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The Platinum Card from American Express offers cardmembers a great benefit of a $100 annual credit at Saks Fifth Avenue Stores. The credit is split so you can get $50 reimbursed in January – June of the year and $50 in July – December.
Military servicemembers can get an AMEX Platinum card with NO annual fees (
$550 –> $0) thanks to AMEX's generous interpretation of the SCRA law.
Here are two screenshots from two of the purchases I made at the Saks Fifth Avenue Waikiki, Honolulu, Hawaii in May 2019:
As you can see the credit only took 2-3 days to post to my accounts. I have seen reports online of up to 5 days, but it should definitely be faster than the 6-8 weeks advertised by AMEX.
What I Bought with My AMEX Platinum Saks Fifth Avenue Credit
I'll be honest: I have never shopped at a Saks Fifth Avenue before American Express started this credit. So if their goal was to get new customers into a Saks Fifth Avenue, it worked.
My wife and I currently each have an AMEX Platinum. I also have an Ameriprise AMEX Platinum and the Charles Schwab AMEX Platinum. That's 4 Platinums total so each year I get $400 in AMEX Saks credit or $200 each half.
I recently stayed at the Hotel Le Germain Calgary (get $20 off your stay if you use my referral link!), an awesome choice for business travelers, TDY, official government travel, or just a day in the city which was what brought my wife and me there. We stayed there as part of our epic 13 day circuitous travel PCS.
The toiletries the hotel offered were Molton Brown, a brand I had not heard of before (uncultured rube that I am). After using these fancy soaps for a day, I was impressed. They smelled great, left you feeling super clean, and they looked really nice in the shower too.
I'm no expert of super fancy soaps and body washes, but these Molton Brown luxury bath products stood out to me. I noticed Saks carried them, so of course I spent some of my $200 of AMEX Saks credits on outfitting our new house with fancy bath products.
Here's what I bought with my AMEX Saks credit in May 2019:
- Molton Brown Heavenly Gingerlily Bath & Shower Gel $32
- Molton Brown Thickening Shampoo With Ginger Extract $30
- Molton Brown Delicious Rhubarb and Rose Body Lotion Free Sample
- 2x $50 Saks Fifth Avenue Gift Cards – $100
Total: $162 + tax. Total out of pocket: $0.
Buying Saks Gift Cards With American Express Platinum
First things first, you need an Amex Platinum card:
- American Express Platinum Card – learn how to apply
- Annual fee of $550 waived for US military personnel and spouses
- 75,000 Membership Reward Points welcome bonus (valued at $1500) when you spend $5000 in the first 6 months
- 10x points at US Gas Stations and US Supermarkets (OCONUS Commissaries are US supermarkets) up to $15,000 in combined purchases for the first 6 months (an extra 150,000 points potentially!)
- 5x points on airfare booked directly with airline or on amextravel.com
- 5x points on prepaid hotels at amextravel.com
- $200 annual Uber or UberEats credit (free taxi or food) + VIP Uber Status
- $100 annual Saks Fifth Avenue credit, can be used for gift cards
- Centurion and Priority Pass airport lounge access for free + guest
- No foreign transaction fees
- Heavy metal card that looks and feels really cool
- Read my full review of the Amex Platinum card for military
Besides the fancy bath products I purchased 2 $50 gift cards, 1 with my Ameriprise AMEX Platinum and 1 with my wife's AMEX Platinum. Both coded as $50 Saks Fifth Avenue purchases and both credits posted in 2-3 days.
The fine print states that gift cards are not eligible for the credit, but in my experience if you purchase the gift card in the store it does not code as a gift card and the AMEX credit will kick in.
At the Saks Fifth Avenue I went to they were able to split payments across multiple cards. I simply asked the cashier to put $50 on one AMEX Platinum card and the remainder on my Charles Schwab AMEX Platinum.
All personal (not business) varieties or flavors of the AMEX Platinum card come with the Saks credit benefit. If you rack up multiple AMEX Platinum cards, you can rack up multiple $50 semi-annual credits at Saks Fifth Avenue.
One thing to note is the credit DOES NOT work at Saks Off Fifth. However you can buy Saks gift cards at Saks Fifth Avenue and then use them at Saks Off Fifth. This was tested in June 2019 and worked for me.
Amex Platinum Saks Credit Terms and Conditions
Here's the fine print from AMEX's Benefit Terms.
Only the Basic Card Member or Authorized Account Manager(s) on a U.S. Consumer Platinum Card®Account can enroll in the benefit. Eligible purchases must be charged to the enrolled Card Account for the benefit to apply. Purchases by both the enrolled Basic Card Member and Additional Card Members on the eligible Card Account are eligible for statement credits. However, each Card Account is only eligible for up to a $50 statement credit from January through June and up to a $50 statement credit from July through December for a total of $100 per calendar year in statement credits across all Cards on the Account. Valid at Saks Fifth Avenue online or at locations in the US and US Territories. Not valid on Saks Fifth Avenue Gift Cards or purchases at outlet locations (in stores and online). Excludes purchases at restaurants located within the store and Online Bill Pay for Saks Credit. Not valid on online purchases shipped outside of the US. Please allow 2-4 weeks after an eligible purchase is charged to your Card Account for statement credit(s) to be posted to the Account. Please call the number on the back of the Card if statement credits have not posted after 4 weeks from the date of purchase. Note that American Express may not receive information about your eligible purchase from merchant until all items from your eligible purchase have been provided/shipped by merchant. Statement credit may be reversed if the eligible purchase is returned/cancelled. If American Express does not receive information that identifies your transaction as eligible for the benefit, you will not receive the statement credit. For example, your transaction will not be eligible if it is not made directly with the merchant. In addition, in most cases, you may not receive the statement credit if your transaction is made with an electronic wallet or through a third party or if the merchant uses a mobile or wireless card reader to process it. To be eligible for this benefit, Card Account(s) must be not canceled and not past due at the time of statement credits fulfillment. If a charge for an eligible purchase is included in a Pay Over Time feature balance on your Card Account, the statement credit associated with that charge may not be applied to that Pay Over Time feature balance. Instead, the statement credit may be applied to your Pay In Full balance. For additional information, call the number on the back of your Card.
$100 AMEX Saks Credit: Actually Useful!
Honestly, I was surprised that I ended up using this benefit. When I first saw it announced, I did not think I would get much value out of it, especially since it was only $50 per six months.
By getting multiple AMEX Platinum cards and still paying no annual fees thanks to AMEX SCRA, I am able to stack the benefits and get a few hundred dollars worth of Saks products every six months.
This should keep my shower well stocked with luxury bath products. It's also a great way to get gifts for people, as most people would be really excited to receive a Molton Brown gift pack from Saks.
How about you? What luxury products did you pick up at Saks with your AMEX Platinum $100 annual credit? Let us know in the comments!