Amex adds great stay-at-home perks to ultra-premium travel cards (this year only)

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American Express today announced major new (but temporary) perks for many of their cards.  The most exciting news involves statement credits for several of their ultra-premium travel cards which can go far towards rebating the high annual fees on these cards. This makes a lot of sense because most of us are currently unable to take advantage of the travel perks that these cards offer.

Highlights

  • Consumer Platinum cardholders gain up to $320 in rebates towards cell phone and streaming services.
  • Business Platinum cardholders gain up to $520 in rebates towards cell phone, shipping services, and Dell purchases.
  • Hilton Aspire cardholders can earn their $250 resort credit through restaurant charges.
  • Hilton cardholders can now use free weekend nights on any night of the week, and new free nights are valid for 24 months.
  • Green cardholders gain up to $80 in rebates towards cell phone service.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant cardholders can earn the $300 credit through restaurant charges.
  • Many cards now offer bonus points at US Supermarkets through July

Below you’ll find the changes, by card, sorted from most exciting to least (in my judgment):

The Platinum Card from American Express

Up to $160 rebate for cell phone service ($20/month May-Dec)

Up to $160 in statement credits when you use your Platinum Card on select wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers (up to $20 per month, from May through December 2020).

Up to $160 rebate for streaming services ($20/month May-Dec)

Up to $160 in statement credits when you use your Platinum Card on select streaming services (up to $20 per month, from May through December 2020).

The following streaming services qualify: Amazon Music Unlimited, Apple Music, Apple TV+, AT&T Now, Audible, CBS All Access, Disney+, ESPN+, Fubo TV, HBO Now, Hulu, iHeartRadio, Kindle Unlimited, Luminary, MLB.TV, NBA League Pass, Netflix, NHL.TV, Pandora, Prime Video, Showtime, Sling TV, SiriusXM Streaming and Satellite, Spotify, Stitcher, YouTube Music Premium, YouTube Premium, and YouTube TV

The above are in addition to the usual rebates:

  • $200 in Uber Credits: Amex will reimburse $15 per month ($35 in December) for Uber and Uber Eats charges.
  • $100 in Saks Fifth Avenue Credits: Up to $50 in credits each year from January through June; and another $50 July through December.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit. Up to $200 a year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline

See also: Amex Platinum Complete Guide

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express

Up to $160 rebate for cell phone service ($20/month May-Dec)

Up to $160 in statement credits when you use your Platinum Card on select wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers (up to $20 per month, from May through December 2020).

Up to $160 rebate for shipping services ($20/month May-Dec)

Up to $160 in statement credits when you use your Platinum Card on U.S. purchases for shipping (up to $20 per month, from May through December 2020).

Up to $200 additional rebate for Dell purchases ($100 May-June + $100 July-Dec)

Business Platinum Card Members will receive up to $200 in additional statement credits for U.S. purchases with Dell Technologies, for a total of up to $400 in statement credits in 2020

The above are in addition to the usual rebates:

  • $200 in Dell Credits: Up to $100 in credits each year from January through June; and another $100 July through December.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit. Up to $200 a year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline

See also: Amex Platinum Complete Guide

Hilton Aspire

Weekend night becomes anytime night

Unexpired and new Free Weekend Night rewards issued through December 31, 2020 can now be used any night of the week.

New free nights valid for 24 months

New weekend free night awards issued from May 1 to December 31 2020 will be valid for 24 months from the date of issuance (previously 12 months).

Dining, takeout, and delivery qualify toward $250 resort credit benefit

Consumer Card Members’ eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants, including takeout and delivery, will now qualify toward the $250 Hilton resort credit benefit (June through August 2020).

12X points at U.S. supermarkets

Hilton Surpass and Aspire Consumer Card Members will now earn 12X Hilton Honors Bonus Points at U.S. supermarkets (May through July 2020). Bonus Points earned through eligible purchases on all Hilton American Express Cards, that post to the Card Member’s Hilton Honors account between May 1 through December 31, 2020 will be considered Base Points and will count towards Elite tier qualification and Lifetime Diamond Status.

See more about the Hilton Aspire here.

Hilton Surpass

Weekend night becomes anytime night

Unexpired and new Free Weekend Night rewards issued through December 31, 2020 can now be used any night of the week.

New free nights valid for 24 months

New weekend free night awards issued from May 1 to December 31 2020 will be valid for 24 months from the date of issuance (previously 12 months).

12X points at U.S. supermarkets

Hilton Surpass and Aspire Consumer Card Members will now earn 12X Hilton Honors Bonus Points at U.S. supermarkets (May through July 2020). Bonus Points earned through eligible purchases on all Hilton American Express Cards, that post to the Card Member’s Hilton Honors account between May 1 through December 31, 2020 will be considered Base Points and will count towards Elite tier qualification and Lifetime Diamond Status.

See more about the Hilton Surpass here.

American Express Green Card

Up to $80 rebate for cell phone service ($10/month May-Dec)

Up to $80 in statement credits when you use your Green Card on select wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers (up to $10 per month, from May through December 2020).

See more about the Green Card here.

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant

Dining, takeout, and delivery qualify toward $300 Statement Credit benefit

Consumer Card Members’ eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants, including takeout and delivery, will now qualify toward the $300 Marriott Bonvoy Statement Credit benefit (June through August 2020).

6X points at U.S. supermarkets (up to $7,500 spend)

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card Members will now earn 6X Marriott Bonvoy points at U.S. supermarkets on up to $7,500 in eligible purchases (May through July 2020).

See more about the Bonvoy Brilliant here.

Delta SkyMiles Cards

4X miles at U.S. supermarkets

Delta SkyMiles Reserve, Platinum, Gold and Blue Consumer Card Members will now earn 4X miles at U.S. supermarkets (May through July 2020).

Marriott Bonvoy Consumer Cards

6X points at U.S. supermarkets (up to $7,500 spend)

Marriott Bonvoy and Brilliant Consumer Card Members will now earn 6X Marriott Bonvoy points at U.S. supermarkets on up to $7,500 in eligible purchases (May through July 2020).

All Amex Consumer Cards

U.S. Consumer Card Members will soon have complimentary access to a one year Premium membership with Calm, the sleep and meditation app, and half off the following year, if they are not currently Premium subscribers.

My Take

Overall, I expect that most Platinum cardholders will be happy with these additions.  Even though the consumer Platinum card offers less in total new rebates, the new rebates should be very easy for most of us to take advantage of.  Business Platinum cardholders should be able to easily use the cell service credits, but some may have a harder time taking full advantage of the new shipping credits and additional Dell credits.  That said, I certainly don’t mind finding additional stuff to buy from Dell.  And, with the shipping credits, maybe I can pick up $20 per month in stamps for free.

In my opinion, the Consumer and Business Platinum card additions are potentially interesting enough to sway new cardholders into the fold.  If you haven’t had one of these cards before and you think you can benefit from the rebates (both old and new), I’d recommend watching for enhanced welcome bonuses.

Hilton Aspire and Surpass cardholders should be thrilled with the changes to the free night awards.  The ability to use them any day of the week is a great enhancement.  I hope they roll this over to 2021.

Green Card cardholders should be pretty happy too with the $10/month cell service credits.  I’m not convinced that this makes the card a no-brainer, but if you get targeted for a good welcome bonus it might be worth picking one up.

Bonvoy Brilliant and Hilton Aspire cardholders should be happy that the annual statement credits offered for in-hotel spend can now be had with restaurant spend (including takeout and delivery).  Keep in mind that this benefit doesn’t kick in until June and lasts only through August!

Bonus points at grocery stores are nice too, of course, but I think that the people who benefit the most are those who are also working towards big spend bonuses such as earning MQMs on Delta cards, a free weekend night on the Hilton Surpass card, Diamond status with the Surpass card, or a second free weekend night on the Hilton Aspire card.

And that Calm benefit?  That’s so lame it hardly calms me at all.  But I guess if it’s something you want anyway, it can’t hurt.

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