Make Sure to Use Your New Credit Card Statement Credits

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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 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

use your airline fee statement credit to purchase a lounge day pass

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.

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.

Related Post — How Does the Ritz-Carlton Card‘s $300 Annual Travel Credit Work?

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 December 31, 2021, purchases at grocery stores and gas stations also qualify.

Related Post — How to use the Sapphire Reserve $300 Travel Credit

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Dell Statement Credit

The following card products qualify for an annual Dell credit:

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.

DoorDash Statement Credit

The following card products qualify for an annual DoorDash credit:

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.

Saks Fifth Avenue Credit

The following card products qualify for an annual credit with Saks Fifth Avenue:

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.

use your Saks credit card statement credit to go shopping

American Express® Green Card Credits

The American Express® Green Card (review) card changed the game with its refresh in 2019. Now, the card offers two never-before-seen statement 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.

Update: As of February 2021, the American Express® Gold Card has added a $10 per month Uber Cash credit. Several Amex cards are also offering a complimentary, one-time Uber Eats Pass membership through December 2021. To take advantage of the monthly Uber credits, just add your eligible Amex card as a payment method in your Uber account. You can find more details on the Amex-Uber partnership here.

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:

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.

Bottom Line

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)

The comments on this page are not provided, reviewed, or otherwise approved by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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Comments

  • These statement credits are one of the best ways to get an excellent return on the your annual fee investment – esp. if the credit is calendar based and you can “double dip” the statement credit over one annual fee before you cancel the following year.

  • I think you misses the $30 monthly credit for AMEX personal platinum.

  • Sound and timely advice, this is a great way to save some money!

  • We had Chase Sapphire Reserve for the first 2 years it was out and each collected 100,000 pts. We are “points rich” but with COVID we have slowed our points collecting switching instead to a Wells Fargo Propel Amex card, a Chase Amazon Prime Visa and a Citibank Double Cash Mastercard all with no annual fees.

  • Una pena que ninguna tarjeta ni banco otorguen puntos o millas en Argentina,

  • Good idea to use the credits earlier rather than later in the year. I made the mistake of using my 200 Dell Credit (it was doubled last year on the business platinum). The merchant didn’t charge it until January 6th! So I only got the 100 credit for the first half of 2021.

    They said I might be able to get a courtesy credit of 100 once three weeks have gone by. But I’m going to lose 100 dollars worth of credits! So learn from my bad luck.

    • Same issue here with the CSR DoorDash credit. I used it on 12/31/2020 and received a receipt, but the restaurant didn’t post it to the credit card until the following day (1/1/2021). Fortunately, I was able to submit the receipt to Chase, to document when my purchase was actually made and thereby preserve my full $60 DoorDash credit for 2021. This year, I won’t wait until the final day of the offer period to claim my credit.

      • Had a similar issue with the Saks credit. One of the items I purchased had its shipping delayed, and the charge didn’t go through until it shipped, after the new year. I learned my lesson then to not wait until the last second on these. It’s somewhat similar to actions taken to extend program expirations. Don’t wait too long or the qualifying activity won’t credit in time.

  • Thank you. This reminded me to check and take advantage of what I could and make some Christmas presents more affordable.

  • Thank you for the reminder! I have no travel plan but just bought some lounge passes with my remaining Amex airline fee credit.

  • Thanks for the reminder- have use some door dash credits and and a free Marriot night!

  • I think a great deal more of travel credits will be left unused this year.

  • Does the Aspire still have any alternate credits for the $250 resort credit?

  • Steven William Van Meter says:

    Sound advice to be sure… Also, be sure to keep your points active by having a cup of coffee or similar spending just to keep your points from expiring. Very helpful

  • Steven William Van Meter says:

    Sound advice to be sure… Also, be sure to keep your points active by having a cup of coffee or similar spending just to keep your points from expiring.

  • Good advice. AA mileage multiplier worked for me.

  • This is a very timely article. I haven’t used my Amex Credits (Gold and Platinum) for anything with American Airlines this year. I only have two flights left so I am going to buy up for miles associated with those flights. It’s certainly better than the credits entirely going to waste. I’m nostalgic for the days that the credit was triggered by a gift card purchase.

  • HeavenlyJane says:

    I just ran over to my local Marriott hotel yesterday to buy a $300 GC over the counter. This has triggered my $300 Marriott Bonvoy Statement Credit every year thus far.

  • Very helpful post and handy checklist to make sure you get maximum benefit out of each card. I hate when unused benefits go to waste!

  • Peloton credit on CSR ($120) and
    ExpertFlyer membership credit ($99) on Hilton Aspire

  • The CSR DoorDash credit has been great. I hope Chase makes this a permanent addition to the card.