Amex Cards Add Awesome New Perks For 2020

Filed Under: American Express

Given how much consumer behavior has changed in the past several weeks, many of the credit card benefits that members used to appreciate aren’t as valuable anymore.

Therefore we’re seeing card issuers get creative with perks, so that members have an incentive to keep their cards. Last week we learned that Amex would be making some changes to cards as of May, and we now have the details of those.

Amex’s new cardmember perks

Amex is introducing new limited-time offers, services, and solutions to support customers and their evolving needs with staying connected, dining at home, and running a business remotely.

With these new perks, some of which launch today:

  • Some US consumer cards will receive limited-time credits for streaming and wireless services and new bonuses on US supermarket purchases
  • Some US small business cards will get access to statement credits on wireless, shipping, and Dell Technologies purchases, and offers for remote work tools
  • There will also be a variety of Amex Offers across food and wine delivery services, online retail, business services, and supplies

New Amex Personal Platinum Card perks

The Amex Personal Platinum Card is adding the following perks:

  • Up to $320 in statement credits on select streaming and wireless telephone services purchased directly from US service providers; get up to $20 per month per category, from May through December 2020
  • A $200 Amex Travel credit, tied to renewing your card; find out the full details here

Assuming you can maximize these perks, this is huge value for the card. See this post for tips on how to maximize the Amex Platinum streaming and wireless credits.

New Amex Business Platinum Card perks

The Amex Business Platinum Card is adding the following perks:

  • Up to $320 in statement credits on wireless telephone services purchased directly from US service providers and US purchases for shipping; get up to $20 per month per category, from May through December 2020
  • Up to $200 in additional statement credits for US purchases with Dell Technologies, for a total of up to $400 in statement credits in 2020 when added to the existing Shop Dell with Business Platinum benefit; receive $100 in additional statement credits from May 1 through June 30, 2020 and $100 in additional statement credits between July 1 and December 31, 2020

These are some incredible perks, assuming you can take advantage of them.

New Amex Green Card perks

The Amex Green Card is adding the following perk:

  • Up to $80 in statement credits on wireless telephone services purchased directly from US service providers; get up to $10 per month, from May through December 2020

The Amex Green Card is incredibly compelling to begin with, and this only makes the card even more of a no-brainer.

New Amex Marriott Card perks

The Amex Marriott Cards are adding the following perks:

  • The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant will earn 6x Bonvoy points at US supermarkets, on up to $7,500 in eligible purchases (May through July 2020)
  • The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card $300 Marriott statement credit can be used towards eligible purchases at US restaurants, including takeout and delivery (June through August 2020)

It’s nice that the $300 credit that usually has to be used at hotels can now be used at restaurants, since that should be worth face value to many. While the 6x points at supermarkets is good, personally it’s still not the card I would use for grocery purchases.

Also keep in mind that at the moment the Chase Sapphire Reserve is offering 5x Ultimate Rewards points at supermarkets, which is awesome.

New Amex Hilton Card perks

The Amex Hilton Cards are adding the following perks:

  • The Hilton Surpass and Hilton Aspire will earn 12x Honors points at US supermarkets on eligible purchases (no cap on earning) (May through July 2020)
  • The Hilton Aspire Card $250 Hilton resort credit can be used towards eligible purchases at US restaurants, including takeout and delivery (June through August 2020)
  • Bonus points earned through eligible purchases on all Hilton Amex cards that post to members’ accounts between May 1 and December 31, 2020, will be considered base points for the purposes of earning elite status (including lifetime Diamond status)
  • Unexpired free weekend night rewards as of May 1, 2020, and new weekend night rewards issued until December 31, 2020, will be valid for any night of the week, and not just weekends; furthermore, those issued between May 1 and December 31, 2020, will be valid for 24 months

I’m happy that the $250 Hilton credit that’s usually limited to resorts can now be used at restaurants. The 12x points at supermarkets is good, this still won’t be my go-to card for that.

While credit card spending counting towards base points for status sounds nice, the reality is that you get Diamond status just for having the Aspire Card, so that’s not going to get me to put any spending on the card.

New Amex Delta Card perks

The Amex Delta Cards are adding the following perk:

While this bonus category is better than nothing, I was hoping they’d offer more perks for co-brand cards. Many people get airline co-brand cards for the travel benefits, and those aren’t worth anything right now.

How Amex defines these bonus categories

Some are probably wondering how Amex defines “select streaming services” and “wireless telephone services purchased directly from US service providers.”

You can find all of Amex’s category definitions here and here, though this applies to bonus categories rather than statement credits.  My assumption would be that they’re using the same definitions, though I’m working on clarifying that.

If so, select streaming services includes the following:

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

Select wireless telephone services would include purchases directly from merchants like AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, etc. Generally the following wouldn’t qualify:

  • Purchases from authorized retailers, resellers or third party sellers
  • Purchases for hardware (e.g phones and accessories) or repair services
  • Bundled services offered by wireless companies for TV, internet and VoIP
  • VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) services

My take on these new Amex perks

Obviously not all perks here are created equal, though at least some of these perks are awesome:

  • The Amex Personal Platinum offering up to $320 in credits is awesome, and for anyone who can take advantage of those benefits, this should more than justify any loss of travel perks for the year
  • The Amex Business Platinum benefits are potentially even more valuable, given that there’s also an added Dell credit
  • The Amex Green Card is so valuable to begin with and has a reasonable annual fee, so the $80 worth of potential statement credits is the icing on the cake
  • Hilton and Marriott letting you use hotel credits at restaurants is great as well

A couple of further thoughts:

  • None of the bonus categories on grocery stores excite me much, since I value 5x Ultimate Rewards points at more than any of the above
  • I do find it confusing how some benefits are May through December, some are May through July, some are June through August, etc.; they sure aren’t making this easy to keep track of
  • Some might be confused about why the Amex Gold Card doesn’t have any extra perks; presumably Amex feels the card is compelling enough as is, since it offers 4x points at restaurants and supermarkets, offers a $10 monthly dining credit at select restaurants, etc.

Bottom line

These are some awesome new perks from Amex. While not all cards are benefiting equally here, personally I’m especially excited about the new Amex Platinum perk, as well as being able to use my Hilton Aspire credit at restaurants.

What do you make of these new Amex perks, and which are you most excited about?

Comments
  1. Love this! Wish Amex added more info about which wireless and streaming services are eligible. I’m switching as soon as they’re listed.

  2. Don’t forget the Aspire also added the following:

    “Unexpired Free Weekend Night rewards as of May 1, 2020 and new Free Weekend Night Rewards issued until December 31, 2020 on the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card can now be used any night of the week (not just on weekends). New Free Weekend Night Rewards issued from May 1 through December 31, 2020 will be valid for 24 months (rather than 12 months) from the date of issuance. Free Weekend Night Rewards must be redeemed on or before the expiration date.”

    Since it essentially has a $200 fee after the restaurant credits (and I received so much value from it during my first year holding the card) I’m perfectly happy to pay my annual fee and hold it another year.

  3. How the hell can anyone keep track of this? Typical amex. Offer x from may to June. Offer y from July to sept.

    As far as the streaming and other credit just offer a flat 320 credit and be done.

    Is this really making anyone keep a platinum card they were otherwise getting rid of?

  4. @Abidjan – Agree this is prob the best news of the lot. But I would still use chase products at the grocery store. I think for the avg person 5x UR would provide more value. Even the Marriott bonus intrigued me more than the 12x Hilton.

    Unfortunately I only travel to Asia or the Maldives so often.

  5. This snippet from the press release is a welcome benefit too…

    Bonus Points earned through eligible purchases on all Hilton American Express Cards, that post to the Card Member’s Hilton Honors account between May 1 through December 31, 2020 will be considered Base Points and will count towards Elite tier qualification and Lifetime Diamond Status.

  6. Amex probably saw that the Amex Gold card spending held up the best in the current environment given the dining and grocery categories – so they probably felt little need to give it any temporary benefits. Makes sense. Amex Gold spending will go down for me through July/August.

    Surprised Delta Reserve didn’t get more of a boost – but here again, Delta’s program changes mean that all spending on Delta reserve matters for status in 2021, so maybe they felt no need to

  7. They finally realized that they better not reveal their new titanium black card at this time. Good move on their end.

  8. I expect that people are still using their Gold cards for groceries and take-out, so Amex doesn’t need to entice anyone to use the card.

    However, I’d appreciate a way to offset that $100 airline incidental fee credit.

  9. The $320 credit almost led me to change my current decision to cancel my AMEX Platinum when it comes up for renewal in June, but I’ll STILL get 25% of it on my (far cheaper) AMEX Green. As of today, it’s still on the chopping block for me.

  10. @ Christian — I don’t have any inside knowledge, but my assumption is that they thought the card was still compelling enough, given the 4x points on groceries and restaurants, and the dining credit. Obviously would be nice to offset the airline fee credit, but I guess they’re not too worried about people cancelling.

  11. Been wanting to switch to Hulu without the commercials. My Platinum Amex will make that easier.

  12. My Amex Delta fee comes due this month and frankly 4x Skymiles on groceries isn’t a compelling reason to keep the card when there are so many other cards offering grocery bonuses right now (or all the time, in some cases). I’ll be cancelling.

  13. I’ve been reading conflicting information re: using the Amex wireless telephone credit for Google FI. Anyone can offer insight?

  14. @ Nikolay — The reports I’ve seen suggest that Google Fi doesn’t qualify, but I could be mistaken.

  15. Wish they added a nice incentive for the dining credit on the Gold card other than Grub Hub. Maybe add Door Dash or other delivery services. Increase the dining and grocery to 5x. A solid way to bring more card users into the fold. With an annual fee of $250 it would be nice, but not expecting it.

  16. Bloomberg news is reporting a free year of the calm app for all personal amex card users, has this been confirmed?

    “For consumers with the $550-a-year Platinum card, American Express is now offering as much as $320 in statement credits for spending on select streaming and wireless-telephone services, the company said in a statement Friday. All U.S. consumer-card customers get a free year of Calm, a sleep and meditation app.”

  17. Does anyone know how authorized user play into this? Does the spend for streaming and wireless have to be on the primary account or will it count if it is made with an authorized user account?

  18. In addition, U.S. Consumer Card Members will soon have complimentary access to a one year Premium membership with Calm, the sleep and meditation app, and half off the following year, if they are not currently Premium subscribers.

  19. Ben -The Hilton Aspire Card $250 Hilton resort credit can be used towards eligible purchases at US restaurants, including takeout and delivery (June through August 2020) – would purchases through GrubHub, DoorDash, Uber Eats, etc count?

  20. So, with prior extension are Hilton certificates unexpired as of May 1, 2020 (and those issued through August 31, 2020) now good through August 31, 2021 AND can be used for any night? If so, timing on my and wife’s cards means we will have 4 free nights next year (only 2 of which have to be weekend).

  21. Same question as ericZ. Will Grubhub, Uber eats etc be included?

    I’m surprised people won’t be able to use the resort credit by the end of the year though. But even so at least this is another option.

    One good thing which came out of this is it convinced me to finally cancel my platinum card.

  22. Should be the same lists. The full terms PDF redirected to the existing lists via URL.

    From May 1, 2020 through
    December 31, 2020 you can earn up to $20 in statement credits each month when you use
    your American Express Platinum Card to pay for U.S. streaming subscriptions from select
    providers. The current list of select providers is available at americanexpress.com/rewardsinfo

  23. Also, it says $320 for wireless bill for 7 months with the increments of $20 a month which is only $140. I’m confused here. Same applies to streaming services. To clarify, I get $20 a month for streaming services and $20 for my wireless bill?

  24. Anyone have any luck finding the 100K sign up bonus? Could maybe make sense for me with that.

  25. I have the list of eligible streaming services:

    Amazon Music Unlimited
    •Apple Music
    •Apple TV+
    •AT&T Now
    •Audible
    •CBS All Access
    •Direct TV Now
    •Disney+
    •ESPN+
    •Fubo TV
    •HBO Now
    •Hulu
    •iHeartRadio
    •Kindle Unlimited
    •Luminary
    •MLB.TV
    Samuel – 9:18 AM
    •NBA League Pass
    •Netflix
    •NHL.TV
    •Pandora
    •Prime Video
    •Showtime
    •SiriusXM Streaming and Satellite
    •Sling TV
    •Spotify
    •Stitcher
    •YouTube Music Premium
    •YouTube Premium
    •YouTube

    I’ll get the wireless list in a minute or so…

  26. I still can’t figure out how Peloton isn’t counted as streaming on my Blue Cash Preferred. I’ve asked them and keep getting form letters back. But the new bonuses are better than nothing, I guess.

  27. @Joseph

    There are 8 months remaining in 2020. 8 x $20 = $160 credit for each category.

  28. @ Joseph

    May to December is 8 months, not 7.

    Everybody else — my bad, I missed the previous links for the streaming services.

  29. Wonder if amazon prime will count, as opposed to the listed amazon prime video/ music unlimited.

  30. For wireless — only AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon are eligible. Services like Boost or those from Costco, Sam’s Club, Target and Walmart don’t qualify.

    Have fun.

  31. @Joseph my reading says $20 credit for each of of streaming and wireless.

    It’s not clear whether that means if you have multiple of either of these services and each bills less than $20 whether they would allow credit towards both until it reaches the cap nothing in the conditions says this isn’t permitted.

    In my case we have Netflix on a plan that costs under $10/mo and Pandora which costs around $15 so I’m hoping to get the full $20 between the two.

  32. AMEX Select U.S. Streaming Subscriptions:
    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

  33. Lucky

    Hoping to get your thoughts and suggestions for Aspire card holders who have unused credit expiring May 31, 2020.
    This arbitrary date selection (of June-Aug for Restaurant credit) is going to burn some cardholders like myself. Any thoughts on what to make of it? Otherwise its a $250 loss at this point.

  34. @ Becky

    I don’t blame you. Luckily, I was able to downgrade my Delta Gold to Blue last month and it was relatively painless. Still have a separate Delta Platinum, but mainly because I am using that to keep my Gold Medallion status and possibly get Platinum status by the next of next year with all MQMs rolling over.

  35. Do you know if the personal platinum benefits will apply to the Schwab personal platinum card?

  36. Regardless of if they offer the absolute best return on certain categories, I hope this is the beginning of cards offering more variety of new limited-time points bonuses. Personally, the CSR 5x on DoorDash and AmEx’s 5x bonus on Amazon (up to $400) has been good timing for me.

  37. @ Steve thanks I realized it’s 8 months. How about the $250 Hilton credit. Anyone knows if it applies to Grubhub uber eats etc?

  38. For authorized users, I assume that the statement credits do not apply, but do the change in points earning apply? Does anyone have any info on that? Thanks.

  39. I just logged into my AMEX accts and don’t see any of this information (I have the Aspire, Marriott, Schwab Plat).

    Where did you guys see that the $250 Hilton credit can be used for food delivery?

  40. Does Amazon Prime count towards this credit? “Amazon Video” and “Amazon Music Unlimited” are seperate products I am assuming and so I wonder if the general Amazon Prime membership which entails multiple services will code as “streaming”? Does anyone know?

  41. What is Amex doing for the $100 off-set? Amex should worry that people will cancel the Gold with all the other cards offering multipliers for groceries with lower fees. Amex’s omission is quite noticeable and off-putting.

  42. Do you have to register for these new AmEx benefits (like their other benefits) or do they automatically apply? I don’t see any of these new benefits on my AmEx page.

  43. Hi Lucky,

    Wondering if your team might be able to see what changes (for the better) that AMEX Singapore is going to make for its’ Platinum members..we pay S$1,712/year for the pleasure.

    We get many perks, but given the world situation (and local for that matter – SG is one of the worst for Covid now per capita) what is the AMEX plan to extend memberships, voucher dates (especially the two $400 airline and hotel credits) etc.

    This is a widely used card here indeed and we have heard zero from them about this, just the measly extra reward points offer so far.

    Cheers with a Thanks!

  44. Does anyone know if the entirety of one’s cell phone bill must be charged to plat to reserve the$20 credit? Could you just charge $20 of it and pay for the rest with different card?

  45. I have not used the dell offer yet. Can I just get $200 back in one order or need to do 2 for $100 each?

  46. will using the $20 platinum credit towards my cellphone payment, and keeping the rest of my payment on my chase ink card, void the cell phone protection that the chase card offers?

  47. I don’t think these perks are as “awesome” as you describe them. These are done in typical Amex manner by posting it as a monthly credit which then doesn’t really make it worth it compared to other cards.

  48. I haven’t received an email from AMEX on how to claim these benefits (i.e. Calm subscription) so do I just assume they apply to my AMEX Platinum Card or do I need to wait for notification?

  49. I personally use UltraMobile since I live in Germany and need a US phone number for banking etc and data for when I’m in the states.
    Can I just top it off with my amex every month and get the credit?

    Or is UltraMobile not going to be reimbursed? It kinda belongs to T Mobile as far as I know.

  50. To Beachfan:

    I got an email on 03/08 I think. The last part of the email look like this

    For Our Marriott Bonvoy Members
    We are focused on how the coronavirus is impacting our Marriott Bonvoy Members and have made some important updates to our loyalty program to provide greater flexibility when planning future travel. Specifically, we have paused points expiration until August 31, 2020 allowing Members ample time to redeem their points. In addition, we have extended the expiration of suite night awards (SNAs) with an expiration date of December 31, 2020 by one year to December 31, 2021. Lastly, Members who currently have an active Free Night Award (FNA) expiring in 2020 as part of their credit card benefit, annual choice benefit, promotions or travel package will be able to use it through January 31, 2021. We understand that earning status for 2021 may also be on your mind. As the current situation is still evolving, it is too early for us to make any changes. We will keep you updated on all loyalty program changes through our Marriott Bonvoy member benefits website.

    We recognize that these are unsettling times and whether you are traveling now or in the future, we want you to know that your safety and wellbeing are our first priority.

    Whenever you travel, we are waiting with open doors and open hearts to serve you.

    Arne Sorenson
    President and CEO, Marriott International

    Cheers!

  51. I contacted AX today and the new benefits do apply to new members and upgrades. I had the CSR reinstate my AX Aspire. I had recently downgraded to the no AF version. I will use the card for Rest spend thru July or until I hit the $300 mark. Also she was nice enough to go back to 2019 and credit three $79 seat selection fees to PE bulkhead row at $79 per shot. I will get my airline misc credit for most of that charge. She said in the future to request a manual credit 14 days after the seat selection fee posts. DONT use the word upgrade. Use seat selection terminology. It won’t work from Econ to F class.

    I will upgrade my wife’s Bonvoy Bold to the Brilliant taking advantage of the 100k points upgrade offer and using that card for grocery spend thru August. A very productive call.

  52. @Cmorgan: How long has your wife had the Bold card, or gotten the initial bonus?

    From the Amex website: Welcome offer not available to applicants who (i) have or have had The Ritz-Carlton™ Credit Card from JPMorgan or the J.P. Morgan Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Credit Card in the last 30 days, (ii) have acquired the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card from Chase, the Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card from Chase, the Marriott Bonvoy™ Premier Credit Card from Chase, the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card from Chase, the Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card from Chase, the Marriott Bonvoy™ Premier Plus Business Credit Card from Chase or the Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Business Credit Card from Chase in the last 90 days, or (iii) received a new Card Member bonus or upgrade offer for the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card from Chase, Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card from Chase, the Marriott Bonvoy™ Premier Credit Card from Chase, the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card from Chase, the Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card from Chase, the Marriott Bonvoy™ Premier Plus Business Credit Card from Chase or the Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Business Credit Card from Chase in the last 24 months.

  53. There’s a question that I haven’t been able to find the answer to online: These credits are $20/month. What qualifies a charge for, say, the May credit: The charge is made in May, the charge posts in May, or the charge is billed on the statement that closes in May? Has anyone been able to find a clear statement of this?

  54. She has had the bold card for maybe 15 months. This is an upgrade offer not a new app.

  55. @Cmorgan: According to Part iii, she would NOT receive the bonus, unless you have something in writing specifically otherwise.

  56. I paid my husband’s amex bill through the Sprint Express Payments (didn’t have to sign into anything), using my own platinum and green card, which resulted in a $20 & $10 statement credit, which was great. Now, I’m not sure what will happen to his auto payments…. but whatever….

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