2021 is here! And the new year means that a plethora of credits and perks from several American Express cards have been reset. This is huge because you can continue to extract value from your card(s) while offsetting annual fees. New year, new American Express reminders!
This post is a summary of all Amex perks and credits that reset on January 1, 2021. The purpose of this post is to remind American Express cardholders to take advantage of their perks and earning opportunities. Now is a great time to strategizing annual expenses, create some new travel goals, and use some perks. Otherwise, 2021 might be a great time to close or downgrade your card(s) (if possible).
Furthermore, there are a plethora of limited-time COVID-19 perks that expired on January 1. The expiration of these perks might influence your decision to keep, downgrade, or cancel your card(s). These perks are not mentioned because they do not recur annually or monthly.
Personal & Business Platinum Cards
All versions and flavors of the American Express Platinum Card come with airline incidental credits that reset at the beginning of the year. These credits are worth $200 in airline incidentals, including checked bags and in-flight purchases.
All versions and flavors also have semiannual credits that reset on January 1 and July 1. The personal version offers $100 in Saks Fifth Avenue credits and the business version offers $200 in Dell credits. Only half the annual credits are available after each reset. In other words, personal Platinum cardholders can use $50 of the Saks Fifth Avenue credits and business cardholders can use $100 of the Dell credits between now and June 30. The other half will become available on July 1.
Plus, the personal Platinum Card offers $200 in Uber credits that divided into monthly credits. They are worth mentioning anyway because they were reset on January 1. December’s credit was worth $35 instead of the usual $15 from the other months of the year.
Personal Gold Card
The personal Gold Card’s main draw is its earning structure. It earns 4x Membership Rewards (MR) points on Dining and at Grocery Stores with a $25,000 annual spend limit. This spend limit resets to $0 either at the end of December or on your December card statement. Moreover, the Gold Card earns 3x MR points on travel booked on amextravel.com. And it also earns just one point per dollar on non-bonus spend.
Like the Platinum Cards, the personal Gold Card offers an airline incidental credit that resets at the beginning of the year. This credit is good for $100 in airline incidentals, including checked bags and in-flight purchases. The $100 airline credit is being discontinued after 2021. Therefore, this is the last chance Gold cardholders will have to take advantage of it.
The Gold Card also comes with $120 in Dining Credits for select restaurants. Technically, these credits reset every month because of how Amex divides them up. But they are worth mentioning. I wish Amex would just offer a $120 annual credit for dining. More people would use them, and it would make the Gold Card a better product.
Plus, the Gold Card also comes with $120 in annual Uber Cash. The Uber Cash will be distributed in $10 increments monthly in a similar fashion to the Platinum Card’s Uber credits. This is a new perk that begins this month for personal Gold cardholders.
Business Gold Card
The Business Gold Card does not have any perks that reset on January 1. But it’s the only Amex card that lets you select bonus categories every year. Both the categories and their $150,000 spending limit reset on January 1. That means cardholders have the option to choose new categories.
The Business Gold Card earns 4x MR points on two of the following categories:
- Advertising (TV, radio, and online only)
- Airfare (booked directly with the airline)
- Select Computing Merchants
- US Gas Stations
- US Restaurants
The other four categories earn 2x points per dollar.
The Amex Green Card does not have the benefits of the Gold or Platinum Cards. But it does have two credits that reset on January 1: CLEAR and Lounge Buddy. Both credits are worth $100 apiece.
Furthermore, the Green Card earns 3x MR points on General Travel and Dining. There are no spend limits on either category unlike both versions of the Gold Card. The Green Card also earns one point per dollar on non-bonus spend. This earning structure is the main draw of the Green Card.
Other Core Amex Cards
Annual category spend limits for several other Amex cards also reset on January 1. The following cards are included:
- Blue Business Plus ($50,000 limit for 2x MRs on all purchases)
- Everyday Preferred Card ($6,000 limit for both categories)
- Everyday Card ($6,000 limit for Grocery Store category)
- Blue Cash Preferred Card ($6,000 limit for both 6% categories)
- Blue Cash Everyday Card ($6,000 limit for 3% Grocery Store category)
None of these cards come with travel credits or other perks that could have been reset.
Hilton Honors Cards
All four Hilton Honors Cards provide opportunities to earn free nights or upgrade your status (if applicable). But you must spend tens of thousands of dollars to receive these perks. Therefore, it is not worth it for most travelers. However, Hilton loyalists might consider putting spend on their card(s) anyway.
The following spending opportunities reset on January 1:
- No annual fee Hilton Honors Card: Earn Gold Status by spending $20,000 per calendar year.
- Hilton Surpass Card: Earn Diamond Status by spending $40,000 per calendar year. You can also earn a free night by spending $15,000 per calendar year.
- Hilton Aspire Card: Earn a second free weekend night by spending $60,000 per calendar year.
- Hilton Honors Business Card: Earn Diamond Status by spending $40,000 per calendar year. You can also earn a free night by spending $15,000 per calendar year and a second weekend night by spending $60,000 per calendar year.
Premium Delta Cards
Both the personal Delta Reserve Card and its business counterpart let cardholders earn 15,000 MQMs and 15,000 bonus miles by spending $30,000 per calendar year. Cardholders can repeat this up to four times per calendar year. That means cardholders can earn a total of 60,000 MQMs and 60,000 bonus miles by spending $120,000 per calendar year.
Both the personal and business versions of the Delta Platinum SkyMiles Card let cardholders earn 10,000 MQMs and 10,000 bonus miles by spending $25,000 per calendar year. Cardholders can repeat this up to four times per calendar year. That means cardholders can earn a total of 20,000 MQMs and 20,000 bonus miles by spending $50,000 per calendar year.
New year, new American Express reminders! The purpose of this post is to remind American Express cardholders to take advantage of their perks and earning opportunities.
One of the best parts about American Express is the number of perks and earning opportunities they offer. Just do not take advantage or “game” their system or you might get clawed back or shut down altogether. The best way to play your cards right with Amex is to not do anything you shouldn’t do.