Amex Platinum Cell Phone & Streaming Credits Guide

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Update: This is a reminder that it’s a new calendar month, so if you’re like me and have to manually make payments to take advantage of these Amex cell phone & streaming benefits across multiple cards, you can now do so for October. Also check out this handy Amex credit & benefit tracker.

In light of the current pandemic we’re seeing card issuers add some more perks on select cards, in particular on cards with a travel focus. It goes without saying that consumer behavior has changed a lot, and this also impacts our credit card spending patterns.

In early May, Amex revealed a variety of temporary benefits for cards. In this post I wanted to focus on a couple of the temporary benefits of The Platinum Card® from American Express (review), which could potentially be worth $320 to cardmembers (this is in addition to the $200 Amex Travel credit being added to the card).

I know a lot of people have the Amex Platinum, so I wanted to look at the best ways to maximize these perks.

Amex Platinum $20 cell phone credit

The Amex Platinum Card is offering a $20 monthly credit for cell phone bills:

  • This is exclusively for wireless telephone services purchased directly from US service providers
  • There’s no registration required
  • This is a limited time benefit, valid May through December 2020
  • This is potentially worth up to $160, though you only get one $20 credit every calendar month

What cell phone purchases qualify?

Eligible purchases include monthly wireless telephone services charges made directly from a wireless telephone service provider in the United States. This would include paying your bill with AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon, among others. While Google Fi didn’t seem to initially qualify, reports suggest that it does now.

This does not include the following types of purchases:

  • Purchases from authorized retailers, resellers or third party sellers
  • Purchases for hardware (e.g phones and accessories) or repair services
  • Purchases from electronics stores (e.g. Best Buy, Staples) and superstores (e.g. Wal-Mart, and Target)
  • Bundled services offered by wireless companies for TV, internet and VoIP
  • VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) services

How to maximize Amex Plat cell phone credit

If you’re anything like me, this benefit is pretty easy to maximize. Personally T-Mobile is my cell phone provider, so my strategy is as follows:

  • Make a $20 monthly payment with my Amex Platinum, a $20 monthly payment with Ford’s Amex Platinum, and a $10 monthly credit with my Amex Green (since that card has a temporary $10 monthly credit)
  • Continue to pay the remaining balance with a card earning bonus points on cell phone spending, like the Chase Ink Preferred or Chase Ink Cash

I was easily able to go into the T-Mobile app and make a pre-payment, even though my balance at the moment is zero. Note that they’ll only let you make one payment of the same amount each day, so I made a payment of $20 on one Amex Platinum, and a payment of $19.99 on another, and that seemed to work.

Between the three cards, my T-Mobile balance is currently negative $49.99. I’ll just have to remember to do that once every month. Best I can tell this won’t mess with the autopay process I otherwise have set up (though if someone has had a different experience, please let me know).

Amex Platinum $20 streaming credit

The Amex Platinum Card is offering a $20 monthly credit for streaming subscriptions:

  • This is exclusively for select US streaming subscription services
  • There’s no registration required
  • This is a limited time benefit, valid May through December 2020
  • This is potentially worth up to $160, though you only get one $20 credit every calendar month

What streaming subscriptions qualify?

According to Amex, the following US streaming subscriptions as being eligible for this benefit:

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

In practice, Google Fi also triggers the streaming credit, as do Stickers and SuperChats during YouTube Livestreams.

How to maximize Amex Platinum streaming credit

For me the cell phone benefit is easy to maximize, while this one isn’t quite as easy. We don’t have cable, so on the surface you’d think this would be ideal for us, since we do watch a fair bit of TV. However:

  • We pay for season passes of many shows through iTunes, and iTunes isn’t a streaming subscription service, and therefore isn’t included
  • We use Netflix, but I have a discounted membership through T-Mobile for $5 per month, and that’s billed to my T-Mobile account; so I guess I could unsubscribe and get a more expensive plan directly, but I feel like the process of changing might be a hassle?
  • We do have a Hulu Plus membership, which costs about $14 per month, so I switched that one of our Amex Plats

We’re using about two thirds of the credit of one card, but nothing for the other one.

Bottom line

The up to $40 in monthly credits being offered by the Amex Platinum Card are fantastic, and frankly more than I was expecting from Amex. At an absolute minimum I’m getting ~$34 of value per month from this on my card ($20 for cell phone and $14 for Hulu), or ~$272 over the eight months. I’m sure there are ways to maximize this better, though.

How are you using your Amex Platinum credits?