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While many Americans hope to see the resumption of travel later this year as vaccines tame the coronavirus pandemic, most people are unlikely to pursue trips during the first half of 2021. As a result, credit card issuers are continuing to make temporary additions to their travel credit cards to replace benefits that are mostly unusable at the moment.
This week, American Express unveiled several new limited-time perks on The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Business Platinum Card® from American Express. Most of the issuer’s previous temporary benefit additions, including monthly wireless, shipping and streaming credits, expired at the end of 2020.
From now through June 30, card members with the personal American Express Platinum can earn up to $180 in statement credits when paying with the card at eligible merchants through PayPal.
These credits are available in $30 monthly portions during each of the first six months of the year and can be accessed by adding an eligible Amex Platinum card to PayPal as a payment method, then selecting the card as the payment option when checking out via PayPal.
In addition, personal Platinum card members who had the card as of November 1, 2020, are seeing nearly a dozen new money-saving offers available at select merchants:
- Avis Car Rental: Spend $250+ on eligible purchases, get $75 back (up to two times)
- BestBuy.com: Spend $50+ on eligible purchases, get $50 back (up to two times)
- Goldbelly: Spend $100+ on eligible purchases, get $50 back (up to three times)
- Home Chef: Spend $50+ on eligible purchases, get $50 back (up to three times)
- HomeDepot.com: Spend $50+ on eligible purchases, get $50 back (up to two times)
- Instacart: Spend $250+ on eligible purchases, get $50 back (up to two times)
- Samsung: Spend $1,000+ on eligible purchases, get $200 back (one time)
- Scribd: Spend $9.99+ on eligible purchases, get $9.99 back (up to five times)
- The Container Store: Spend $150+ on eligible purchases, get $50 back (up to two times)
- Virtual Personal Training by Equinox: Spend $780+ on eligible purchases, get $130 back (up to five times)
- Wine Insiders: Spend $30+ on eligible purchases, get $30 back (up to two times)
These offers are available to eligible Amex Platinum card members through June 30 in the Amex Offers section of the American Express website and app. Users must enroll in each offer before making a transaction with their card in order to receive the credit.
Business Platinum and other additions
The Business Platinum card is featuring limited-time offers for bonus points on purchases in select categories. Once enrolled via Amex Offers, card members can earn a total of 5 points for every dollar spent on eligible US purchases made in the following categories through June 30, up to 80,000 points per category:
- Office supplies
These bonus point offers are also only available to those who had a Business Platinum card as of November 1, 2020. However, the issuer says that new Business Platinum card members will also receive offers in the coming weeks for their first three months of membership.
Meanwhile, people who had the Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express or other eligible Amex small business credit cards as of November 1 will find an offer for $25 back via a statement credit when they make a transaction greater than $500 with their card. This offer can be used up to 10 times through June 30, 2021.
Both personal and business Amex Platinum card members will also have access to various travel credits during the next six months. These include:
- A complimentary night or property credit of $150 or more after booking an eligible stay through American Express Travel at participating Hotel Collection properties.
- A complimentary night or property credit of $250 or more after booking an eligible stay through American Express Travel at more than 200 participating Fine Hotels and Resorts properties.
- Up to 20% off the publicly listed ticket price on select routes with participating airlines for eligible flights and seats. These lower fares are available for flights booked at Amex Travel between January 10 and March 31, 2021, for travel from January 10 through May 31, 2021.
The issuer also launched the ability in October to use its Membership Rewards program to Pay with Points on prepaid car rental bookings made through AmexTravel.com.
The value of these new temporary perks
The personal American Express Platinum is a luxury travel card with a commensurate $550 annual fee. However, the card already comes with several annual credits that can help offset that fee, including up to $200 in airline incidental fee credits, up to $200 in Uber Cash and up to $100 in Saks Fifth Avenue credits each year.
These new additional credits should make keeping the card worthwhile to most card members. In particular, the monthly PayPal credits will be easy to use, as thousands of online merchants currently accept PayPal as a payment method. And while you may not find a use for every single offer available in the new list of Amex Offers, there should at least be something for everyone.
On the other hand, the value of the Business Platinum bonus point offers depend on how much your business normally spends in those specific categories, and any other credit cards your small business may already have with similar offerings.
For instance, Chase’s Ink Business Cash Credit Card earns 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases each year at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services. While Amex Membership Rewards points can be worth more than cash back when utilized for travel, the Ink Business Cash card can be combined with a premium Chase credit card and convert its cash back to Chase Ultimate Rewards points, all at a much lower combined annual fee than the $595 of the Business Platinum card.
However, if your business doesn’t have another credit card and has significant expenses in one or more of the eligible bonus categories, the bonus points could make hanging onto the card a worthwhile investment until travel resumes.
Overall, American Express continues to move aggressively to retain customers by maintaining the value of its travel card portfolio during the pandemic. The issuer also noted that it expects to introduce new limited-time offers for existing personal and business Delta, Hilton and Marriott card members in the coming weeks.
For the full terms and conditions of these new limited-time offers, click here.