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Update: I have added the word “some” to the headline as it would appear as if some people may still be getting a statement credit for Apple account top-ups
Since the beginning of May, the Platinum Card from American Express has been offering cardholders statement credits of up to $20/month for spending on select U.S. streaming services and for spending made directly with U.S. wireless telephone service providers. I have been diligently using up my statement credits every month, but Amex now appears to have shut down a path I was using to trigger one of the credits.
On the face of things, there doesn’t appear to be anything particularly challenging about making the most of those new statement credits, but there are three things that I should point out:
- I’m seeing out the current pandemic outside of the United States (these credits are for US services only)
- I pay for my streaming services annually and I have no need for a new streaming service.
- Because I split my time between the US and the UK, I choose to use a UK wireless provider for my primary phone as it’s a considerably cheaper (and better) option than anything available in the US.
Using up the US wireless statement credit turned out to be easy. I have a T-Mobile pay-as-you-go phone that I keep for foreign guests visiting me in the US and it’s easy to top up a pay-as-you-go phone via the T-Mobile website. These top-ups have been triggering the Platinum Card’s monthly statement credit every month.
This isn’t the most economical use of the statement credit as the phone I keep for guests doesn’t cost very much to run and it’s going to have a very large credit by the time anyone gets around to using it, but it’s better than letting the statement credit go to waste.
Using the streaming service credit was harder and although I was tempted to take out a subscription to the relatively new HBO Max streaming service (and use up $14.99 of the $20 credit), when I discovered that Amex didn’t seem to be able to differentiate between a purchase through Apple TV+/Apple Music and a top-up of an account that could be used to fund those services, that’s the path I chose to take.
Up until now, I’ve been able to top up an Apple account with $20 every month and trigger the Platinum Card’s streaming statement credit, effectively building up a healthy balance to pay my Apple Music annual subscription that’s due in December.
As of last month, however, the game has changed.
I almost forgot to use up my statement credits for October but with just 3 days left in the month, I topped up my T-Mobile account and, as usual, my online Apple account. The Wireless Phone Service Credit posted within two days but there’s no sign of the Apple top-up triggering the Platinum Card’s streaming service rebate.
I have no issue with this. I’m fully aware that I was exploiting a workaround to ensure that I could use the statement credits to maximum effect, and Amex is well within its rights to close down any loopholes that it notices. That’s exactly what seems to have happened here so now I have to come up with a new way to maximize the Platinum Card’s streaming services rebate while I wait to see if Amex will try to claw back the statement credits I’ve already triggered – I’ll update this post if anything “interesting” happens.
Has anyone else discovered that Amex has recently closed down any statement credit loopholes?