The Platinum Card from American Express provides $200 in annual credits toward Uber rides, $15 per month, every month, plus a $20 bonus in December. Not that this is something new for the pandemic, but we want to point out that those who are not using their Uber credits for ride-share services can simply sign up for Uber Eats and use these credits on Uber Eats for food delivery and pickup!

An extra $200 travel credit

One of the many perks of top-tier credit cards is an annual travel credit to help soften the blow of a large annual fee. With regards to The Platinum Card from American Express, it’s a $200 annual travel credit toward eligible incidental fees (e.g., checked baggage fees, itinerary change fees, seat assignment fees, in-flight amenity fees) on a selected airline.

Well, in addition to this regular annual travel credit, according to Amex, select card members who renew their card after April 1, 2020, are eligible for a travel credit up to $200 on travel booked through American Express Travel online at amextravel.com or with American Express Travel over the phone. This credit goes into effect in August 2020 and lasts through December 31, 2021. According to our friends at the Doctor of Credit blog, however, this additional $200 credit is only for those card members who renew between April 1, 2020, and December 31, 2020. Further, on a recent chat with an agent, she informed us that the credit is actually for card members who renew between April 1, 2020, and August 31, 2020. Our advice: Call the number on the back of your card or chat with an Amex rep online to see if you are eligible for the bonus $200 credit.

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Award-winning travel writer and economist Paul Rubio is a credit card enthusiast, whose sophisticated use of points and rewards has helped him travel to 132 countries for free. Paul is a Harvard graduate with a master’s degree in public administration and a master’s degree in economics. He also holds a bachelor’s degree from Boston University with a double major in economics and environmental policy and a minor in conservation biology. He attended both undergraduate and graduate schools on full scholarships. Paul worked in the field of wildlife conservation before embracing his writing talents full-time in 2008. Since then, he has won more than two dozen national awards for his exemplary work in travel journalism. The prolific writer contributes to a number of top-tier international, national, and regional publications including Condé Nast Traveler, Florida Design, Fodors.com, Palm Beach Illustrated, and Robb Report.