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In the past few weeks, you've probably had to cancel your spring break getaway — or maybe even dream trip to Tahiti or Colombia — due to the coronavirus pandemic.
COVID-19 has caused airlines to cancel flights and end routes. Cruise lines around the globe have suspended operations, and hotels are vacant. The outbreak is also forcing the closure of many businesses and the cancellation of major festivals and events worldwide.
You're likely working from home and physically distancing yourself from others. You've probably checked your investments and been … disappointed.
While now is certainly not the time for nonessential travel, it might be a perfect opportunity to think about how you can save money. Here at TPG, we often report on Amex Offers that give you bonus points or cash after spending a certain amount in a spending category or at a specific retailer. Recently, however, I've been checking my Amex Offers to find ways to get statement credits for my everyday purchases, such as my cell phone bill, meal prep and small home improvement projects.
Here are some Amex Offers to look out for that may save you money right now.
Several TPG staffers discovered a sweet offer to spend at U.S. supermarkets. This is a great offer if you need to stock up on groceries as we all stay at home for the time being. TPG editor Andrea Rotondo found an offer for 5% back on supermarket purchases, up to $10 on the Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express.
The Amex Everyday card earns 2x points per dollar on your first $6,000 spent at U.S. supermarkets (then 1x). It's not the highest-earning like 5x points on flights that you'd get on The Platinum Card® from American Express when booked directly with the airline or through American Express Travel or even the 4x you'd earn on supermarket spend with the American Express® Gold Card. That said, if you max out the supermarket bonus category on the Amex Everyday alone, that's $240 in rewards value throughout the year.
The information for the The Amex Everyday card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Other TPG staffers saw the same offer on the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express. This is a good chance to stack this offer with the Blue Cash Preferred's cash-back bonus categories, which includes U.S. supermarkets. The card earns 6% back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 a year, then 1%), meaning you can earn 11% back total.
The offer is valid for in-store and online supermarket purchases, which is a nice perk especially if you've practicing social distancing. I'm not seeing any language about how many times you can use the credit, but keep in mind it's capped at $10 total. Note that this offer excludes gas and gift card purchases and must be redeemed by Aug. 31, 2020.
While not a cash back offer, here's a way to easily earn a ton of Membership Rewards points for a future redemption. Several TPGers saw a targeted offer for 5x bonus points on Amazon.com orders on various American Express accounts.
Cardholders who are targeted and add the offer to their Amex account will earn five bonus points per dollar spent at Amazon by July 22, 2020. The offer is capped at an additional 2,000 Membership Rewards points, which would mean you'll earn the extra 5x on up to $400 spent at Amazon on your enrolled card by July 22. Based on TPG point valuations, that's like earning 10% in bonus rewards per dollar spent at Amazon.
It's been a stressful time for my dog, Migo. He's not used to me being home during the week and is often confused when I can't play with him while I'm focused on work. I signed up for BarkBox (a subscription service that delivers dog products, such as toys and treats, to your furry friend every month) a while back, but I've never paid much attention to it.
I was pleased to discover an Amex Offer on my American Express® Green Card for a $5 statement credit after spending at least $25 on the service, which you can utilize three times. Terms Apply.
If you buy the six-month subscription, it'll cost you $25 a month, meaning you'd only pay $20 for three months. It's an offer I plan to take advantage of to keep Migo (and myself) happy and occupied during the pandemic. Note that the offer expires June 3, so you may want to use it sooner rather than later.
I also saw other Amex Offers on various cards to help save money on pet purchases Migo will love, including a $15 statement credit after spending $100 or more at 1-800-PetMeds (an online pet pharmacy) from now through Sept. 11, 2020, and a $12 statement credit from Petco.
Furniture and home improvement purchases
I'm not used to working from home (WFH) for an extended period of time. Occasionally, I'll spend a day or two doing remote work, but as I'm practicing social distancing, it means I need to be better about my WFH habits. I found an Amex Offer on my Platinum Card® from American Express for a $15 statement credit on Wayfair, available through March 31. That's expired now, but keep an eye out to see if a similar offer might help you out.
Luckily, the offer is available on several Wayfair brands, including Joss and Main and AllModern. I intend to purchase a desk, chair and desk lamp on clearance to improve my productivity and comfort at home.
There are a couple of other offers I see in my account that could potentially be used to furnish a home office. RugStudio.com is offering a $100 statement credit after spending $500 or more through April 21. Area rugs on the site can cost around $600, so meeting this spending requirement shouldn't be difficult.
The Shade Store has a similar offer for $100 back after spending $500 or more.
Cell phone and insurance bill statement credits
One reason I keep The Business Platinum Card® from American Express open, despite the high annual fee is for the statement credits I often get for my cell phone and insurance bills. I added both offers to my account recently, and I'm looking forward to saving at least $80 over the next few months on bills I have to pay anyway.
I pay roughly $70 for my T-Mobile plan, which I put on my Business Platinum each month. That means I'll get a one-time statement credit of $55, which will cut my bill down to just $15 for one month after the third payment.
I also cover the insurance bill for my three-bedroom apartment in New York City. Our insurance bill isn't high, but I'm putting this charge on the card as well. Those who insure entire houses and vehicles will likely hit that $60 maximum pretty quickly.
Meal- and food-delivery services
Health and government officials are encouraging social distancing, which means avoiding large crowds. Most restaurants and bars have closed as a result, or limited service to takeout.
Personally, I'm a takeout girl and rarely cook. But I'm now making an effort to cook at home. My Amex Offers portal has several meal prep and food delivery companies to choose from right now, including Boxed (20% back, up to $150), HomeChef ($10 back after spending $45 or more, up to three times) and Sun Basket ($25 back after spending $70 or more, up to two times).
It's also easy to run to the bodega (they're still open here in New York), so I'm making a conscious effort to cook healthy meals instead of relying on frozen pizza. This period of social isolation will end eventually, and I want to be healthier coming out of it than I am going in.
Vitamins and supplements
It's been a stressful few weeks, no matter who you are or what your proximity is to the virus. In recent days, I've been checking in on friends (virtually!), and asking if they've been eating healthy, getting enough sleep and are taking their vitamins.
I found an offer a few weeks ago for Care/of, a supplement subscription service, when I was looking for a way to save money on vitamin pills. I found this offer pretty helpful, as I'll be able to save a total of $30 on two purchases after spending $35 or more — all without needing to leave my home.
There are several Amex Offers available through a number of different cards for wine purchases. Right now, I see $20 back after making $50 in purchases at MarthaStewartWine.com.
Wine Insiders is offering the same promotion.
Wine Country Gift Baskets is offering $25 back after a $75 purchase, in case you wanted to gift a friend (or yourself, not going to judge) some wine during social isolation. All three offers appeared on my Amex Green.
Apparel and accessories
Face it: You aren't going anywhere anytime soon. But if you're one of the lucky few with a private outdoor rooftop, deck or garden, you might want to consider a new pair of sunglasses.
Sunglass Hut is offering $30 back on purchases of $150 or more. Even better? You don't need to go to a store to make your purchase (not like anything's open). It shouldn't be too hard to meet this spending requirement. A quick search on the site shows name-brand shades like RayBan and Versace costing around $200.
EyeBuyDirect also has an Amex Offer for $10 back after spending $50. I've purchased eyeglasses through the website for years now, and it's not hard to find frames for $50 to maximize your savings. As it's an online retailer, all you have to do is submit your prescription through the site and then start shopping. I also see offers from Glasses.com (spend $175 or more, get $35 back) and ContactsDirect.com (spend $100 or more, get $20 back).
For the tall men among us, DXL Men's Big and Tall is offering $30 back after spending $150 or more through June 30.
Levi's also has a cash-back offer, for $25 back after spending a minimum of $125 if you're tired of wearing pajamas to your daily Zoom meeting.
The IRS moved the tax deadline to July 15 to give taxpayers more time to file and pay their taxes because of the coronavirus outbreak. But, that doesn't mean you have to wait until July to get your taxes done. I see an offer for H&R Block on my Platinum Card® from American Express for $10 back after $30 spend.
The Deluxe Online package, for those looking to maximize tax credits and deductions, only costs $49.99.
As a Business Platinum cardholder, I also see two FedEx offers.
One is from FedEx Freight and the other from FedEx Shipping, both offering 10% back on purchases.
If you're like me, you probably have a lot of free time on your hands all of a sudden. I feel like I've exhausted Netflix and Hulu at this point, so I'm glad to see several offers for other streaming services, including a three-time offer for $5 back after spending $10 or more at Showtime.com.
I got another one, this time from CBS All Access, for $5 back after spending $9 or more up to two times.
FuboTV is excellent if you're looking to catch up on sports content. This offer is for $20 back after $40 spend. You can take advantage of the offer twice.
Best American Express cards
Before you can even think about which Amex Offers to add to your account, you need to have an Amex credit card — and there are several to choose from.
The Platinum Card® from American Express is one of the most valuable cards available thanks to a hefty welcome bonus and a long list of luxury travel perks that can more than offset its $550 annual fee (See rates & fees). The current welcome offer is 60,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $5,000 in the first three months. TPG values Membership Rewards points at 2 cents each, making the bonus worth $1,200.
Apply here: The Platinum Card from American Express (60,000-point bonus offer)
The American Express® Green Card is a great mid-tier card for beginner travelers. Amex expanded the bonus categories to include a wide range of travel purchases, including public transportation and vacation rentals, on top of traditional airfare and hotel purchases. You'll now earn 3x points per dollar spent on worldwide travel, transportation and restaurants. The card also got some upgraded features, such as a $100 Clear membership credit and a $100 LoungeBuddy credit. Terms apply. Annual fee is $150, (see rates and fees)
Apply here: American Express Green Card (30,000-point bonus offer)
The American Express® Gold Card&c_issuer=American+Express&c_location=unknown&c_positionId=2&c_exitPageId=https%3A%2F%2Fthepointsguy.com%2Fguide%2Fhow-to-choose-the-best-amex-for-you%2F) is my go-to card for eating out, ordering in or shopping at the supermarket (and pretty much everyone falls into at least one of these categories). The 4x earning rate on dining equals a stellar 8% return on your spending, according to TPG's most recent valuations. Factoring in the $100 airline fee credit and up to $120 in annual dining credits, this card effectively costs just $30 per year. For more related content, visit our Amex Gold card hub. Terms apply. Annual fee is $250, (see rates and fees)
Apply here: American Express® Gold Card (35,000-point bonus offer)
The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card has a relatively low annual fee compared to the cards I mentioned above ($95) and offers 15,000 Membership Rewards points after you use your new card to make $1,000 in purchases within the first three months.
You'll earn 3x points per dollar spent at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year, then 1x); 2 points per dollar spent at U.S. gas stations, and 1 point per dollar spent everywhere else. If you make 30 or more purchases in a billing period, you'll earn 50% more points on those purchases. Terms apply.
The information for the The Amex EveryDay Preferred card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
If you're looking for a card with no annual fee at all, The Amex EveryDay Credit Card from American Express is your best bet. You'll still earn 10,000 Membership Rewards points after you use your new card to make $1,000 in purchases within the first three months. You'll also get 2x points per dollar spent at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year, then 1 point per dollar after that) and 1 point per dollar everywhere else.
The Business Platinum Card from American Express has a slew of perks for business travelers. Cardholders will enjoy automatic Gold status in both the Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy loyalty programs along with numerous other benefits — including Centurion Lounge access, Priority Pass lounge access, Delta Sky Club access (when flying Delta), up to $200 in annual airline fee credits and a 35% points rebate for flights booked through Amex Travel in first or business class on any airline, or economy on the airline of your choice each year. Terms apply.
Right now, there's a 75,000-point bonus after you spend $15,000 on qualifying purchases within the first three months of account opening, valued by TPG at $1,500. The card has a $595 annual fee (see rates and fees). For more details, check our American Express Business Platinum Card review.
Apply here: American Express Business Platinum Card
The American Express® Business Gold Card earns 4x points on your two selected spending categories each month (from a list of six). One of the options is purchases at U.S. restaurants, so if this is a top spending area for your business, you can get an 8% return on these purchases. Terms apply. Annual fee is $295, (see rates and fees)
Right now, you can earn 35,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 in purchases in the first three months of account opening.
Apply here: American Express Business Gold Card
The coronavirus pandemic has brought with it a lot of uncertainty and fear. The market is volatile, schools and businesses are closed and the travel industry appears to be at a standstill. In these trying times, it's essential to take note of where you can save money in the short run so you can get back to planning your dream trip when the moment is right.
For the rates and fees of the Amex Platinum, please click here.
For the rates and fees of the Amex Business Platinum, please click here.
For the rates and fees of the Amex Green card, please click here.
For the rate and fees of the Amex Gold card, please click here.
For the rate and fees of the Amex Business Gold, please click here.
Featured photo by Isabelle Raphael/The Points Guy
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