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When American Express was scrambling around to try to find some benefits to add to its Platinum Card in an attempt to justify the $550 annual fee it chose to add, amongst other things, $100 of statement credits for purchases made at Saks 5th Avenue.
Enrolment for this benefit is required (link)
This being American Express (a world beater when it comes to over-complicating the benefits its credit cards offer), the $100 annual Saks credit can’t all be used at once – that would be too simple.
Platinum cardholders can avail themselves of a $50 Saks statement credit in the first 6 months of the year and a further $50 statement credit in the second 6 months of the year.
With the first 6 months of 2019 rapidly coming to a close (on Sunday) Platinum cardholders who have yet to make the most of their first Saks statement credit of the year have under 6 days left to make it count – it’s use it or lose it time.
Using The Amex Saks Statement Credit
The Amex Saks statement credit can be triggered by online purchases or at purchases in bricks-and-mortar stores but purchases at Saks Off 5th stores do not trigger the credit.
If you happen to need to buy something from Saks then clearly there’s no issue here and you may be able to take advantage of the sale that Saks is currently running (up to 75% off certain items). If, however, you plan to buy a gift card, things are decidedly more complicated.
Technically gift card purchases are excluded from the Saks statement benefit but in reality, they can still trigger the credit…you just have to be careful.
If you want to buy a gift card online you can opt for a physical gift card (delivered by mail) or an e-gift card (delivered by email)…
…but both come with issues.
The purchase of a Saks e-gift card appears to be processed by a 3rd party supplier which means that the gift card purchase will almost certainly not trigger the Amex credit.
Sales of Saks 5th Avenue physical gift cards are processed by Saks (so they’ll trigger the Amex statement credit just fine) but online purchases have to be for a minimum of $150.
Buying a physical gift card online will essentially just get you a 33% discount when you factor in the $50 Amex statement credit.
In-person purchases are a different matter as you can buy a $50 gift card at any check-out point in a Saks 5th Avenue store (as I did earlier this year)…
…and the Amex statement credit should trigger just fine:
My statement credit posted 3 days after the gift card purchase was made.
If you plan on using a gift card purchase to use up your Amex Saks statement credit then making a purchase in person is probably the best way to go.
If you haven’t yet used your $50 Platinum Card Saks statement credit for the first 6 months of 2019 you’re running out of time to do so.
Ideally you’ll find something useful in the current Saks sale to use the credit on but, if you go down the gift card route, make sure you take notice of the limitations I’ve outlined above.