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Airline fee $250/$200/$100 reimbursement reports: DL only (2020-21)

Old Jan 6, 2020, 1:19 pm
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Last edit by: rrgg
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.

Reminder: you must enroll and select your airline BEFORE making a reimbursable purchase. http://www.americanexpress.com/airlinechoice -or- "Call the number on the back of your Card to select a qualifying airline."

Credit posting delays range from several business days (typical) to several weeks (seen in Oct 2015). The T&Cs state that it could take up to four weeks, so wait at least that long before worrying, and certainly don't contact Amex prematurely

Caution: effective from 22 June 2019, gift card purchases from Delta do not get reimbursed.

Read this primer first
  • In the Amex Membership Rewards family, both the Consumer and Business versions of the Platinum and Centurion cards qualify for a $200 airline credit. The Premier Rewards Gold (PRG) card is eligible for a $100 airline credit (the Gold credit is going away in 2022). Hilton Aspire AMEX is eligible for a $250 airline credit.
  • You must click here to select Delta as your enrolled airline before you make a reimbursable purchase, else the benefit won't apply. The feature is activated immediately upon airline designation.
  • If you've selected DL in the past and don't wish to change airlines, there's no need to select again; current selection rolls into future years until modified.
  • The T&Cs state the eligible charges, but YMMV, so don't call and ask especially about the fuzzier cases below because that will probably hasten closing of any loopholes.
  • The credit is per account, not per card. If the main account has authorized users with additional cards, eligible charges may still be made on those cards, but they'll count jointly towards the same account limit.
  • Credits are capped per calendar year, meaning you could tap the full amount on Dec 31st and again on Jan 1st in the extreme. Transaction date, not posting date, determines the year. Note: This is not my experience. I purchased Dec 31, 2016, posted Jan 1, 2017 and went against my 2017 credit. (TheMadBrewer)
  • You will get a partial credit to bring your total annual reimbursements to the limit exactly if a qualifying charge takes you past the limit.
  • After four weeks, if you've read this Wiki carefully and posted here seeking assistance but the credit still has not arrived, consider chatting with Amex online. Politely mention the "Delta extras" you thought would be reimbursed within four weeks and they'll handle it.

Additional Collections/Split Tender -- THIS IS A LOOPHOLE. BE DISCREET

Quote:
TL;DR: Anything coded as an additional collection (a.k.a. add/collect or a/c), including difference in fare when changing flights, and accepting an FCM offer, also triggers the credit and will be reimbursed, provided that the amount charged to your card is $250 or less (regardless of card type, e.g. there have been reports of full $100 credit for Gold card on a/c over $100 and full $200 credit for Plat on a/c over $200, but always $250 or less)
How to do it: With waived fee for cancellation/changes on non-refundable tickets (due to COVID-19) you get an eCredit when cancelling it, so you can:
  1. Buy a non-refundable ticket with any combination of gift card/eCredit plus your AMEX, again provided that the residual amount charged to your card is $250 or less
  2. After credit has posted, and at least 48 hours after buying it, cancel it (ensure there's no fee for cancelling it) so you get an updated eCredit for the full ticket amount.
    • alternatively, if you buy a ticket far enough in the future, there is no particular need to cancel the ticket, just change it once you have some new dates or itinerary in mind (you can change origin, destination or both)
    • however, note that the waiver of change fees on Basic Economy tickets is ending: https://www.delta.com/us/en/travel-p...sbeforeapril30
    • thus you should use main cabin tickets for this purpose (assuming DL does not extend the BE policy due to omicron etc.)
  3. You can even use the result of (2) as an eCredit to repeat step 1 with a different AMEX card if you have multiples. Note that in this context, changing an unflown future ticket is exactly equivalent to an eCredit in the amount of the ticket's value.
More details:
  • Relevantly, split tender where you partially pay with a gift card, existing credit, VDB voucher etc. and partly charged to your card, are processed by DL as an add/collect and trigger the credit per above.
  • Thus if you anticipate actually buying, say, a $200 DL ticket, you could buy a single $50 gift card, then buy the ticket using $50 GC and $150 on your card (the $150 will be reimbursed). This is just an example; as per the previous bullet there is no reason it needs to be specifically $50, or even a gift card. The "additional collection" is what leads to the credit, the reason why it is "additional" is unimportant.
    • In general, only additional collections less than ~$250 are automatically reimbursed. If you use a $50 gift card to buy a $500 ticket, a $450 additional collection will be generated but it will not be auto-reimbursed by Amex.
    • If you already have gift cards or ecredits in particular denominations that don't line up well with the price of the ticket you want to buy (additional collection will end up being too much to get auto-reimbursed or too little to efficiently use up the fee credit), consider whether you may be able to reach a better outcome by splitting up the purchase -- buying a round trip as two one ways or buying multiple passengers separately. But, note that buying 2 one-ways instead of a round trip can sometimes cost more, making it not worthwhile, and note the caveats about multiple passenger purchases below, as well as considering the risk that buying 2 passengers separately can have negative implications for Medallion upgrades (if applicable) as well as creating the risk that you are separated from your travel companions if there is a flight cancellation.
  • The "additional collection" transaction notation shows up after the transaction posts, on the website only (both desktop and mobile) if you click into a transaction to view the details (it does not appear in the app, or while the purchase is pending)
  • Note that special care is needed when booking tickets for 2 or more people in a single transaction.
    • When booking multiple people in a single transaction on Delta.com, each person's ticket charges to the credit card in a separate transaction, and gift cards are used starting with the first ticket until they are exhausted. So for example if you were booking 2x $210 tickets, for a total transaction of $420, if you used a $200 gift card the charges would post to Amex as a $10 additional collection on the first person and a $210 regular ticket charge for the second person, resulting in only a $10 reimbursement. For the same two tickets if you used a $220 gift card, the first person would be covered entirely by the gift card and the second person's ticket would charge as a $190 additional collection, resulting in a $190 reimbursement.
    • This would work differently if ecredits are used instead of gift cards since ecredits are not transferrable -- ecredits can only be applied to a ticket for a person whose name is on the ecredit; if other people are booked in the same transaction, any leftover ecredit balance will *not* be applied to those other people.
  • Canceling a ticket within the 24-hour[1] risk-free period generally results in funds being returned to where they came from (GC back to GC and CC back to CC) even if the ticket is non-refundable; also, Delta interprets the 24-hour risk free cancellation period generously -- you actually have until midnight of the day following the day of booking (in which time zone is oft-speculated but unclear). Thus, this can work out to nearly 48 hours if the timing is exactly right. Hence the suggestion above to cancel only after 48 hours, or avoid canceling altogether.
  • Caution when buying multiple tickets in a single transaction: for example if you buy two $125 tickets in one transaction (total $250) and use one $100 GC or even two $50 GCs, they will all be applied to the same ticket and you would see one additional collection for $25 on that ticket and a separate "normal" charge for $125 for the second ticket. In this scenario only $25 will be reimbursed (instead of the $150 you might be expecting). In this situation you would need to book the two tickets separately to get the credit on each one.
  • FCM offers may require accepting for the entire trip (vs just one segment) or calling in to up-fare the whole trip (please post data points either way)

Paying for a ticket partially with SkyMiles

NOTE that DL has two different programs for partially paying with SkyMiles, that seem superficially similar, but are quite different
  • Pay With Miles is a feature available to DL-branded AMEX cardholders that lets you pay for part of your ticket using SkyMiles in increments of 5,000 miles = $50. If you use PWM then the remaining amount charged to your card posts as additional collection and will qualify for the fee credit (multiple data points)
  • Miles + Cash is like buying an award ticket but using cash to substitute for some of the miles. As an example, you might be offered a ticket for 40,000 miles + $5.60, or 30,000 miles + $205.60 (these numbers are made up). If you choose the latter option what you are really doing is buying 10,000 miles for $200, then using those 10,000 miles plus 30,000 that you already had to buy the 40,000 ticket + $5.60 in taxes. This will post as two separate transactions, $200 for the miles purchase, and $5.60 for the taxes on the award ticket. The $5.60 will be reimbursed (just like any other award ticket). The $200 seems like it does not get automatically reimbursed, although it may post as "Frequent Flyer Fee/Purchase" in which case you have a pretty good case for getting it credited manually by contacting AMEX.
  • Note: Miles + Cash is usually a terrible value (even for SkyMiles)
  • See the list of FAQs at the bottom of the "Pay With Miles" page for more info (search in particular for "What is the difference between Pay with Miles and Miles + Cash?")


other non Gift Card options
  • baggage and other service fees (same day change/standby, change fees, etc.)
  • taxes on award flights (including the $5.60 September 11 security fee)
  • in-flight purchases (EXCEPT wifi) -- although currently nothing available due to COVID?
  • SkyClub access/guest fees (but NOT gift cards purchased at a SC, which are actually activated at a 3rd party web site)
  • mileage boosts (post 2499) trip extras have been discontinued
  • The $59 for Delta Skymiles Select is reimbursed (posts 2180, 2182) SkyMiles Select is no longer available for purchase

these may not credit automatically, but people have had success getting them processed manually after the fact
  • seat purchase fees (if you buy an upgrade and it does not credit automatically and you call in, do not call it an upgrade, call it a seat purchase/assignment fee)
  • premium beverages purchased in the Sky Club (post 462)

(DEAD) eGift Card (eCert) details For other airlines:

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Airline fee $250/$200/$100 reimbursement reports: DL only (2020-21)

Old Jun 12, 2021, 2:43 pm
  #1486  
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 399
Originally Posted by Zorak
If you don't want to risk waiting another however many hours, note that gift cards are not the only way to trigger the reimbursement. eCredits, or changing an existing flight, work just as well.

You'll then have a leftover gift card that you will eventually want to use up, but you can hang on to it for triggering the 2022 credit...


Update: I just tried this. Booked Main a few days later and then changed to First Class on the day I wanted. I was on hold in the meantime to see if I could just do a hold and hung up after 2 hours and 40 minutes. Ironically the fair difference came out to $200 on the spot. So I will have two AMEX charges for the same day. I guess I will have to save the gift card for another day. I have had a Southwest GC for years I can never seem to use.

This is a lot easier than dealing with GC if it works

Last edited by jmsnyc; Jun 12, 2021 at 3:00 pm
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Old Jun 12, 2021, 7:01 pm
  #1487  
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 699
6/1 Purchased main cabin ticket with GC and 1st CC
6/3 Changed ticket to a basic economy ticket to another destination, fare difference paid using 2nd CC
6/4 Cancelled ticket when fare decreased. Called to rebook ticket using credit from first ticket and 2nd CC (credit not accessible online)
6/5 Refund for cancelled flight received
6/7 Credit received on 1st CC
6/8 Credit received on 2nd CC for cancelled flight, as well as remaining <$10 credit for final booked ticket

Will make sure to use 2nd CC again for full $250 Aspire credit amount and hope the >$240 credit on 2nd CC is not clawed back by Amex years later I would have waited for fares to go down but Delta prices were fluctuating 100% within a 24 hour time frame - fell of course as soon as I booked.
brownie20 is offline  
Old Jun 12, 2021, 9:11 pm
  #1488  
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 399
As soon as my GC cleared the 72 hours flight went up as I predicted, would have made half the giftcard worthless
Fortunately I booked the flight earlier with the book then change to higher priced flight - just hope it works with AMEX, just posted as additional collection

Last edited by jmsnyc; Jun 14, 2021 at 12:09 pm
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Old Jun 14, 2021, 1:09 pm
  #1489  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Programs: Delta Skymiles
Posts: 1,983
Can you use just your Voucher/E-Cert and platinum card?

Or, do you have to use the Voucher/E-Cert, Gift Certificate, and the platinum card to trigger the credit?
cfabar1 is offline  
Old Jun 14, 2021, 4:43 pm
  #1490  
Moderator: Hyatt, American Express; FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: WAS
Programs: :rolleyes:, DL DM, Mlife Plat, Caesars Diam, Marriott Tit, UA Gold, Hyatt Glob, invol FT beta tester
Posts: 19,222
Originally Posted by cfabar1
Can you use just your Voucher/E-Cert and platinum card?
Yes.
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Zorak is offline  
Old Jun 15, 2021, 11:53 pm
  #1491  
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 399
Originally Posted by brownie20
6/1 Purchased main cabin ticket with GC and 1st CC
6/3 Changed ticket to a basic economy ticket to another destination, fare difference paid using 2nd CC
6/4 Cancelled ticket when fare decreased. Called to rebook ticket using credit from first ticket and 2nd CC (credit not accessible online)
6/5 Refund for cancelled flight received
6/7 Credit received on 1st CC
6/8 Credit received on 2nd CC for cancelled flight, as well as remaining <$10 credit for final booked ticket

Will make sure to use 2nd CC again for full $250 Aspire credit amount and hope the >$240 credit on 2nd CC is not clawed back by Amex years later I would have waited for fares to go down but Delta prices were fluctuating 100% within a 24 hour time frame - fell of course as soon as I booked.
So seems like 6 days after purchase for it to show. I guess I will hope to see mine by Friday.
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Old Jun 16, 2021, 7:49 am
  #1492  
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 71
I messed up. I didnt read the part about the additional collection having to be $250 or less. My ticket was $296~ (as the additional collection).

Do you guys have any additional recommendations on what I can do to change and use the flight credit on this or am I SOL and just need to travel more?

Can I buy another $50 gc, call delta and ask them to apply it and recharge me? Will that work? (I also have my full cred w/ Plat and Aspire lol)

Also

We know that there may be times where you need to cancel your trip and rebook at a later date. Please bear in mind that tickets not changed or canceled prior to departure will have no remaining value. The good news is that you will not be charged a fee for canceling your ticket and your ticket will become an eCredit that you can use at any time before your ticket expires* (typically one year from the date of purchase). Already have an eCredit and ready to book? Visit delta.com/redeem to book your future travel.*For additional flexibility, all tickets expiring in 2021 and all new tickets purchased in 2021 will expire on December 31, 2022.
If this is true, can I just use my flight credits to buy a ticket going somewhere/anywhere, trigger the $250 credit and just cancel for an ecred that i have till end of 2022 to use?

Last edited by DriKz; Jun 16, 2021 at 7:57 am
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Old Jun 16, 2021, 10:04 am
  #1493  
Moderator: Hyatt, American Express; FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: WAS
Programs: :rolleyes:, DL DM, Mlife Plat, Caesars Diam, Marriott Tit, UA Gold, Hyatt Glob, invol FT beta tester
Posts: 19,222
Originally Posted by derrickfung
I messed up. I didnt read the part about the additional collection having to be $250 or less. My ticket was $296~ (as the additional collection).

Do you guys have any additional recommendations on what I can do to change and use the flight credit on this or am I SOL and just need to travel more?

Can I buy another $50 gc, call delta and ask them to apply it and recharge me? Will that work?
Unfortunately there's no way to retroactively to change the method of payment once you've bought the ticket.

If you are within the 24-hour risk free cancellation period (which could be up to 48 hours, the deadline is midnight of the day after you bought the ticket) you could cancel and have everything revert back to original form of payment and start over.

Originally Posted by derrickfung
If this is true, can I just use my flight credits to buy a ticket going somewhere/anywhere, trigger the $250 credit and just cancel for an ecred that i have till end of 2022 to use?
Yes. Or book it far enough out and then just do a change when the time comes. If you do cancel proactively, make sure you're past the risk-free period, as above, otherwise you might get a refund instead of an eCredit.
Zorak is offline  
Old Jun 16, 2021, 10:45 am
  #1494  
 
Join Date: Nov 2020
Posts: 31
just wanted to confirm that one should be buying main cabin so that it can be cancelled a week later without any fees and refunded to an eCredit?
dimm0k is offline  
Old Jun 16, 2021, 12:22 pm
  #1495  
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 71
Originally Posted by Zorak
Unfortunately there's no way to retroactively to change the method of payment once you've bought the ticket.

If you are within the 24-hour risk free cancellation period (which could be up to 48 hours, the deadline is midnight of the day after you bought the ticket) you could cancel and have everything revert back to original form of payment and start over.



Yes. Or book it far enough out and then just do a change when the time comes. If you do cancel proactively, make sure you're past the risk-free period, as above, otherwise you might get a refund instead of an eCredit.
got it, thanks!
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Old Jun 17, 2021, 12:10 pm
  #1496  
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: MEL
Programs: QF Gold, FB Plat, Accor Diamond, Hilton Gold, Marriot Gold ex-UA 1k, ex-AA Plat, ex IHG Plat
Posts: 153
Data point (Amex Plat). Not interested in buying a real ticket , I wanted to accumulate e-credit
* 06/14 Purchased a DL ticket that happened be the price of one my e-credit ($250+) + $200. S fare (not the Basic one) to fall under the DL e-credit refund policy (Basic fare can't be refunded at all)
* 06/17 $200 Amex credit posted. Cancelled ticket, original e-credit + $200 refunded with an expiration of 12/31/2022
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Old Jun 18, 2021, 3:36 pm
  #1497  
 
Join Date: May 2018
Programs: Hilton Gold, IHG Plat
Posts: 1
Hi guys, do physical cards work or does it have to be e-gift card? and if so, do I still need to wait to 72 hours to use it?
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Alejandra Espinosa De Samos is offline  
Old Jun 18, 2021, 5:22 pm
  #1498  
Moderator: Hyatt, American Express; FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
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Posts: 19,222
Originally Posted by Alejandra Espinosa De Samos
Hi guys, do physical cards work or does it have to be e-gift card? and if so, do I still need to wait to 72 hours to use it?
Welcome to FT/happy de-lurking

As noted in the wiki at the top of this thread:

The "additional collection" is what leads to the credit, the reason why it is "additional" is unimportant.


and

split tender where you partially pay with a gift card, existing credit, VDB voucher etc. and partly charged to your card, are processed by DL as an add/collect and trigger the credit per above.
so a physical gift card will work just as well as an eGC to trigger this method (but again there is no particular reason it needs to be a gift card, with the change fee waiver it's fairly easy to create your own eCredit, or just book a cheaper flight A and then immediately change it to the actual flight B that you want)

As for the 72-hour waiting period, I believe that mainly applies to eGCs bought online.
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Old Jun 18, 2021, 10:15 pm
  #1499  
 
Join Date: Nov 2019
Location: NYC
Programs: DL gold, HH gold, National EE, Hertz PC, Hyatt Globalist
Posts: 10
Originally Posted by Alejandra Espinosa De Samos
Hi guys, do physical cards work or does it have to be e-gift card? and if so, do I still need to wait to 72 hours to use it?
If you do not want to wait 72 hours, buy the e-gift card via Walmart or Target online. I could use them right away after my purchase.
flyernathan is offline  
Old Jun 20, 2021, 5:51 pm
  #1500  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Programs: Delta Skymiles
Posts: 1,983
Data Point:

Used Delta eVoucher (previous flight that was cancelled) for about $250, and charged $193 to Amex Platinum on 6/18
Bill Posted (moved from pending on 6/20)
Amex Airline Fee Reimbursement received on 6/22

Last edited by cfabar1; Jun 22, 2021 at 6:45 am
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