Awesome: Amex Platinum $30 Monthly PayPal Credit

Filed Under: American Express, Amex Offers

Update: This is a reminder that it’s a new calendar month, so you can now use your Amex Platinum $30 PayPal credit for April. See the below post from January for all the details on how this temporary benefit works (it’s valid between January 1 and June 30, 2021).

In light of the pandemic, we’ve seen card issuers get creative with adding new limited-time perks. This is especially true on travel rewards credit cards, since card issuers want people to keep their cards.

In 2020 we saw The Platinum Card® from American Express offer up to $40 in monthly credits, including a $20 monthly cell phone credit and a $20 monthly streaming credit.

While that expired in 2020, American Express has introduced a new temporary card perk. This is also worth being aware of for anyone who might be considering applying for the Amex Platinum with its current improved bonus.

New Amex Platinum monthly PayPal credit

The Amex Platinum Card is offering a $30 monthly PayPal credit:

  • This valid between January 1 and June 30, 2021
  • This is valid on the U.S. consumer version of the card only (and not the business card)
  • Eligibility for this offer is limited
  • There’s no registration required, but rather you just have to add your Amex Platinum to your PayPal account, and then select the card when checking out with PayPal
  • In order to qualify, transactions must be made in USD at U.S. merchants with a U.S. PayPal account
  • Person-to-person payments are not eligible for statement credits; this includes payments made to friends and family or directly to merchants for goods and services with the PayPal app
  • You get a $30 credit per primary card account; spending by additional card members also qualifies, but it counts towards the primary card member’s $30 credit
  • The terms state that “eligible purchases do not include fees or interest charges, purchases or reloading of prepaid cards, purchases of gift cards, person-to-person payments including those for goods and services, or purchases of other cash equivalents”

This is an easy $180 in value with the Amex Platinum

I have to give Amex a lot of credit here, because this makes it really easy to justify holding onto the Amex Platinum Card. In fairness, the up to $40 in monthly credits available in 2020 were worth more on the surface, but a single $30 credit is easier to use, and also gives you more flexibility.

Ordinarily, I don’t use PayPal much, but there are plenty of merchants that accept PayPal, which should make this easy enough to maximize. My first thought is to simply use this to reload my Starbucks balance each month, since Starbucks accepts PayPal. However, I’m not sure if that would technically be excluded based on the terms. If anyone has any thoughts or tips, I’d love to hear them.

In terms of the overall value proposition of the Amex Platinum, the card has a $550 annual fee. Credits this year include the following:

This makes it really easy to justify this card, not even factoring in the usual valuable benefits offered by the card, like lounge access.

Bottom line

The Amex Platinum Card is offering a $30 monthly PayPal credit for the first half of 2021, which should be a way to get up to $180 in value. I was curious to see what Amex would come up with for the Platinum Card, and I’m thrilled with this.

What do you make of the Amex Platinum $30 PayPal credit, and how do you plan to use it?

Comments
  1. The T&C seem to indicate Gift cards are excluded. I wonder how this would work in practice with a starbucks reload.

  2. What do I make of it? LOL, considering AMEX just handed me $180 a year for free, I call this freaking awesome! Your Starbucks idea is genius, and yes, tons of merchants accept PayPal.

    Thank you for posting this!

  3. @R B, “ You get a $30 credit per primary card account; spending by additional card members also qualifies, but it counts towards the primary card member’s $30 credit”

  4. Can anyone help explain the exclusion of payments “directly to merchants for goods and services with the PayPal app”?? Isn’t that everything?

  5. @Chris, “
    The T&C seem to indicate Gift cards are excluded. I wonder how this would work in practice with a starbucks reload.”

    Good question!

    Until I hear otherwise, I’m just going to make PayPal the default payment option instead of the SB card.

  6. If I use my Plat with Paypal can I also get an Amex Offer (e.g. buy some wine online, pay w Paypal to get $30, and also get the associated Amex Offer)?

  7. This is nice! I don’t have this card but I use Paypal a LOT

    AmEX doing a lot to keep Platinum holders during a pandemic

  8. Kudos to Amex for keeping customers engaged. Chase is becoming marginalized more by the day. Unless the recent cxLoyalty acquisition pays huge dividends soon, the Sapphire cards hold little appeal to me anymore.

  9. You can add PayPal to your payments with Uber. $15 AMEX platinum credit + $30 in PayPal credit = $45 total per month, which can be used for UberEats also! Score!!!

  10. This is great, since applying and becoming a card member since August 2020 am almost receiving $1k in value!

    $100 (5 months of streaming credits)
    $100 (5 months of wireless credits)
    $200 (southwest airline credit)
    $100 (saks store)
    $200 (uber credits)
    $100 (amex offer that came up for Dell purchase 100 off 100)
    $180 (this new paypal credit)
    = $980, almost doubling the $550 annual fee that was paid!

  11. Regarding the $200 Amex plat travel credit through dec 31 2020? Am I the only one without that amazing offer?

  12. By the way don’t procrastinate on the Saks Fifth Avenue credit. By everything way before the deadline. This week there was a lot of great stuff under $50 but almost all of it was sold out.

  13. @Nick I believe that Amex travel credit offer was mainly for Amex Plat cardholders renewing their cards.

  14. If you have the Chevron app, you can pay for gas with Paypal by activating the pump from your phone.

  15. @J D I believe the difference is that you can pay for stuff from a merchant with a PayPal balance or with a credit card on PayPal. As Lucky directed above, I added the American Express Platinum to PayPal and then just bought an item that way.

  16. @Troy, I was thinking same thing about Saks. But seems like if you charge it to PayPal – you are paying PayPal not AmEx direct. Hence, I am thinking it doesn’t count. But someone please advise.

  17. In practice this seems like more work to use than the $20 phone & streaming credits which you could set & forget. What recurring charges have folks come up with to apply this to?

  18. Would this work if you use Paypal Key with Amex as your card? Thinking a way to make a purchase on Amazon using PP Key and getting the $30 credit from Amex…

  19. I just switched our netflix acct to pay via paypal instead of direct to my amex card. Hopefully this is eligible.

  20. I just set my NY Times subscription ($15 every four weeks) to be charged through PayPal. The Washington Post site mentions PP as a payment partner, but I can’t find a way to change billing for the $3.99 charge. Oh well.

  21. Looks like there are a bunch of charities available right on the paypal website which is awesome as well.

  22. Tried stacking it this morning with the Saks statement credit and going through Rakuten. Hopefully it works out.

  23. @ Ben B. — I suppose that’s true if you had actually set a recurring payment with your Amex Platinum for cell phone charges. However, I know that I put $20 monthly on my Amex Platinum, and the balance on a card offering more bonus points on cell phone spending. At least with T-Mobile I wasn’t able to figure out a way to make recurring payments with two cards.

  24. @ Jason Wong — I believe all “flavors” of personal Amex Platinums should be eligible, though I’m sure there will be direct communication to cardmembers early next week about this.

  25. @ Nick — As mentioned by Joey, it seems like many people are getting the offer around their card renewal date, though there’s no guarantee we’ll continue to see this. Certainly not everyone has been targeted, unfortunately.

  26. @ AR — I’m sorry, that wasn’t where I saw it. I was already writing the post when you left that comment (just went through comment history to see it). But I always appreciate readers who let me know about these deals, so will add a retroactive tip of the hat to you.

  27. @ Dale — I believe so, though I’d wait for communication directly from Amex in the coming days just to be sure. But I believe it applies to all U.S. consumer versions of the Amex Plat.

  28. Thanks for sharing, but but seems to be a targeted offer. I haven’t gotten it! I know that a lot of writers are reporting on this but I talked to customer service and it wasn’t offered to me. Maybe consider adding a note in the article to that effect?

  29. I can setup UberEats with Paypal, and my default Paypal card is the Plat card. This means that the monthly credit effectively goes up to $45?

  30. I just updated PayPal as my payment methods for Netflix ($17.99), Spotify ($9.99) and the NYT digital subscription ($4) that put me slightly over the $30 limit.

    Thanks for the tip Ben.

  31. I switched my Hulu payment to PayPal…..this new $30 credit covers monthly fees for basic ad-support Hulu/Disney +/ESPN package and HBO Max add on with a couple of bucks leftover for Netflix.

    Nice work AmEx!

  32. Also a good reminder to use Rakuten for Sak’s purchases. Right now they have a whopping 10% cash back on Sak’s purchases. Also will work for the free $50 reimbursement for Sak’s now.

  33. Wondering if the direct to merchant includes “Etsy” purchases… I’d say that’s where I use PayPal the most. But I can definitely think of more creative ways to use it if it means $30 a month back. . Still wondering though and the Starbucks piece would be interesting to know too!

  34. So what, the mobile phone idea was better. Besides they need to be more flexible on the travel credit because it’s pegged to an airline.

  35. I moved my Spotify to PayPal and got my PayPal credit on January 4th for my January 2nd call. Although not as good as streaming and mobile credits, with the change as I was able to find enough recurring payment to get pretty close to $30 per month.

  36. Great offers for the consumer platinum card, and absolutely terrible value for the business card which is more expensive. I don’t get it, they throw some measly bonus points in a few categories at business and a treasure chest at consumers – what gives?

  37. Just FYI for a data point, I just received a statement credit after using PayPal to load $30 to my Starbucks card.

  38. One more interesting datapoint, I got my Platinum card last month on the Resy 20% off dining offer so I used Paypal at Subway and not only did I get the statement credit for PayPal, I got a 20% credit for restaurant spend so I got 120% of my spend covered. I will check to see if this works through a delivery service at lunch today.

  39. For anyone looking at other options, I was able to donate to a national charity through their PayPal link and received a $30 credit.

  40. So easy to use. Educate me people – why would ANYONE have to resort to gift cards on something like this. There have to be many day-to-day items you buy that you could order online (pick up in store usually with no additional fee) and literally millions of vendors accept Pay Pal. I have cats so just once a month I order food, treats and/or litter to total at least $30 through the Petsmart website with pickup in a nearby store. Select Pay Pal for payment instead of a credit card. I get $30 off something I would buy anyway. IMHO this is something that everyone can get full value from.

  41. Just had my first order on Instacart. However when I bought groceries from Mariano, the charge on my platinum is not Instacart but Mariano. Will this still trigger Instacart offer? Anyone knows? Thank you!

  42. I used it for Netflix and Google Youtube (using it for Music and my son uses red) subscriptions. Both counted for the paypal credit and show up on the statement for January as a credit for a total of 30.

  43. Hi, I purchased a $30 Spotify gift card via Target. Anyone know whether this work trigger the $30 rebate?

  44. Starbucks worked right away in January. Does not seem to be working in February (charged on Feb 2, still waiting for credit on Feb 10).

  45. Anyone see a delay in posting credit for Feb? I purchase using paypal at Walgreens online on the 4th and still has not posted.

  46. @ Pat — It does indeed seem that there’s a delay this month for purchases that were made in the first several days, but I believe this will be corrected soon.

  47. My Jan transaction credited almost immediately.

    My transaction on Feb 1 has yet to be credited.

  48. I called Amex about the feb (lack of) credit after 27 days. They said the system is “overwhelmed” but they are working to fix it and rest assured, it will be credited.

  49. It would be awesome if they’d actually reimburse us. My January credit went through fine. I have yet to see my 2/5 purchase credit despite calling, chatting, and tweeting. Now it’s March – do I trust them for this month?

  50. Reloaded my Starbucks card in January with $30 and credit posted three days later without issue. Did the same thing on February 3 and as of February 25 it did not post. On February 25 I used my Uber Eats credits from both the Gold and Platinum credits and paid balance using PayPal. The credit posted without issue in February 28. Just a data point. If you make a purchase early in the month, watch your account. If it doesn’t post try another purchase later in the month. Also, the $200 travel credit posted very quickly after a flight purchase on amextravel.com.

  51. My Feb. 1 Paypal charge still hasn’t been credited, but one on my wife’s Platinum card from about mid-Feb. credited within a few days. Looks like they fixed whatever issue they had but it doesn’t help with charges that were made in early Feb. before the fix. I bet I’ll get my credit for my Paypal charge made today (Mar. 1) before I get the credit for the Feb. 1 charge.

    Language from the T&C says “Please allow up to 12 weeks after the eligible purchases are charged to your Card Account for statement credit(s) to be posted to the Card Account. Please call the number on the back of the Card if statement credits have not posted after 12 weeks from the date of purchase.” When I tried to chat with customer service about my Feb. credit not posting even after 4 weeks, the rep parroted the terms and said to wait up to 12 weeks. Unhelpful.

  52. As others have reported, my January credits posted with no problem, but several from early Feb have yet to credit. Strangely, for one card on which I used PayPal three times in Feb, the third charge (mid-Feb) credited, but the first two charges (both early Feb) were skipped over.

  53. Just had another chat with the Amex rep via the website. He said that they have a known issue with Paypal credits that posted from January 27 through the first part of February. He said I should expect the credit to post 6-8 weeks from when the charge posted.

  54. That last post should have said “Paypal charges that posted from January 27 through the first part of February.”

  55. I’ve purchased three $10 Walmart gift cards on Walmart.com via PayPal for both me and P2 in January and February. Credit has posted each time within a couple days. Plus, the cards are shipped for free. Doesn’t get much easier.

  56. I originally failed to read the part that payments to only US merchants are eligible lol.
    Almost lost out on my Feb credit by making a purchase via paypal on a Japanese site and waiting till the last week of the month for the credit to post… made a quick purchase afterwards and was able to use up the credit before the month rolled over.

  57. Re: US merchants, if I make a purchase on Etsy from a Thai retailer selling on Etsy, is this considered a US merchant?

  58. @ Ben — Could you please post this BEFORE the month ends, no right after it ends (or both)? I f***ing forgot to use one of our credits. FML.

  59. Many cardmembers are eligible for a $200 Amex Travel credit
    $100 worth of Saks credits

    These two benefits are almost useless. There is almost nothing useful costing $50 or less at Saks because they give the credit in 2 $50 increments.
    When I spoke with Amex a couple of weeks ago, I spoke with a few different agents they said that they are not aware of a travel credit in lieu of the airline credit for this year as of yet, so promoting that such is a possibility gives a false idea.

  60. Add the Brst Buy and Home Depot credit of 50$ each, twice.: 200$
    Plus TSA / GE reimbursement
    Airport Lounge

    A deal

  61. @ Ben — Please remind us a few days before the end of the month, too. This is a slap in the face if you just forgot to use last month’s credits.

  62. My Feb credit, for a purchase on 2/1, finally posted in late March.

    Jan & Mar credits both posted within days.

  63. I’ve been using it on Twitch to support my favorite content creators. It’s not just about gaming. There are a few avgeeks in the Just Chatting category.

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