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Monthly checklist: Credit card perks and benefits you should be using in October

The Points Guy 10/3/2022 Ryan Smith
MSN has partnered with The Points Guy for our coverage of credit card products. MSN and The Points Guy may receive a commission from card issuers.

Depending on how many credit cards you have, your list of benefits and perks to use each month can be pretty overwhelming. Are you going to remember to use each and every one of them to maximize the value of your credit cards? Likely not.

Rather than trying to keep track of all of them on your own, we’ve compiled a monthly checklist of credit card perks and benefits you might be eligible for. This should take the guesswork out of what benefits you have, when they expire and the maximum value of a particular benefit.

Here are some important reminders for the month of October.

In This Post

American Express

There are numerous monthly credit card perks that you should be using since Amex offers many of its statement credits as monthly amounts rather than a one-time benefit each year. It’s important to note that these values are “up to” amounts, meaning this is the maximum you will receive in statement credits. If you spend less than this amount, you will be reimbursed only for that lower amount.

Additionally, the Uber credits will disappear from your account if unused by the end of the month.

All of that is to say these are not benefits you can roll over or put in your pocket for later. They are “use it or lose it” credits.

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The Platinum Card® from American Express

  • $12.95 Walmart+ monthly membership: Pay with your card then receive reimbursement in statement credits. Here’s how to enroll. Plus Ups are excluded. Note that some readers have reported their credits for the past couple of months not posting. It is worth checking your statement and requesting any missing credits be applied. The easiest way to do this is via Amex chat.
  • $15 Uber credits: This can be used for Uber rides or on Uber Eats orders in the U.S. Simply add your card to your Uber account as a payment method to receive this benefit.
  • Up to $20 digital entertainment credit: This can be used for the Disney Bundle, Disney+, Hulu, ESPN+, Peacock, The New York Times, Audible and SiriusXM. Enrollment is required in advance. Here’s how to use this benefit. (Note that Disney Bundle, Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ prices are all increasing between August and December 2022.)
  • $25 Equinox credit: Applies to monthly plans including Equinox All Access, Destination, E by Equinox and the Equinox+ app. Enrollment is required in advance. Here’s how to use this benefit.

While not a monthly benefit, cardholders also receive two spending credits with Saks Fifth Avenue credit on the Amex Platinum each year. From July 1 through Dec. 31 each year, you’ll receive up to $50 in statement credits (your ability to use the separate $50 credit from Jan. 1 to June 30 has ended and will come around again in 2023). You have from now to the end of the year to use the second installment of this credit. Enrollment is required in advance. Using these benefits and statement credits can help to offset the card’s $695 annual fee (see rates and fees)

Related: 10 things to do when you get the Amex Platinum

Official application link: The Platinum Card from American Express

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express

  • Up to $10 wireless credits: Pay for an eligible mobile service and receive a statement credit of up to $10. Enrollment is required in advance.

The Business Platinum Card doesn’t award credits at Saks or with Uber, but cardholders do receive up to $400 in statement credits every year for Dell purchases. This is split up into $200 in credits from January-June and another $200 from July-December. If you didn’t remember to use the credit in the first half of the year, remember to use the second installment. You have until the end of this year. Enrollment is required in advance.

Related: 9 things to do when you get the Amex Business Platinum Card

Official application link: The Business Platinum Card from American Express

American Express® Gold Card

  • Up to $10 Uber credits: Like the perk on the Platinum Card, this applies to Uber rides and Uber Eats orders in the U.S. Add your card to your Uber account as a payment method to receive this benefit — and note that it can stack with the monthly credit on the Amex Platinum if you have both cards. Here’s how to use this benefit.
  • Up to $10 dining credits: Use your card to pay at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, participating Shake Shack locations, Wine.com, Goldbelly and Milk Bar to receive up to $10 in statement credits monthly. Enrollment is required in advance. Here’s how to use this benefit.

Related: Amex Gold checklist: 4 things to do when you first get the card

Official application link: American Express Gold Card

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card

  • Up to $25 in monthly dining credits: This card now offers dining credits each month at restaurants worldwide, rather than Marriott spending credits each year. For existing cardholders, if you’ve already used your $300 in Marriott credits this year, you can now use the dining credits.

Official application link: Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card

Chase

Select Chase credit cards offer perks from month to month, and many of those have now reset.

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Chase Sapphire Reserve

  • $5 DoorDash credits: When you add your Sapphire Reserve card as a payment method in your DoorDash account, Chase will add $5 in credits at the beginning of each month (this started in April 2022 and runs through December 2024). You can roll over a maximum of three months of credits, so if you didn’t use last month’s credit (or the one in August), you could now have up to $15 to use. Note that these credits are in addition to the free DashPass membership the card provides.

Official application link: Chase Sapphire Reserve

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

  • Annual $50 hotel credit: Cardholders can take advantage of a $50 hotel credit when booking through the Chase travel portal. This benefit is based on your cardmember year. You can read more about how to use this benefit in our guide on how to the Sapphire Preferred’s $50 hotel credit.

Official application link: Chase Sapphire Preferred

Chase Freedom (not open to new applicants) and Chase Freedom Flex

  • 5% cash back: Each quarter, you can earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined spending on rotating categories. Current categories include PayPal and Walmart. You must activate your categories to enjoy the higher earning rates. The current quarter ends on Dec. 31, so you have until the end of the year to maximize these earnings.

Remember that, even though the Freedom cards are technically cash back products, you can turn these earnings into fully-transferable Ultimate Rewards points if you also have a premium Chase card like the Sapphire Preferred or Sapphire Reserve.

The information for the Chase Freedom card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Official application link: Chase Freedom Flex

Numerous Chase cards

  • $10 Gopuff credits: Get a statement credit of up to $10 each month when paying for a Gopuff order with one of the many available cards. This perk runs through Dec. 31, 2023. Note that there are order minimums.
  • Instacart credits: Depending on which card(s) you have from Chase, you can receive statement credits after purchasing from Instacart — in addition to possibly getting a free Instacart+ membership. Eligible credits are as follows:
    • Up to $15 per month in statement credits: Chase Sapphire Reserve and J.P. Morgan Reserve Card.*
    • Up to $15 per quarter in statement credits: Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire.*
    • Up to $10 per quarter in statement credits: Chase Freedom Unlimited, Chase Freedom Flex, Chase Freedom* and Chase Freedom Student.

Related: Get $10 per eligible Chase card in monthly food and alcohol delivery credits

*The information for these cards has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Citi

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Citi® Dividend Card (not open to new applicants)

  • 5% cash back: Each quarter, you can earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined spending on rotating categories, then unlimited 1% cash back. Remember to activate your categories, which include restaurants and travel, including airline, hotel, cruise and travel agency purchases. This category is active through Dec. 31, 2022.

The information for the Citi Dividend has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Discover

Discover it® Cash Back

  • 5% cash back: Each quarter, you can earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined spend on rotating categories, then unlimited 1% cash back. Remember to activate your categories, which include Amazon.com and digital wallets through Dec. 31, 2022.

The information for the Discover it has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

U.S. Bank

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U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card

  • 5% cash back: Each quarter, you can earn 5% cash back on up to $2,000 in combined spending on rotating categories, then an unlimited 1% back on other purchases. You must choose your categories from the available options each quarter, and you need to activate them for the bonus to apply. The current quarter ends on Dec. 31 and categories include:
    • Cellphone providers.
    • Department stores.
    • Electronics stores.
    • Fast food.
    • Furniture stores.
    • Ground transportation.
    • Gyms/fitness centers.
    • Home utilities.
    • Movie theaters.
    • Select clothing stores.
    • Sporting goods stores.
    • TV, internet and streaming services.

Official application link: U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature

World Elite Mastercards

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World Elite Mastercards

Numerous banks issue World Elite Mastercards. Common products under this umbrella include the Citi Premier® Card, IHG Rewards Premier Credit Card and Chase Freedom Flex. Here’s what cardholders can use each month on these cards:

  • $5 in monthly Lyft credit after three rides: Use your card as the payment method in your account and get a $5 Lyft credit after taking three rides in a calendar month. This benefit runs through March 31, 2024.

Related: The 8 most valuable World Elite Mastercard benefits

Bottom line

Using the perks and benefits on your credit cards is key to maximizing their value and justifying the annual fee you pay to keep the card open. Some credit cards make this easy, offering your benefits as a one-time perk to use over the course of the year. Other benefits need to be used in monthly increments, and it can be easy to forget some of these.

Hopefully, this checklist of credit card perks will help you remember to use them now that a new month has arrived.

Additional reporting by Benji Stawski.

For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum card, click here.

SPONSORED: With states reopening, enjoying a meal from a restaurant no longer just means curbside pickup.

And when you do spend on dining, you should use a credit card that will maximize your rewards and potentially even score special discounts. Thanks to temporary card bonuses and changes due to coronavirus, you may even be able to score a meal at your favorite restaurant for free. 

These are the best credit cards for dining out, taking out, and ordering in to maximize every meal purchase.

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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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