Platinum card Saks credit: What can you get at Saks with $50?

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The Amex Platinum card comes with a slew of valuable benefits like elite status, lounge access, and credits for Uber and airline fee incidentals. One of the benefits less often discussed in blog posts but often asked about by readers is the Saks Fifth Avenue credit. The Platinum card currently comes with $50 in statement credits for purchases at Saks Fifth Ave between January and June and another $50 in credit between July and December. If you go to a Saks store in person (as a member of our Frequent Miler Insiders recently did), that may not seem like enough to buy anything and I’ve occasionally seen people say that they weren’t planning to use this benefit at all. I think that’s a mistake. For the purposes of calculating the first-year value of the Platinum card, we only value this benefit at 25% of face value ($12.50 x 2). However, for online shoppers (and hybrid in-store / online shoppers), there are so many ways to use the credit that you can probably do better and I think it’s a mistake to leave it standing.

Mechanics of the Saks credit

At the time of writing, all flavors of the consumer Platinum card offer a twice-annual statement credit of $50 for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue. Those credits are available once between January and June and once between July and December.

This means that even if you only keep the card for one year, you may get a chance to use the credit four times. For instance, if you applied and were approved on June 20th, you would likely get your card in time to receive the January-to-June credit this year, the July-to-December credit this year, the January-to-June credit next year, and it would likely be possible to use the credit again in early July of next year before your next annual fee becomes due (YMMV depending on all of the variables).

The Saks credit works for purchases made in-store or online at Saks.com. The terms of this benefit exclude gift card purchases. Many people have successfully purchased gift cards in-store despite what the terms say, although at one point we heard from a couple of readers who claimed to have gotten the credits clawed back far down the road for gift card purchases (YMMV). Online gift card purchases do not work, but there are plenty of other items on the website for $50 or less.

Don’t forget to stack

Greg wrote about targeted offers from Capital One Shopping that can be very good.

If you’re shopping online, don’t forget to go through a shopping portal. While rates at the time of writing aren’t very high, we sometimes see portals offer as much as 10-15% back at Saks. We generally try to report it when we notice an increase in rates, but you can also set alerts at Cashbackmonitor or your favorite shopping portal to be notified when rates increase.

Also keep in mind that many items at Saks are eligible for free Shoprunner 2-day shipping (and free returns) and you can get Shoprunner for free with your Amex card.

Ways to use the credit

Despite the fact that this is one of the lower cash value perks of the Platinum card, we frequently receive reader questions or comments about the credit and ways to use it. Just this week, we had a member of Frequent Miler Insiders who reported having gone to a physical Saks store and they were quite surprised by how expensive things were in the store (they left the store unable to find a $50 item). A friend of mine had a similar experience a few years ago, eventually walking out with a pair of cashmere gloves but not without marveling at how difficult it was to find something for $50 or less at a Saks store.

The bottom line is that stuff in the store is expensive. If that’s your style, the $50 credit is likely very easy to use. However, if you’re looking to keep things as close to $50 as possible, heading to a store in search of a $50 item is not the way to go.

Instead, you will probably want to shop online. That said, if you live near a store, you might want to swing by the store first.

The terms of the Amex benefit indicate that gift card purchases are excluded. Buying a gift card online will not trigger the credit. However, many readers have successfully purchased gift cards in-store. Your mileage may vary. If buying a gift card works, the benefits are several: it would enable you to “bank” the credit for use in a later 6-month period, it would enable you to sort of “combine” multiple credits for a larger purchase, and gift cards can be used at Saks Off Fifth, which has much more reasonable prices in general. I’m not sure if Saks is ever listed on the various programs that offer cash back for in-store purchases, but if they do it may enable something of a double dip — earning rewards for the in-store purchase of the gift card and later for the online use of the gift card.

For those without a physical Saks store nearby, the best option will obviously be shopping online. So what can you get on the Saks website for around $50? Readers have chimed in with MANY suggestions.

Sale items

The “sale” section is frequently recommended by Frequent Miler readers and you can find a ton of stuff under $50 in this section (though I sometimes find items that are on sale that I didn’t see in the sale section and there are also many full-priced items under $50, so don’t limit yourself to this section). Face masks, socks, children’s clothes, bib, books, toothpaste, and toys are all items you’ll find on the first page of the “sale” section when sorted by price from low to high (at least at the time of writing). I scrolled the first 11 pages of items. With 96 items on each page, that’s more than 1,000 sale items into the list — and I was still only at items costing $18.75 at the bottom of page 11. It looks like there are currently nearly four thousand items for $50 or less in the sale section.

Link to sale items.

Skincare

My wife has enjoyed using the Saks credit to buy skincare items that she likes. She may not otherwise spend $50 on the specific skincare items she’s gotten, but she would spend $50 on skincare at least twice a year and I think she enjoys getting to try something new, which she’d be less inclined to do if she weren’t going to get the credit here. She was pretty happy with the Clinique set shown above that we got for less than $50 around the holidays a couple of years ago. Personally, I have used this Jack Black shaving oil for years. It costs the same price wherever I get it, so I’ve been happy to use a Platinum card credit on it in the past.

Link to skincare items under $50 sorted by low price.

Glassware

There are goblets, wine glasses, coffee mugs, water bottles, and other beverage vessels galore for under $50. I even see four-piece sets of drinking glasses and wine glasses under $50. I’m sure that you can buy cheaper glassware elsewhere, but Saks has a range of stuff with either unique or very plain designs that might fit your motif if you’re in need.

Link to drinkware & glassware sorted by low price.

Hats

I picked up the wool fedora above (that I’m wearing in the picture at the top) for $51.20 last year. I had kept my eye on this one for a while — it was “originally” $128 and I saw it on sale for $75-$100 for a while. When it dropped to $51.20 as the winter season ended, I snapped it up. At the time of writing, the only item under $50 that comes up with my “fedora” search is one for kids, but I search this periodically as prices do change during shoulder seasons.

Link to men’s and women’s hats.

Kitchenware

There are lots of small kitchenware items like spatulas and other small tools and you’ll also find a few French presses for $20 or less. Saks carries a number of pans and a few knives under $50, and if you go up to $55 or $60, you’ll find some Le Creuset stoneware items that might be nice for just a few bucks.

Link to kitchenware sorted by price.

Kids’ Clothes

Kids’ clothing items start under $5 at the time of writing and once again there are tons of options. I found a hoodie I’m probably going to buy for my son that will price well with my shaving oil to help me hit almost exactly $50 on one of my Platinum cards. They carry clothes for both babies and older kids, so if there are children in your life you can probably find a couple of somethings for $50 or less.

Link to all kids items sorted by low price.

Toys & Books

At the link to all kids items sorted by price above, you’ll find a mixture of items that includes toys and books, but I thought that subcategory was also worth a quick highlight. Saks has tons of children’s books (many under $10) and a bunch of toys also. At the holidays, I found that the prices of toys I checked were a little higher than Amazon, but you should easily get better than our 25%-of-face-value metric in this category if you have kids for whom to buy.

Link to toys & books sorted by price.

Food

Saks carries a number of gifty “gourmet food & candy” items, including chocolates, spices, lots of different loose-leaf teas, and more. I’d wondered whether all of the items in this category would qualify for the Platinum card credits as some are clearly drop-shipped from other companies, but a couple of members of our Frequent Miler Insiders have reported buying chocolates or cookies in the past and receiving the credit. I’m less sure about whether the Chicago Steak Company items would get credited, but I’ve sometimes seen them go on sale right around $50.

Link to gourmet food under $50 sorted by price.

Umbrellas

A member of our Frequent Miler Insiders Facebook group mentioned that Saks carries sturdy umbrellas. I didn’t see many options under $50, but there are at least several options within a range that wouldn’t cost much after the credit (including a $75 Tumi umbrella). I wouldn’t ordinarily spend $50 on an umbrella, but if they truly are better quality than the cheap umbrellas I have often used, this might be a good use of the credit.

Link to umbrellas sorted by price.

Socks

I wouldn’t have even thought to include socks here if not for the fact that so many readers have mentioned using their credits to buy Bombas socks. At the risk of exposing my lack of fashion sense, I’ll admit that I have no idea what makes Bombas socks special — it’s just not a brand with which I’m familiar. There are a number of kids options that I think would appeal to my kids, so if I need a filler to get to $50 on one of my Platinum cards, I’ll keep socks in mind.

Bottom line

The Saks Fifth Avenue credits on the Amex Platinum card can seem hard to use if you only shop in-store. However, if you shop online, there are literally thousands of items you can get for free or close to it. I’ve seen this benefit dismissed as “worthless” by some cardholders or a reader will occasionally mention that they didn’t intend to use the Saks credits at all, but I find such a range of items at the Saks website that I never have trouble finding something I could use or gift. Would I value this benefit at the full $50 face value twice a year? No, I wouldn’t — but I’ve certainly not failed to put mine to use since this benefit launched. Is it kind of annoying that the Platinum card has turned into somewhat of a coupon book? Yes. But this is one coupon that I don’t typically struggle to use even though I’m not at all in the typical Saks demographic thanks to the huge array of items they stock online.

I’m hoping readers will chime in with your own suggestions: what have you gotten with your Saks credits?

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Justmeha

Came here for Nick’s hat fashion advice.

[…] $50 bi-yearly Saks Fifth Ave credit, I always have a problem finding a low-priced item. Thankfully, Frequent Miler dug through the website and found plenty of ways to spend $50 and not much […]

Oren S

I liked the article, but of all the things to spend time on in the credit card rewards/deals world. I feel like the amount of time spent on figuring out the $50 X 2 per year Saks credit is grossly disproportionate to the value/money you’re trying to extract…

That being said, assuming you live near a Sak’s store, or have reason to drive by one. I feel like the BEST bang for your buck is to buy something close to $50 through an online shopping portal if there is a decent deal, then return in store for a gift card, then sell the gift card online to somewhere like cardcash which will give you (as of writing) $40.50 for a $50 gift card.

If no significant bonus through shopping portal, may as well go to the store, purchase $50 GC, and sell the gift card online for your $40 and be done….

That’s what I think is the best use of this silly page out of the famous “coupon book”.

Justmeha

I have done this before (buy online through a shopping portal, and return in-store) and I received some serious pushback when I said I wanted the return amount on a gift card and not on the original form of payment.

Although admittedly I was successful, it is worth being aware of

Peter

If you buy something and return, the refund comes in the form of a GC so that is a backdoor way to get a GC. then you can buy something more expensive with the next credit plus your GC. I wouldn’t go out of your way to get do that, but if you find what you bought isn’t worth it don’t hesitate to return as you don’t need to be afraid about losing your credit

Lapg

They also sell, and I have used the credit on, a vibrator

Darlene

I really LOVE Hanro nightgowns from Saks, but this is not a $50 item. I had never heard of them before needing to use the $50 credit. I was lucky the first two times I bought them because they were on great sales- more than $100 off. The fabric is so soft, lightweight and yet warm. The ones with lace on the bodice are beautiful, and the lace is a very high quality. I wash them on the gentle or hand wash cycle on my washing machine, and they have retained their like new appearance after a year or two. French women “invest” in expensive, luxurious negligees that will last years and years. I like that idea.

Dotc

Skin cream was all I could find! Amex should just do a $100 credit once a year so we could get something more serious!!

Lrdx

The credit is still worthless, only not with this additional mental workload.

Having to constantly think about ways to extract value from the card to get my annual fee back is not my idea of a premium credit card..

Ron

Nick,
I order socks every 6 months, but get the Falke airport socks. They are a German company. 2 pairs are just over $50. I like them. You can get them on Amazon for $16-17 each, but with the $50 Saks discount I get them for $2-3 each. Very comfortable, and sometimes will wear them on the plane!

mbh

I confess that one of the primary benefits of this credit for me is to, 2x/year, go online and laugh out loud that there are people who actually pay these prices for this stuff. It is a little depressing, but I push through and always find some little useless something. I did once find some awesome pink leather high top Chucks on sale in my size for about $60. THAT was my fave of all time for the Saks credit. I’m not sure I’d rate the credit at even $25/term, but it is worth more than nothing.

Billy Bob

Pair of socks.

CMorgan

I go try the Rakuten site for extra savings. Usually buy my wife a dress off the clearance rack. They have good quality merchandise and a no hassle return policy

Mike

Thanks Nick, I have found (over and over), a french press always makes a great gift.

Amit

Bought some kitchen items, but only because I have enough Bombas for now.

Otherwise, Bombas are the way to go.

Stefan Krasowski (@rapidtravelchai)

Saks no longer has ShopRunner option. I had an order last month that only shipping option was too slow, not even a paid, expedited Saks option. Per contact with Saks, they have taken ShopRunner off their site and I didn’t see any alternative products that had it.

Michael

Stefan! Nice to see a familiar face! Great meeting you in the Maldives and Cindy and I just finished our move to Dallas! Hope to see you in the DFW area sometime!

Jessica

I purchase cosmetics since they are the same price as at other department stores (MSRP), don’t typically go on sale, and cosmetics don’t have a min spend for free shipping. I try to watch for “bonus time” when I can get an additional free gift.

Kelly

Agree 100% – they don’t just have high end brand cosmetics – I buy the same brands I’ve used forever and the price is the same everywhere so might as well get it here. Therefore I value this credit at full value, which is more than I can say for a lot of Amex credits.

Stan

I bought a Zwilling 8” sauté pan $30, and 2 pair of Bombas socks!

Dan

I just bought dress shoes for a little over $100 (stacking the $50 credit and a store coupon)- was in the market and the net effective price was definitely comparable to what I would have paid elsewhere.

Dr. McFrugal

I have purchased several things with my credit including:
– skin care products
– hair care products
– swim trunks
– a nice t-shirt from the brand “Theory”
– a polo shirt

I usually check out the deals and filter for items less than $50 and see if there’s anything I might like.

mbh

It’s also often worth setting the filter for “under $100” because there are often things on sale for between $50-$100 that are worth the amount beyond the Amex and shopping portal benies.

Sean

I needed new flatware and new steak knives. I got worried about buying 2 settings, waiting, and getting two more settings, so I got 50% off buying them together. I am very happy with the silverware, big upgrade and it should last. Good upgrades that will last a long time.

Suzy

Usually something from the cosmetics counters.

Alex

I find it the best to stop by local Saks and buy $50 gift cards. They add up if you have multiple Amex cards and then you can buy what you want from Saks when they have a good sale. The other option is some brand cosmetics that is never on sale anyway.

Sean

Can you use the giftcards on OffSaks? SOmetimes there are nice discounts there

Another Jeff

Yes

Susan

We got a coffee grinder last summer that is working great. It was $90, but we were in the market anyway. I’ll stop in for a gift card this week.

Mrdioji

Which grinder did you get?

Susan

This one. https://www.saksfifthavenue.com/product/braun-freshset-12-cup-burr-coffee-grinder-0400010172369.html We had the Cuisinart and the damn thing was so loud we cheered when it finally died.

JetsFan

These are great tips. I also use it every six months for something practical, like extra winter gloves or hat. Also, I find that I can re-sign up every time to get on their email list and get a 10% off coupon. Helps a little.

MalMel

I took the time a while back to setup my wishlist since I always seem to wait until I’m almost at the deadline.

Staub bakeware
Henckels sauce pans, skillets
Vietri cups and small plates
Bombas socks
Bar ware
Laundress laundry products (a friend likes these)

EricF

I understand why people try to stay under $50 to obtain an item free using the credit. However, I often buy something in the $50 – $300 range as long as the item is priced identically at Saks as other stores, and is something I am considering purchasing elsewhere anyway. For example, de Buyer Mineral B Pro carbon steel fry pans ($85 – $135, depending on size) are extremely well-reviewed and I’m planning to try one with my next credit. In the past I’ve used credits toward Demeyere sauce pans and a Staub Dutch Oven. I’d rather get full $50 value towards a quality item rather than search for something I really don’t want under $50 just to use up the credit.

Last edited 19 days ago by EricF
ChillTheThrill

Too bad Saks is overpriced with the 12.5″ de Buyer Mineral B Pro carbon pan. It’s $135 at Saks but only $99 at Amazon

mbh

That’s consistent with most of the items I’ve bothered to price check. I don’t even bother any more.

EricF

Chill, thanks for noticing that one. Looks like different plans needed for the next credit.

Lukas

I buy Le Labo shower gel/shampoo/conditioner. Those are amazing!

Katie

I buy something online that’s around $50 (stacking with portal of course), then return the item to the store and ask for the refund on a gift card. I keep my gift cards until I find something I really like.

Tom

That’s too many steps, just go straight into the store and buy a physical gift card.

Katie

I guess I’m just nervous about clawbacks, which Amex is infamous for…

Jed

I do the same thing. Wait until ebates is 12-15% back then buy something for as close as I can get to my current GC + $50. In thus last case timberland boots $199 using $150 GC plus credit. Returned b/c they didn’t fit ;-). $200 GC and 2400 MR. Then repeat. Got up to $350 before keeping a really nice knife I wanted

Katie

Yep! I forgot to mention the portal stacking you can do. Plus you can stack again when you actually use the gift cards later.

Jags

I buy Lacoste crew neck t-shirts. They are $49.50.

Frank

Some ideas I’ve found (I save things I find in my “wishlist” and review when it comes time to purchase before 6/30 or 12/31):

Various Coravin wine preservation systems and accessories; some are on sale for as low as $70; I just bought six Covavin capsules for $53.

Sorrento 9-piece coffee/beverage set $55

Search “double wall” for other coffee/beverage options

Cheese Board and Tools $54

Briggs & Riley Packing Cubes $59

Champagne Glass Set $52

Art Leyenberger

Interesting read, Nick. I think our next Saks adventure should prove more fruitful thanks to you and the Insiders community.

David

I totally agree with this post. Clearance and sale kids clothes are typically how I use the Amex Platinum credit. The items are still overpriced compared to most other stores but generally good quality.