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Two Sides: Amex Credits Quickly Fading & Others Maintaining

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American Express Credits

American Express Credits

For years, American Express has made us work harder to receive card benefits.  Instead of calling it a coupon book, complaining, and giving up, I’ve primarily chosen to put in a bit of extra effort to maximize the changing benefits.  Often these benefits come in the form of American Express credits.  But over time, many of these credits have devalued for my family’s situation, and I bet I’m not alone.  Today, I’m describing what American Express credits have devalued most for us and why.  On the flip side, I’m bringing up a few that are maintaining value.

Devaluing

Platinum Hotel Credit

Offering a $200 credit for a Fine Hotels and Resorts or Hotel Collection stay (minimum two nights for the latter), I’ve generally enjoyed using this benefit since its rollout.  But it has devalued in two major ways.  First, room rates have skyrocketed since the credit’s launch.  Finding anything near $200 nightly is quite challenging, and discovering anything in the $300-400 range is more of a chore, as well.  Secondly, Amex has made the credit tougher to use.  They’ve been much slower to offer advance availability.  Earlier this year, an Amex Travel chat agent told me most properties wouldn’t be offered for 2024 starting until November 2023 (now).  I’m still seeing less availability for next year than I saw in prior years.

I Lost $275 in Cell Phone Amex Credits Last Year, Thanks to Google Fi

Business Platinum Wireless Credit

Full disclosure, I’ve enjoyed practically zeroing out our family’s wireless bill with the Business Platinum credit.  But my wireless provider has an upper ceiling for wallet balance, and we’ve almost hit that number.  Very soon, the value I can obtain from that benefit will substantially decrease, or maybe disappear entirely.

Business Platinum Dell Credit

Every six months, the biannual $200 Dell credit is less valuable for us.  After each shopping trip, there’s less we need from Dell (if we ever needed anything from them).  We’re scraping the bottom of the barrel now.  Second, it’s often tougher and always more time-consuming for us to get orders through these days.  We’ve mostly given up on online orders, as Dell quickly cancels them most of the time.  Instead, I’ve opted to deal with one helpful Dell rep.  She’s great at her job, but the process involves a combination of emails and calls, all while time sucks away.

American Express Credits

Maintaining

Airline Fee Credit – Platinum and Business Platinum

Knock on wood, I’ve had no issue using the annual $200 airline fee credits which each Platinum version provides.  The biggest risk here is I probably rely too much on my favorite method.  If that option disappears, I’ll be scrambling for alternatives.  But things are still working, and I won’t fret yet.

Uber Credit – Platinum and Gold

The user friendliness of the Uber credit endures.  Monthly, the credit from any Platinum or Gold in my Uber account is automatically loaded to the wallet.  The monthly credit amount is used first, ensuring individuals can most easily consume their allotments.  While prices continue to increase, I’ve found that Uber Eats, where we use most of our credit, still offers solid discounts.

Platinum Digital Entertainment Credit

The suite of eligible retailers has changed over time but is still deep enough for us.  More importantly, each service is another opportunity to find a deeply discounted rate to stack with the credit.  The current services eligible for the $20 monthly credit are Peacock, SiriusXM, The New York Times, Disney+, ESPN+, Hulu, and The Wall Street Journal.  (You can use Hulu to get HBO Max too).

American Express Credits

Saks Credit 

The biannual $50 Saks credit is hanging on for us.  Even before Saks increased the minimum order for free shipping to $100, we’ve opted to use this credit on gift cards in-store.  It’s a longer play, but we’re able to “save up” for more substantial items without going out of pocket to use this credit.

Conclusion

While other American Express credits exist, these ones are devaluing and maintaining the most for us.  A new one on the scene that I enjoy is the Business Gold’s $20 monthly Flexible Business Credit, one I use for gift cards at office supply stores.  Like much else in our hobby, the American Express credits game is a nuanced one.  And, undoubtedly, it will continue to change and require more time to maximize.  Understandably, this is enough for many individuals to tap out and close their cards.  Indeed, I always leave that option on the table and regularly use it, primarily after the year two annual fee hits.  But with these credits, I’ll gladly take what Amex gives me.  How are you feeling about the various American Express credits these days?

Disclosure: Miles to Memories has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Miles to Memories and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.

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Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.
Benjy Harmon
Benjy Harmon
Benjy focuses on the intersection of points, travel, and financial independence (FI). An experienced world traveler, husband, and father, he currently roams throughout the USA close to expense-free. Benjy enjoys helping others achieve their FI and travel goals.

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

11 COMMENTS

  1. I am up to two Platinum cards, but I will be paring that down to one once the annual fee on my Vanilla card post next May (recently got the MS Plat because the additional of the family language on the CS Plat made me FOMO on that 125K bonus for the MS Plat).
    Some credits like Uber, FHR, Airline Credit can actually be more valuable the more platinum cards you have (stacking Uber cash, 2 night luxury hotel stay, etc.) but others, especially the digital entertainment credit and Saks credit for me, lose value the more of them I have. Just my 2 cents worth.

    • Nathan,
      I completely agree that many of the credits are even more useful with a higher amount of them. Thanks for reading!

  2. Agree with all of this. The Sak credit also took a hit when they stopped participating in ShopRunner for free shipping. The devaluation of the credits plus the increase in AU fees has put it on the borderline of value, for me. When C1 and Chase finish building out their lounge networks, Amex is in trouble.

  3. The best moment of my life was cutting up all my American Express credit cards after decades of card loyalty
    No more fights to get the credits with inept foreign agents
    With Amex outrageous annual fees and diminished benefits I have found higher satisfaction in other card relationship’s

  4. Plat T&C now specifically exclude Saks GCs for the credit, but my purchase last week was credited. Any thoughts on that?

  5. I now use the Grubhub and Uber Eats pickup options monthly to hit credits on five Amex cards and two Citi AA Exec cards. I’m sure Jersey Mike’s is wondering why I pay $2 more per visit to use those apps vs. their own app, which also earns points.

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