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It's the start of a new year!
With a new year comes a new round of annual credit card statement credits.
Card issuers have been adding more and more partners and credits each year. That means getting the maximum value for your annual fee is trickier than ever. Honestly, it's just hard to keep track of them all! Well, we're here with a solution. In this post, we've compiled the statement credits that cardmembers have access to so you can make the most of these credits in 2021.
If you hold any of these cards, it's time to get to it!
Airline Fee Statement Credits
The following card products qualify for an annual airline incidental fee credit:
- The Platinum Card® from American Express — $200 Airline Fee Credit per calendar year
- The Business Platinum Card® from American Express — $200 Airline Fee Credit per calendar year
- American Express® Gold Card — $100 Airline Fee Credit per calendar year (ending in 2022)
- Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card — $250 Airline Fee Credit per calendar year
- Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Credit Card — $100 Airline Incidental Statement Credit per calendar year
- EXPEDIA®+ VOYAGER CARD from Citi — $100 Annual Air Travel Fee Credit
- HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard® credit card — $100 Annual Air Travel Credit
The intention is for cardmembers to receive money back for their incidental purchases while traveling. If a purchase qualifies for the credit, the card-issuer automatically credits the account up to the annual limit. Some examples of purchases that could trigger the credit include:
- Phone reservation fees
- Seat assignment fees
- Checked baggage fees
- Overweight/oversize baggage fees
- Airport lounge day passes and memberships
- Change or cancellation fees
- Inflight amenities and entertainment
- Pet fees
With American Express, cardmembers need to select their intended airline before making a purchase. Moreover, if a purchase that you believe should qualify doesn't automatically credit, some cardmembers have reported success in reaching out to Amex to request they manually credit the purchase. It's also worth noting that 2021 is the last year Amex Gold cardmembers will receive an airline fee credit.
The Bank of America Premium Rewards Card Airline Incidental Statement Credit, the Expedia Card Air Travel Fee Credit and the HSBC Premier Mastercard Annual Air Travel Credit work similar to the Amex credit. However, cardholders don't need to select an airline before making a purchase.
General Travel Statement Credit
The following card products qualify for an annual travel credit:
- Citi Prestige® Card — $250 Travel Credit per calendar year
- The Ritz-Carlton™ Credit Card — $300 Annual Travel Credit per calendar year
- Chase Sapphire Reserve® — $300 Annual Travel Credit per year*
The travel credit offered with the Prestige Card (review) is one of the best in business. It's automatically applied based on the merchant code provided at the time of purchase. That means practically every travel purchase qualifies, making it easy to maximize this benefit for full value. However, your purchase will need to post by the close of your December statement to qualify.
Related Post — Maximizing the Prestige Card $250 Travel Credit
The Ritz-Carlton Card‘s (review) $300 annual travel credit isn't as easy. Not only is it noticeably more restrictive than the credit of its competitors, but it's also not automatic. Cardholders need to call the number on their card to request the credit after making eligible purchases. With that said, most report that the process is quick and straightforward. Just keep in mind that the credits only apply to eligible purchases that post in a given year.
Lastly, I've added the Sapphire Reserve (review) — but with an asterisk. For those who applied for the card before May 21, 2017, the card's $300 annual travel credit operates on a calendar-year basis. For everyone who's applied since then, this credit operates on a cardmember-year basis.
If you applied in the early days of the Sapphire Reserve, be sure to use your travel credit before the end of the year. Thankfully, that shouldn't be too hard, as nearly all travel-related purchases qualify. Moreover, through June 30, 2021, purchases at grocery stores and gas stations also qualify.
Related Post — How to use the Sapphire Reserve $300 Travel Credit
Dell Statement Credit
The following card products qualify for an annual Dell credit:
- The Business Platinum Card® from American Express — Up to $200 Dell Credits
The Business Platinum Card (review) receives up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year toward Dell purchases, which can go a long way towards accounting for the $595 annual fee (Rates & Fees). This is bifurcated as a $100 in credit from January to June and $100 from July to December.
In addition, Amex Platinum cardmembers received an Amex Offer for a $100 statement credit for spending $100+ at Dell through January 31, 2021.
DoorDash Statement Credit
The following card products qualify for an annual DoorDash credit:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve® — $60 statement credit in 2021
Included in the suite of new benefits that Chase added to the Sapphire Reserve during the COVID-19 pandemic, cardmembers can take advantage of up to $120 in DoorDash credits — $60 in 2020 and $60 in 2021. When combined with the card's complimentary DashPass membership, this essentially provides up to $60 in free food.
As the coronavirus pandemic is still hampering travel, Amex has added a temporary benefit for the first half of 2021:
- The Platinum Card® from American Express ($550 annual fee - Rates & Fees) — $30 PayPal credit each calendar month between January 1, 2021 and June 30, 2021
No enrollment is necessary for this benefit. Amex Platinum cardmembers can simply make a purchase through PayPal using their card to get up to $30 in statement credits each calendar month.
Saks Fifth Avenue Credit
The following card products qualify for an annual credit with Saks Fifth Avenue:
- The Platinum Card® from American Express ($550 annual fee - Rates & Fees) — $50 Saks Fifth Avenue credit between January 1, 2021 and June 30, 2021
In 2018, Amex introduced a new benefit for the Amex Platinum (review), offering up to $100 in statement credits towards Saks purchases. This is divided into $50 in the first half of the year and $50 in the second half of the year.
I always try to use this $50 credit to buy a gift in the ‘sale' section of Saks' website. Just note that this benefit requires you to enroll before making a purchase.
American Express® Green Card Credits
Besides being my favorite app for planning airport lounge visits, LoungeBuddy also allows users to pre-purchase access to various lounges across the globe. These include lounges that don't typically fall under other lounge collections like Priority Pass or proprietary airline clubs. Consequently, this $100 statement credit can be great if you find yourself in an airport with no other options.
You've probably heard of CLEAR by now. It's an alternative biometric program that allows customers to bypass certain lines at airports, arenas, and other venues. For non-status members of Delta SkyMiles or United MileagePlus, this service costs $119 per year. But, Green from Amex cardmembers get a $100 annual credit. That means this membership can be yours for only $19 per year out-of-pocket.
Other Benefits to Claim
There are a variety of other miscellaneous benefits that need to be used, claimed, or utilized by December 31, 2021:
- Uber credits: In addition to the monthly $15 credit, Amex Platinum cardmembers get an extra $20 credit in December for a total of $35.
- $100 JetBlue Vacations credit: JetBlue Plus Mastercard® cardholders get an annual $100 statement credit for purchasing a JetBlue Vacations package of $100 or more.
- 10% rebate on redeemed points: Citi Rewards+® Card cardholders get 10% rebate on points redeemed each year on the first 100,000 ThankYou Points per calendar year.
Airline- and Hotel-Specific Card Benefits
While we have focused on calendar year-end benefits, let's review a few cardholder-year-based benefits. Certain airline and hotel credit cards offer a statement credit for purchases made with the airline/hotel:
- Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card (review) — $75 Southwest annual travel credit per cardholder year
- Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card (review) — $250 Hilton Resort Statement Credit per cardmember year
- Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card (review) — $300 Marriott Bonvoy Statement Credit per cardmember year
Each of these benefits reset on the cardmember's anniversary rather than on January 1. So, now's a good time to check your cardmember anniversary date and make a plan to use these credits.
You don't always need to use 100% of a card's statement credits to justify holding it. But, that's a solid goal to shoot for. When maximized, these credits can wipe out a significant portion of a card's annual fee. And who wouldn't love to get “paid” for using a credit card?
If you hold any of the cards mentioned above, it's time to get to work using all your statement credits for 2021. It's time to go shopping!
Have we missed any important credit card statement credits? Let us know in the comments!
For rates and fees of the cards mentioned in this post, please visit the following links: The Business Platinum Card® from American Express (Rates & Fees), and The Platinum Card® from American Express (Rates & Fees)
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