When AMEX revamped the Gold Card, the annual fee went up to $250. To remove some of the pain of the higher fee, AMEX added a $10 monthly dining credit to the card. This trick worked well for them when they increased the fee for the Platinum card to $550 while adding statement credits for UBER and then for Saks.
I strongly disagree that these credits decrease the annual fee because they’re nothing like cash. The more restrictions on the benefit, the less likely you will use it every month and AMEX puts plenty of restrictions on these credits. While AMEX says the Gold Card has a “Dining Credit,” you only get $10 back after eating at Ruth’s Chris Steak House, The Cheesecake Factory, participating Shake Shack locations or by ordering through Grubhub or Seamless.
To be technical for a second, do you really “dine at” Grubhub or Seamless? Back to the limited use of the credit.
We don’t use food delivery services often and don’t eat at any of the selected restaurants, not to mention having to go there once a month to use the credit. We already will need to order from UBER Eats to use the $10 UBER Cash credit the Gold Card provides.
Well played, American Express.
Guess what? You don’t have to eat an overpriced steak, hamburger or cheesecake to get your $10 credit. All you need to do is order things you’re already using at home.
The hidden merchant for the $10 monthly dining credit is BOXED!
Participating partners are Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Boxed, and participating Shake Shack locations. Excludes Shake Shack locations in ballparks, stadiums, airports and racetracks.
Long-time AMEX cardholders may be familiar with Boxed as they constantly offer rebates via AMEX Offers. Boxed sells bulk items, much like you’d find at a warehouse club but through the mail. Items like snacks, groceries, personal care, baby and home and office are sold at discount prices.
I recently put in an order, making sure to go over $49 so I’d be able to take advantage of free shipping. The AMEX dining credit posted a few days later.
Even more interesting is that my order from Boxed earned 4x Membership Rewards points. I’m not sure if it’s considered a grocery store or dining, but I’m not complaining.
Am I going to order $50 a month from Boxed just to get my $10 credit? Probably not. But I’ll be able to use it a few times a year. In the other months, I’ll try to make sure I order lunch from Grubhub or Seamless.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary