November 24, 2020

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New Amex travel offers: Save on hotels, airfare, and car rentals

6 min read
This article is brought to you by the Personal Finance Insider team. It has not...

This article is brought to you by the Personal Finance Insider team. It has not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of the issuers listed. Some of the offers you see on the page are from our partners like Citi and American Express, but our coverage is always independent. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page.

We’ve seen plenty of new credit card perks since the start of quarantine, but the latest benefits from American Express are some of the most travel-focused promotions to emerge — and they could help you save on a getaway whether or not you feel ready to fly.

If you have The Platinum Card® from American Express, you can take advantage of statement credits and complimentary nights for hotel stays, as well as discounted airfare for domestic flights when you book through AmexTravel.com. Amex is also offering limited-time benefits to help you save on Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors stays. 

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Featured Reward

60,000 points after your spend at least $5,000 in your first 3 months of account opening

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  • Details
  • Pros & Cons

    • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
    • Enjoy VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status available to Basic Card Member only.
    • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel. Starting January 1, 2021, earn 5X points on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.
    • 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
    • Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
    • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more when you select one qualifying airline.
    • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. That’s up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually. Enrollment required.
    • $550 annual fee.
    • Terms Apply.
    Pros
    • Long list of travel benefits, including airport lounge access and complimentary elite status with Hilton and Marriott
    • Annual statement credits with Saks and Uber
    Cons
    • Bonus categories leave something to be desired (no bonus rewards on general travel or dining)
    • One of the highest annual fees among premium travel cards

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    We’re focused here on the rewards and perks that come with each card. These cards won’t be worth it if you’re paying interest or late fees. When using a credit card, it’s important to pay your balance in full each month, make payments on time, and only spend what you can afford to pay.

    Hotel and airfare savings for Amex Platinum cardholders

    Many of these new limited-time benefits are unique to The Platinum Card® from American Express, The Business Platinum Card® from American Express and the invite-only Amex Centurion card. These perks include:

    $150 statement credit for prepaid stays through Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts 

    Amex Platinum cardholders can get a $150 statement credit when they spend $800 or more on prepaid hotel bookings through Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts. This is on top of the regular Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts benefits you get with any booking, including free breakfast, early check-in, late checkout, and a unique on-property amenity such as a spa credit.

    This promotion is available as an Amex Offer — you’ll need to add it to your card by navigating to the Amex Offers section of your online account, and clicking “Add to Card.” You need to book your stay by December 7 to be eligible for the $150 statement credit, and you need to make the purchase with your Amex Platinum card. Luckily, this card earns 5 Membership Rewards points per dollar on prepaid Amex FHR bookings, so it’s a great option for maximizing this purchase anyway.

    You could even ‘stack’ a complimentary night or property credit 

    Amex is also offering a complimentary night or property credit at more than 200 hotels available through American Express Travel. You need to book a stay of three consecutive nights or more by December 18 to get the benefit, and it applies to travel dates through December 20.

    If you book an FHR stay of $800 or more that’s eligible for the $150 statement credit and the property is also eligible for a complimentary night or property credit, you can “stack” the two offers to save even more on your getaway. Plus, the complimentary benefit isn’t a one-time-only deal; you can take advantage of this offer more than once, as long as you make your bookings by December 18.

    Lower airfare for domestic flights

    The Platinum Card® from American Express cardholders can also access lower airfare for domestic routes when they book through Amex Travel by December 31. 

    The caveat is that these lower fares aren’t available for every flight and route; I couldn’t find any discounted tickets when I searched random dates for New York to San Diego, and it appears the greatest discounts are for first-class flights between major hubs like Los Angeles and New York. But if you have any upcoming travel plans and you own the Platinum card, it’s worth doing a search through Amex Travel to see if you can score a deal on your flights.

    The discount is available for eligible travel through March 31, 2021.

    Hotel benefits for all Amex cardholders

    Beyond the set of new limited-time travel benefits for The Platinum Card® from American Express, The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, and Centurion cardholders, Amex is offering the following perks to customers with cards that earn Membership Rewards points:

    • A $75 statement credit for qualifying Marriott Bonvoy stays — This deal is available through Amex Offers, so you need to make sure the offer is added to your card to take advantage. The terms and conditions state that you need to make a purchase of $250 or more at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels through December 31, and the reservation needs to be made directly through Marriott.
    • A 40% points bonus when you transfer rewards to Hilton or Marriott — You can typically transfer Amex Membership Rewards points to Hilton at a 1:2 ratio and to Marriott at a 1:1 ratio, but through October 31, you can get a 40% transfer bonus. That means you’ll get 2,800 Hilton Honors points for every 1,000 Amex points you transfer, and 1,400 Marriott Bonvoy points for every 1,000 Amex points you transfer. If you’re looking to book a hotel stay on points, this promotion can help you stretch your rewards further.

    Amex is adding point redemptions for car rentals

    Finally, Amex is adding a new option for redeeming Membership Rewards points for travel.

    In the near future, you’ll be able to use Amex points to book car rentals through Amex Travel. Note that you’ll only be able to use points to book prepaid car rentals — but if you’re looking to save money on a road trip, it could be worth looking into this option. It’s not clear exactly when this Pay With Points option will launch, but Amex said it’s coming soon.

    Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Personal Finance Insider team. We occasionally highlight financial products and services that can help you make smarter decisions with your money. We do not give investment advice or encourage you to adopt a certain investment strategy. If you take action based on one of our recommendations, we get a small share of the revenue from our commerce partners. This does not influence whether we feature a financial product or service. We operate independently from our advertising sales team.

    Business Insider may receive a commission from The Points Guy Affiliate Network, but our reporting and recommendations are always independent and objective.

    Please note: While the offers mentioned above are accurate at the time of publication, they’re subject to change at any time and may have changed, or may no longer be available.

    Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Personal Finance Insider team. We occasionally highlight financial products and services that can help you make smarter decisions with your money. We do not give investment advice or encourage you to adopt a certain investment strategy. What you decide to do with your money is up to you. If you take action based on one of our recommendations, we get a small share of the revenue from our commerce partners. This does not influence whether we feature a financial product or service. We operate independently from our advertising sales team.

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