Amex Giving Out $200/$2000 Travel Credits To Platinum, Centurion Cardmembers

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American Express will be giving personal Platinum cardmembers a statement credit up to $200 for spend with American Express Travel, valid August 2020 through December 2021. This will only be available to cardmembers whose renewal date is between April 1 and December 31, 2020.

Presumably anyone with a March renewal date already made their decision to keep the card one way or another, though it seems weak to exclude January through March renewing cardmembers. It is a cost savings however and American Express clearly focuses on data and margins in rolling out benefits.

Centurion (Black Card) members will receive $2000 (along with the Platinum $20 per month wireless and $20 per month streaming credits through the end of 2020),

In appreciation of your Membership, beginning in August of this year through 2021, you can earn up to $2,000 in statement credits after you use your Centurion Card to make eligible travel purchases through Centurion Membership Services or AmexTravel.com. Details to come.

We don’t yet know the terms of these credits. Devil is always in the still-unannounced details, $200 on $1000 purchase not so useful. If they’re valid for hotels only but at a straight $1:$1 credit that’s quite nice, a free night somewhere potentially – ideally you’ll use it at a property that isn’t part of a major chain because Amex Travel bookings do not earn points, count towards earning status, or receive elite status benefits in hotel loyalty programs (at least per policy, individual stays can vary).

It’s always struck me as surreal that American Express is a co-brand card issuer for both Hilton and Marriott, they give their Platinum cardmembers Hilton and Marriott status, but aren’t able to get loyalty program access for their customers making bookings at those chains through their own travel agency – when corporate travel agency bookings are eligible for such participation.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. I read the wording in email and it looked a little carefully crafted. At first read suspected it was going to be something like “5% credit back for every dollar you spend at Amex travel.” So if you spend $40k in Amex travel, you can get your full $2k back.

    Hopefully, I’m wrong.

  2. This is in addition to the airline incidental fee? Or is it in place of the incidental fee.

  3. @Gary sez: “We don’t yet know the terms of these credits. Devil is always in the still-unannounced details, $200 on $1000 purchase not so useful.”

    It appears that there may be different versions of this offer, i.e., it may also be targeted.

    The renewal of my Business Platinum Card by AMEX (aka AMEX Biz Plat) is next month, and night now I have the following as one of ‘AMEX Offers’ for this card, apparently to thank me for being a member since 2003, *no purchases necessary other than renewing*:
    __________________________________________
    Card Member Since 2003
    To show our appreciation, we’re giving you a $200 appreciation credit for your Business Platinum Card account upon renewal. Terms Apply. [1]

    [1] Eligible Business Platinum Card Members as determined by American Express in its sole discretion, will be eligible to receive a one-time $200 statement credit after Card renewal. The statement credit will be applied to the eligible card account within 8-12 weeks of the account renewal month. This statement credit is limited to Basic (not Additional) Card Members only. Offer is non-transferable. If the eligible Business Platinum Card is cancelled, or you have downgraded or upgraded your Card up to 45 days after the first day of your renewal month, you will not receive the one-time $200 statement credit. American Express reserves the right to modify or revoke offer at any time.
    __________________________________________

    The offer is clearly tailored, but I may not be eligible for it because of this condition: “If the eligible Business Platinum Card is cancelled, or you have downgraded or upgraded your Card up to 45 days after the first day of your renewal month, you will not receive the one-time $200 statement credit.”

    In January of this year I applied and was instantly approved for the Personal AMEX Plat, which I got because it awards 5x on airline tickets purchased pretty anywhere, while to get 5x on airline tickets with the Biz Plat, one has to make purchases through amextravel.com. That limitation killed the AMEX Biz Plat for me. I did not need two AMEX Platinum cards with high annual fees, so I called customer support for the Biz Plat and told them after 17 years I could no longer justify keeping their product and explained why. They agreed that the Personal Platinum was a better fit for me. After some discussion about my options, during which they offered me all kinds replacement of cards, I decided that I would simply cancel the Biz Plat a month before its renewal date to avoid paying the annual fee, and leave it at that.

    Yesterday, I call the Biz Plat customer support to cancel the card, figuring that it was about time. Again, before processing my request to cancel, the agent, who fully understood why and agreed with me but is nevertheless trained to make pitches for one or more possible replacements for a card that is being cancelled, pitched just one card to me: The Business Gold AMEX, saying that AMEX specifically designed it to be “their rewards card.”

    The annual fee for the AMEX Biz Gold would be $295, which was a plus compared to retaining the Biz Plat @$595, but then she mentioned 4x on US restaurant dining. That is when it clicked. I am now patronizing SQ Krisflyer, which is an AMEX MR transfer partner, therefore, there was room for this card in my walled…at the expense of the CSR, which is somewhat decreasing in importance as I move away from UA. But the CSR still has a big role to play: The AMEX Biz Gold 4x on restaurant dining is no good when one is overseas. That is when the CSR shines, since its 3x on dining and travel is good WORLDWIDE, which is why it remains one of the most compelling rewards CCs out there, despite claims of its demise or being “passé.”

    Anyway, I decided to “downgrade” my Biz Plat to the Biz Gold, and I just checked the account, and it’s been seamlessly converted to Biz Gold with retention of the account number and “member since” date. Interestingly, with various adjustments and prorated credits, including a line that said “membership fee”, I now have a balance of -$39 in the new Biz Gold account, suggesting that I may get the first year of the this card essentially free. Downgrading my Biz Plat to the Biz Gold made me ineligible for this $200 AMEX Offer credit, but it’s no biggie.

    So, this is my credit card strategy going forward:

    AMEX Plat – All airline tickets (5x MR)
    AMEX Biz Gold – *US* restaurant dining (4x MR)
    CSR – All other “travel” (e.g., taxi, train, Lyft) and ALL dining overseas (3x UR)
    Chase Ink Biz cash — internet subscription, mobile phone, skype (5x UR)
    Chase Freedom Unlimited – Everything else (1.5x UR)
    Hotels — Each program’s highest earning co-brand card.

    We’re ready rock world!

  4. Gary: My groceries go on the Citi American Miles Card . No fee and 2x American miles on groceries. It’s the only thing I use it for.

  5. @ Gary — I was planning to close my card by May 18 since the AF hit in April. I can’t wait to see the details. This might change my mind, but as you say the devil is in the details. I wonder if they will soon find a way to claw this one back, too?

  6. I received email today as AmEx Business Centurion CM of $1500 credit. Maybe personal received more.

  7. P.S. I did look at the Personal AMEX Gold benefits and knew that it offered 4x worldwide for restaurant dining, but then I weighed my earning of UR vs MR points, and decided to downgrade to the AMEX business Gold instead. I will be earning a lot of MR points, which will now be most of my earned points, on airline tickets at 5x and domestic restaurants at 4x, but as a UA 1MM and lifetime Gold (as well as *A Gold), I still wanted to maintain balance and continue to earn significant numbers of UR points to keep the option of redeeming *A awards through UA, which has a number of advantages, like ease of searching the *A awards space or not levying or passing fuel surcharges on to customers, unlike SQ which does not levy the fuel surcharges on their own flights but would pass them from partners on to customers. I saw no advantages to the AMEX Green (3x dining worldwide) over the CSR, which remains my one ‘overseas card’, including for a broadly defined category of dining, and for ground transportation worldwide, which is also very broadly defined as ‘travel.’

    Lastly, I wanted to maintain a good business card after dumping the Biz Plat, and the AMEX Biz Gold seemed to fit the bill, with 4X on any 2 of the following categories each billing cycle that I spend the most on, which I thought is kind of cool:

    Airfare purchased directly from airlines
    U.S. purchases for advertising in select media (online, TV, radio)
    U.S. purchases made directly from select technology providers of computer hardware, software, and cloud solutions
    U.S. purchases at gas stations
    U.S. purchases at restaurants
    U.S. purchases for shipping

  8. If Amex truly uses annual fee payment date as a way to target the additional $200 travel credit, it will likely result in me cancelling my card. I paid my AF in January, and while they don’t need to convince me again in the next few months, if they want my repeat business next year, they should offer this to everyone (or use targeting aside from upcoming renewal date as a way to do so). I understand the predicament they’re in / that we’re all in right now, but whether or not I’ve paid my AF yet this year doesn’t change the fact that many of the key benefits of this card (lounge access, airline credits, etc etc etc) are completely unusable for the time being and for the foreseeable future.

  9. I understand this is to keep people renewing their card this year. When my renewal comes up in February though, I’ll remember this and will be a reason to non-renew. It’s really short sighted.

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