Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Credit, Debit and Prepaid Card Programs > American Express | Membership Rewards
Reload this Page >

Airline fee $250/$200/$100 reimbursement reports: WN (Southwest) only

Airline fee $250/$200/$100 reimbursement reports: WN (Southwest) only

    Hide Wikipost
Old Sep 15, 19, 3:51 am   -   Wikipost
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
Last edit by: STS-134
Wiki Link
Reminder: you must enroll and select WN (Southwest) as your airline BEFORE making a reimbursable purchase. Click HERE to enroll and the wait several hours or even a day before making the purchase. (WN is the IATA code for Southwest Airlines. SW is the IATA code for Air Namibia. FL was the IATA code for AirTran Airways.) To purchase click here: https://www.southwest.com/gift-card/create-card.html Caution: Do NOT login to your Southwest Rapid Rewards account when making the purchase.

Caution: As of late July 2019, reports are that direct gift card purchases are no longer being reimbursed. What does appear to work is buying flight tickets less than $100, OR using gift cards to get the charged amount down to less than $100.



Print Wikipost

Old Jul 25, 19, 6:48 am
  #2056  
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 95
Originally Posted by idkmybffjill View Post
Okay I have tried multiple Houston-DAL one way flight combos as far as dates go, and the cheapest I see on the calendar going out from now until January 2020 are all $105!

What dates are you getting below $100? I'm bewildered at this point....



​​​​​​
JAX-FLL, I do see $59 and $64 fares.
you could always buy a $10 gc to get your flight cost down to $95
dagangwood and Rd3 like this.
Beachchaser is offline  
Old Jul 25, 19, 9:58 am
  #2057  
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Dallas, Texas
Posts: 115
Originally Posted by Beachchaser View Post
you could always buy a $10 gc to get your flight cost down to $95
Good point. I ended up just buying 3 separate JAX-FLL flights.

$64, $64, $75 on the AMEX Business Platinum. Immediately cancelled them for flight credit in Southwest. It seems youíre only allowed 4 flight credit redemptions per flight. And come this upcoming January, Iíll have $950 worth of annual flight credits across all my cards

Letís see what happens.

idkmybffjill is offline  
Old Jul 25, 19, 10:27 am
  #2058  
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 433
Just to be clear, as long as thereís a plane ticket is under $100, then it will be reimbursed. No need to split the gift card and cash payment option, correct? I found a flight thatís exactly $99.
flybie is online now  
Old Jul 25, 19, 2:32 pm
  #2059  
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 245
Originally Posted by WantOnlinePoker View Post
Intra-HI is a good use of the credit. Flights are mostly $39-$59 and I think there is a sale for some flights at $29. Most people would be flying one-way between the islands anyway.
I am looking at this as an idea. Do you know if purchasing multiple tickets on SW for a single PNR (since there is a chance I might actually fly on the flight) will result in multiple transactions on the CC or just one? And anyone have DPs on whether this will affect the ability to get the credit even if it comes out as separate transactions on the CC?
HIFlya is offline  
Old Jul 25, 19, 2:44 pm
  #2060  
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 245
Originally Posted by STS-134 View Post
I'm not sure, but that seems like it may result in a high risk of getting the credit clawed back. I used my credits on WN GCs back in January, when it still worked. One of my friends was not so lucky. I advised him to do what you're planning on doing (book a ticket less than $100), but to cancel and keep the credit with Southwest (as opposed to having it refunded). That way, Amex doesn't see the refund being processed and should be none the wiser. Then, use the credit on a flight in the future (I believe it expires in 1 year, so you have a full year to use it). I'd do this sooner rather than later just in case Amex makes additional changes to screw us over again (i.e. credits stop working on all flight purchases too).
Specifically in the scenario where you cancel a fully refundable ticket from WN and then cancel the ticket and get refunded the ticket cost back to your CC, I am not sure why Amex would feel the need to claw back. WN is the one refunding the cancelled ticket purchase back to you via Amex right? So Amex is getting their money back from WN so it isn't like Amex is out more than their usual airline credit?

I am definitely nervous about not being able to use this in the future. I am trying to figure out whether or not to just commit to making the transactions now, and thus reduce the window to use the airline credit in the future...or wait. I guess there is no reason why I can't always just take a weekend trip to a neighbor island at some point, so it is probably worth just doing it now.
HIFlya is offline  
Old Jul 25, 19, 8:16 pm
  #2061  
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 6
I haven't seen any data points relating to a split payment where the remainder is over $100 so here we go

7/25 - $354 trip booked:
$150 - Gift Card that was reimbursed in January for the Aspire Card
$100 - Gift Card that was reimbursed in January for the Aspire Card
$104 - Paid with Gold card

I am hoping my $100 gold card credit will be applied and I will have just paid $4 but I am not holding my breath.
tandiwe76 likes this.
Kirsch is offline  
Old Jul 25, 19, 8:20 pm
  #2062  
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 95
Originally Posted by HIFlya View Post
Specifically in the scenario where you cancel a fully refundable ticket from WN and then cancel the ticket and get refunded the ticket cost back to your CC, I am not sure why Amex would feel the need to claw back. WN is the one refunding the cancelled ticket purchase back to you via Amex right? So Amex is getting their money back from WN so it isn't like Amex is out more than their usual airline credit?

I am definitely nervous about not being able to use this in the future. I am trying to figure out whether or not to just commit to making the transactions now, and thus reduce the window to use the airline credit in the future...or wait. I guess there is no reason why I can't always just take a weekend trip to a neighbor island at some point, so it is probably worth just doing it now.
because you are getting a credit for a refunded transaction amex presumably views this as gaming the system
Beachchaser is offline  
Old Jul 25, 19, 9:36 pm
  #2063  
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: SF Bay Area
Programs: UA MileagePlus (Premier Gold); Hilton HHonors (Gold); Chase Ultimate Rewards; Amex Plat
Posts: 1,958
Originally Posted by HIFlya View Post
Specifically in the scenario where you cancel a fully refundable ticket from WN and then cancel the ticket and get refunded the ticket cost back to your CC, I am not sure why Amex would feel the need to claw back. WN is the one refunding the cancelled ticket purchase back to you via Amex right? So Amex is getting their money back from WN so it isn't like Amex is out more than their usual airline credit?
Well here is what happens to people who buy something from Saks and then return it:
https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/30720363-post304.html
I don't see why Amex would view this any differently. You used a benefit, and then received credit, and then the merchant reversed the transaction.

Originally Posted by HIFlya View Post
I am definitely nervous about not being able to use this in the future. I am trying to figure out whether or not to just commit to making the transactions now, and thus reduce the window to use the airline credit in the future...or wait. I guess there is no reason why I can't always just take a weekend trip to a neighbor island at some point, so it is probably worth just doing it now.
Well I'll give you some advice. A couple years ago, I was trying to play "nice" with Amex, by using my airline credit (I selected UA as my airline, because it's the one I fly most often) the way it was intended. You know, for wifi purchases and maybe to pay change fees and such. I got the credit down to around $50. And then I had this plan that in December, I was going to put the remaining balance into my UA gift registry, just before the credit expired. I don't really know why, but at some point, I said oh, what the heck, I have a bunch of mileage runs coming up, but I don't think I'm going to purchase the wifi. So I'll just put the remainder into the gift registry now. And guess what? Shortly after that, UA discontinued the gift registry. Had I not done this when I did it, I would have been screwed. So my advice is this: don't play nice, and don't delay. By redeeming our airline fee reimbursements this way, we are doing something outside of the official terms and conditions, and the rug can be pulled from under us at any time. Redeem ASAP, ideally on January 1. Do not delay. Lock in your reimbursement now, and find a way to use it in less than 1 year. Because you don't know if it will still work tomorrow. This year, I selected WN and redeemed all $200 of my credits on WN gift cards in January, for good reason: I didn't know if it would continue working in February. And guess what? That rug got pulled last month.

Last edited by STS-134; Jul 25, 19 at 9:41 pm
STS-134 is online now  
Old Jul 26, 19, 7:13 am
  #2064  
mia
FlyerTalk Evangelist, Moderator: American Express, Citi, Diners Club, Signatures
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Miami & London
Programs: AA & Marriott Perpetual Platinum; HH Gold
Posts: 38,639
Originally Posted by STS-134 View Post
Well here is what happens to people who buy something from Saks and then return it:
https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/30720363-post304.html
I don't see why Amex would view this any differently. .
I think the difference is that the Saks benefit is funded by Saks. If you return a purchase, Saks reverses the credit. The airline fee credit is an American Express benefit, their system may not be able to link the credit to a specific transaction for refund/clawback purposes.
STS-134 likes this.
mia is online now  
Old Jul 26, 19, 9:59 am
  #2065  
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 2
New to Amex, picked WN as my airline for this year because I had a bunch of flights planned for the rest of the year and decided I would just pay for Early-Bird check in for all of them since I expected that to count against the travel credit.
Bought $170 in EBC on July 24 across multiple flights, they posted today with $170 on my statement balance and no travel credit taken from the Benefits page. Is there a lag between getting the credit applied? Or was I SOL on this?

EDIT: Looked back on previous posts and I'll give it a few days to correct itself before making any assumptions
TechyB3 is offline  
Old Jul 26, 19, 10:16 am
  #2066  
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Programs: American Express Platinum, Chase Sapphire Reserve
Posts: 76
Originally Posted by TechyB3 View Post
New to Amex, picked WN as my airline for this year because I had a bunch of flights planned for the rest of the year and decided I would just pay for Early-Bird check in for all of them since I expected that to count against the travel credit.
Bought $170 in EBC on July 24 across multiple flights, they posted today with $170 on my statement balance and no travel credit taken from the Benefits page. Is there a lag between getting the credit applied? Or was I SOL on this?

EDIT: Looked back on previous posts and I'll give it a few days to correct itself before making any assumptions
Amex doesn't get a breakdown of what goes into a charge, so if your ticket posted as a single purchase, my guess is that Amex will treat the whole thing as a flight purchase, and the early bird won't get credited. One thing you could try is to cancel the reservation (provided the same rate is still available), then buy the original ticket with the credit, and then buy the early bird as a separate add-on charge on your Amex and see if that credits. Note however that I'm not sure if Early Bird counts as an "upgrade" or not, if it does then it might not credit even then. You'd be left with a residual Southwest credit but if you're going to take a lot of Southwest flights you are going to use that anyway (and it will also help you use up your $200 by using it to pay for part of your next Southwest flight, and use your Amex to pay for the remainder).
synzero is offline  
Old Jul 26, 19, 10:31 am
  #2067  
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 2
Originally Posted by synzero View Post
Amex doesn't get a breakdown of what goes into a charge, so if your ticket posted as a single purchase, my guess is that Amex will treat the whole thing as a flight purchase, and the early bird won't get credited. One thing you could try is to cancel the reservation (provided the same rate is still available), then buy the original ticket with the credit, and then buy the early bird as a separate add-on charge on your Amex and see if that credits. Note however that I'm not sure if Early Bird counts as an "upgrade" or not, if it does then it might not credit even then. You'd be left with a residual Southwest credit but if you're going to take a lot of Southwest flights you are going to use that anyway (and it will also help you use up your $200 by using it to pay for part of your next Southwest flight, and use your Amex to pay for the remainder).
Hey! Thanks for the clarification. I had read previous DPs on EBC so hoped it would apply. If it helps, I actually already paid for the flights themselves earlier this year, so when I got the card I went in and added early bird to all of them. They all posted as their own individual charges (even if I got early bird both ways in a RT, it charged as $20 per early bird), so now I have a bunch of Southwest charges that range from $15-25 depending on how much it was for that specific flight.
TechyB3 is offline  
Old Jul 26, 19, 10:35 am
  #2068  
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 327
I know that this is probably confirmed elsewhere in this thread, but since we seem to be now be talking mostly about the reimbursements for flight purchases (after the loss of gift cards), here goes....

I purchased the $40 gate-upgraded boarding position (to A1-A15, in this case I got A7) on a recent flight and that charge DOES count for reimbursement. The benefits meter in my Amex account was reduced by $40 a couple days later. So this is a safe way to use up the credits if you are not planning on playing the game mentioned in most of the posts above. Personally, I do purchase gate upgrades occasionally (usually when I've booked within 24 hours of the flight, or during IRROPS, both situations when I usually end up with a really crappy boarding number). So the loss of the gift card benefit is annoying to me, but probably works out close to the same in the end.
Nirvana91 is offline  
Old Jul 26, 19, 12:27 pm
  #2069  
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Dallas, Texas
Posts: 115
7/25 - purchased 3 separate 1 way tickets each below $100 - canceled them on Southwest's side for future flight credit - AMEX doesn't know or see anything differently.

The charges have posted on my AMEX Business Platinum, but they literally say "flight ticket" and even has the departure and arrival destinations.

People who booked < $100 flight tickets and got reimbursed, did your transactions essentially code correctly as far as identifying the charge as a flight?
idkmybffjill is offline  
Old Jul 26, 19, 12:28 pm
  #2070  
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: SF Bay Area
Programs: UA MileagePlus (Premier Gold); Hilton HHonors (Gold); Chase Ultimate Rewards; Amex Plat
Posts: 1,958
Originally Posted by mia View Post
I think the difference is that the Saks benefit is funded by Saks. If you return a purchase, Saks reverses the credit. The airline fee credit is an American Express benefit, their system may not be able to link the credit to a specific transaction for refund/clawback purposes.
I guess that's possible, but if you have $50 in purchases, $50 in credits, and $50 in refunds, it's clear what's going on. I don't know if their system would identify it as such and reverse it but why risk it?

BTW, TIL about something called "Level 3 Reporting". I had been wondering why merchants are complying with Amex's requests to send them data on what's being purchased, as it seems to be against their best interests (airlines for example don't care if you're buying a ticket or a GC, as they get your money either way, and in any case, they'd rather have you buy a GC, which in the worst case you immediately redeem for a ticket and in the best case turns into an interest-free loan to them) than not spend money with them at all. Turns out, Amex (and other networks) collect this data in exchange for lower interchange fees. https://www.bluepay.com/payment-proc...teway/level-3/ I'm guessing this is how Amex strongarms merchants, including WN, into providing this data to them, and WN began providing level 3 data on GC purchases to Amex as of last month, which is why GCs stopped working. I really wonder how many categories there are because if they ever start separating out ticket purchases from early bird fees and baggage fees (for 3rd or 4th bags) and wifi fees, we're kind of screwed.

IMHO, if airlines were smart, they'd tell all of the CC issuers to shove that Level 3 equipment up their ***es, as I think in the long run, the data's more valuable than any savings they'd get on interchange fees, but airline merchants seem to be falling for the ruse one by one, at least for now. Because the next thing they know, CC issuers are going to start using data about what tickets you're buying and where you're going with those tickets to advertise flights with their competitors.

Last edited by STS-134; Jul 26, 19 at 12:34 pm
STS-134 is online now  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread