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18 creative ways to use Amex Platinum’s monthly $30 PayPal credit

The Points Guy logo The Points Guy 5/7/2021 Katie Genter
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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with new information.

At the start of 2021, American Express unveiled a new temporary perk for The Platinum Card® from American Express cardmembers: an up to $30 monthly PayPal credit. Amex will automatically issue these monthly statement credits for eligible PayPal purchases that post until June 30, 2021. This means you have just two more months to take advantage of up to $60 in remaining credit.

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Most cardmembers will be able to use this new PayPal credit at face value and get the full $30 in value out of it. So, today I’ll consider how to use the new monthly $30 PayPal credit currently available to Amex Platinum cardmembers.

How to use the $30 monthly PayPal credit

a person sitting at a table using a laptop: Many online merchants accept PayPal at checkout. (Photo by jacoblund/Getty Images) © The Points Guy Many online merchants accept PayPal at checkout. (Photo by jacoblund/Getty Images)

A monthly PayPal credit may seem difficult to use if you aren’t already a regular user of the service. But it’s actually quite easy. And, as I’ll discuss in the next section, you’ll likely be able to use the credit to cover one or more expenses you already incur each month.

To use the new PayPal credit, you must pay via PayPal with your Amex Platinum card at checkout. Amex’s page on the PayPal credit recommends setting up your PayPal account as follows before you start to make a purchase:

  1. Create or log in to your PayPal account
  2. Go to Account Settings and select “Banks and Cards”
  3. Follow prompts to add a new card to your PayPal Wallet
  4. Add your Amex Platinum Card
  5. For the most seamless checkout experience, set your Amex Platinum Card as your preferred method of payment

Next, you need to find a merchant that allows you to pay via PayPal at checkout. Luckily, many online retailers allow you to pay via PayPal, including Target, Walmart, Home Depot and Walgreens. For example, here’s what it looks like for a Walmart purchase:

graphical user interface, application: (Image courtesy of Walmart) © The Points Guy (Image courtesy of Walmart)

When checking out at Walmart, you’d need to click on the PayPal button, log in to your PayPal account and then select your Amex Platinum Card under the “Pay With” section. Alternatively, if you didn’t add your Amex Platinum Card to your PayPal Wallet ahead of time, you can click on “Add debit or credit card” at this point.

If you have additional authorized users on your Amex Platinum account, PayPal charges made on the authorized user cards will count. However, authorized users don’t get their own $30 monthly credit. So, their purchases will count toward your $30 credit each month.

Additionally, only purchases made in U.S. dollars at U.S. merchants with a U.S. PayPal account are eligible. Person-to-person payments won’t trigger a statement credit.

Related: Why the Amex Platinum card is still in the wallets of these TPG staffers

18 ways to use the $30 monthly PayPal credit

The best way to maximize the $30 monthly PayPal credit may be to use it to cover one or more expenses you’re already incurring. Or, you can use your $30 PayPal credit to treat yourself to something you normally wouldn’t purchase. Or, you could use it as a pain-free way to help someone else. We asked current cardholders and TPG staff to share how they maximized their credit:

And if you don’t need or want to use it on yourself, you can help a charity that accepts PayPal. TPG reporter Chris Dong said, “I use it every month now to support a different friend’s charity fundraiser.”

Related: The best credit cards to maximize your charitable donation

You’ll likely find many opportunities to use the temporary PayPal credit once you start looking for merchants that accept PayPal. But, if you need more ideas, check the full list on PayPal’s website. However, remember that using your Amex Platinum for these purchases isn’t enough. Instead, you must pay via PayPal with your American Express Platinum card at checkout.

If you have any doubts about whether your purchase will trigger a statement credit, I recommend making your purchase early in the month and then watching for the statement credit. Reports show that the pending charge will initially list the merchant name. However, once the charge posts, the transaction will indicate payment via PayPal. Most cardholders report Amex posted their statement credit within a few days of their purchase posting.

Related: How one TPG staffer is saving $500 this January with his Amex Platinum

Bottom line

Once you realize how many merchants allow payment via PayPal, you should have no trouble using Amex Platinum‘s temporary $30 per month PayPal statement credit. Best case, you’ll be able to use this credit to pay for expenses you’d already be incurring — or you can even use it as an easy way to help someone else via a charity donation.

Even if you can’t think of anything to buy with your monthly credit, you still have options. For example, you could reload a Starbucks card or order food delivery. In short, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be getting $30 of value from this temporary perk that will stick around for two more months.

Additional reporting by Stella Shon.

Featured image by Cavan Images/Getty Images.

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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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