Amex Triple Dip
Many Amex credit cards offer statement credits that can be used year round to help offset the card's annual fee. These include Uber credits, airline incidental credits, hotel credits, and shopping credits for merchants such as Saks Fifth Avenue and Dell. In this post, we explain why timing your application in December can help maximize some of these credits before your second annual fee is due. This is what many of us in the award travel community refer to as the Amex Triple Dip.
Calendar Year Credits
Credit card benefits usually are based on the calendar year or card year. Calendar year benefits can be used once between every January 1 and December 31. Meanwhile, card year is defined by when you open the credit card. For example, if you open a card on September 1, that card’s annual benefits can be used once between every September 1 and August 31. Thankfully, a lot of Amex credits revolve around the calendar year instead of card year. This innocuous factor opens up the opportunity for the Amex Triple Dip.
Based on this, you can see why calendar year bonuses can be so valuable. If you open a card in January that has a calendar year benefit, you’ll have over 11 months to use that card’s annual benefit. While it can be nice to have a lot of time to use the benefit, it also means you’ll have to wait a lot longer to use it again. Compare this to opening that same card in December. You’ll only have a few days to use the benefit, but starting on January 1, you can use that benefit once again, and once more the following year. This is how you get to triple dip the credits with Amex.
Amex Triple Dip: How Much Can You Earn?
Many Amex cards offer generous credits based on calendar year. This handy chart displays some of the most useful credits, showing how much you can earn before having to pay the second annual fee on your new card, if you open the card in December. All of these credits are based on calendar month, quarter, or year.
|Card||Credit||Breakdown||Amount received |
with Amex Triple Dip
|Amex Gold||$10 dining |
|Amex Platinum||$15 Uber/UberEats Jan. – Nov. ($35 for Dec.)|
$20 monthly digital entertainment
$50 Saks Fifth Avenue
$200 airline incidental
$200 Fine Hotels & Resorts or The Hotel Collection
|Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express||$25 dining||Monthly||$350|
|Amex Business Platinum||$10 U.S. wireless|
$200 Dell Credit
$200 airline incidental
|Amex Business Gold||$20 at office supply stores, FedEx, or Grubhub||Monthly||$280|
|Amex Hilton Aspire||$200 resort credit|
$50 airline credit
|Amex Hilton Surpass||$50 Hilton credit||Quarterly||$300|
Wondering how we calculate the amounts for the Amex Triple Dip in the far right column? Let’s walk through the math, using the Uber/UberEats credits from the personal Platinum card (everyone's favorite coupon book).
If I open the card in December 2023, I will immediately receive the $35 Uber/UberEats credit for December. I will then have access to the full $200 throughout 2024. The second annual fee on my new Platinum card should post in December 2024, but that statement will only close in January 2025. So, starting on January 1, 2025, I’ll have access to another $15 monthly Uber credit. $35 + $200 + $15 = $250. This single benefit covers over a third of the Platinum’s $695 annual fee!
This same rationale applies to the other credits in the chart above. To see how much value you can earn, simply take the amount of credits you can use in December, and add the amount of credits for the entire next calendar year, along with any credits that can be used in January after that.
Amex Triple Dip: ToP Thoughts
If you have been eyeing a particular Amex card, December is likely the best time to apply so you can take advantage of the Amex Triple Dip. I would not deviate from my gameplan just to squeeze a few extra dollars out of an Amex card, nor would I disregard 5/24 for this. But if an Amex card is next on your list, then pulling the trigger before the end of the year likely makes the most sense.