Editor’s note: This post has been updated with new information.
Part of maximizing the credit cards you carry is taking full advantage of the travel credits and other statement credits they may offer. It’s not uncommon to think “I’ll use that credit later,” thus delaying the use of your credits.
However, if you have The Platinum Card® from American Express or The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, you only have a month or so to make qualifying purchases before your statement credits reset on Jan. 1 and you lose out on hundreds of dollars worth of credits that can help to offset your card’s annual fee.
Here’s how these credits work and how to use them before they expire for this year.
Platinum Card: Saks Fifth Avenue credit
Along with many other benefits, the Amex Platinum Card — with its $695 annual fee (see rates and fees) — offers up to $100 in statement credits for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue or saks.com each year. Enrollment is required in advance to use this benefit and the credits are available as up to $50 from Jan. 1 to June 30 each year and then up to $50 in credits again from July 1 to Dec. 31.
We’re nearing the final days to use these credits; if you haven’t made any qualifying purchases yet, you should do so now.
The first step is to register for the statement credits — or ensure that you are already registered — using this direct registration link. Do this before making your purchase. Then make your purchase using your Amex Platinum.
There are plenty of options that cost less than $50; here are some gift ideas to get started. Previously, I bought a new shirt with the $50 credit.
Related: 10 gifts you can buy using your Amex Platinum $50 Saks Fifth Avenue credit
As we approach the holidays, another great use of your credits is to purchase gifts for others. These may wind up costing you nothing, thanks to the available credits from American Express.
Business Platinum Card: Dell credit
The Amex Business Platinum Card doesn’t have credits for Saks purchases; instead, it offers up to $400 per year in statement credits for Dell purchases. This is available as up to $200 from January to June and up to $200 in additional credits from July to December. Again, enrollment is required in advance.
The Business Platinum Card comes with up to $200 in statement credits between January and June and up to another $200 in statement credits between July and December for U.S. purchases with Dell on your card. Since we’re approaching the end of the year, be sure to take advantage before the credits reset.
Related: 10 items you can get for free with the Amex Business Platinum’s Dell statement credit
As with the Saks statement credit for the personal Platinum Card, you’ll need to register for the Dell statement credit (or ensure you are already registered) using this direct registration link. Be sure to register before making your purchase, and you may be able to earn some cash back or points by going through an online shopping portal.
Surprisingly, there are many sub-$200 items available on the Dell website — so you don’t need to purchase a new computer to benefit from this statement credit.
Related: More than just computers: I used my Amex Business Platinum Dell credit for a carry-on bag
Tips for using your credits
As mentioned above, you must enroll in advance before using these shopping credits on the Amex Platinum and Amex Business Platinum. If you don’t enroll before making a purchase, you will not be eligible for the statement credits your card offers.
Factor in shipping delays
Another way you may lose your credits is by waiting until the last minute and then experiencing a delay in shipping. Often, Dell and Saks Fifth Avenue will not charge your card until your items are shipped. That can cause problems if your items don’t ship before the credits reset.
Here’s an example: Imagine you purchase an item from Dell on Dec. 29. Due to the busy holidays and then a weekend, your item doesn’t actually ship until Monday, Jan. 2. If that happens, you may be charged for your item in January 2023 and will be using the credits for January-June 2023 — meaning you didn’t receive any credits for the second half of 2022. That can happen even though you actually placed your order in December 2022.
Waiting until the last minute to attempt to use your credits can backfire if the purchase doesn’t process quickly or if you aren’t charged until the shipping date for your item(s).
Understand how the credit appears
Since these benefits with Dell and Saks are available as statement credits, you will not see a discount reflected when making your purchase. Instead, you will make the purchase at the regular price and then receive a statement credit from American Express a few days later, assuming your purchase qualifies.
Related: How long does it take to receive statement credits from Amex, Capital One and Chase?
Maximize your purchase
To fully maximize your purchases, go through an online shopping portal or a portal aggregator like Cashback Monitor to find the highest payout. You can also check bonus earnings from the Ratuken portal.
Numerous credit card benefits reset at the end of each calendar year. That list includes use-it-or-lose-it benefits like Saks Fifth Avenue credits on the Amex Platinum Card and Dell credits on the Amex Business Platinum Card.
If you haven’t used these credits yet, you may be sitting on hundreds of dollars worth of statement credits. These can go a long way toward offsetting the $695 annual fee on the Business Platinum Card and Platinum Card. If you still have credits remaining and want to use them, it’s time to get moving.
Right now, the Business Platinum is offering a TPG-exclusive 150,000 bonus points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months of card membership.
For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum, click here.
For rates and fees of the Business Platinum, click here.
Additional reporting by Stella Shon and Ryan Smith.