Credit Card Annual Benefits


It’s that time of year to review whether you’ve used all your credit card annual benefits. If not, get to it! Nothing is worse than realizing you left some benefits on the table that you could have used. Let’s review the major benefits of some of our most popular credit cards! It’s time to check that list!


American Express Platinum Card

This card has a hefty $695 annual fee, so I want to ensure that I get every benefit out of it. Here are the annual benefits on my American Express Platinum card and how I have used them.

  • $200 Incidental Fee – I load $200 to my United TravelBank each year. Depending on what airline you choose as your airline of choice, airline tickets under $100 may count. Baggage fees, wifi services, refreshments on board, and airport lounge day passes are the easy choices.
  • $50 every 6 months Saks 5th Avenue purchases. I usually make these purchases in January and July, so I don’t forget about them.
  • $189 CLEAR Credit – My Platinum Card is attached to this, so I don’t have to think about this each year. I buy it through my United program (discounted $119 rate) and add my husband (for $60), so we are both covered with this credit!
  • $200 Fine Hotel and Resorts Credit – I haven’t used this yet. I need to book this by 12/31/22 for a stay next year. I love this opportunity to stay in a luxury hotel on the cheap!

Just these four annual benefits almost pay for my annual fee. I also use many of the other benefits on my American Express Platinum Card to make it worth paying a higher annual fee.


Airport scene with Clear Machines in foreground

Using my CLEAR credit annually gets me through airports quicker!


American Express Platinum Business Card

I keep getting offers for the American Express Platinum Business Card, which has enabled me to earn a lot of American Express Membership Rewards. With an annual fee of $695, I need to make sure I take advantage of these annual benefits:

  • $400 annual Dell credit – Again, I try and use these in January and July to make sure I use them. With these credits, I have purchased luggage, printers, Amazon Echo, laptops, etc. It is really nice that you can use credits from multiple cards (up to 3), so I can pool my hubbies and mine for a nice purchase.
  • $200 Airline Credit – Again, I pick United and add it to my TravelBank credit.
  • $189 Clear Credit – Since I already use the credit from my Platinum card, I can buy another family member’s Clear membership.
  • Wireless credits – not an annual fee, just a reminder to use the card for $10/month off on your mobile phone bill.


Hilton Aspire Credit Card

The Hilton Aspire Credit Card comes with a $250 airline incidental credit, so you want to use it each year. I don’t have this card, but if you do, be sure and use it before 12/31.


Ritz-Carlton Card

This card is no longer available to apply for, but I’ve had it for years. It is possible to product change to it if you’d like. It comes with a $300 airline incidental credit. I use that to upgrade an economy class seat to first every year.  In fact, I just use it this last week for our THM retreat in Cancun!


Resort pool area

I upgraded to first-class with my annual Ritz-Carlton card travel credit to get to the Andaz Mayakoba.


Chase Sapphire Reserve Card

The Chase Sapphire Reserve card comes with a $300 annual travel credit. Have you used yours yet? I have the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, so I don’t have this credit. If you do, you can use that credit for almost any travel purchase, including flights, hotels, car rentals, parking, etc., so it is simple to use. This isn’t a calendar year credit (unless you applied before 2017) but a yearly credit based on your application date.


Bottom Line

Annual benefit credits reduce our annual fees but only if we take advantage of them. It’s that time to review our credit card annual benefits and use them before they expire.

girl using credit card to pay for coffee

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