How To Get The $200 American Express Travel Credit
When you apply and get approved for the American Express Platinum Canada Card, you’ll receive an annual $200 travel credit. The American Express Platinum Card is arguably one of the top travel rewards credit cards in Canada.
You can use your travel credit towards a single booking over $200 through:
American Express Travel: American Express’s travel booking portal, similar to Expedia and other travel websites.
American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts: Also a travel booking portal, but features select luxury hotels from around the world that American Express has partnered with. These hotels give cardholders extra benefits such as property credits, early/late check in/out, and daily breakfast when they book using their American Express Platinum personal or business card.
Here’s What You Can Use Your Travel Credit Towards:
- Car Rentals
- Vacation Packages
Be Aware of Recent Changes To The Amex Platinum Travel Credit
There have been some recent changes as to how American Express issues the annual travel credit. Previously, American Express issued travel credits once every calendar year which was a lucrative opportunity for credit card churners.
The loophole was to apply for the Platinum card late in the year and receive the first $200 travel credit and then wait for the next $200 travel credit to be issued in January the following year.
After receiving $400 in travel credits and meeting the minimum spend requirements to earn 60,000 bonus points, credit card churners would then cancel the card. That was quite an excellent investment for a $299 annual fee (factoring in the $400 in total travel credits after paying an initial $699 annual fee.)
American Express has tightened things up regarding this travel benefit, and now travel credits are issued on the anniversary date of when you applied for your card as opposed to the beginning of the calendar year.
$200 Amex Platinum Travel Credit Tips For Success
1. The Credit Is Only Applicable for Single Bookings over $200
In order to use your $200 travel credit, you must make a single travel booking through American Express Travel worth at least $200. The credit can only be applied one time, and for the full amount.
2. Your Travel Credit Will Post in 1-2 Business Days
You will be charged the full amount at the time of booking, but within 2 business days, the $200 travel credit will be applied to your statement.
3. You Can Combine Your American Express Membership Reward Points
When you use your travel credit, you’ll also see an option to use points to pay for your booking. For the best point redemptions, you’re better off transferring your points to participating airline and hotel transfer partners, however, the option is there to use your American Express Membership Rewards in combination with your travel credit.
4. You’ll Still Earn Airline Miles/Points
If you’re booking a flight, you’ll still get your points/miles awarded just like you would if you booked through any other website such as Expedia. If you’re looking at booking a hotel though, that’s a different story. Read on.
5. You Can Book Travel as a Gift
Although you can’t directly transfer your travel credit to friends or family, you can, however, book the travel under your name and add that person to the reservation. This is useful if you’re planning on booking travel for someone as a gift.
6. No Search Results? Call American Express Concierge To Book
You may find that when you use American Express Travel to find a hotel, it might not show up. Don’t worry if the hotel you had in mind isn’t listed in the search results.
You’ll simply need to call American Express Concierge and tell them where you’d like to stay and they can make the booking for you using their “alternate reservation system”.
Call Platinum Card Travel Service at 1-800-263-1616 (press 2).
Cautions With Using The Platinum Travel Credit
1. Your Hotel Loyalty Status Might Not Be Honoured
If you’re booking a hotel stay through American Express Travel, your hotel loyalty status will not be recognized.
Because American Express Travel, is considered a third party booking, your loyalty status will not be honoured. You may want to consider staying at a hotel where you’re not concerned about loyalty perks, or one partnered with American Express FHR in this case.
You can always email or call the hotel after you’ve booked and tell them to apply your loyalty membership number to the reservation. It’s worth a shot to ask and see if they’ll make an exception and give you your perks, but don’t expect it.
However, if you book your hotel using American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts, your loyalty status will be honoured.
2. There’s No Cancellation Policy With The Travel Credit
If you cancel your travel booking after redeeming the annual travel credit, you will NOT be able to use it again in the same year! This is a hefty penalty for cancelling a booking, so make sure you can commit to your travel plans. The travel credit should never be used for speculative travel.
Direct from American Express terms and conditions:
“If you cancel your travel booking after redeeming the Annual Travel Credit, you will not be able to use it again in the same calendar year.”
3. Travel Credits Don’t Carry Over
Your travel credit will expire on the anniversary date of your card, so you’ll need to make sure you use it each year, as they can’t be carried over, or combined.
How I Used My $200 American Express Travel Credit
This year I decided to use my Platinum travel credit towards a one night stay at the Watermark Beach Hotel Resort in Osoyoos, BC. Osoyoos is located in the Okanagan, a desert climate and is the heart of wine country.
The Watermark is a lakefront property on Osoyoos Lake, (Canada’s warmest lake on record!) and offers incredible value in the winter offseason months. Prices at this hotel skyrocket in the summer months, however, and I believe they are already booked solid for summer 2019.
We were able to score a great room for $243 taxes included:
- 836 sq ft suite
- 2 bedroom, 2 bathrooms
- Large balcony
- A very pet-friendly room with no pet restrictions
So after the $200 travel credit was applied, we paid just $43 CAD plus a $25 pet fee for 3 large dogs.
That’s an exceptional value that simply doesn’t exist in Vancouver, which is why we decided to head east for a scenic 3-hour road trip for my 32nd birthday.
I had my heart set on the Watermark from the start but was a little panicked when I searched for it on American Express Travel and no results were found. This is a popular hotel relative to its location, so I wasn’t sure why it wouldn’t be available. Not giving up, I decided to call American Express Travel and they had to use their “alternative booking system” to make the booking. Don’t get me started about how inefficient this is, but if you run into the same problem where the hotel you’d like to book isn’t available on the website, just call Platinum Card Travel Services and they will make the booking for you.
In the next post, I’ll walk you through step by step how to redeem your travel credit, and we’ll also recap our trip with a review of the Watermark, so stay tuned!
Apply Now For The American Express Platinum Card Canada
You can get your own $200 travel credit on approval with the American Express Platinum Canada Card. You’ll also earn 50,000 welcome bonus points upon meeting the minimum spend of $3,000 in the first 3 months.
How To Redeem Your $200 Travel Credit
Now that you’ve learned the basics about the American Express travel credit in Canada, you’ll probably want to make some travel goals and learn exactly how step by step to redeem the Platinum travel credit.
How do you plan to use your $200 American Express travel credit?