Testing Out Using 2021 AMEX Airline Fee Credit Uses, How Will You Use Yours?

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Update: Airline fee credit for United TravelBank funding started working for me again last week! Allow up to 5 days for the credit to post to your account. TravelBank funds are valid for at least 5 years.

Originally posted on 2/3:

There are 4 AMEX cards that give a credit to use for incidental fees on the airline of your choice.

While Chase Sapphire Reserve allows you to use travel credit for anything travel related  (or even gas and groceries currently), AMEX is far more restrictive.

You need to register with a specific airline before spending. After you register for an airline you can officially only change your airline in January. However I have had success changing the airline by chatting with AMEX online. 

You can choose to register for the following airlines:

  • Alaska
  • American
  • Delta
  • Frontier
  • Hawaiian
  • JetBlue
  • Southwest
  • Spirit
  • United

Note that if you have a Business Platinum card, the airline you choose will also be the airline that will give you 35% of your points back when redeeming for coach travel. You may want to hold off on spending the $200 until the end of the year if you want to be able to change the airline more easily during the year. You also get back 35% of your points on all airlines in business and first class redemptions without having to register for an airline.

Unfortunately gift cards no longer count for this credit.

But there are plenty of other ways to use your credit.

Tickets under $99 have long been reported to get reimbursement, though those have always been YMMV (Your mileage may vary).

But with airlines like Alaska, JetBlue, and United offering TravelBank credit for when you don’t want to take a flight, it seemed like it was worth trying that out.

Alaska doesn’t fly to Cleveland, so I registered my AMEX Platinum consumer card for United, and my AMEX Platinum business card for JetBlue.

I bought a ticket on JetBlue from JFK to Los Angeles for $98.40 and it was reimbursed with the airline fee credit in just 2 days:


After that it was easy to cancel the ticket and refund it into JetBlue TravelBank funds thanks to the current free change policy. With JetBlue, those funds are valid for 1 year from the date of redeposit and funds can be used for anyone. That policy is currently valid through 2/28/21.


Readers also report that Southwest tickets under $99 are also reimbursed. You can use those funds for a year, though funds can only be used by the passenger.

Last year I tried a $98.10 United flight and that did not get reimbursed, though United cancelled the flight and I was able to get it refunded.

I discovered last year that their TravelBank worked for reimbursement, but unfortunately it now codes as a gift certificate purchase and no longer gets reimbursed.


These are the charges that have been reported to count for airline fee credit:

  • Airline tickets of any amount purchased with partial payment on your credit card and partial payment on an airline voucher, gift card, or Travelbank are typically reimbursed.
  • Airline tickets under $99 are sometimes reimbursed. JetBlue and Southwest should work best.
  • American WiFi monthly plan
  • Award redeposit and change fees from airline of your choice.
  • Baggage fees from airline of your choice.
  • Buying extra miles or mileage multiplier offered with a ticket purchase online or at a kiosk.
  • Flight change fees from airline of your choice.
  • Food and drinks on the plane from airline of your choice.
  • Food and drinks in a club from airline of your choice.
  • Lounge access and club pass fees from airline of your choice.
  • Phone reservation fees from airline of your choice.
  • Pet fees.
  • Seat selection fees and Economy Plus fees from airline of your choice.
  • Standby fees from airline of your choice.
  • AA 500 mile upgrades.
  • $9 Spirit Fare Club Membership.
  • United Economy Plus upgrades and Economy Plus Subscriptions.
  • United Farelock.
  • United WiFi Subscription Purchases And Gifts.
  • United WiFi on mainline planes.
  • United TravelBank funding.

What airline fees have you been credited for on your AMEX card in 2021?

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60 Comments On "Testing Out Using 2021 AMEX Airline Fee Credit Uses, How Will You Use Yours?"

All opinions expressed below are user generated and the opinions aren’t provided, reviewed or endorsed by any advertiser or DansDeals.


“I discovered last year that their gift registry worked for reimbursement, but unfortunately it now codes as a gift certificate purchase and no longer gets reimbursed.” This links to travel bank, is that what you meant? In that case you might want to remove it from the list of items that work.


I already used it for my united travel bank this year and was reimbursed several days later


I used it for United Travel Bank on 1/15/21 and never received the credit, when chatted with Amex they asked if it was for a ticket when I responded “yes” their reply was: We can only refund can only be refunded for these charges:

Airport lounge membership fees
Airport lounge passes
Baggage fees
Change fees
In-flight food and beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic)


Delta $5.60 domestic tax worked for me

Dan is the Man

Does anyone have experience with BANK OF AMERICA PREMIUM REWARDS CARD $100 airline reimbursement. I have searched for answers and post without much luck…..would love to know, thank you in advance for your help.


IME it worked for taxes on mileage tickets


Worked on a regular ticket as well back in July


Worked on United travel bank 2x$50 on 12/31/20. Re-imbursed next statement.

Mr. CC

When does their year start?
Jan 1/Dec bill/Jan bill

Mr. CC

I used it in December for United travel bank and got refunded.


I booked a $58.40 JetBlue ticket (JFK-FLL) and then cancelled it later the same day. The debit posted to my Amex gold account and subsequently Amex credited it toward the annual airline fee credit. I also got the refund, so I am not sure if they will reverse the credit due to the refund.


Yes and you will lose the credit. Always take the airline credit and not a refund. You are wasting the airline reimbursement, it will not come back.


I’m not sure that is 100% correct.


I’m 100% sure that is NOT correct


For many people, and certainly me, all of the stated uses, combined with the fact that they have to be with 1 airline, make this credit worthless. The United travel bank was great because the funds wouldn’t expire but that was killed off a few weeks ago. The JetBlue route described in the post isn’t appealing (to me) because 1) it’s JetBlue and 2) the funds expire after a year. Too bad!


The United Travel Bank did not work on the Hilton card in late 2020.


United travel bank works


No it doesn’t. Stopped working Jan 14th.


Around October I did $90 flight on Delta.
Cancelled it within 24 hours, and still got the airline credit and the refund to the cc.


Happy clawback!


I bought a $115 ticket through united. i used $100 from my travel bank(left over from last years amex credit) and the remaining $15 on my platinum card. I DID get a $15 credit on my amex statement the next day. seems that a combo of travel bank and credit card might trigger the amex credit????


just to clarify my comment above. i got my $15 statement credit after jan 20th 2021.


According to a post I saw on a travel website, you can now buy a United basic Econ ticket & upgrade afterwards to a regular Econ ticket. I would think This upgrade should work for this credit


Purchased lounge membership in late Dec and never got reimbursed. Call AmEx last night and the agent added the credit. Used Aspire card.


Paid for 2 separate one way Jetblue tickets @ 98.40 each from NYC to LAX on Feb 8 and still haven’t received the credit back. Does it pay to call to get the credit?


@DAN . How confident are you that it will work?I don’t want end up paying for the
Credit .Thank you in advance!


Net payment to Avis for rent-a-car? How is it possible that they didn’t pay you to rent?


so just buy 200 dollars straight out for the travel bank funds or should we buy 99 for 2 trasnactions? thank you


Just another data point that this just worked for me. Purchased March 1, reimbursed March 5th.


Does United Travel Bank Funding still work for incidental Airline credit with AMEX? Today is 4/30/2021

Hyde Baker

Could anyone share success story in June 2021? thank you!


If I purchase tickets using travel bank credit do I get the free checked bag from my united credit card?


Travel bank still working? Anyone have recent success?


Just worked for me.


Anyone can confirm if United Travelbank still working?


Yes. I’m wondering the same


Worked, today 10/20.
Will someone post simple instructions how to add funds?
I found it very complicated to get to screen, that you can add funds.


Skip. See link above.

meir GREEN

can you please clarify if its still working?


Working as of 10/20.
Use link in “Update” above.