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If you’re a veteran to the miles and points world, you’ve received Pavlovian conditioning to feel anxiety when a credit card issuer announces “change.” But don’t be alarmed! Amex is pulling some strings in an attempt to alleviate your coronavirus-induced stress while keeping you as a customer.
Amex is fully aware that this economic crisis has prompted many cardholders to view impending annual fees with a furrowed brow. So they’ve restructured many of the best American Express cards to offer a better return rate and additional statement credits. They’ve even expanded the versatility of some cards’ annual travel credits.
Here’s everything you need to know.
Statement credits for streaming and wireless
Amex Membership Rewards earning cards
Amex already offers cards that provide solid returns on common home expenses like streaming services, such as the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, which earns 6% back on select U.S. streaming services.
However, Amex will now give you a huge break when using the following cards:
- The Platinum Card® from American Express: Up to $320 in statement credits on select streaming and wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S (up to $20 per month on each, from May through December 2020)
- The Business Platinum Card® from American Express: Up to $320 in statement credits on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. purchases for shipping (up to $20 per month on each, from May through December 2020)
- American Express®️ Green Card: Up to $80 in statement credits when using your card to pay for wireless telephone services directly from U.S. service providers (up to $10 per month from May through December 2020)
These new credits cover well more than half of each card’s annual fee and are in addition to the existing credits, like the up to $200 in Uber credit that you receive on the Amex Platinum! The Amex Platinum comes with a $550 annual fee (see rates and fees). The Amex Business Platinum comes with an annual fee of $595 (see rates and fees), and the Amex Green comes with an annual fee of $150 (see rates and fees).
The statement credits for streaming will cover the following services:
- Amazon Music Unlimited
- Apple Music
- Apple TV+
- AT&T Now
- CBS All Access
- Fubo TV
- HBO Now
- Kindle Unlimited
- NBA League Pass
- Prime Video
- Sling TV
- SiriusXM Streaming and Satellite
- YouTube Music Premium
- YouTube Premium
- YouTube TV
The statement credits for wireless providers will cover the following services (but are not limited to):
Note that you will need to make the purchases directly with the retailers for the credit to apply (not through a third-party or bundled services). And the credits do not roll over from month-to-month — it’s a use it or lose it situation.
Statement credit for Amex Travel purchases
Later this year eligible The Platinum Card® from American Express cardholders can earn up to a $200 statement credit on qualifying purchases made through Amex Travel. Here are the terms:
- Valid between August 2020 and December 2021
- Valid for the personal version of the card only, and only for those who renew their card between April 1, 2020, and December 31, 2020
Statement credits and improved earning rates for dining and household essentials
For other cards, Amex is boosting the earning rates on common expenses you’d expect during a national quarantine.
You’ll now earn 4 Delta miles per dollar at U.S. supermarkets (May through July 2020) with the following cards:
- Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card
- Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card
- Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card
- Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card
If you use Delta miles strategically, you can quite easily receive a Delta miles value of 2 cents each. That means earning 4 Delta miles per dollar can translate to potentially 8 cents per dollar at U.S. supermarkets (or even higher).
You’ll earn 6 Marriott points per dollar at U.S. supermarkets (May through July 2020) with the following cards:
- Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card
- American Express Marriott Bonvoy (not available to new applicants)
As a side note, this increase in spend also applies to Chase Marriott cards like the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card.
We estimate Marriott points value to be 0.8 cents on average. That means you’ll get an estimated return of 4.8 cents per dollar at U.S. supermarkets. However, you can squeeze much more value from them if you know the best ways to use Marriott points.
Even better, those with a Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card can now use their up to $300 annual Marriott statement credit towards any purchases at U.S. restaurants (takeout and delivery included). Normally, the credit must be used at Marriott hotels against things like room rate, spa treatments, hotel food, etc. You can read more about this credit in our Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Amex review.
The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant has an annual fee of $450 (see rates and fees).
You’ll earn 12 Hilton points per dollar at U.S. supermarkets (May through July 2020) with the following cards:
Also, bonus points you earn with any Amex Hilton card will count towards Elite tier qualification and lifetime Diamond Hilton status.
Hilton points are worth at least 0.5 cents on average according to our estimation. That means you’ll get a return of 6 cents per dollar at U.S. supermarkets. However, be sure to read our post about the best use of Hilton points to see how you can dramatically increase the value of your points.
Similar to the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant, the Amex Hilton Aspire‘s up to $250 annual Hilton resort credit can now be redeemed for purchases at U.S. restaurants (takeout and delivery included) from June to August 2020. A fantastic play by these cards, considering the slim chance anyone is going to travel during those dates.
Improved statement credits and earning rates for remote business purchases
American Express says it’s backing small business customers to “offset the costs of tools and technology they need to operate their businesses.” Here’s what they’re doing.
Those who have The Business Platinum Card® from American Express will receive:
- Up to $200 in additional statement credits for U.S. purchases with Dell ($100 in additional statement credits from May 1 through June 30, 2020 and up to $100 in additional statement credits between July 1 and December 31, 2020)
- Up to $320 in statement credits on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. purchases for shipping (up to $20 per month on each, from May through December 2020)
Also, small business merchant partners will receive access to new offers and tools, such as:
- 50% off Ripl Pro (helps create, schedule and share professional-looking promotional social posts)
- $100 off monthly Numa subscription, which provides an answering service to catch potential missed business 24/7. It converts calls to texts, automates answers to simple questions and let’s owners respond to customer calls via text from any device
- New, free Shop Small® templates and resources at ShopSmall.com
Amex has read the room and realized their customers need a break — immediately. But is this augmentation enough to keep you from canceling or downgrading your credit card?
For some, it could make applying for a new card more appealing, given that Amex has also extended the time frame to meet an intro bonus by three months.
Let us know what you think of these changes. And subscribe to our newsletter for more credit card news and pertinent info delivered to your inbox.
For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum, click here
For rates and fees of the Amex Business Platinum, click here
For rates and fees of the Amex Green, click here
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant, click here
For rates and fees of the Hilton Surpass, click here
For rates and fees of the Hilton Aspire, click here