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Is That Amex Platinum Saks Credit Annoying You? Here’s What to Consider

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Amex Platinum Saks Credit
Photo Courtesy Saks 5th Avenue Toronto.

Maximizing the Amex Platinum Saks Credit for Useful Items & More Points

The card benefits version of my kids asking, “Are we there yet?” is when hobbyists ask, “What do you buy with the Amex Platinum Saks Fifth Avenue credit?”  I completely understand why people ask this question so often, though.  Receiving a $50 credit twice each year (one in the first half of the calendar year, and another in the second half) to purchase something from a high-end department store sounds is comical.  It takes some effort to even find any items under $50.  My goal, similar to many others’ with this credit, is to maximize it without unnecessarily spending over $50.  In my view, free spend shouldn’t create superfluous spend out of pocket.  So what are some practical product categories for your Amex Platinum Saks credit?  And how can you end up with additional points or cash on top of that free spend?

Update 6/22/22: Reminder that you need to use your credit from the first half of the year by the end of the month. Always best to do it a few days before.

Travel Products

Naturally, let’s start from the travel angle.  Saks has historically carried a variety of small travel accessories from brands like Tumi which commonly come in under $50.  Think luggage tags, travel umbrellas, and small organizers.  Even more products are sub-$50 when routine sales occur.  I also prefer a money clip or card carrier over a wallet to combat my previous fat wallet tendencies – high quality versions are usually available under $50 from different brands.

Amex Platinum Saks Credit

Small Kitchen Items

Saks offers a wide array of kitchen supplies well under $50.  I’m a big fan of high quality items from Zwilling J.A. Henckels – knives, glassware, pots, pans, the list goes on.  Using my Amex Platinum Saks credits for these items to give as presents has been an easy win.  Saks also has a vast assortment of other brands under $50, such as Le Creuset, another favorite.

Paper Products

Saks carries a selection of stationery, notebooks, and writing accessories.  Kate Spade and a few other brands offer plenty of items under $50 in this category.  My wife and two little ones appreciated the matching Kate Spade notebooks I gave them last year.

Accessories Abound

The Saks site houses plenty of accessories for men, women, and kids under $50.  These include items such as bows and headbands for girls, men’s socks and underwear, and women’s makeup and lotions.  The biggest challenge here is identifying the right combination of items to end up right around $50.

Amex Platinum Saks Credit


More recently, I noticed that Saks carries toys and children’s books.  Selection is relatively limited, of course, but many will find feasible options.  National Geographic activity sets are also available here.  I quit looking around this section when I saw a $175 teddy bear and a plush cell phone.

Sale Items

You’ll find even more categories with items at or under $50, including clothing and footwear, in the Saks site’s sale area.  In my view, it’s always worth a quick look here any time you visit the site, since items change often.  No doubt, many have found great deals here (at least, in Saks terms).

The Shopping Portal Angle with the Amex Platinum Saks Credit

Like all other online shopping, ensure to go through a portal for your Saks purchase; my favorite is Rakuten’s portal earning Amex Membership Rewards points.  I enjoy the portal rewards play on this free spend as much as I enjoy the free merch from Saks.  So much so that I stayed up way too late last Sunday night using up more Amex Platinum Saks credits than I care to admit.  Why?  Because the portal rate was 20x Membership Rewards (and 20% cash back for regular Rakuten portal users), or 1k points for a $50 purchase.  Via cashout with the Amex Platinum Card for Schwab, that’s $12.50 back on a $50 order covered by the Amex benefit, plus another 50 points on the normal spend.  Not too shabby!  And hobbyists who redeem Membership Rewards with travel partners can get much more value out of those points.

Alas, Rakuten rates are back down to 2% as of this writing.  Nonetheless, keep tabs on portal rewards and be ready to strike with your Saks credit when the time is right!

Amex Platinum Saks Credit – Conclusion

These are just a few of the many feasible sub-$50 categories and items that work great with the Amex Platinum Saks credit.  In addition to the points on normal spend and the Saks merch, any portal earnings can turn this play into a solid money or points maker.  I encourage you to mess around on the Saks site and find what products will work for your credit, whether it’s to buy now or be ready to purchase when portal rewards escalate again.  Remember, always think in “gift mode” in addition to checking out items for yourself.  What are your favorite items to buy with the Amex Platinum Saks credit?

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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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.


    • Buying the gift cards and saving them allows one to get way more value out of the Amex $100 rebate. The Saks gift cards can used at Saks Off5th. We buy $50 gift cards on each of our Amex Platinum cards and save them to buy items that cost more than $50. Two years of gift cards from 2 separate Amex Platinum accounts is $400. More than enough to buy something nice!

  1. Both the P2 and I have the Amex Platinum cards. In my travels, I go to the actual Saks 5th Ave stores and buy the gift cards. So far we accumulated 5 cards. I am saving them for a new Tumi carry-on. You can also use the gift cards at Saks Off 5th stores. But I am not sure if shopping at Off 5th triggers the $50 rebate. Sometimes I do shopping on-line using the gift cards but so far have not found any Rakuten 20% rebate. But I will keep my eye out. Ordering gift cards on-line will cost you shipping for a physical card. I have read that you have to purchase more than $50 on-line. Also, Amex has many times refused to approve on-line gift card purchases. Buyer beware!

    If a Saks 5th Ave store is any where close to your home, business or travels, buy the gift cards and save them for bigger purchases. We have quite a few nice items from this benefit.

  2. Use PayPal to pay so it triggers the $30 credit as well. This essentially give you $80 credit to shop at Saks. I bought a sweater on sale at $100 (originally $180) and wind up paying $25 total (with taxes included). The quality is great and that’s still cheaper than sweaters from Banana Republic/J.Crew.

    • James,

      Well done! I have no problem using my PayPal credits elsewhere, but that’s a great stack for those who prefer doing those things all with Saks.

      Here’s how I pay way less than that for Banana Republic sweaters (and all their other stuff), though. 🙂

  3. Picked up a Tumi card case and wallet recently.
    Needed one anyways and price wasn’t steep to begin with so the credit took off a nice chunk of the cost.

  4. Thanks for all the ideas – last year, I used my two credits toward a pair of RayBans that were on my daughters Christmas list and a pair of Ugg slippers on my niece’s list. I was happy with both purchases because those items were priced the same everywhere and I also got a discount code from Saks to use toward my first purchases (one in my name and one in P2’s name).
    I was looking for spend this year’s when Rakuten had the 20% deal and am kind of mad at myself for not pulling the trigger on a couple of purchases of kitchen items. Oh well, maybe a similar deal will come back. If not, I’m not too far from one of their stores and I understand that you can use instore to purchase a gift card if it comes down to it.

    • Becky,

      Sounds like you got this Saks stuff figured out, including contingencies. I’ve missed other Rakuten elevated offers in the past, so I’m glad I nailed this one. Regardless, it’s just another reminder how useful it is to always have items identified.

  5. I’m a makeup and skincare junkie, so I’ll hunt around for something interesting to try where my net out-of-pocket after the credit is under $10. Alternatively, I will use it toward holiday gifts. I do like the idea of the stationery items – hadn’t even thought about that category!

    • Kris,

      Indeed, the small stuff can be a kick to hunt for, especially since I find something useful most of the time. Have fun!

  6. I bought a Made in Italy vase online a week after I got my card in April. It was $58 with tax. I wouldn’t have bought it without the credit but it is at least tangible and a fair use of the credit. I actually went to the Saks flagship in Manhattan (used my Uber credits for some of the trip) when I was going for a haircut. Probably the nicest first floor of a department store I’ve ever visited. I was going to buy chocolates or something sweet with the credit but I couldn’t find any section despite going up 9 floors. The housewares section on the top floor was very small. Herrods has a much better houseware section.

    • Jackson,

      Thanks for sharing your experience at the flagship store. If I was visiting New York anyway, that would be my go-to move for the credits.

  7. I’ve used mine a few times for S’well bottles. I love those things and are great for daily use and to travel with. They are same price via Saks and direct so one of my go to uses for the credit.


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