Amex Platinum Cell Phone & Streaming Credits Guide

Filed Under: American Express, Credit Cards
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In light of the current pandemic we’re seeing card issuers add some more perks on select cards, in particular on cards with a travel focus. It goes without saying that consumer behavior has changed a lot, and this also impacts our credit card spending patterns.

Last week Amex revealed a variety of temporary new benefits for cards, and in this post I wanted to focus on a couple of the new benefits of The Platinum Card® from American Express (review), which could potentially be worth $320 to cardmembers (this is in addition to the $200 Amex Travel credit being added to the card).

I know a lot of people have the Amex Platinum, so I wanted to look at the best way to maximize these new perks.

Amex Platinum $20 cell phone credit

The Amex Platinum Card is offering a $20 monthly credit for cell phone bills:

  • This is exclusively for wireless telephone services purchased directly from US service providers
  • There’s no registration required
  • This is a limited time benefit, valid May through December 2020
  • This is potentially worth up to $160, though you only get one $20 credit every calendar month

What cell phone purchases qualify?

Eligible purchases include monthly wireless telephone services charges made directly from a wireless telephone service provider in the United States. This would include paying your bill with AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon, among others (unfortunately Google Fi doesn’t seem to qualify).

This does not include the following types of purchases:

  • Purchases from authorized retailers, resellers or third party sellers
  • Purchases for hardware (e.g phones and accessories) or repair services
  • Purchases from electronics stores (e.g. Best Buy, Staples) and superstores (e.g. Wal-Mart, and Target)
  • Bundled services offered by wireless companies for TV, internet and VoIP
  • VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) services

How to maximize Amex Plat cell phone credit

If you’re anything like me, this benefit is pretty easy to maximize. Personally T-Mobile is my cell phone provider, so my strategy is as follows:

  • Make a $20 monthly payment with my Amex Platinum, a $20 monthly payment with Ford’s Amex Platinum, and a $10 monthly credit with my Amex Green (since that card has a temporary $10 monthly credit)
  • Continue to pay the remaining balance with a card earning bonus points on cell phone spending, like the Chase Ink Preferred or Chase Ink Cash

I was easily able to go into the T-Mobile app and make a pre-payment, even though my balance at the moment is zero. Note that they’ll only let you make one payment of the same amount each day, so I made a payment of $20 on one Amex Platinum, and a payment of $19.99 on another, and that seemed to work.

Between the three cards, my T-Mobile balance is currently negative $49.99. I’ll just have to remember to do that once every month. Best I can tell this won’t mess with the autopay process I otherwise have set up (though if someone has had a different experience, please let me know).

Amex Platinum $20 streaming credit

The Amex Platinum Card is offering a $20 monthly credit for streaming subscriptions:

  • This is exclusively for select US streaming subscription services
  • There’s no registration required
  • This is a limited time benefit, valid May through December 2020
  • This is potentially worth up to $160, though you only get one $20 credit every calendar month

What streaming subscriptions qualify?

According to Amex, the following US streaming subscriptions as being eligible for this benefit:

Amazon Music Unlimited, Apple Music, Apple TV+, AT&T Now, Audible, CBS All Access, Disney+, ESPN+, Fubo TV, HBO Now, Hulu, iHeartRadio, Kindle Unlimited, Luminary, MLB.TV, NBA League Pass, Netflix, NHL.TV, Pandora, Prime Video, Showtime, Sling TV, SiriusXM Streaming and Satellite, Spotify, Stitcher, YouTube Music Premium, YouTube Premium, YouTube TV

How to maximize Amex Plat streaming credit

For me the cell phone benefit is easy to maximize, while this one isn’t quite as easy. We don’t have cable, so on the surface you’d think this would be ideal for us, since we do watch a fair bit of TV. However:

  • We pay for season passes of many shows through iTunes, and iTunes isn’t a streaming subscription service, and therefore isn’t included
  • We use Netflix, but I have a discounted membership through T-Mobile for $5 per month, and that’s billed to my T-Mobile account; so I guess I could unsubscribe and get a more expensive plan directly, but I feel like the process of changing might be a hassle?
  • We do have a Hulu Plus membership, which costs about $14 per month, so I switched that one of our Amex Plats

We’re using about two thirds of the credit of one card, but nothing for the other one.

Bottom line

The up to $40 in monthly credits being offered by the Amex Platinum Card are fantastic, and frankly more than I was expecting from Amex. At an absolute minimum I’m getting ~$34 of value per month from this on my card ($20 for cell phone and $14 for Hulu), or ~$272 over the eight months. I’m sure there are ways to maximize this better, though.

How are you using your Amex Platinum credits? If you have any creative ideas for using these credits, or any data points on these credits working, please share them in the comments below!

I’m sure there are options I’m missing for those who use Google Fi, as well as options for those (like me) who are struggling to use the full streaming credit.

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Comments
  1. Sign up for Apple TV+ ($5) or Disney+ ($7) to use the rest of the credit. There’s plenty of options there.

  2. I added Showtime to my Hulu Plus (no-ads) membership a little while back, which brought the monthly total up to around $23. In other words, don’t forget that you can upgrade your Hulu membership to include premium channels (or even live cable for a lot more).

  3. Have you looked into options other than buying season passes of shows on iTunes? If you’re buying more than a handful of those there must be more cost-effective options for you these days, up to and including signing up for cable, or some of the premium channel packages you can get these days as an add-on to services like Hulu or YouTube Red. The latter in particular might be attractive right now in light of this credit.

  4. Has it been confirmed that pre-paying $20 with Amex Platinum will not prevent you from receiving cell phone protection benefits with Chase or Citi?

  5. To receive the Chase Preferred cell phone protection benefit, I believe you have to pay your entire cell phone bill with the card. Am I mistaken?

  6. thanks for the good tips, especially about the 1 time T-Mobile payments via the App.

    If you have an AMEX Plat and an authorized used (2nd card for $175/year) do you get double the credits on your T-Mobile bill? Or does it have to be a totally different AMEX PLAT account?

  7. HBO Max launches this month and they have a deal running now for $11.99 per month for 12 months. They also turn on HBO Now immediately, so you can use that until Max launches. The Amex credit essentially gave me an 8 month free trial.

  8. So I signed up for Prime Video, but it seems to be full Prime including shipping etc. I hope that works I don’t see how to just get the video…

  9. Can confirm that partial payments do not mess up auto-pay on T-Mobile. Autopay processed today for the remainder after Plat & Green partial payments.

  10. Are there equivalent updates for international Platinum account holders? (Canada, in my case.)

  11. So the Business Amex Platinum has a $20/month credit for shipping. Other than buying stamps at USPS, any other ideas to maximize?

  12. I called and they said they do support Google Fi. Do we have confirmation that it’s only the big 4 (err, 3 now)?

  13. Content suggestion: It would be hugely helpful to have a consolidated table of ALL monthly credits available across ALL AmEx charge card products. Thanks!

  14. @ jeff – No, they must be totally different.

    However, a charge on the authorized user account WILL count towards the $20 credits.

  15. @Adam – No, this is for cards issued in the United States.

    @Mark – They do but it’s a bad deal. Best to focus the credits elsewhere (unless the full, shipping included Prime will trigger the discount too but you’re making a leap there): https://techcrunch.com/2016/04/18/amazon-now-lets-you-separately-subscribe-to-prime-video-for-8-99-per-month/

    @YY and @Andrew – Google Fi may qualify. The list AMEX offers (VZ, AT&T, TMO and Sprint) is not inclusive. It seems that as long as the charge is categorized as a “wireless service” then it should count. You’ll want to look and see how the charge has posted to an AMEX card in the past (note that the charge may post under a different category if it’s on a VISA/MC/AMEX).

  16. Ben,

    Can you please verify what @JJ posted above? It does seem to read that the credit is for every card (authorized users get separate credit) & not just the main card holder.

  17. Your plan for the cell phone bill seems very complicated. I simply switched my Auto Pay for ATT to use the Amex Platinum and will switch back to the Chase Ink in December. I also added the Amex Platinum to my Netflix Auto Pay and subscribed to Disney+. We use Xfinity for TV and internet bundle at a very good rate so won’t mess with that. Already have Amazon Music though ATT.

  18. @MattR Thank you for sharing the info. about HBO Max. I didn’t know the special they were running now. However, Amex is not explicitly mentioning it (of course, it doesn’t yet exist). I’m assuming it’ll be added to the list or it’ll count once it launches, but hopefully, we won’t be scammed out of it by Amex if it’s not recognized.

  19. Lucky, that’s a great idea about the cell phone bill. I just paid my bill yesterday with my Amex, but I didn’t even think about doing partial payment the Amex and putting the rest on my Ink Business to get the category bonus and the cell phone protection. Shoot… I guess next month then.

  20. @Daniel – unfortunately, Google FI doesn’t seem to be covered under the wireless credit (this from a chat I just had with an Amex customer support person). Of course, if the charge posts as wireless service, as you suggest, it should work, but the rep said that if it’s done through a third-party “bundling/digital platform”, it likely won’t. Bummer.

  21. HBO max is covered as well. If you have an old HBO account laying around you get access for $12 a month. Right now it’s just gives you HBO Now but Max is set to launch later in the year.

  22. @Nikolay – Yes you’ll have to see how it posts and check. The list is not inclusive like the list of streaming services is.

    Can you do a $1 charge and test it first?

    @Michelle – It is one credit per overall account NOT per authorized user. It doesn’t matter who makes the charge (main or authorized user) but you will receive only one $20 credit for wireless and one $20 credit for streaming.

  23. If I don’t currently have the Platinum but sign up now, am I still able to receive the credits? Or are they just for existing cardholders?

  24. I kinda feel like for the wireless credit, I can always make payment to my mobile phone provider and make my balance negative (I’m now on a reduce rate suspension of $11.95 a month since I’m stranded abroad) . For the streaming credit, I just switched my YouTube Music subscription from iTunes to YouTube Premium charged directly from YouTube ($11.99). Still finding out some way that I can utilize the rest of my streaming credit.

  25. Don’t forget that some AT&T Uverse users are supposed to be getting HBO Max for free starting this month! It is for those on a Premium plan.

  26. I’m already an Amazon Prime member and sometimes rent movies on there. Do you know if that would be covered by the Amex Platinum streaming credit?

  27. The CIP Benefits Guide is clear that in order to substantiate a claim under its cell phone coverage, you must be prepared to send a “Copy of Your cellular service provider billing statement demonstrating that the *ENTIRE* monthly payment for the cellular service provider bill was made the month prior to the date of damage or theft and has been paid with Your Account.” (emphasis added). I don’t know how strictly the claims administrator enforces this. But it seems like you’re at significant risk of having your claim denied if you pay less than your entire bill with your CIP card. I’d be interested to hear DPs on this. ~Craig

  28. I used mine for my Disney + subscription, which left a lot of money on the table since I get my Netflix through T-mobile like you. I decided to add Audible, since I enjoy audio books but only buy them sporadically. That put us about $2 over the $20 credit.

  29. Through AMEX Offers, AMEX Plat is offering 5x MR points for Amazon purchases through July 31. At the same, I have a subscription to Amazon Prime streaming service, which I have been using quite a bit with nowhere to go.

    Would these two benefits overlap to where I would get 5x MR points for streaming videos on Amazon Prime (i.e., videos that do not come with the subscription and I must pay extra for) and the $20 streaming credit?

    Wherever one looks there are all kinds of rewards coming at consumers…The “Golden Age of Loyalty” has returned, even if it might me short-lived! 🙂

  30. To follow up on Craig’s post on partial payments voiding the cell phone insurance, checking the World Elite Mastercard guide, they do not use the word “entire,” but say that the bill would have to be charged to the eligible account, and part of the claims process is to submit copies of the most recent credit card bill (showing payment of the cellular account) and a copy of the most recent cellular bill. It would therefore be fairly obvious if it was partially paid. So I would guess that anything less than full payment would forfeit the insurance for Mastercard as well.

    However, I will still take the $20 credit (actually $40, given my significant other has another platinum). I would not pay $20 or $40 a month for cell phone insurance.

  31. I was told today by Amex that wireless and streaming credit only apply to personal Platinum Card and not the co-branded Morgan Stanley, Schwab and Ameriprise Platinum Cards. Does anyone have any information to contradict this information?

  32. So if I subscribe to Hulu, CBS All Access, HBO, etc. through my iTunes account, I’ll have to cancel and sign up directly with the streaming provider?

  33. I switched my Netflix, Spotify and Disney + accounts to my platinum card but am not switching my cell service. I have the IHG MasterCard that provides cell phone insurance and not paying that for 4 phones saves me more than a temporary $20 a month credit. Glad to get $20 off my steaming services though.

  34. I am very disappointed in this “perk”. As a loyal cardholder since 1978, I find out that neither my Cell phone nor Directv subscriptions will qualify for the rebate. This is contrary to what Amex told me on the phone. I fail to understand why!

  35. Is it worth risking cell phone coverage under Chase IHG or Citi Prestige? Citi covered me twice last year. Is there a workaround to use the credit such as for a Verizon GC that I use toward my internet?

  36. @Mainer – a few datapoints on Reddit have confirmed that it works for the Schwab Platinum as well

  37. I charged $20 to both of my business platinums, and $10 to my green card on May 2nd, for my T-mobile service – it showed up as “T-mobile for Business”. No credits have posted yet.

  38. @Iamhere Normally, I’d agree, but in this case they’re recurring monthly charges. I don’t have a problem with them applying streaming or wireless credits monthly.

  39. Could you sign up for 2+ streaming services to maximize the $20/month credit?

  40. Google Fi is technically supported, it just doesn’t trigger automatically. Just gotta chat with them every month to have it trigger manually until they figure out how to make it code correctly.

  41. When I click on the link under the “bottom line” paragraph to research the card, says the link/offer is expired.

  42. I switched my T Mobile auto pay to the Platinum, and made a manual payment with my Chase Ink, so that in future months if I forget to make the manual payment I’m out just 5x points on $62 (310 points = $6.20 at best) vs. $20.

  43. 2 confirmed info about the Platinum card $200 wireless credit:
    (1)Cricket Wireless works: I have received my $20 statement credit today (charge posted on May 01)
    (2)Charles Schwab Amex Platinum card is eligible for the $200 wireless credit

  44. The Charles Schwab Amex Plat card works for the credit. Credit showed up in my account today.

  45. How was all of this communicated to cardmembers? I haven’t received any email about this, so I wouldn’t have known had I not been on your site.

  46. Streaming and mobile credits are a good start, but the other AMEX credits are hard to come by in the Covid-19 era. No UBER, and no flying, and no SAKS… very difficult to use the credits. Much easier with Chase Saphire’s $300 off the top travel credit. Pays my parking space in Manhattan .

  47. A couple of questions:
    1) Does Amazon Prime (with Prime Video included) qualify?
    2) I have an annual subscription of Apple Music which expires in February 2021, there is nothing I can do here right?

  48. DATA POINT

    Kindle e-books are also being credited. I bought a $1 e-book and got it back as credit.

  49. When trying a manual payment on Verizon, credit card transaction will void the autopay discount ($5/line) which only allows direct bank debit.

  50. Does anyone know if these goodies apply to the Platinum business card? It seems like they never do.

  51. Google fi did not work for me. Also confirmed with chat rep that it will not qualify

  52. I am using my credits for a new Sirius XM Select subscription (car and phone/home streaming) as well as iHeartRadio All Access subscription. I like the All Access because you can download customized playlists and listen offline. Perfect for the beach this summer!

    Some hints:
    To get the current SiriusXM subscription promo, when you go to pay, it defaults to charging you for all 12 months in-full up front. However, if you contact customer service through their chat, you can easily ask to pay monthly, which would then be covered by the monthly Amex credit. Sirius is currently running a special: $5/month plus tax. They also have another subscription option that includes Pandora.

    For iHeart Radio, do not purchase the subscription through the app. If you have an iPhone, the charge will be through Apple and it will likely NOT be covered by Amex. To qualify for the Amex credit, subscribe through the iHeartRadio website. It seems to be $3 cheaper through their website anyway! The first 30 days are free, and then you are charged directly by iHeartRadio.

    Hope this helps!

  53. Great article as it reminds people that they could just make the one time payment rather than changing the autopay. I agree with the analysis that changing the autopay and then changing it back is likely more work than it should be and an increased chance of there being a mistake.

  54. Audible is among the qualified “streaming subscription”. I wonder if I buy audio books there would qualify the credit. Any thought? Maybe need to do a small amount trial myself.

  55. Remember that it’s the amount of the payment, not how much you owe. So, for example, if you are allowed to overpay your $7.99 monthly bill by paying $20, you should qualify for the full $20 credit. That, of course, will build up a credit on your account, but you can use that up in future months once this promotion is over.

  56. purchased a $1.29 mp3 song on amazon music on 5/8 and got a $1.29 credit 5/11. now i am struggling to find $20 worth of songs to download this month 😛

  57. has anyone received credit for Netflix subscription? Paid with amex plat on 5/11, no credit showing yet

  58. i called into the CSP benefits admin and they stated that the cell phone protection is only valid if the entire bill is paid with the card. using the $20 credit for a partial payment will void the insurance, i don’t think it is worth it for $20 tbh.

  59. I read a comment that HBO Max is covered, however I just chatted Amex Platinum customer service rep and was told that only HBO Now is covered. HBO Max may be added later, but it is still to be seen.
    Can someone confirm this? It would be nice to use the credit on the HBO Max promo before May 27th.

  60. Hi, I’m a GoogleFi user, I spoke with Amex representative today and because Google uses services from other companies such as T-mobile, it is not considered under the terms of the promotion a primary provider.
    GoogleFi can’t be used for the cell phone credit.

  61. I just received my $20 credit for Google Fi. The Google Fi transaction got posted as GOOGLE*GOOGLE FI GOO G.CO HELPPAY#, and 2 days later I received $20 “AMEX Streaming Subscription Credit”

  62. I occasionally purchase full seasons of kid’s shows on Prime Video. Does anyone know if purchases like this would trigger the Amex streaming credit, or is it only for subscriptions?

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