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As 2020 ended, we left behind some challenging times â and some valuable credit card perks, like $20 streaming and mobile statement credits the on The Platinum CardÂ® from American Express. (Both expired on Dec. 31, 2020.)
Fortunately, Amex hasnât left Platinum cardmembers with nothing in the place of the expired perk. On the contrary, the issuer has added yet another exciting benefit.
See related: Amex adds Uber Eats Pass for Green, Gold and Platinum, Uber Cash credit on Gold
For a limited time, Amex Platinum cardholders will be able to enjoy a $30 monthly PayPal credit. While itâs less than the cumulative $40 in monthly streaming and mobile credits the issuer offered late last year, the perk still offers a great value and can be very versatile.
How the new PayPal credit works
Amex Platinum cardmembers will be able to use the new perk through June 30, 2021. No registration is required, and the credit will be applied automatically.
To use the perk, link your American Express Platinum card to your PayPal account and set it as the default payment method. Now, when you shop at eligible online merchants, you can select to check out via PayPal and get up to $30 credited back to you in your monthly statement. Youâll earn Membership Rewards points on this type of transactions as well.
Note, however, that peer-to-peer payments arenât eligible for this offer, and you also canât use it on gift card purchases or prepaid card reloads.
Receive up to $880 in credits with Amex Platinum in 2021
This perk is far from the first valuable credit offered on the Platinum card.
The credits on the Amex Platinum include annual Uber credits of up to $200 ($15 per month plus an extra $20 in December), an up to $200 airline-fee credit, up to $100 Saks Fifth Avenue credits per year, a $100 Global Entry or $85 TSA Precheck application fee credit every four years and a $100 hotel credit every time you book with The Hotel Collection.
The $30 monthly PayPal credit will be available through June â for up to $180 in PayPal credits in total.
The newly added limited-time perk brings the total credits you can receive from the Amex Platinum up to $880 in 2021 (if you only use the hotel credit once).
Considering the cardâs annual fee is $550, you can get a lot of value from your Amex, especially if we get to see travel finally coming back this year.
The new $30 monthly PayPal credit on Amex Platinum may be less valuable than the discontinued $20 streaming and mobile statement credits, but itâs versatile and easy to use â PayPal checkout is available at thousands of online retailers, including major ones, such as Walmart, Target, Home Depot and others.
Coupled with other credits and perks the Amex Platinum offers, the new benefit drives up the value of the card, making it a travel credit card thatâs worth it to have even in the times when travel is limited.
Congress has passed a $900 billion stimulus package that will include direct payments to most Americans and extend unemployment benefits into the spring. The bill awaits President Donald Trump’s signature, and a new round of stimulus checks could begin to roll out as early as next week.
The legislation also provides protection for the stimulus payments against garnishment by debt collectors. Besides, the payments cannot be used to offset old child support enforcement debts that are owed to state governments. Lauren Saunders, associate director, National Consumer Law Center, a consumer advocacy, noted, “Debt collectors grabbed many of the first stimulus payments, but fortunately it will be hands off for these payments.”
See related: Coronavirus: Credit card issuers offer cardholders relief
New round of stimulus payments, unemployment benefits Â
In a Christmas gift for U.S. consumers, the new measure will authorize $600 in direct payments, which is half the $1,200 approved in the first round of stimulus passed earlier this year. There is an income cutoff for the payment, with individuals making up to $75,000 a year and couples making up to $150,000 annually qualifying for the full $600.
Those with dependent children under the age of 16 will also qualify for $600 in payments for each child. As in the previous stimulus round, those above the stated income thresholds will qualify for a lower phased-in payment. In this new round, families in which one person doesnât have a Social Security number would also qualify for the stimulus payments.
The stimulus also extends unemployment benefits until April and provides a $300 unemployment supplement for 11 weeks. And it extends a program that provides benefits for freelance and gig workers, and contract workers.
See related: Americans would save more of a second stimulus check, study shows
Paycheck Protection Program extended, evictions stayed
The Congressional deal would also extend a moratorium on evictions for a month, The Washington Post reports. After that, it would be up to the new administration to extend it again if it sees fit. And the deal would make for about $25 billion in emergency assistance to renters.
The proposals would grant businesses some relief too, extending the Paycheck Protection Program with $275 billion in funding. Those whose PPP loans are forgiven will also be eligible to have costs that the loans cover deducted on their tax payments if they meet certain criteria.
The Congressional deal had been held up earlier over a disagreement about whether the Fed could initiate new emergency lending programs identical to the ones that Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin had declined to extendÂ to next year. The deal would allow the Fed to engage in similar programs, but not identical ones.