American Express has been adding a variety of benefits to cards in light of evolved consumer spending patterns due to COVID-19.
Back in May it was announced that The Platinum Card® from American Express (review) would be getting a $200 Amex Travel credit. Well, this benefit is live as of this month, so I wanted to take a closer look at how it works. This is in addition to the up to $40 per month in both cell phone and streaming credits offered by the card in 2020, and the up to $30 in monthly PayPal credits offered by the card in 2021.
Amex Platinum $200 Amex Travel credit
The Amex Platinum Card has a new one-time $200 Amex Travel credit, and it’s much more useful than I was expecting (this is different than the Amex Platinum $200 airline fee credit). Let’s go over what you need to know about this benefit.
Who is eligible for the $200 Amex Travel credit?
This benefit is tied to renewing your personal Amex Platinum Card (this isn’t valid for the business version of the card). Specifically:
- If you renewed your card between April 2020 and July 2020, this offer should already show on your account
- If you renew your account between August 2020 and March 2021, the offer will be available starting on the first day of your card renewal month
- Once you’re eligible you can see your $200 Amex Travel credit on this page
- There’s no registration required to use it
- Only purchases by the primary cardmember qualify, and not purchases by authorized users
How long is the Amex Travel $200 credit valid?
Regardless of when you earn the credit, it’s valid for redemptions through December 31, 2021.
What kind of Amex Travel purchases qualify for the credit?
You can receive a statement credit of up to $200 after an eligible travel purchase made through American Express Travel. This includes purchases through amextravel.com, or bookings made by phone, through the number on the back of your card. You can use your credit across one or multiple transactions.
The following purchases qualify towards the $200 Amex Travel credit:
- Flight & hotel packages
- Car rentals
The following purchases don’t qualify towards the $200 Amex Travel credit:
- Purchase of timeshare properties
- Group reservations or events
- Ticketing services
- Cancelation or other fees
- Interest charges
- Purchase of travelers checks
- Purchases or reloading of prepaid cards
- Purchases of other cash equivalents
How soon does the Amex Travel $200 statement credit post?
Once you’re eligible and make a purchase, credits will typically post within a few days, but it could take up to 90 days for statement credits to post.
What are the downsides to booking through Amex Travel?
For those of you not familiar, Amex Travel is a full service travel agency:
- You can book hotels through Amex Travel, though the catch is that since they’re essentially a third party agency, you usually won’t receive elite credits or benefits if you’re staying at a chain hotel
- You can book flights through Amex Travel
Personally I’d use this credit towards flights, since there’s no downside to booking that way for most airlines. Meanwhile for hotels I continue to prefer to book directly.
This Amex Travel perk is AWESOME
When this benefit was first announced I figured there would be a bunch of restrictions, like needing to make a purchase of significantly more than $200, restrictions on what type of travel purchases qualify, etc.
As far as I’m concerned, the execution of this benefit is the absolute best case scenario. I plan to use this benefit to get $200 worth of airfare, which I more or less consider to be worth face value.
I’m extremely impressed by the limited time perks that have been added to the Amex Platinum Card. The $200 Amex Travel credit can be used towards all kinds of travel purchases, including airfare, and I’d say it’s almost worth face value.
Then there’s the $40 in monthly credits between cell phone and streaming, which are valid for eight months, and will get many of us $320 worth of value.
Between those two limited time perks we’re looking at up to $520 worth of value, which almost covers the annual fee. That’s awesome!
How are you feeling about the value proposition of the Amex Platinum in light of these temporary benefits?