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As someone who used to avoid annual fee credit cards, I've come a long way from my original position on the subject. Now, I carry at least half a dozen credit cards with annual fees—including two cards with annual fees that surpass $500.
I don't regret my decision to open these annual fee credit cards. The benefits these accounts provide me are far more valuable than the cost. In fact, I once received almost $750 in statement credits in a single month.
Some rewards credit cards, like the Chase Sapphire Reserve® credit card and The Platinum Card® from American Express, feature opportunities to earn statement credits on an annual or monthly basis. The statement credits and other benefits listed below are key reasons why both the Sapphire Reserve and the Amex Platinum Card hold a place in my wallet.
Amex Offers and Chase Offers
In addition to the standard statement credits that come with my Chase Sapphire Reserve and Amex Platinum Card, both cards feature special, limited-time offers. Chase Offers and Amex Offers are opt-in style benefits that you can redeem with a variety of Chase and American Express credit cards (not just the two I mentioned above).
Numerous Chase credit cards can give you access to Chase Offers, such as:
Likewise, any valid US American Express Consumer Card or Business Card from American Express OPEN® is eligible to enroll in Amex Offers as well.
Examples of Amex Offers and Chase Offers
Depending on the credit card you hold, you may be able to register online to add new Chase Offers or Amex Offers to your account each month. When you redeem those offers, you may be eligible for either a statement credit or sometimes a higher rewards rate for certain purchases.
The value of these statement credits and higher rewards earnings varies from one offer to the next. The Chase and Amex Offers that I've redeemed in the past 12 months have paid me back between $0.25 and $200 per purchase.
Below is a sample of the Amex Offers and Chase Offers I've seen so far in 2021. While many of these offers are no longer available, this list can still give you a good overview of what you've been missing.
2021 Offer Examples
|Amex Offers||Chase Offers|
Omni Hotels & Resorts: Spend $250 or more, get $50 back.
Kindle: 20% back on purchases
The Home Depot: Spend $50 or more, get $50 back. Up to two times (total of $100).
DIRECTV: $50 back when you spend $64.99 or more.
Best Buy: Spend $50 or more, get $50 back. Up to two times (total of $100).
IHG Hotels & Resorts: 15% back when you spend $100 or more. $46 maximum credit.
Dell: Spend $100 or more, get $100 back.
Kwiat: $1,000 back when you spend $3,000 or more.
Enterprise Rent-A-Car: Spend $200 or more, get $40 back.
Chili’s: 10% back on any Chili’s purchase. $5.00 maximum credit.
How I Earned $750 Worth of Statement Credits In a Single Month
While I've certainly taken advantage of Chase Offers in the past (and will continue to do so), Amex Offers have given me the most bang for my buck. Once, over the span of a single month I earned enough standard statement credits and Amex Offers credits to offset my entire annual fee.
Here's a list of Amex Offers I redeemed (some are no longer available) to earn nearly $750 in statement credits:
- $15 Monthly Uber/Uber Eats Credit
- $30 Monthly PayPal Credit
- $50 Saks Fifth Avenue Statement Credit
- $100 Home Depot Credits ($50 X 2)
- $100 Best Buy Credits ($50 X 2)
- $100 Dell Credit
- $200 Samsung Credit
- $50 Hilton Credit
- $40 Hello Bello Credit ($20 X 2)
- $50 Home Chef Credit
- $9.99 SCRIBD Credit
Total Statement Credits: $744.99
Be True to Your Budget
There were dozens of other Amex Offers I could have redeemed during this period in addition to those listed. But since most of them had a minimum spend requirement to earn the credit (e.g., spend $100 or more, get $50 back), I only took advantage of offers for purchases that wound up being free or those that were already in my budget.
Diapers, for example, are something I buy for my baby boy every month. That made saving $40 off two cases of Hello Bello diapers a no-brainer. The Dell Amex Offer gave me $100 back off a $100 purchase. So, it was fun to score two free gaming headsets for my older son and husband. (I got an even better deal when I stacked on a coupon I found using Slickdeals for free shipping and 25% off my order.)
Read the Fine Print
If you want to take advantage of some of the Amex Offers or Chase Offers available, it's important to read the fine print upfront. Each individual offer will have terms and conditions you may need to meet in order to earn statement credits or additional rewards.
For example, the Amex Offer for a $40 statement credit with an eligible Enterprise Rent-A-Car purchase required booking your reservation online at Enterprise.com. And the $200 Samsung credit I included in my list above was an Amex Offer that required me to spend $1,000 at Samsung.com to get the $200 back as a statement credit. (In this case, my father's laptop died. So, the ability to get $200 back when we bought a replacement for him came at a great time.)
Enroll In Advance
You must also do the following with any Amex Offer or Chase Offer in order to earn the benefit:
- Add the offer to your credit card. You can accomplish this through your online account portal or the Chase or Amex app.
- Pay with the enrolled credit card. If you add a specific Chase Offer to your Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card, for example, you must pay with that card to redeem the offer.
Some offers may have limited availability. Once a certain number of cardholders enroll in the offer, additional cardholders cannot register. It's probably best to proactively add any offer you might want to use to your credit card. It's better to have access to the offer and not use it than miss out on a potential savings opportunity.
Other Credit Card Benefits
As a holder of multiple Chase, American Express and Citi cards, the primary reason I keep the accounts that I have is because of the benefits they give me. Amex Offers and Chase Offers are a great addition (and I hope they stay around for a long time), but the core benefits of many of these cards also make them a wise choice in my book.
Here are a few reasons why I love my rewards credit cards.
- Rewards. Over the years, I have redeemed the points, miles, and cash back I've earned for thousands of dollars worth of free travel.
- Airport Lounge Access. Several of my rewards credit cards give me free access to a variety of airport lounges—making travel a much more relaxing experience. The Citi®/AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® is just one example of a card with this valuable benefit if you're a frequent traveler.
Every rewards card is different and offers different perks (including valuable sign-up bonuses). So, it's best to research what's available and determine which benefits you'll get the most value from before you choose the best card for you.