When American Express announced several statement credits and bonus categories for a number of its premium cards, one credit offering sort of stood out as sort of blah: $20 monthly credit for shipping purchases paid with the Business Platinum Card from American Express.
Not every cardholder racks up a bunch of money in shipping costs each month (although I think that’s part of Amex’s plan…). I sure as heck don’t. And I read plenty of bellyaching on blogs and forums about how “useless” the shipping credit is.
But, really, it’s not.
You just have to literally think outside the (shipping) box!
So here are several easy, fast, and thoughtful ways you can use your Amex Business Platinum shipping credit!
First of all, let’s understand some of the purchases that count toward your $20 monthly shipping credit. (Which is set to expire in December 2020).
It’s good for purchases “made in the U.S. for courier, postal, and freight shipping services. Examples of merchants that accept the Card and where you can earn additional rewards include:
- United States Postal Service”
I don’t know if third-party services (i.e. consolidated shipping) are covered.
I doubt it’s good for mailbox or printing purchases at stores such as FedEx Kinkos or The UPS Store. But it certainly should be allowed for shipping purchases. (Just make sure to keep your receipts as a backup.)
Also, the credit is valid for purchases made directly with shipping providers. In other words, if Amazon ships a package via UPS, you won’t receive the credit. Make sense?
Use it for Your Own Shipping Needs
If you regularly pay for shipping through FedEx, UPS, or the United States Postal Service, here’s a nice way to save $20 a month.
Need to sell something on eBay? Awesome! Have the buyer pay for shipping — which you’ll get for free!
Normally send a few pieces with first class mail? Impress your recipient and send it Priority.
But for those of us who don’t ship or mail very often, here are a couple of other ideas.
Pay for Someone Else’s Shipping Needs
My father-in-law runs a lighting company that sells bulbs and other supplies to thousands of restaurants, apartment buildings, office towers, and other companies and properties.
So he racks up quite the shipping bills.
When his FedEx bill arrived this month, I gave him my Amex Business Platinum Card. Everyone won: He saved $20 and will pay the outstanding balance when my statement posts. I got some Membership Rewards points — but most importantly, helped out my father-in-law.
Hoard Forever Stamps
The United States Postal Service is due for a postage increase. So now could be a great time to stock up on Forever Stamps.
If you have some (or all) of your Amex Business Platinum shipping credit available toward the end of the month, you might as well buy Forever Stamps directly from the United States Postal Service.
Why do I recommend waiting until the end of the month?
You never know what urgent shipping needs may arise prior to that. Sure, you can buy $20 worth of Forever Stamps (36 stamps, FWIW, with some change left over) on the first of the month. But if you forgot an important birthday (“Argh! Mom’s birthday gift!”) or another deadline later in the month, that $20 credit might’ve come in handy toward an overnight, second-day, or another priority shipment.
So that’s why I think it’s best to wait.
Forever Stamps come in very handy for general mailing, thank you notes, holiday cards, mailing special announcements, etc.
“But I Don’t Mail Anything!”
First, I bet that you do at least some snail mail during the year. So buy a few rolls. They don’t take up much space.
Barring that, you probably know people who would love some free Forever Stamps. Off the top of my head:
- Friends or relatives who need to mail invitations for:
- baby showers
- baby announcements
- graduation parties
- Friends or relatives who need to send thank you notes because they received gifts after getting married, having a baby, graduating, etc.
- Non-profit organizations or charities
- Churches, synagogues, mosques, etc.
You get the point.
Heck, advertise on your social media profiles that you’re hemorrhaging Forever Stamps and want to give them away to someone.
Shape Up and Ship Out!
Most importantly, don’t let your credit go to waste! There are several ways to use the Amex Business Platinum’s shipping credit. Even if you don’t mail or ship a lot of items, you certainly might be able to help out someone else.
Featured image: ©iStock.com/cybrain
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