Here Is How I Used My 2019 AMEX Airline Fee Credit, How Will You Use Yours?

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DansDeals will receive compensation if you are approved for a credit card via a link in this post. Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers, visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

Update: Don’t forget to use your 2019 credit before the end of the year!


Originally posted on 7/23:

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

You can use this link to check how much of your AMEX airline fee credit has been used. Just login and click on your eligible card.

While Chase Sapphire Reserve allows you to use travel credit for anything travel related, including tickets on any airline, 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.

The screenshot below has some of the recent activity on my Platinum card.

$50 Saks gift cards are still being reimbursed without a problem:

 

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

On July 1st I redeemed JetBlue points for a ticket from Cleveland to Fort Lauderdale for my brother’s son’s bris. I bought an extra legroom seat and put it on my Platinum card to be reimbursed as an airline fee.

The next day the price of the ticket went down. Officially JetBlue doesn’t allow for cancellations for tickets booked within 7 days of travel. The workaround for that is to buy your ticket via Priceline, which has no such restrictions, but that doesn’t help for award travel. However if your ticket price goes down within 5 days of booking, JetBlue will give you credit for the difference. They don’t have a way to give a credit for the points difference, so they just refunded the points and said to book it again.

In the meantime I got a reader tip that the airline fee credit was working for paid tickets that are only partially paid for on your credit card. In other words if you pay for part of a ticket via gift card or travel credit and part on your credit card, then the part of the ticket paid on your credit card will be considered an airline fee and get credited back.

I had a few dollars in my JetBlue TravelBank from a previous trip, so I used that and bought the ticket for $123.98 on my Platinum card. I also bought the extra legroom seat again.

I got credited back for both $41 extra legroom charges and for the ticket price with the remaining $118 in credit that I had left for the year, for a total of $200 in 2019 refunds.

Best of all the price dropped afterward again, so JetBlue credited that price drop to my TravelBank for future use!

Now, I expect that I’ll get charged back for the $41 extra legroom charge on my original ticket as JetBlue refunded that charge as well. But it’s great to know that partial payments on a ticket is another way to use the airline fee credit.

This is also working for other airlines as well, just use a gift card or travel credit along with your credit card for partial payment on a ticket to get an airline fee reimbursed!

Aside from partial payments for tickets, these other charges also have been reported to count for airline fee credit:

  • Airline tickets under $99
  • Award redeposit and change fees from airline of your choice.
  • Baggage fees from airline of your choice.
  • 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.
  • Delta Skymiles Select.
  • $9 Spirit Fare Club Membership.
  • United Economy Plus upgrades and Economy Plus Subscriptions.
  • United WiFi Subscription Purchases And Gifts.
  • United WiFi on mainline planes.
  • Buying extra miles or mileage multiplier offered with a ticket purchase online or at a kiosk.

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

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193 Comments On "Here Is How I Used My 2019 AMEX Airline Fee Credit, 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.

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Stewart Nemiro

Dan.. That is great information! Thank you!!

Leah

So just confirming, no gift cards for ANY airlines are eligible for the travel credit? I’ve had issues with American Airlines GC’s, but not Southwest GC’s, which I’ve purchased back in February. Are they now ALL ineligible for the credit?

For Leah

All reports are that all airline GCs are dead

No Airline GC’s

Normally, I purchase GC’s, but I guess I will now have to figure something else out. Bummer!

Mark

Some people have reported that buying gift cards at a lounge (in this case, Delta SkyClub) have been being reimbursed. But 1. this is not yet confirmed, and 2. not all lounges sell gift cards.

shmo

Are delta GC’s worth anything? They wouldnt let me use them for extra baggage. And they dont let you use more than 3 of them at a time

Robert

You can use more than 3 at a time if you book your flight over the phone.

Mark

Any known lounges AA or Delta that sell GCin NYC area? Or other ideas?
Will AA or Delta airline tickets under $99.00 be credited? Hate to leave $170.00 on the table

Sara

I used last year’s and this year’s for Southwest gift cards and purchased tickets for a flight for only $50 out of pocket.

Meryl

If my kids are flying without me can they use my credit towards their bags?

Myi

Yup as long as they have an AU card or your very own card like Dan meantioned.
Doesn’t make a difference who uses it, but the first to use the credit on the account will cause the credit to be used. Whether the AU or the owner of the card.

Shliach

What happens If you order the bag online ?

Tim

“Seat selection or upgrade fees from airline of your choice.”

All reports indicate that while seat selection fees do work, upgrade fees do not if the upgrade goes into a different fare class.

shiframeir

will it work for an upgrade to comfort+ on Delta?

JohnB

Definitely works for Comfort+/economy comfort on Delta. Also will work on KLM if Delta issued your ticket.

Gaby

@Dan what happened to the post on the Delta AMEX bonus cards from the beginning of July? Can’t find it

Joe

I tried using the credit for a gift about 3 months ago, did not get the credit, the transaction was catagorized as a gift certificate, after chatting with Amex, they changed the category without asking what the transaction was for, I am not sure though it I should try it again. Good luck.

Joe

Forgot to mention was American airlines which always worked automatically for me

Amex guy

any one knows what about united FareLock?

Chaim

If I claim my 100$ credit on jetblue now and I wanna claim another 100$ on Delta, Can I just wait til January and claim the Delta? Even tho both charges were made in the same year? TIA

For Chaim

They usually don’t let you change airlines once you’ve used part of your credit

Jeff

No

Mendel

I called them, they let me change

Richard

Does ComfortPlus work?

Tip

You can also use the credit to book a pet that is traveling on your travel reservation

zow

Dan, Mazel Tov!

mh

Buy Southwest GC For $100 and sell on Card Cash for $81!

Leah

apparently, this doesn’t work anymore.

pau

when the price dropped again for the 2nd time after you payed with cash, why did they only give you jetblue travel bank? they should have given you the refund to your credit card?

el

What difference is the language implying?
“from airline of your choice” vs. “if registered for…”

el

i just reread it and got it! no need for a reply! Thanks

chaz

can anyone confirm southwest gift card status for reimbursement

Phil R

AA Gift Cards are still being reimbursed – Purchase individually, $100/$100.

YY

Would like to know how recently this was tried.

YY

Any update on when u tried this?

Ben

Dan, I got an offer to upgrade to the Hilton aspire and will receive 150k Hilton points. What are your thoughts?

Andy

Does it work for Southwest Early Bird fee?

YoniPDX

Yes, we used in October 2019

Aharon

Thanks.

JohnB

Since Delta does ticketing for KLM in the US, I have received economy comfort fees for KLM totally reimbursed.

PhilH

Hi –

I am hoping to do the same… do you mean that you had purchased a regular economy ticket and then chose a KLM economy comfort seat on the delta website and were reimbursed?

Thanks!

JohnB

Yes, exactly. Delta runs the show in the US for KLM. I had issues getting flights that I wanted. When I called KLM, Delta answers. Agent booked all my desired flights at the right fare, and the email confirmation comes from Delta. Delta is my Amex Platinum airline. Thinking that it wouldn’t work, but I wanted those economy comfort seats anyway, I go on the Delta.com and book the economy comfort seats. I check my Amex account on-line and the $200 covers almost all of the cost.

Buchir

Why is the $200 airline credit connected to the 35% rebate?

I use my credit usually by February and change my preferred airline as needed…

Mendel

I got credited for Delta gift cards in January… Bought in multiples of 50

HN

Can I be eligible for the AMEX Platinum card welcome bonus if I had the card years ago? Is there a specific number of year exclusion? Or lifetime?

chaim

123 for a round trip to florida thats a good buy

Richie

If i book a refundable flight and use the travel credit for additional baggage on the flight and then cancel the flight will i get refunded for the baggage from the airline?

Avrum

You could add a pet

Richie

Did that and got refunded from airline and got the travel credit.

Jack

I downgraded my amex business platinum to green in Feb after using the wework and airline credit. I was thinking to upgrade back to platinum in Jan but now that the gc reimbursement is not an option, the annual fee doesn’t justified it for me. The Chase Sapphire Reserve has similar benefits and is accepted in more places so good bye AMEX.

Tzvi

You were able to use wework after you downgraded?

Marc

Any update on the AA Gift Cards?

Marc

Any update in the AA Gift Cards?

VM

That’s good tp know. One check: in case of filing buggage/travel delay, etc. don’t they want to see the total fare was paid completely with one credit card?

Oedipus

My $53 AA virtual gift card was not reimbursed by Amex Platinum.

Shmuel

Hi Dan just saw your post, Does the option of paying partialy work with Delta?
I have a 693 dollar ticket and I pay 50 with a gc and the rest with my platinum card, would that trigger the 200 credit?

Nicole

I’m wondering if you did this and can confirm that it triggered the credit…thanks! I’m looking to do the same!

sergio

Any News About that? I want to do the Same!

United

I bought a $165 ticket on United, and used a $75 united voucher, so $90 was charged to the plat. Did not receive the credit for that $90. About a month ago

B

Hi,
I have the Amex gold i used to buy AA gift cards and sell them on cardpool.com , what is the best option now if i don’t fly very often ??

Thank You, Dan !!!

David

Helpful. 1) You mention Alaska air tickets under $99. Does that mean swa or any airline tickets under $99 as well or just Alaska? 2) for the partial pay to work sounds like you must have credit with an airline, not a gc to partial pay with it. I have some travel bank credit with Alaska and southwest. Is it ANY airline tickets under $99 registered for, or just Alaska? Lastly, in that case based on above article sounds like can be above $99, when partial paying a ticket, correct? Trying to figure how to use this credit
Thanks!

Sean

That’s a slim list of Airlines you can register with, I am about to take a long haul round trip on KLM, guess I’m out of luck on that?

Tonei Glavinic

Probably. Though depending on your airport (e.g. JFK), check in may be handled by Delta, in which case I think Delta would charge you for baggage fees on the outbound

Greg

Any idea if the partial payment strategy works with AA? Ie part of the ticket as a gift card, the rest on Amex with the credit applying? Thanks Dan!

Jenn

Didn’t work for me.

Mike Liang

will the American Air share miles fee from 1 account to another account? say I want to transfer 20,000 points from 1 account ($150) to another account.

JohnB

It may as AA processes their own miles purchases and other transactions. If you would be doing it anyway, report back and tell us.

Mike

What’s the best way to use the credit for Delta? Buy a ticket with extras and then cancel

RK

Any luck with that ?

Abraham G

will it work for AA gift cards?

Aps

will this work for extra leg room on elal flight? or extra baggage?

KWB

Would paying with two credit cards do the trick too?

Rachel

Does a ticket for exactly $99 work?
I’m about to book one such ticket with American.

farmbochur

update?

abey

upgrades is UA only ?

abey

@dan you mention”United Economy Plus upgrades” do upgrades with other airlines and first class count ?

Avrohom

Does anyone know if it will work if you add money to your United Travel Bank?

emgee

when is the cut-off date? 12/31/2019 or Last statement of the year?

Matt

Do food and drink purchased inside an Admirals Club count for airline fee reimbursement?

Eli

Do partial payments with delta gc and cc work

Sue Poudel

what is a partial payment? Is it when you pay some with GC and others with Hilton AMex?

Shif

I see we cant buy gift cards what about huying miles directly from company… i never do because never worth it but better then the 200 statment credit going to waste unless u have other ideas as i wont be flying in next month or near future

Ph

Buying miles is a no

sr

Does buying delta miles directly work? https://www.delta.com/buygftxfer/displayBuyMiles.action
I realize a ripoff, but if I have nothing else to spend the $200 on…

Mordy

Did this work

sr

I didn’t try it… Was hoping maybe someone would know

Does it work though?

I tried this exact same approach (using travel bank as part of the purchase) in the last three weeks for JetBlue and it still hasn’t posted the credit. Your statement shows it posted within the same week….

Chaim

Do you get reimbursed for fees that you pay when booking a milage ticket?

Barak

Dan – do $5.60 payments for taxes for award travel eligible for Amex reimbursement?

Thanks Barak

a question

the 50 dollar saks gift card on the screenshot was purchased online or in store?do i have to shlep to the city in order to get it

D

Was there a response? If AmAir is the designated airline do you have to buy the gift card on their portal to get credit? Can you buy online or do you have to go to store? Can you buy one for $200 or in increments of $50s?

ifyoudontmind

speaking with regards to airline gift card partial payment to trigger the airline fee credit I have 200 dollar in delta gift cards can i purchase a 400 dollar refundable ticket with the delta gift cards and the 200 dollars on my credit card and have delta refund the full 400 to my credit card instead of 200 back to the credit card and 200 back to the gift card im stuck with gift cards with nothing to do with them

Sid

I dont have any planned travel for the year – what options do I have – I have $400 in unused credit

J

Could I use my credit to reinstate expired AA miles? (Expired more the 1yr so I can’t just apply a rental)

MM

Can anyone confirm this:
Some people have reported that buying gift cards at a lounge (in this case, Delta SkyClub) have been being reimbursed.
Thanks!

RC

I tried this at a Skyclub, and the lounge said that they don’t activate the giftcards there, you just take the card home and pay and activate online, which would be a no 🙁

AH

Will upgrading to first on domestic united be credited

Jake

Bump.

Yosef Goldberger

Does buying mileage from Delta work for the reimbursement?

David

I charged 2 one way tickets separately for $93… Dec 3rd, attempting to keep it under $99. Still no credit? How long does it usually take? Is this method now dead? Alaska airlines, btw.

Jojo

Do the tickets need to be purchased through AMEX or the airline website to get a credit or can I book it on Expedia?

@Yehuda

Another negative report: $93 SW ticket has not credited yet Dec. 5th till Dec 10th. Will update here if it eventually credits.

Aberdee

Regarding using a travel certificate has anyone tried with united or delta

Bsimcha

Booked a ticket with a pet on united posted the credit after a few days.

Ed

I used to purchase delta GC, but since i read that this is not generating a credit, I decided to purchase a flight ticket worth $87 for my Delta Flight using my Amex Platinum Card (delta is my preferred airlines – for the AMEX Fee Credit). Transaction made online on my iPad 12.18.2019, automatic CREDIT 12.20.2019! I was surprised?! – I guess if the airline transaction is less than $100, it will generate a credit or it was just my luck?!

Dovi

Would buying extra AA miles online without having a ticket purchased work? Also, can you use it to buy the AA 500 mile upgrades for someone else?

Jon

Southwest is my Amex airline. I don’t need to book an upcoming trip currently, but my $200 credit is unused. Can I buy two flight segments <$100 each to get the Amex credit, with the intention of later cancelling those flights and then having those funds deposited into my Southwest account as a travel credit that I can use at some point in the future for a flight I actually need?

.

Yes

emgee

“Now, I expect that I’ll get charged back for the $41 extra legroom charge on my original ticket as JetBlue refunded that charge as well.”

Did you indeed get charged back for that?

DaveB

What i have done in the past with my Delta credit:
Purchase the cheapest ticket Delta sells for any date. -Most of the time it is from LAX to LAS or SJO on a mid week for $70 or so…etc
Then, within the 24hour time of purchase, i call the airline and change the ticket to my exact destination and dates of travel. I would not get charged for the change fee since it is within the 24hour and I only get charged the difference of fare (which applies to my Airline fee credit).
This has always worked for me in the past.

Sasha

DaveB, Did you have to pay anything for the doing that over the phone? Like if you called to to buy a ticket? Thanks!

DaveB

No – there is no “phone booking fee” for “changing” a flight.

Vin

Hi Dave – Just as refresher, how recently have you tried this? Thanks

Jory

A few DPs saying that flights on AA less than $100 credits didn’t post. I used to buy gcs I have $400 in available credit seems like the best option is to buy refundable ticket and just buy the miles they offer and after cancel the tix

Shmuel

I booked a SW ticket for $108 I applied a $10 dollar GC and 98 was charged to the card and I got a credit about 6 days later

Raizy

I have a $50 balance on my jet blue travel credit and I’m not planning on flying from now until the end of the year. how can i use it?

Valueflyer

For some reason my airline credit has already been reset to $200 after using more than half on delta. Is this a mistake since it isn’t a new calendar year yet? has anyone else run into this?

emgee

Mistake. i had the same thing before, but now it reset to show the correct amount. Sign out and sign back in that should help.

Valueflyer

worked thanks!

Rusty

TMI man, TMI 🙂

Jon

Anyone have thoughts about the question / proposed Southwest method I posted above? Want to try to take care of this today. Thank you.

Joel2

Dan, can you clarify which airline this method worked? TIA
“In the meantime I got a reader tip that the airline fee credit was working for paid tickets that are only partially paid for on your credit card. In other words if you pay for part of a ticket via gift card or travel credit and part on your credit card, then the part of the ticket paid on your credit card will be considered an airline fee and get credited back.”

D

Was there a response? If AmAir is the designated airline do you have to buy the gift card on their portal to get credit? Can you buy online or do you have to go to store? Can you buy one for $200 or in increments of $50s?

D

The question on the gift card related to saks.
Was there a response? If AmAir is the designated airline do you have to buy the gift card on their portal to get credit? Can you buy online or do you have to go to store? Can you buy one for $200 or in increments of $50s?

Mark

I thought GC are dead, I used to buy them in 50.00 increments,

Sam

Hi all, need some help with my $200 credit for Delta- if I find purcbase a refundable ticket for under $99 (if I can even find such a thing), and later refund it, do you think I will receive the statement credit?

Or, has anyone received credit for buying a Delt ticket with a gift card and paying the rest via Amex?

TIA!

Mark

Any update on this idea? Was thinking the same thing

Sam

Unfortunately not, I took a look at one way refundable flights on Delta going anywhere from NYC and nothing was even remotely close to $99. I think I will end up buying a ticket using gift cards and hoping the balance charged to my card is refunded.

abe

Really good info! Thanks.

LA Yid

Does pre approved still pull a hard pull for this card?

Sillypainter

Does duty free purchases on the plane work. Asking for UA.

Lee

*would the amex airline fee credit work on Car Rental within the Delta “My Trips” tab?

J

Dan would the airline credit work for Saks gift cards?

Brian

I would also like to find out about it if someone could let me know

lily

hello. does the credit work on “TRIP PROTECTION ” as an add on $27 a person.

mike

Dan, Would airline credit work towards status challenge fee? ( AA is offering my status challenge for 330.00 to become gold.elite.)

GB

Thank you for all the good advice this year. Through your links I ended up getting an AMEX platinum business, AMEX Delta reserve, Chase Sapphire reserve, and Barclays card. I’ve pretty much figured everything out except how I can use the $200 AMEX airline credit for this year even though I have no flights planned at the present time. I see the gift cards no longer work but I’m seeing that people are talking about $99 or less fairs, canceling, etc. For a newbie, can you explain a good way to use the $200 if you have no anticipated travel.

Shawn

Does the credit work for Delta Vacations?

Ryan

Hi Dan & Group – Same boat here trying to use my $200 Amex Platinum Airline Fee Credit. My preferred airline is Delta. I am wondering if I book a delta flight that is $266 total, apply the one- $50 delta gift card I have, and the remaining $216 goes on my card, if $200 of the $216 will be credited back or if all of your data points for the “additional collection” method are when the remaining balance after gift card are, say, sub- $200. Please let me know what you think and thanks very much for your help.

Vin

I’m wondering the same exact thing…

Guillermo Lover of LIfe

I tried this but no credit yet, over a month later :/

A

Did it work?

Ryan

Have not tried, was waiting for reply, if not I am likely going to just purchase a cheap ticket somewhere to at least use the credit and try to call within 24 hours to change it to this flight and pay the difference

abi

can i book a flight under 100 and get the credit for it ?

Moshe

Is the credit per calendar year based on purchase date or posted date?

Flyin

I called Amex yesterday and customer service said it’s based on purchase date, not posted date

Ago

Can someone clarify if buy a flight under 100 I will get that back as credit

Sam

Sadly,I got messed over by AMEX. I got the Business Platinum on December 11th, and AMEX froze all of my cards 5-days later with a financial review which they claimed was due to the number of cards opened from them in the last year (this is with my instant approval and excellent credit-rating each time I opened a card). I complained about the poor timing and they said it should clear with enough time to use my 2019 benefits. Now it is almost 2-weeks later, and the only charge to go through is the $595 annual fee they just billed, and they told me they will not reduce-even with me standing to lose over $300 in credits between the selected airline and Dell. They told me that it is too bad that the IRS did not get back to them yet with the requested information. The account managers are the rudest and coldest in the entire industry, and they won’t budge. When I asked them what reason I have to keep my cards open, they even told me they can help me close all cards if I prefer.

Mark

Dan

Any last minute ideas with AA being designated airline on Amex? Hate to lose 200.00
No more GC

Jake

Does upgrading from UNited economy to United Business class work?

Shani

I’m flying AA to Israel via BA. In order to purchase seats, you must go to BA website. Would I assume correctly that I will not be reimbursed if AA is my chosen airline?

Eli

@dan if i add legroom to the ticket before i purchase online, does the whole payment become incidental? and i will get credit up to 200$? or amex knows how to difrentiate between the extra legroom and the airfare?
thanks

Jack

Any other ideas for Delta? Besides for SkyMiles Select? I can buy luggage in advance for my flight coming up in January.. it wont even let me pay for a seat upgrade.

Zubin

I thought I heard that SkyClub Day Passes would trigger the credit, can anyone confirm? And if that is true, are boarding passes required to enter? If not, looks like the fam is headed to JFK for dinner tonight!

Bernard

Will Amex Gold give me the travel credit for purchasing Southwest earlybird check in?

Bernard

I just asked Amex via Chat. They said it is eligible.

sarri

Dan, thanks for the information. If i partial pay with a $50 delta gift card and the total price is over $300 , will i be reimbursed for $200?

Jake

Is there a way to get reimbursed on Alitalia flights because they are partners with delta

Barak

@dan: i tried to do partial payment for Southwest ticket using Gift card ($100) and the rest ($316.94) with AMEX Platinum: however, the $316 wasn’t reimbursed up to $200. $5.60 taxes are reimbursed with no issues. Have others experienced the same issue? Would partial payment for a ticket with AMEX Platinum payment of $99 or lower work?

Thanks,

Barak

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