Maximizing that ridiculous $50 Amex Platinum credit by splitting tender at Saks Fifth Avenue

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I don’t belong in Saks Fifth Avenue. Stores like that make me furious. Business casual shirts with $400 price tags and and burlap scarves worth a month’s rent. Maybe it’s the miles and points lobe of my brain, but they seem like a massive waste.

The Platinum Card® from American Express comes with one of the silliest card benefits, in my opinion: A $50 Saks Fifth Avenue credit every six months (enrollment is required for this benefit). I’ll quickly explain how it works, and how I used it to actually get a fair deal. You can read our post on the Amex Platinum benefits and perks to learn about the more valuable benefits that come with this card.

I’d normally never step into a Saks Fifth Avenue. The Amex Platinum has me trying new things. (Photo by Joseph Hostetler/Million Mile Secret)

Amex Platinum Saks Fifth Avenue statement credit

The Amex Platinum comes with a $550 annual fee (see rates and fees) — but it also comes with $1,100+ in savings each year. One of the many statement credits this card offers is with Saks Fifth Avenue. You can enroll your card to earn up to $100 per calendar year in Saks credit: One $50 credit from January to June, and another $50 credit from July to December. These are use-it-or-lose-it credits.

If this were a Kmart credit, you could overhaul your wardrobe every six months. At Saks Fifth Avenue, you might get a pair of Spanx off the clearance rack. Saks gift cards don’t trigger the credit, and Amex will likely claw back their credits if you return an item. You may have success returning items for store credit, however. At least then you could accrue a balance and eventually buy something meaningful.

Some Amex cards come with Amex Offers for Saks Fifth Avenue with relative consistency. And if you’re shopping online, remember to use a shopping portal to get bonus points or cash back. It’s not hard to earn a bunch of extra rewards when shopping with Saks. The prices are just so prohibitive.

Using Saks credits in Honolulu

My wife and I both have Amex Platinum cards. That means we collectively can get up to $100 in Saks credits every six months. $100 opens up many more possibilities than $50 — though it still takes plenty of sifting.

We visited Waikiki last week and decided to duck into Saks when it ambushed us on Kuhio Ave. It was our first time in such a place. We felt immediate discomfort at the helpfulness of the staff, as they were so obsequious that I didn’t know if I was meant to tip them. My wife tried on some shorts, and the employee helping us never left our side from that point, endlessly reaffirming how fantastic we’d look in every article our hands touched. She was extremely nice and helpful, but we did spend about 40 extra minutes walking around pretending to shop so she didn’t know we were too poor to afford anything.

My wife eventually found me a shirt on the 40% off rack that she liked. After the discount, the shirt cost $99.27 (remember, the goal was to get as close to $100 as possible).

It’s a polo with various graphics of alcohol.

At the register, I asked for the bill to be split into two payments. I put $50 on my Amex Platinum, and the $49.42 on my wife’s. The Saks Fifth Avenue credit doesn’t require any minimum spending — it’ll basically just reimburse the first $50 you spend directly with Saks.

After purchasing the 15 cent bag, we’re just 58 cents away from maxing out our Saks credits.

It doesn’t appear you can split tender online at the Saks website, so if your household has more than one Amex Platinum cardholder, this is a thing you’ll unfortunately need to do in-store.

When our credits replenish in a couple months, we’ll head back to Saks and it’ll be my wife’s turn to spend $100.

Bottom line

The Amex Platinum comes with a crazy amount of statement credits — like several hundred every year. And while the $50 Saks Fifth Avenue credit is easy to use, it’s not a popular benefit because Saks is such an expensive store to begin with.

My wife and I combined our $50 credits to buy one decent article of clothing off the fire sale rack, giving us a $100 value. I do NOT say I “saved $100” because there’s not the slimmest chance I’d have stepped in that store without the prod of the Amex Platinum. It’s a nice little bonus for having a card that saves me $1,100 annually anyway.

You can read our super easy-to-follow guide of Amex Platinum benefits to see what I mean — and subscribe to our newsletter for more posts like this delivered to your inbox once per day.

All photos provided by author.

For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum, click here

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Platinum Card® from American Express

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Joseph Hostetler is a full-time writer for Million Mile Secrets, covering miles and points tips and tricks, as well as helpful travel-related news and deals. He has also authored and edited for The Points Guy.

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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