Don’t leave your money on the table by forgetting this simple step.
the main points
- Many American Express card benefits require registration to activate.
- You can register online or in the mobile application in just a few minutes.
- Most benefits only require one time registration, you are good for life.
If you’re big on rewards cards, you likely have at least one American Express card on your wishlist or in your wallet already. American Express offers many popular reward cards, including some of the most sought-after travel cards.
One of the things that makes American Express cards really special is that they often have a long list of perks and benefits. These can range from airport lounge access to lucrative statement balances.
Unfortunately, many of the great perks that come with American Express cards aren’t automatic. You need to activate or register for some perks and features to actually use them. If you forget this crucial step, you could lose a lot of value.
How to activate your benefits
On the plus side, it’s very easy to activate all of your benefits. You can do this through your online account, either through a browser or the great American Express mobile app.
In the browser, log into your American Express account and select the card you want. Choose “Rewards and Benefits” from the menu, then select the “Benefits” tab. Here, you will see all the benefits available to you.
The process in the application is similar. Log in to the app and select the correct card. Next, go to the “Membership” tab. Click the “Explore All Features” box to see a list of available features.
To register, click “Register Now” for the appropriate benefit. Benefits you have already registered a check mark will appear and say “Registered”.
Most privileges that require some type of registration only require you to do so once. Depending on which card you have, this may include:
- Disclosure of credits
- Uber cash
- arrival terminal
- Elite status hotel
- ShopRunner Membership
Once you are registered for these benefits, you do not need to do anything else. You will remain logged in as long as your account remains open and the feature continues to apply.
One benefit you might see on an American Express Travel Rewards Card is the airline fee credit. This feature provides statement credits for eligible airline expenses such as checked baggage and in-flight food or beverage purchases.
The airline fee credit, similar to other benefits, requires registration to activate. But there is a little more to this feature: you also need to choose your airline. The benefit applies only to incidentals from one selected airline per year. Once you choose your airline, you cannot change it again until January of next year.
Technically, you just need to To do this once. You can choose an airline and keep that choice for as long as you enjoy the benefits. However, it may be a good idea to assess your needs each new year to see if you can benefit from changing your chosen airline.
One perk that is often overlooked when discussing American Express reward cards are the Amex offerings. Each card contains a list of over 100 retailers and partner deals that can unlock great discounts or valuable credits.
As with the other perks, you have to do some work to enjoy it. Specifically, you need to add each offer to your card. Then, you can simply make an eligible purchase with that card and reap the rewards.
Since individual offers need to be added to your card, and offers change regularly, it’s a good idea to scope out new offers once a week or so. There is no known limit to the number of offers you can add to a card, so don’t be shy!
Keep in mind that you can only add an offer to one card. So if you see the same offer on multiple cards, just add it to the one that will give you the best value. For example, if you receive an offer for bonus points at your favorite restaurant, add it to your American Express card with most bonus points on restaurant purchases.
While many of the perks we mentioned require a little work on your part, some of the cardholder perks are automatic. For example, purchase rewards that you earn with American Express cards are automatically applied when you make an eligible purchase.
Additionally, if your card comes with some travel insurance benefits, such as lost baggage coverage or flight insurance, you don’t need to register or activate anything to get coverage. All you have to do is make eligible purchases with your card. However, you will need to file a claim as you would with other types of insurance such as auto or home insurance.
Signing up for benefits is a little annoying – but it’s worth it. The process takes about five minutes when you first get your card, with some minor maintenance afterward. Depending on your card and your perks, these could be some of the most valuable 5 minutes you’ll ever spend.
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