How to turn your AMEX Platinum $200 Voucher into Cash
Every calendar year, your Canadian AMEX Platinum card [this is a referral] is issued with a $200 travel voucher. To use this voucher, you must book travel with AMEX Travel Services. Personally, I find AMEX Travel Services to be way overpriced, especially for hotels. With this trick, you can convert your $200 travel voucher into a straight-up statement credit, without the need to use it for AMEX’s overpriced travel services.
When using your travel voucher, the system will charge your account the full price of the reservation, and then apply a $200 credit. Essentially what we’re doing is forcing the $200 credit, while being refunded/not charged for travel expenses.
First, login to your AMEX account online. After logging in, click on “Travel”. In the right-hand corner of the page, you should see a notation for a $200 travel credit. If so, you can use the voucher online. Sometimes the voucher doesn’t appear online, and you’ll have to call AMEX travel to use the voucher.
Search for a hotel somewhere at a date late in the future. Ensure the room you’re booking is refundable. Book it, making sure you apply the $200 voucher. The pre-tax total has to be above $200 to use the voucher. If you’re booking over the phone, research the refundable hotels first and direct the agent accordingly.
When booking online, make sure the “Membership Points Used” section is set to zero – the system tries to automatically apply your points as payments, which is not a good idea.
Once booked, wait a couple days. On your online account, you should see the $200 travel voucher applied. The travel charges may or may not apply, depending on the vendor used.
Once you see the $200 travel voucher applied, call AMEX travel on the phone number indicated in the confirmation email. Refund your booking. They will refund the travel charges/make sure you’re not charged by the vendor, but the $200 travel credit will remain on the account. Now you’ve converted the $200 travel credit into cash!
This is a relatively well known trick, and has even been promoted by AMEX representatives before. Whether or not AMEX frowns upon it, I don’t know, but this trick has been used for years without problems.