Amex Unveils New Pandemic Perks for Travel Cardholders

Woman holding American Express Platinum Card while sitting in front of a laptop.
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Rob Longert

American Express has refreshed its line-up of limited-time offers for consumers carrying its premium travel credit cards, continuing efforts to make rewards more appealing to those avoiding travel during the pandemic.

Starting Tuesday, those who have the American Express Platinum Card can earn up to $180 back in statement credits by making online purchases through PayPal, and up to $1,700 back by activating online shopping offers from an array of retailers, including Best Buy and Instacart, according to a press release from the issuer.  

Business Platinum cardholders can earn extra points on business expenses such as shipping and office supplies, statement credits on big purchases, and discounts on select digital services. Amex is also advertising new travel perks for these Platinum cards, and some other cards connected to its Membership Rewards program, even if travel plans aren’t right around the corner. 

These new offers are the latest value-adds promoted by a travel rewards credit card issuer. The goal is to encourage customer loyalty during a pandemic that has changed spending habits and disrupted travel plans. 

New Limited-Time Offer Details

The American Express Platinum Card and the Business Platinum Card are high-cost travel rewards cards, charging $550 and $595 annual fees, respectively, so these additional perks give cardholders more ways to squeeze value from their cards while they avoid travel. 

American Express Platinum Card

Use this card to make online purchases via PayPal through June 30, 2021 to earn $30 back in statement credits each month, up to $180. 

If you opened this card on or before Nov. 1, 2020, there is also a long list of new Amex Offers you can enroll in for additional online purchase statement credits through June 30, 2021. Here’s a breakdown of the latest offers: 

Retailer  Minimum Spending Requirement on Eligible Purchases  Statement Credit Value  Number of Times You Can Earn the Credit  Maximum Offer Value
Virtual Personal Training by Equinox $780 $130 5 $650
Samsung $1,000 $200 1 $200
Avis Car Rental $250  $75 2 $150
Goldbelly $100 $50 3 $150
Home Chef $50 $50 3 $150
HomeDepot.com $50 $50 2 $100
Instacart $250 $50 $100
The Container Store $150 $50 2 $100
BestBuy.com $50 $50 2 $100
Wine Insiders $30 $30 2 $60
Scribd $9.99 $9.99 5 $49.95

American Express Platinum Business Card

Cardholders can now earn 5 points per $1 spent on wireless, shipping, advertising, gas, and office supply purchases made in the U.S. through June 30, 2021 (offer enrollment is required). 

Typically, such purchases only earn 1 or 1.5 points per $1, so that’s a significant boost. Cardholders can earn a maximum of 80,000 points per spending category, which makes this offer worth up to 400,000 Membership Rewards points—or $4,560 based on The Balance’s average point value calculations

If you have this card, or another qualified Amex business card like the Blue Business Plus, you can also earn a $25 statement credit on eligible purchases greater than $500 up to 10 times through June 30, 2021. That makes this offer worth up to $250, which is nearly half the annual fee. 

For those planning a trip this year, American Express is also offering a number of new travel rewards for Amex Platinum, Gold, and Platinum Business cardholders. Depending on which card you have and the travel purchase, offers may include discounted flight tickets, hotel or resort property credits, or a complimentary hotel night. See the Amex offer terms for more details.

American Express teased in its Tuesday release that new limited-time offers will be announced in the coming weeks for Delta, Hilton, and Marriott-branded consumer or business travel rewards cards issued by Amex. The Balance will share details about those deals when they are available.