How I’ve been spending my COVID Amex Platinum credits

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American Express Platinum

Don’t forget to spend your monthly Amex Platinum credits before the end of this month!  Monthly credits include:

  • $20/month cell services (consumer and business Platinum)
  • $20/month streaming services (consumer Platinum)
  • $20/month shipping (business Platinum)
  • $15/month Uber or Uber Eats. $35 in December. (consumer Platinum)

American Express has added a number of great “stay at home” perks to a number of their travel cards (this year only) as a way of keeping customers satisfied during this time of minimal travel.

What’s New

  • Added details showing how I purchased $19.90 in stamps from USPS.com.

My 3 Platinum Cards

In the post “Is it time to get an Amex Platinum Card?” I showed that it not only makes sense to keep your Platinum card if you have one, but that it may make sense to pick up a new one in order to take advantage of this year’s expanded perks.  I also said that I would upgrade my Business Green card to a Business Platinum card and encourage my son to sign up for a new consumer Platinum card.  I did the first, but dragged my heels on the second.

As things stand right now, I manage three Platinum cards in my family:

  • I’ve had the Schwab Platinum Card for a while.  When the last annual fee came due I renewed despite having received a lackluster retention offer (I think it was $100? I can’t remember for certain).  Anyway, I’m now very glad that I kept it!
  • I previously had the Business Green Card, which was a downgrade from my Business Platinum Card.  Early this month I called and upgraded it back to the Business Platinum Card.
  • My son has a Business Platinum Card.

The following shows a summary of the credits available and how I spent each so far…

Available Amex Platinum Credits


The displays above show both the temporary (this year only) new card benefits and standard repeatable rebates that Platinum cards offer.

New and temporary consumer Platinum rebates are: $20 per month cell phone and $20 per month streaming.

New and temporary business Platinum rebates are: $20 per month cell phone, $20 per month shipping, and an extra $100 in Dell rebates for both May and June and July through December.

How I spent my cell service credits

I have three Platinum cards that each offer $20 back per month for cell service spend.  I use Google Fi, but Fi doesn’t usually code as cell service by Amex (see this post for details).  Luckily for me, my wife and son are still on AT&T, and AT&T allows split payments.  So, I was able to spend all $60 with just two separate transactions.

I manually paid $60 towards the monthly bill ($20 charged to each of my three Platinum cards) and paid the rest with my Ink Cash card (where I earn 5X) by leaving it on Autopay.  I plan to repeat this simple process every month when I receive the AT&T bill.

Here’s what the AT&T screen looks like when paying with two cards at once:

AT&T screen

And here’s how the charge and the rebate looks on one of my Platinum accounts:

Amex Phone Service

How I spent my streaming credits

Amex Platinum Credits: How I spent my streaming credits

A while ago I cut the cord on cable TV and switched instead to YouTube TV for $49.99 per month.  In order to earn my $20 per month in streaming credits, I simply changed the autopay on my YouTube TV account to charge to my Platinum card.  Here’s how the payment and the rebate appear on my Amex account:

Amex Streaming Credit

How I spent my shipping credits

Amex Platinum Credits: How I spent my shipping credits

My July Shipping Credit Spend

This month I spend $19.90 on each business Platinum card by buying stamps online:

  • Two sheets of 16 forever stamps (T-Rex design): $17.60
  • One sheet of 20 3-cent stamps (coffeepot design): 60 cents
  • One sheet of 20 2-cent stamps (Navajo Necklace design): 40 cents
  • Shipping: $1.30 (Note that shipping costs may vary depending upon where you are ordering from)

My June Shipping Credit Spend

I spent $10 getting a document notarized at a UPS store.  The rest was spent online at USPS.com

My May Shipping Credit Spend

Amex Platinum Credits: My May Shipping Credit Spend

I manage two Platinum Business cards so I had $20 x 2 = $40 to spend in May.  I waited most of the month to see if I actually needed to ship anything, but I didn’t.  So, I went to the USPS online store and placed two ~$20 orders.  The first order was for forever stamps (as shown above).

Link to shop for forever stamps.

Nick and his son- Frequent Miler Travel Themed Life Hack

The second order was a gift for Nick’s son to bribe him to help me with the next Frequent Miler Far Away contest.

Tiny Cars For Tiny Reyes
USPS sells various postal-related gifts online.  These should count towards the Amex statement credits.  Unfortunately USPS also charges quite a bit for shipping.

Link to shop for US Post Office gifts.

Update 6/1/2020. Both of the above transactions received credit, as predicted:

Amex Shipping Credit Amex Shipping Credit

How I spent my Dell credits

Amex Platinum Credits: How I spent my Dell credits
My new Dell XPS 13 laptop is shown above sporting our new home page.

On Business Platinum cards, Amex usually refunds up to $100 per 6 months of purchases made at Dell.  This year, they’re refunding $100 extra for purchases in May and June, and another $100 extra for purchases from July to December.

Until this month, I managed one Business Platinum card.  I needed a new laptop, so I used the Business Platinum card in March to pay.  Thanks to a 10% back at Dell Amex Offer, I earned back both the $100 credit and 10% of the purchase.  I think I also earned bonus points thanks to another Amex Offer.

This month, I added another Business Platinum card to the mix when I upgraded my Business Green card.  So, I had $300 in Dell credits to spend before the end of June ($100 of new credit for the old Business Platinum card and $200 for the new card).  Thankfully, Dell lets you pay with two or three cards at once, so it’s very easy to use all of your “allowance” in one purchase if you want to.

I bought $250 worth of Xbox gift cards and a friend who’s into reselling sold them for me for $210.  I plan to use the remaining $50, combined with Dell Rewards from my laptop purchase, to buy software that I need.  I still have until the end of June to do so.

How I spent my Uber credits

Amex Platinum Credits: How I spent my Uber credits

Oops.  As you can see above, I haven’t yet spent this month’s credits.  I need to find a restaurant I like that’s available for delivery through Uber Eats!

How I spent my Saks credits

Amex Platinum Credits: How I spent my Saks credits
Wondering what to buy from Saks? For anyone who wants shiny (really shiny) new face masks, Saks sells a 3-piece set for $36.  Of course, you may already have more face masks than you need if you’ve kept your amenity kit eyeshades given out on many international flights (see this post for more).

On consumer Platinum cards, Amex refunds up to $50 per 6 months of purchases made at Saks and Saks.com.

I previously used my Jan to June Saks credit to buy my wife a $50 pair of earrings.  Or, so I thought.  It actually turned out to be a single-stud earring.  After determining that she wasn’t interested in single earring, I sent it back.  Saks refunded the purchase price less shipping to a gift card.  So, now I’ll have a bit over $90 to spend at Saks starting in July.

How I spent my Airline Fee credits

Amex Platinum Credits: How I spent my Airline Fee credits

All Amex Platinum cards refund up to $200 per year in airline incidental fees charged by your preferred airline.  With three Platinum cards, I have a total of $600 to spend this year.  On one of my Platinum cards, I made good progress towards using up the $200 in credits (see above statement charges and credits).  I tend to book a lot of Delta award flights and I find that award fees are reimbursed (after selecting Delta as my preferred airline).

On another card, I haven’t made much progress.  I did use the card to pay for a Delta flight in which I used a companion ticket.  Amex reimbursed the $28.80 in companion fees since those were charged separately from the main ticket.

With the third card, I selected Southwest as my preferred airline.  I posted details about how I earned $200 in airline fee credits here.

I still have more credits to use up on two of my three cards.  Fortunately I have until the end of the year to do so.

For more ideas of how to spend these airline fee reimbursements, see: Spending airline fee credits during COVID lockdowns.

Other Ideas?

Do you have other ideas for how to use up Platinum statement credits?  Please comment below!

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Ben

Hi Greg,
My google FI was coded as Streaming in JUN but as Wireless since July.
It is possible to split the Google FI bill. I have two Platinum and two Green card so total of $20×2 + $10×2. You can do partial payment via pay.google.com in services click FI Manage and pay what you want on any card. There are 10 days between FI post the bill and charge the card. At that time you can do advanced payment on multiple cards.

What I am a bit clueless is how to use the streaming…. Normally I have $12 bill from Netflix. I added Hulu for $11 but what I cannot watch so many movies…

[…] Amex Stay At Home Perks:  Since travel spending has pretty much come to a halt, many banks switched up their perks to better suit the situation.  The Amex Platinum card offered some great perks that you could take advantage of.  How are you using yours? […]

Jerry

HOT TIP: Greg, If you have BOA Platinum Honors status or have a relationship at any bank, you can get notary service for free by simply going into the branch. But if you were already at the UPS store I could see doing it there for convenience sake.

George=

any tips on selling the xbox gift card? I got one for my amex credit and it is just sitting here..

Just a Note

Are you going to use all those stamps? I’m running out of things to buy at the USPS store – can only use so many stamps as I only tend to mail stuff once in a while and I have all the priority mail stuff I need, as they provide it for free. Stocking up on gifts like pouches and whatnot, as at least it’s something. Same with Saks credits, as while overpriced I can typically find something. Dell is the same. Wireless credits work to prepay for cell service and Streaming ends up being useless since we already have more than we can watch, but I’ll use it. But shipping credit is really hard to spend…

Scott

I have just been paying $20 on my T-MO bill each month with the rest paid on ink preferred for cell insurance. Not sure that will work for insurance, but hopefully I won’t have to find out. I used to dread having to figure out uber eats each month, but recently found out that a few local liquor stores are now accepting uber eats. Problem solved!

kingrat

Pirateship is so much better for shipping items. If you do ant casual shipping for eBay they beat 9/10 times the price even with those discounts eBay offers. Heard about it in a slack channel and credits get posted right away. A good option over stamps

Dave Hanson

Thanks for the tip! I assume PS doesn’t trigger Amex biz Plat shipping credit, correct?

JetsFan

If you want to be exhaustive, Amex Gold also has a $120/year dining credit at Grubhub, Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris, and Shake Shack. It is $10 per month. I can confirm gift cards bought at the store work for the last three. Does anyone know how to cash out or buy a gift card without going to a store?

YoniPDX

Used Biz card Shipping credits for Passport acceptance at Post office for my HS and College age daughters – ($35 acceptance fee – still have to write a check to State department for passport).

Got an upgrade offer on Gold card 60KMR/$5K/6Mo and 100KMR/ $10K/6Mo SUB for Business Plat.

Upgraded DW Business Green and we now also have a pair of His/Her CS Plats (to cash out MRs).

PC’d CSR to Sapphire Vanilla on Monday – Despite the $100 AF credit – CSR real value for us is PP at PDX (ancillary was trip insurance for awards tickets and car rentals, trip delays). Consolidated URs and used Pay myself back to cash out.

david

How do you find items at Saks that are both cost effective and has some utility? I’ve been looking for a bargain in their cutlery and cookware section and the price markups are just unconscionable.

MalMel

Yes, pricing is ridiculous. I start with Home > Gourmet Foods and Candy and filter by price.Or try Sale category.

JetsFan

I have searched the sales section. Once I bought a pair of overpriced winter gloves, but still under $50, and another time a baseball cap, also (barely) under $50.

MalMel

A few days ago I spoke with Amex regarding a missing $20 cell phone credit and learned that the cell and streaming credits are not per month, but per bill cycle. UberEats is per month.

I had made a $20 pay to Sprint, posted on 29 June and then again on 01 July. My bill cycle goes to the 10th of the month.

FYI: I just now see an offer On my Plat for 10% back on electronic toll payments thru 9/18.

Nick Reyes

Hmm. I just checked and I actually haven’t used the wireless credit twice in a single billing cycle, so I can’t refute that for sure, but I have used the shipping credit twice in a billing cycle (once from May and once from June in the same billing cycle). What carrier were you paying?

[…] How I spent my new Amex Platinum credits […]

J J

Tried to buy a 3rd party gift card in person at the local Post Office (SoCal) and they wouldn’t let me pay with a credit card – debit or cash only.

Phil

Looks like you’ve only used one of the streaming credits. If you use Apple at all you can buy App Store credits with the other two (or buy them for someone else for cash considerations, if you trust the person).

Dominik

Be careful with that AT&T autopay. It seems that whenever I make additional payments toward the bill using a different card, my autopay gets silently turned off resulting in a missed payment later on. I’ve made a habit of not relying on it anymore.

Andy

You left $1 on the table:

https://store.usps.com/store/product/buy-stamps/grapes-S_111404

Don’t you dare do that again!

Bikeguy

You can also use the Uber credit in Uber Eats when you select pick up. I’ve done this before. If you like brisket, Satchel’s has carry out from their store across from Blank Slate.

Gord

Holy cow the writer is from aa?! I am surprised I read this blog all the time and didn’t even know it was local