This article was first published on CNBC. Read the full article.
Consumers with premium or travel credit cards may be second-guessing their card’s value given the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
If you’re restricted from traveling due to a stay-at-home order or want to wait until it’s safer, you may consider swapping out your top-of-wallet card for one that’s geared toward groceries or dining. And if you’ve recently been laid off or furloughed, or faced reduced working hours, the last thing you want to pay is a credit card’s annual fee.
Thankfully, card issuers are listening to consumers’ concerns and adapting their card offerings. Amex was the first major card issuer to double the amount of time eligible new cardholders have to earn the welcome bonus and one of many to offer financial hardship programs.
Now, American Express announced new rewards and statement credit offers geared toward popular grocery, food delivery, streaming and wireless categories across many of its premium credit cards, including The Platinum Card® from American Express and the American Express® Green Card.
These limited-time offers start today, May 1, 2020, and run throughout different times of the year.
Amex cards with updated benefits
We divide the new rewards into three categories — groceries, takeout and food delivery; streaming and wireless; and remote work for businesses, which we explain further below.
The rewards apply to these 11 Amex cards:
- American Express® Green Card
- The Platinum Card® from American Express
- The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
- Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card
- Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card
- Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card
- Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card
- Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card
- Marriott Bonvoy™ American Express® Card (this card is no longer accepting new applicants)
- Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card
- Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card
If you use one of these cards, read on to see how your rewards and benefits have changed.
New Amex card benefits
- Groceries, takeout and food delivery
- Streaming and wireless
- Remote work for businesses
Groceries, takeout and food delivery
Amex is enhancing the rewards program for many consumer co-branded credit cards to include bonus rewards at U.S. supermarkets.
Here are the details:
- Delta SkyMiles® Blue, Gold, Platinum and Reserve Cards: Earn 4X miles at U.S. supermarkets from May through July 2020.
- Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card and Marriott Bonvoy™ American Express® Card: Earn 6X Marriott Bonvoy points at U.S. supermarkets on up to $7,500 in eligible purchases from May through July 2020.
- Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card and Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card: Earn 12X Hilton Honors points at U.S. supermarkets (May through July 2020).
Eligible grocery purchases include transactions made at U.S. supermarkets that offer a wide variety of food and household products. Learn more about how Amex classifies bonus category purchases.
In addition to earning more rewards at U.S. supermarkets, Amex expanded what purchases qualify toward the annual hotel credit benefits for select Marriott and Hilton cardholders. Previously, the credit was limited to purchases at Marriott and Hilton resorts, but can now include eligible restaurant purchases, including takeout and delivery.
Here are the cards that qualify and more details:
- Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card: Eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants now qualify toward the annual $300 Marriott Bonvoy statement credit benefit from June through August 2020.
- Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card: Eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants now qualify toward the annual $250 Hilton resort credit benefit from June through August 2020.
Streaming and wireless
The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is the go-to Amex card for earning rewards on eligible streaming services, with 6% cash back. However, Amex is temporarily expanding the cards that earn streaming perks, as well as wireless phone benefits.
Here are the statement credit promotions for three cards:
- American Express® Green Card: Receive up to $80 in statement credits on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers (up to $10 per month from May through December 2020). This helps offset the card’s $150 annual fee, which increased from $95 last October. See rates and fees.
- The Platinum Card® from American Express: Receive up to $320 in statement credits on select streaming and wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers (up to $20 per month on each, from May through December 2020).
- The Business Platinum Card® from American Express: Receive up to $320 in statement credits on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. purchases for shipping (up to $20 per month on each, from May through December 2020).
Eligible streaming services include Netflix, Hulu and Disney+, meanwhile qualifying U.S. wireless telephone services include AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon. Learn more about how Amex classifies bonus category purchases.
Remote work for businesses
If you have Amex’s luxury business card, The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, you can benefit from an increased Dell benefit as well as new credits on eligible wireless telephone services and U.S. purchases for shipping.
Cardholders receive up to $200 in additional statement credits this year for U.S. purchases with Dell starting with $100 from May 1 through June 30, 2020 and $100 from July 1 to December 31, 2020. That’s on top of the annual $200 Dell credit cardholders already earn (broken up as $100 for each half of the year).
Here’s the breakdown of your Dell credit for the remainder of the year:
- May through June: $200 (minus any of the original $100 credit you’ve used since January)
- July through December: $200
These new Dell benefits, coupled with the $320 wireless telephone benefit, are worth up to $520, which is nearly enough to offset the card’s $595 annual fee. See rates and fees. And if you factor in the $200 Dell credit you already receive, that brings the benefits worth up to $720, which is more than enough to offset the $595 annual fee.
If you’re a small business owner looking for guidance and resources on reducing expenses or managing remote employees, you can also check out the ‘Stand for Small’ coalition Amex recently launched to support small businesses impacted by coronavirus.
For more details on the benefits mentioned in this article, go to amex.co/extrasupport.