Amex Platinum $200 Amex Travel Credit: How Does It Work?

Filed Under: American Express
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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.

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:

  • Airfare
  • Hotels
  • Flight & hotel packages
  • Cruises
  • Car rentals
  • Tours

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.

Bottom line

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?

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Comments
  1. And those that renewed in March gets screwed. Why not just make it for anyone who renewed in all of 2020?

  2. The renewal membership fee was charged to my account in March. Why did Amex choose an April cutoff…

  3. I agree. This is BS. Why wouldn’t it be all members who renewed in 2020? We are all not able to travel not matter when you renewed. I renewed in January so I basically had one month of travel perks.

  4. I would barely call Amex Travel a Full-Service travel site. It’s a mediocre booking tool however when need any sort of service Amex Travel can be extremely frustrating. They really under fund talented voice agents so heaven help you if you need anything more than basic.

  5. @Ben — Still closing or downgrading my card in a few days. I figure I’ll be better of with a welcome or upgrade bonus later when they are even more desperate for good customers. AMEX should not be trusted with yet more reimbursements. They have proven that they will stab you in the back with their clawbacks. No thank you.

  6. my renewal is in June! already got my $200 airline credit in gift cards, received about $80 off on recent amazon purchases by using .01 worth of points. And now an easy $200 travel credit. Amex keeps adding value.

  7. oof.. renewed in mid March. That’s brutal. Cheers to those who get it though, seems like a very nice perk.

  8. I like how the details are forthcoming. “Oh, we didn’t mean you can use it on anything. We meant you can only use it on hotels that you don’t have any status with. Valid for room-service or spa charges only. And you can only use $30 of it per month.”

    That would be more like Amex. I’m still going to get $0 out of their fabled $200 in airline credits this year. Cancelling in October before AF hits.

  9. That’s a good one. They should probably make that change permanent, if it’s as simple as the CSR or Prestige’s travel credits.

    If not, replace the airline incidental fee credit with this moving forward.

  10. my card renewal is in December as opened it then although the annual fee hits in early Jan – is eligibility based on renewal relating to approval date or when the fee hits?

  11. I canceled mine last month even with them offering 30k for 4K spend. I’m tired of having to jump through hoops with amex for everything. If you’re really having to count 20 bucks here and there as justification for keeping the card is it really worth the time and headache involved. The platinum used to provide outsized value bar none. Now we’re trying to nickel and dime our way to rationalizing how 550 is worth it. I’d rather have 550 in my pocket and not feel the need to randomly sign up for shit to get a credit (of something I already paid for in the fee mind you).

  12. Yeah, this is a really attractive retention tool when travel is through the floor. I’m unlikely to be traveling for the rest of 2020, as are, I strongly suspect, most people, including Amex Platinum cardmembers.

  13. I’m canceling cards. Canceled the Hyatt since I had a hard time using the free night and the status didn’t mean much and I don’t expect to do much traveling. Next up is the Surpass card, I can get gold status from the Platinum card so why waste any money on Surpass.

    Good time to hack and slash the stack of cards I have. Unless you use the benefits they are pointless. And many have redundant benefits (can’t use multiple credits for GE, etc.).

    And right now I doubt I will use the points I do have.

  14. I would assume that Platinum Travel Service is considered part of American Express Travel — and their reservations are made directly through the GDS in the hotel’s own reservation system, so this is NOT a third-party reservation.

    You can even have your personal TA make an FHR reservation for you (to get the $200 credit). They just have to call AMEX Agency Services. Your TA will get the commission. You’ll get the FHR amenities and the $200 credit.

  15. I really don’t get it. No guarantee this will even be usable in the future- it certainly isn’t right now. Amex is hoping our eyes will glaze over after we read “$200”. This is not a $200 credit, not even close. To say nothing of being unable to use the $200 airline credits this year as someone else mentioned above. Such a joke. They should just offer $200 off the annual fee if they really want to provide a credit. Makes it a no brainer to cancel my plat over CSR this year. Sick of being treated like I’m stupid.

  16. @JD “This will be valid between August 2020 and December 2021”

    ‘You sittin at home for the next 19 months? If yes, then cancel the card immediately; you’re not a traveler.

  17. @Jan too many open ends with this.
    Who knows how they will define “eligible purchases”?
    Who knows if they will be courteous enough to not jack up the prices through their own portal?
    Who knows when we will actually be able to travel again?

    To me, it seems like a disingenuous attempt to try and reassure people that Amex cares about us and wants us to be happy, by tricking us into thinking we will be $200 richer when it reality it will not add up to the full $200 for most people.

  18. This looks like a good place to cross-post my comment on this $200 AMEX credit, and share my AMEX and general credit card strategy going forward.

    It appears that there may be different versions of this offer, i.e., it may also be targeted, at least for the business version of the AMEX Platinum card.

    The renewal of my Business Platinum Card by AMEX (aka AMEX Biz Plat) is next month, and night now I have the following as one of ‘AMEX Offers’ for this card, apparently to thank me for being a member since 2003, *no purchases necessary other than renewing*:
    __________________________________________
    Card Member Since 2003
    To show our appreciation, we’re giving you a $200 appreciation credit for your Business Platinum Card account upon renewal. Terms Apply. [1]

    [1] Eligible Business Platinum Card Members as determined by American Express in its sole discretion, will be eligible to receive a one-time $200 statement credit after Card renewal. The statement credit will be applied to the eligible card account within 8-12 weeks of the account renewal month. This statement credit is limited to Basic (not Additional) Card Members only. Offer is non-transferable. If the eligible Business Platinum Card is cancelled, or you have downgraded or upgraded your Card up to 45 days after the first day of your renewal month, you will not receive the one-time $200 statement credit. American Express reserves the right to modify or revoke offer at any time.
    __________________________________________

    The offer is clearly tailored, but I may not be eligible for it because of this condition: “If the eligible Business Platinum Card is cancelled, or you have downgraded or upgraded your Card up to 45 days after the first day of your renewal month, you will not receive the one-time $200 statement credit.”

    In January of this year I applied and was instantly approved for the Personal AMEX Plat, which I got because it awards 5x on airline tickets purchased pretty anywhere, while to get 5x on airline tickets with the Biz Plat, one has to make purchases through amextravel.com. That limitation killed the AMEX Biz Plat for me. I did not need two AMEX Platinum cards with high annual fees, so I called customer support for the Biz Plat and told them after 17 years I could no longer justify keeping their product and explained why. They agreed that the Personal Platinum was a better fit for me. After some discussion about my options, during which they offered me all kinds replacement of cards, I decided that I would simply cancel the Biz Plat a month before its renewal date to avoid paying the annual fee, and leave it at that.

    Yesterday, I call the Biz Plat customer support to cancel the card, figuring that it was about time. Again, before processing my request to cancel, the agent, who fully understood why and agreed with me but is nevertheless trained to make pitches for one or more possible replacements for a card that is being cancelled, pitched just one card to me: The Business Gold AMEX, saying that AMEX specifically designed it to be “their rewards card.”

    The annual fee for the AMEX Biz Gold would be $295, which was a plus compared to retaining the Biz Plat @$595, but then she mentioned 4x on US restaurant dining. That is when it clicked. I am now patronizing SQ Krisflyer, which is an AMEX MR transfer partner, therefore, there was room for this card in my walled…at the expense of the CSR, which is somewhat decreasing in importance as I move away from UA. But the CSR still has a big role to play: The AMEX Biz Gold 4x on restaurant dining is no good when one is overseas. That is when the CSR shines, since its 3x on dining and travel is good WORLDWIDE, which is why it remains one of the most compelling rewards CCs out there, despite claims of its demise or being “passé.”

    Anyway, I decided to “downgrade” my Biz Plat to the Biz Gold, and I just checked the account, and it’s been seamlessly converted to Biz Gold with retention of the account number and “member since” date. Interestingly, with various adjustments and prorated credits, including a line that said “membership fee”, I now have a balance of -$39 in the new Biz Gold account, suggesting that I may get the first year of the this card essentially free. Downgrading my Biz Plat to the Biz Gold made me ineligible for this $200 AMEX Offer credit, but it’s no biggie.

    So, this is my credit card strategy going forward:

    AMEX Plat – All airline tickets (5x MR)
    AMEX Biz Gold – *US* restaurant dining (4x MR)
    CSR – All other “travel” (e.g., taxi, train, Lyft) and ALL dining overseas (3x UR)
    Chase Ink Biz cash — internet subscription, mobile phone, skype (5x UR)
    Chase Freedom Unlimited – Everything else (1.5x UR)
    Hotels — Each program’s highest earning co-brand card.

    We’re ready to rock world!

  19. Have American amex cards not had teavel credits? In Australia the platinum cards receive $400 every membership year. We do also have a higher card fee.

  20. I got I guess something similar for my Amex Delta card. I got an email today saying I’d get a $50 statement credit after I renew this year.

    Of course my Plat renews annually in January so I won’t get this $200 credit.

  21. Good move and makes me glad to be a member since 1986.

    Also for those claiming Amex travel isn’t any good I booked 3 Delta One tickets to Italy for August w Amex IAP. Last Thursday I got an email that Delta had changed the trip significantly. I’ll say they did – still had flight CLT-JFK and return ATL-CLT but cancelled JFK-VCE and FCO-ATL. Delta however said itinerary was still in place ($6500 for 3 worthless open jaw domestic first class tickets I guess). Only option on DL website (I have lifetime status w them) was a credit. I knew I was slide a refund but didn’t look forward to fighting w Delta. Called Amex travel. Took over 30 minutes to jump through the hoops and Delta had just let them start requesting refunds the day before. Told could be 4-6 weeks. Well the $6500 credit hit my Platinum card account 4 days later!! BTW still waiting after almost a month for Delta to refund $200 for a flight they cancelled in May.

    I’m sold on Amex travel. Not only was the IAP pricing cheaper than anywhere else ($1100 a ticket cheaper than Delta’s website) but they got me a refund in record time!

    I don’t try to add stuff up to justify my platinum card fee since I’m happy w what I get and really like service like this to help me out of a bind!

  22. @DCS check out the Amex green card. They advertise 3x points at restaurants worldwide and on all other travel that the platinum doesn’t cover.

    That being said- the CSR gets you priority pass with restaurants included which Amex no longer offers (they only do lounges now).

  23. @DCS also, the personal gold card also states 4x restaurants world wide And the biz gold has categories that adjust to your spending…

  24. Is the $200 in addition to the airline credit? What if you used some of the airline credit earlier this year?

  25. @Kevin — Thanks for the great suggestions. I did look at the Personal AMEX Gold benefits and knew that it offered 4x worldwide for restaurant dining, but then I weighed my earning of UR vs MR points, and decided to downgrade to the AMEX business Gold instead. I will be earning a lot of MR points, which will now be most of my earned points, on airline tickets at 5x and domestic restaurants at 4x, but as a UA 1MM and lifetime Gold (as well as *A Gold), I still wanted to maintain balance continue to earn significant numbers of UR points to keep the option of redeeming *A awards through UA, which has a number of advantages, like ease of searching the *A awards space or not levying or passing fuel surcharges on to customers, unlike SQ which does not levy the fuel surcharges on their own flights but would pass them from partners on to customers. I saw no advantages to the AMEX Green over the CSR, which remains my one ‘overseas card’, including for a broadly defined category of dining, and for ground transportation worldwide, which is also very broadly defined as ‘travel.’

    Lastly, I wanted to maintain a good business card after dumping the Biz Plat, and the AMEX Biz Gold seemed to fit the bill, with 4X on any 2 of the following categories each billing cycle that I spend the most on, which you alluded to and I thought is kind of cool:

    Airfare purchased directly from airlines
    U.S. purchases for advertising in select media (online, TV, radio)
    U.S. purchases made directly from select technology providers of computer hardware, software, and cloud solutions
    U.S. purchases at gas stations
    U.S. purchases at restaurants
    U.S. purchases for shipping

  26. Super disappointed that this Travel Credit doesn’t apply to those who renewed between Jan. 1 and March 31, 2020. If this is how AMEX wants to do it, then why don’t they limit the streaming and wireless service benefits as well? Everyone is affected by the travel slowdown the same as everyone else. Whether it lasts six, nine, or twelve months, every cardmember shares the same pain, no matter what his/her renewal date is. Someone whose renewal date fell between Jan. 1 and March 31, 2020 isn’t affected any less than the rest.

  27. The reason the CSR remains my card for dining overseas is how broadly it defines ‘dining.’ According to OMAAT the AMEX Gold does not award 4x for “nightclubs, and restaurants located within other establishments”, which happen to be venues where I overwhelmingly use the CSR overseas. Pretty much every type of night entertainment establishment, including those located within other establishments or hotels earn 3x on the CSR.

  28. Has there been anything official announced? I can’t find anything on any Amex website.

  29. Here’s what found out today.

    $200 Travel Credit Offer
    Book through American Express Travel to receive up to $200 in statement credits for eligible travel purchases on your eligible Platinum Card®. Terms apply.*

    Now through December 31, 2021, book travel through AmexTravel.com or by calling the number on the back of your Card.
    Receive up to $200 in statement credits after you spend $200 or more on eligible purchases of airfare, hotel, cruises, car rentals or tours with your eligible Platinum Card. No enrollment required.

    Only eligible travel bookings and purchases made with your Basic Platinum Card will be eligible for the travel credit. Purchases by Additional Card Members are not eligible for statement credits.

    Statement credits may not be received or may be reversed if the eligible booking is cancelled or the eligible purchase is returned.
    https://www.americanexpress.com/en-us/travel/benefits/how-to-use-travel-credit

  30. @ Ben — I read the terms on the offer a few days ago, and I was indeed surprised. I immediately figured it would be great to use with the AMEX International Airfare program. I am glad you’ve confirmed the T&C because it seemed to good to be true!

  31. My renewal fee was Apr 15 but I am not seeing this credit. Do we know if you got a retention offer if then they didn’t do this on these accounts? Thank you!

  32. Do we know if this is available for other flavors of the Amex Platinum personal card? (Like Schwab and Morgan Stanley)? Thanks!

  33. It’s always good to see, that people UNDERSTAND, what they get to read! 😉

    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

    FOR THOSE, WHO’S NEXT RENEWAL IS IN MARCH 2021!!! 😉

    Read and understand first, then open your mouth and complain. I’m stunned sometimes, maybe because i’m too Bavarian ?! I get my credit next year March, simple as that. Gives 9 month to spend it. Math . . . simple.

  34. My card renewed in June 2020 and I don’t see this offer anywhere. My father’s card renewed in July and he doesn’t see it anywhere. My brother’s card renewed in August and he doesn’t see it anywhere. Are we sure this offer is not targeted as none of us received a retention offer?

  35. Ben, I have the Schwab card, renewal fee hit in July and paid in August on due date (a couple weeks ago), but no credit.

    Has anyone with the Schwab card gotten it? Can you use your contacts at Amex to find out?

    Thanks!

  36. Per Flyertalk, seems to be targeted. Ben, is the source of your eligibility comments based on Amex communication to you, or on those who have received notifications (which doesn’t mean it’s availabe to all).

  37. Lucky,

    Thanks for posting about this! I didn’t see this announced before. Totally missed it. I had a rental car for next weekend and was going to pay cash but I checked and sure enough I qualify as my card renewed in April.

    You saved me $180. Thanks Lucky!

  38. Citibank: makes it available on groceries and restaurants.
    Chase: makes it available on groceries and gas stations.
    AMEX: TRAVEL IS NOT DEAD! GET ON THOSE MIDDLE SEATS NOW!

  39. @ XenaWP and Barry Lipton – I have the schwab plat and received an email from amex saying I will get the credit if I renew next month. I also see this mentioned on a recent statement.

  40. @DCS
    I spoke to Ames Business Plat CS and a part of my conversation aimewd at downgrading the Business Plat to Gold or Green, the rep pointed out to me, the promotion just dropping for Business Platinum cards. It is for a $200.00 “thank you” credit for all Business Plat cards upon renewal without downgrading. The credit will post 8-12 weeks after the renewal is paid. This applies to all Bus Plat cards renewing by 12/31/21.

    This is the only reason I did not downgrade since4 I also have the Amex Hilton Aspire card which has all of the travel benefits of the Business Plat and more (plus a Diamond membership, all for $450.00.

    I’ll still likely downgrade the Plat card sometime after the $200.00 credit posts as long as they won’t take it back.

  41. Travel is not dead, just on hold. Everywhere I have to go won’t let me in without quarantines and other hassles.

    I have moved my April trip to Asia forward twice. We’ll see what happens in October/November.

  42. I made a prepaid, refundable hotel booking for a staycation at a local Hilton for just over $250 and received the $200 credit a few days later. I knew I was unlikely to get any Hilton credit for the stay but called the Hilton Platinum line nonetheless just in case. The agent confirmed that the reservation was ineligible for Honors recognition (I’ll try again at checkin, who knows…) but the interesting thing she said is that the reservation was made through Expedia. I rarely book through Amex Travel other than FHR so this surprised me. Is Amex Travel not even its “own” third party?

    The rate was the same as the Hilton website btw, so at least for some reservations using Amex Travel doesn’t have to involve paying a higher rate in order to get the $200 credit.

  43. IsAmex giving this offer in addition to other retention offers, like back in April, May, they offered 30K membership points with $4K spend?

    I called Amex, and they said i am not eligible for this marketing targeted offer, and this is not like other Amex offers which we can load.
    Any comments from experts?

  44. My card’s annual fee was charged on May 11, but I’m not seeing anything that indicates the credit is active. The link you provided to check eligibility just dumps me off on the AmEx Travel homepage and I don’t see anything under the Benefits page of my account that indicates a $200 AmEx Travel credit is present. (I see the normal Airline fee credit counter). Any other way to check for sure if this offer is indeed on my account?

  45. It makes up, but with more red tape, for the loss of the $ 200 Airline fee credit which became absolutely valueless for AA Executive Platinums when they removed the possibility to buy AA gift cards with it.

    Walking back on a lost benefit can hardly be called “awesome” (you seem by the way to like this word a lot. I don’t, probably a question of generations).

  46. I contacted American Express this month because my annual fee just came up this month and I didn’t get the $200.00 travel credit. They informed me that not everyone would get it.

  47. @Lucky, Ben: Why have you not answered all of these people questioning whether this offer is targeted or not? There are people saying they have already seen the credit, and people being told that they aren’t one of the ones to get it. Can you please confirm if this is targeted, or if it is available to all with the Platinum who renewed after April and use Amex Travel for booking something??

  48. I called Amex today because I didn’t see it. After being transferred around several times, I was told by the retention department that it was targeted and not automatic. They couldn’t tell me what the criteria was for the targeting, just that my account didn’t have the flag so there was nothing they could so. My renewal was on or about Aug 11st.

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