Here Are The Ways You Can Spend Your 2018 AMEX Airline Fee Credit

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

The AMEX airline fee credit works on a calendar basis. If you apply for a card today and ask for it to be expedited you can use the 2018 credit by 12/31/18, the 2019 credit anytime in 2019, and the 2020 credit in January 2020. That’s $600 in airline fee credits in your first cardmembership year!

You can check to see if you’re targeted to earn 100,000 points for opening a new Platinum card via Cardmatch here by filling out the form and clicking on “Cardmatch special offers”.

Officially this is intended to refund fees like checked bag fees, but it also works for others items as well.

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.

Before using the airline fee credit:

Gift card credit:


After the gift card credit:

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 if you haven’t yet used your credit that year you can change it by chatting with AMEX online. You may also be able to change it if you have used the credit, but that may require some HUCA. You can verify that it’s been changed by clicking on the enrollment links above.

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.

The following items have been reported to work for airline fee credit:

  • Alaska Airlines tickets under $99, if registered for Alaska.
  • Award redeposit and change fees from airline of your choice.
  • Baggage fees from airline of your choice.
  • Delta gift cards purchased via their desktop site only of $50 each if registered for Delta. You can purchase 4 gift cards in one transaction. Note that you can use up to 3 Delta gift cards per airfare purchase.
  • Flight change fees from airline of your choice.
  • Food and drinks from airline of your choice.
  • Hawaiian Airlines gift cards of $100 or less per transaction, if registered for Hawaiian
  • Lounge access fees from airline of your choice.
  • Phone reservation fees from airline of your choice.
  • Seat selection or upgrade fees from airline of your choice.
  • Standby fees from airline of your choice.
  • Southwest gift cards of $100 or less per transaction, if registered for Southwest
  • United Economy Plus upgrades and Economy Plus Subscriptions, if registered for United
  • United WiFi Subscription Purchases And Gifts, if registered for United
  • United WiFi on mainline planes, if registered for United

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

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130 Comments On "Here Are The Ways You Can Spend Your 2018 AMEX Airline Fee Credit"

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Pretty sure Jetblue allows for ticket purchases below a certain amount. I believe its $100


Almost $1k in aa gift cards just sitting around…smh


Sell them?


Do you know how much they are going for?


I sold my AA $100 Gift Card for $85 on


Ill pay $.50 on the dollar


I’ve had upgrades from economy to premium economy be credited. If done through a travel agent the coding is sometimes marked miscellaneous.


JetBlue pet fees work, it’s $100 each way which works out nicely.


Pet fees are specifically mentioned by amex as an eligible refund charge, so will work with any airline


125 each way


Why are you drawing so much attention to gift cards? That should only be a footnote as a backup plan. You’re sure to help kill that option.

oh my

be quiet. some do not travel all the time.

C. Mucius

Drinks in the Admirals Club


So purchasing united gift cards would not work to trigger the credit?




Southwest $200 denominations worked for me earlier this month.


What are the options with JetBlue, not flying before new year?
Also, can I still change airline for this year? Ty

J. Grant

Southwest charged about $3 for actual gift card delivery and total charged was about $103. Anybody with experience as to whether this will not trigger the credit? Thanks.


Dan, do you or anyone else know what happened with the United gift registry option?


1. What do you mean by: “if registered for American” or “if registered for delta”?
2. Can I change my airline choice now?


My card is linked to DL the taxes of mileage ticket trigger the credit but only low charges


What are the options for JetBlue. I am not planning on flying this week.


Must the $200 for 2018 be used before 2019 or is there rollover?


do you know if gift cards work for the bank of america rewards card (premium rewards visa signature ) that gives back up to 100 dollars of airline fee credit

Moshe Eshel

Thanks for the reminder @Dan !
The credit card fees already include this “gift” so it’s a waste not to take it.
Also since I’m not likely to fly in any of these airlines, and I’m sure there are a few others like me – I can suggest using a site like cardcash – WDYT? is that a good way to use, or maybe other suggestions (other than giving as a gift, which is also an option).




Is there still time to apply for the card & be able to get it & spend before the end of the year?


I’ve asked the AmEx reps about this, but haven’t gotten a solid-sounding answer: does anyone know for sure if Platinum employee cards get their own, separate $200 credit?

Thanks =)


Hi Dan,

What about United economy plus subscriptions?


JetBlue tickets under $100 for sure and under $150 sometimes 🙂


How do you do that?


Interesting: From United FAQ’s.

What if I already receive the benefit of the gift subscription?

You will have the option to deposit a value to United® TravelBank as an electronic fund which can be applied toward any United or United Express flights or subscriptions on

This may be a workaround… gift it to someone and the person doesn’t need it, transfer into a travel bank, for us of reg tickets.


Dan, I have a Amex gold and didn’t see the $100 airline offer so I called and they told me that the gold card doesn’t always have it. They also told me that delta gc won’t work.


same here called Amex they said Delta GC won’t work, is that right ?


The classic (original) gold card does not have an airline credit


Is there a fee to have the card expedited to you?


If I have two business platinum cards on my account for diff corporations will each one get the 200$?




I purchased gift cards on both the same day and so far only got refunded for one of the cards


I had alot aa gift cards and they revoked it after a few months though they reimbersed my cc


Will the credit reset starting January 1st?

Edwin Blumberg

I tried calling Amex about the balance to use on buying American gift cards and they told me it would not be eligible for the credit ,how did it work?


Any recent data points if you can upgrade a gold to PP and get another 200..?


Till what day can I buy GC and still be considered 2018 credit ?

A Rebbe

jetblue adding on pets works too

Arye her

Thanks dan for the reminder
I purchased 2 $100 AA GC in one transaction but it shows as one charge of $200 on my card will I only get $100??


I did the same….. can someone answer this question???

Arye her

Update: the $200 credit showed up
Thanks dan


Apparently the AA GC’s won’t work when paying only for Taxes and Fees on a mileage reward ticket.


Now how do I use my $120 dining credit before Jan 1?


Baggage subscription should trigger the credit reimbursement, right?


This year, I’ve gotten the 35% rebate on Amex points used to purchase airline tickets on my preferred airline (United) but I haven’t used my $200 travel credit. Can I switch my preferred airline to Delta, buy GC, and then after January 1, switch my preferred airline back to United?


Quick! I just ordered 50$-50$-50$ of delta on my phone. (Sorry didn’t read the post well enough) anyway to quickly cancel or did it ever go Thru on someone’s mobile???? Thanks.


Is there a way to check in I used the 200 credit up ?

the better

log into your account click on benefits… Look at amount used


I log into my account, and click STATEMENTS AND ACTIVITY> YEAR TO DATE. Then I scroll through looking for “Amex airline fee reimbursement”. If you have a lot of transactions, ‘search’ for it.


Just applied for AMEX PLAT last week got the 60K Offer
Called up and told them I got 100K offer in the mail and they picked up the Offer to 100K without any question.
Got 2 $100 AA Gift cards
Credit posted within days


Dan, Do you know if the airline credit applies to the business gold card?


Will the i get the airline credit if it was charged on a additional card ?


What if I already receive the benefit of the gift subscription?
You will have the option to deposit a value to United® TravelBank as an electronic fund which can be applied toward any United or United Express flights or subscriptions on


Another great option how to use up you’re travel credit is by donating it to Miles for Life which have already helped people with over 6,000 trips. Here is a link.


do gift cards from frontier work?


AMEX Schwab Platinum also has the $200 credit – so actually 5.

Between 9 CNB Visa Infinite cards and 4 AMEX and perhaps CSR I’ll be pretty busy on the AA Gift card site.

Then I simply cash out via Card Cash


In 2017 I was successful doing an MPX GC purchase, does this route still exist?


Floored how many commenters are calling Amex and asking about buying gift cards. WOW. All I have to say!


I tried buying an Alaska GC for $50 cuz that was my chosen airline and it didn’t work so….called AMEX and switched to Delta and got the credit when I purchased 4 $50 GC in separate transactions. Just did this last week.


For Delta…How long did it take to see credit? Did you do the Gift Card or EGift? I tried $50 of Egift on Wednesday and still haven’t seen charge to AmEx or credit. Let me know as I will use the remaining $150 to purchase GC


If I buy United miles will that give me the airline fee credit, or does it have to be used on a subscription?


Can i Still apply today for the card and get credited for this year?


If I purchased 4 x $50 Delta in one transaction, pending on amex history as $200, will I receive the credit? Or should I repeat 4x $50?


Can someone answer this? Does it need to be 4 separate transactions of $50 gc or can i do 4%) x 4 in one transaction (posts as $200 purchase)


Thanks Dan! My husband had to call and change from JetBlue to Southwest, then bought a gift card.


Can I get this 200 credit on the Amex gold card


I see Delta gift cards for $50 each using the desktop site. What if i purchase in $100 or $200 increments? Will they credit that value? Or is has to be $50 increments only?


If I purchase the Delta gift cards today will it still work for 2018 credit?


Is there a limit on delta can i buy 4 $50 gift cards in one transaction and $50 in next if i want to get $250 on hilton card?


For delta does it have to be 4 $50 gift cards or can I buy a $200 gift card?
Thank you


For Delta do I need to get 4 $50 gift cards or can I get 1 $200 gift card?

Traveler 718

I was already registered for WN, so I bought 2 $100 gift cards in separate transactions 3 days ago. I see today that the message on my account switched from “$200 airline fee credit available” to “You have used all of your $200 Airline Fee Credit for this year. It will renew again starting Jan 2019.”

But I don’t see the 2x$100 credits on card activity, nor are they pending. Should I be concerned? Is there anything to do to expedite them, or will they post automatically in due time? And will they count toward 2018 even if the credits don’t appear until 2019?


I purchased gc from Delta yesterday but the charge is still pending. Is there anything I can do to get them to post the charge today ( call customer service etc.) Thank you.


It says on my Amex account that I used already my credit for 2019 and have to wait for 2020
What does that mean?


Would the gift card for American airlines work for the gold card


can i buy jet blue gift cards with this credit?


You say to buy AA GCs of $100 each, but “you can purchase 2 $100 gift cards in one transaction”. Indeed, I did it last week, and it credited, despite posting as a single $200 charge.

If it posts as a single $200 charge anyway, what’s the point of 2x$100? Shouldn’t it work just as well with 1x$200?


I purchased delta gift cards, as well as a $50 item from Saks fifth avenue on December 31 in the morning. The transactions posted on January 1. Is there anyone to complain to, or anyway to change this? I received emails from Delta and Saks confirming my transactions on the 31st.


How can I use the $100 credit on the bankofamerica cc? I noticed that the $100 gift card doesn’t work for it.


I purchased 2 American airlines gift card each of $100. its been 10 days I never received back a credit. I used the link. What should I do?


Anyone have experience in getting the “buy-in” fee to retain elite status on AA reimbursed? Would do it only if I got $200 off. Thanks.


Do you think that Delta will ever remove the now mandatory $4.95 fee to buy a Gift Card. Until recently they never had it.


It says “Note that you can use up to 3 Delta gift cards per airfare purchase.” If I have more than that, is there any way to get around that?


Interestingly, AMEX refused to reimburse my 12/29 purchase of American Airlines gift cards saying purchase of gift cards have always been against policy. I inquired mid-January and was told they would post in 2-4 weeks. Checked again today and was told they would not. Any way to appeal?


Can you please update this post? I got AA gift cards over 2 weeks ago and didn’t get reimbursed. I saw somewhere that they stop reimbursing for AA gift cards. Is that the case? What about Delta and other airlines?
This is a time sensitive question and you reply is appreciated.