PSA: How statement credit usage affects AMEX Platinum Charge cancellations

While spending the current year's statement credits does not preclude you from cancelling your AMEX Platinum Charge, it's highly advisable you spend them in advance.

At the start of 2023, the AMEX Platinum Charge launched a new set of annual statement credits worth S$1,354 a year, which replaced the previous S$800 airline and hotel statement credits.

The new statement credits can be used on local and overseas dining, shopping at participating retail partners, streaming subscriptions, and Singapore Airlines or Scoot tickets.

💳 The Platinum Card Annual Statement Credits
Credit Amt. Min. Spend No. of Trxns.
Local Dining S$200 per yr. N/A Multiple
Overseas Dining S$200 per yr. N/A Multiple
Lifestyle S$400 per yr. S$600 Single
Entertainment S$17 per mo. N/A Multiple
Airline S$200 per yr. S$600 Multiple
Fashion S$150 per yr. N/A Multiple

I’ve covered the full details of the new statement credits and how to get the most out of them in the post below. 

Guide: AMEX Platinum Charge annual S$1,354 statement credits

Now, the new statement credits are great, but they’ve also given rise to a separate issue related to card cancellation. In short, some cardholders have been told they can’t cancel their card for the upcoming membership year, because they’ve used the current calendar year’s statement credits.

Fortunately, all the cases I’m aware of have been resolved on appeal. But it’s much better to avoid this problem in the first place, so here’s what you need to be aware of. 

Statement credits and card cancellations

Here’s the bottom line: 

  • Cardholders approved from February 2023 can use both the 2023 and 2024 calendar year statement credits, without any obligation to renew their card for the 2024-2025 membership year
  • Cardholders approved before February 2023 can use the 2023 calendar year statement credits, without any obligation to renew their card for the 2023-2024 membership year

However, some cardholders in the second group have reported being denied when attempting to cancel their cards. I took a closer look at some of these cases, and realised what they all had in common was that they used some of the 2023 calendar year statement credits after the annual fee for 2023-2024 was charged. For whatever reason, American Express’ system is set up in a way that does not allow CSOs to process cancellations in such situations, barring internal review.

Therefore, cardholders should make it a point to use their statement credits before the annual fee is posted to the card. This takes place on the last day of your statement cycle; for example:

  • My membership year runs from October to September
  • My statement cycle runs from the 15th to the 14th of the following month
  • My annual fee is billed on 14 October each year

Two examples to illustrate the situation:

Example 1:

  • Cardholder A’s membership year runs from July to June, and statement cycle from the 12th to the 11th of the following month
  • Prior to July, he has already consumed all his 2023 calendar year statement credits (except Entertainment, which is awarded monthly)
  • On 11 July 2023, his annual fee for July 2023 to June 2024 is charged
  • He calls up to cancel; there should be no issues doing so

Example 2: 

  • Cardholder B’s membership year runs from July to June, and statement cycle from the 12th to the 11th of the following month
  • He still has some unused 2023 calendar year statement credits for local dining
  • On 11 July 2023, his annual fee for July 2023 to June 2024 is charged
  • On 15 July 2023, he finishes spending his 2023 calendar year local dining credits, then calls up to cancel
  • He will need to raise an appeal for cancellation, which is subject to internal review

Note that it doesn’t mean Cardholder B definitely can’t cancel his card; it’s just that he has the extra aggravation of having to appeal. This could have been avoided, had he spent his credits prior to 11 July 2023. 

When deciding whether statement credits have been used after the annual fee is posted, American Express refers to the transaction date, not the posting date or the date the statement credit is reflected. Therefore, you don’t need to worry about late posting of transactions or statement credits; so long as the transaction date comes before the annual fee posting date, you’re safe. 

Be careful with Entertainment credits

Entertainment Credit
Awarded Per calendar month
Minimum Spend None

Some of you might have jumped ahead to the next question: what about entertainment credits? Entertainment credits are somewhat unique because they’re awarded every calendar month, as opposed to calendar year.

This can present a unique problem. Consider Example 3:

  • Cardholder C’s membership year runs from July to June, and statement cycle from the 12th to the 11th of the following month
  • He has put his Netflix subscription on the AMEX Platinum Charge with a recurring billing arrangement 
  • In 11 July 2023, his annual fee for July 2023 to June 2024 is charged
  • On 13 July 2023, the Netflix monthly subscription is automatically charged
  • On 15 July 2023, he calls up to cancel. He will need to raise an appeal, which is subject to internal review

To avoid a situation like this from happening, I’d recommend swapping out your AMEX Platinum Charge for a different card the month before your annual fee comes due, unless you’re very sure your subscription charge will come before the annual fee posts. 

Conclusion

AMEX Platinum Charge cardholders who do not wish to renew their card for the upcoming membership year should be careful not to spend their statement credits after the annual fee has posted, as doing so will result in complications when seeking a card cancellation. Do exercise care with the Entertainment credit in particular, since the auto-billing arrangement can easily slip your mind.

Apart from that, however, spending your statement credits does not create an obligation to renew. Spend them in good health!

Aaron Wong
Aaron Wong
Aaron founded The Milelion to help people travel better for less and impress chiobu. He was 50% successful.

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Rocky

Any chance that Amex can change its policy next year, once they have lot of people trapped under this. Seems bit too risky when it’s not a clearly defined policy.

NinjaLZG

How do we check if we have used that particular credit for that calendar year/month?

Hedge Ant

Just a thought experiment; doesn’t this allow triple-dipping in a scenario below?
– Card approved on 20 Dec 2023.
– 1st annual fee will be charged on the end of 1st statement month, say 19 Jan 2024.
– 2nd annual fee will be charged on the end of 13th statement month, say 19 Jan 2025
– Cardholder receives the 2023 credits and have a couple of days to spend them
– Cardholder receives the 2024 credits and have a full year to spend them
– Cardholder receives the 2025 credits and have ~ 2 weeks to spend them

K C

I am actually in a very similar scenario where I applied at the beginning of the year for the $800 travel credits, used the 2023 statement credits and have a few weeks of 2024 to use the credits. There is a good chance I’ll be canceling the card (not traveling much next year unfortunately) and hopefully it should go through.

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