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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available.
Earlier this month, American Express added several new limited-time benefits to its card lineup, focusing primarily on its travel cards, whose perks have become harder to use in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. The issuer has now officially launched another new perk that was announced at that time, but is rolling it out to all of its US consumer cards, not just the travel ones.
Starting May 18, all American Express US personal card members can get a complimentary 1-year premium membership to Calm, a sleep and meditation app. The premium membership normally costs $69.99 per year. After the first year is over, card members can get a second year at 50% off with an automatic renewal.
Calm is a popular meditation and sleep app, and was named Apple’s App of the Year in 2017. It’s available for both iOS and Android phones, as well as in a web browser version, and currently has a user rating of 4.8 out of 5 in Apple’s App Store.
The app features guided meditations, breathing exercises, soundscapes and even celebrities such as Matthew McConaughey reading sleep stories.
“Our partnership with American Express will introduce Calm to millions of people at a time when mental fitness practices are needed the most,” said Calm Chief Product and Growth Officer Dun Wang.
To access this complimentary membership, Amex card members will need to visit Calm.com/Amex and create a Calm account or log into their existing one. You’ll then be asked to enter a valid American Express card number to verify your eligibility, though you won’t be charged for the first year.
American Express business cards are not included in this offer, so you’ll need a personal card like the Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express or the American Express® Green Card, just to name a few. Amex’s airline and hotel credit cards such as the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card and the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card are also eligible.
It’s important to note that by activating your complimentary Calm premium membership, your Amex card information is saved, and you’ll be billed automatically at the end of your complimentary year for a second year unless you cancel ahead of time. Cancellations can be done via the “Manage Subscription” section of the app.
Interestingly, while Amex business cards aren’t eligible for this offer, American Express corporate cards are included. So if your employer has issued you an Amex corporate card, you can use it to activate the complimentary year, though you’ll need to enter a second credit card to be used for automatic billing starting after the first year.
The terms and conditions also note that this offer isn’t available to people who already have an active premium Calm membership. However, Amex card members have until Sept. 30, 2020 to sign up for the free year, so if your current Calm premium membership is expiring between now and then, you might consider letting it terminate and then using the complimentary year offer.
Meditation and breathing techniques can be especially valuable during stressful times like these, so this free 1-year membership is a useful addition to Amex’s portfolio of personal cards. While you’re not likely to run out and sign up for a new Amex card just for this perk, having it adds additional value and helps Amex differentiate itself from its competitors.
Don’t have an American Express card? You can still find apps that will help you meditate and sleep, and many of them offer free basic versions (though you’ll likely have to pay for the full complement of features). Check out more of CNN Underscored’s recent coverage of meditation and sleep apps here:
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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
Note: While the offers mentioned above are accurate at the time of publication, they’re subject to change at any time and may have changed, or may no longer be available.