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

Old Jan 6, 2020, 1:19 pm
FlyerTalk Forums Expert How-Tos and Guides
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 21, 2021, 12:46 pm
  #1501  
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 23
I am looking to upgrade from Main to First. Total cost is $256. If I use a $50 gc and then do the remaining $206 with an Amex Plat will that remaining $206 charge as an additional collections (for the credit) or will it stay as an upgrade charge?
mhopki3 is offline  
Old Jun 21, 2021, 1:57 pm
  #1502  
Moderator: Hyatt; 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: 19,041
Originally Posted by mhopki3
I am looking to upgrade from Main to First. Total cost is $256. If I use a $50 gc and then do the remaining $206 with an Amex Plat will that remaining $206 charge as an additional collections (for the credit) or will it stay as an upgrade charge?
If you have already booked a main cabin ticket and are accepting an offer in the app or when you view your reservation on the web site, that will end up as a seat purchase and probably will not get reimbursed from the credit (also I don't think there's a way to use anything other than a credit card or SkyMiles to pay for such an upgrade). Though, there have been reports of people calling in to get this manually credited after the fact.

If instead you change the ticket (by calling in and asking to upfare* or by clicking modify and then booking a new first class ticket) that should code as additional collection and get the credit (and you don't need to use the GC here either)

*do a test booking of your current flight(s) and see what it currently costs in F instead; this may work out to be cheaper than the $256 buy-up offer.
cfabar1 likes this.
Zorak is offline  
Old Jun 22, 2021, 9:49 am
  #1503  
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Atlanta Metro
Programs: DL , AC, BA, Hhonors Gold, IH Platinum, Bonvoy Gold, Hyatt Discoverist
Posts: 2,381
Fare: $276, ATL-DCA
$50 gift card with remainder on Plat Amex on 6/18; $226 posted as "additional collection;" $200 credit received 6/22.

Last edited by hotturnip; Jun 22, 2021 at 12:31 pm Reason: punctuation
hotturnip is offline  
Old Jun 22, 2021, 6:52 pm
  #1504  
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 8
Bought a ticket 6/22
Fare: $250, PHL MSP
Paid with a $50 gift card, remaining $200 with a Platinum AMEX.
I will update this post once I receive the credit.

Update 6/24: Charge came through as Additional Collection.
Update 6/25: Meter moved. I now have $0 airline travel credits left.
Update 6/26: Credit posted.

Last edited by bleuchill; Jun 25, 2021 at 11:17 pm Reason: Credit update.
bleuchill is offline  
Old Jun 24, 2021, 8:41 pm
  #1505  
formerly willbbiddy
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 208
I don't see anything in the wiki. Is there a definitive answer to skyclub drinks triggering the credit?
BirdLawyer is offline  
Old Jun 25, 2021, 2:03 am
  #1506  
Moderator: Hyatt; 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: 19,041
Originally Posted by BirdLawyer
I don't see anything in the wiki. Is there a definitive answer to skyclub drinks triggering the credit?
At the very bottom of the wiki (easy to overlook ):

these may not credit automatically, but people have had success getting them processed manually after the fact
  • [...]
  • premium beverages purchased in the Sky Club (post 462)
the linked post is from Feb 2020, so a fresh data point would not go amiss if someone is willing to venture it...
Zorak is offline  
Old Jun 25, 2021, 9:26 am
  #1507  
Marriott 5+ Badge
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Chicago
Programs: Delta Diamond, Bonvoy something good; sometimes other things too
Posts: 5,060
Originally Posted by BirdLawyer
I don't see anything in the wiki. Is there a definitive answer to skyclub drinks triggering the credit?
Originally Posted by Zorak
At the very bottom of the wiki (easy to overlook ):

the linked post is from Feb 2020, so a fresh data point would not go amiss if someone is willing to venture it...
Keep in mind that (at least last I knew) SkyClub drinks can be purchased using miles at an equivalent value of 2 cents per mile, which is a higher value than you'll get for almost any other use of SkyMiles these days, so that may be a better way to buy drinks than to use the credit. But up to you.
bgriff is offline  
Old Jun 25, 2021, 11:12 am
  #1508  
ck8
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: MSP
Programs: Delta SkyMiles GM/United Mileage Plus/Hilton Honors
Posts: 166
Originally Posted by bgriff
Keep in mind that (at least last I knew) SkyClub drinks can be purchased using miles at an equivalent value of 2 cents per mile, which is a higher value than you'll get for almost any other use of SkyMiles these days, so that may be a better way to buy drinks than to use the credit. But up to you.
Agreed. Their current specialty in PHX was a strawberry guava mimosa. Was priced at $5 or 250 miles. If I was to order this drink, miles it would be.
ck8 is offline  
Old Jun 27, 2021, 9:51 am
  #1509  
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 399
Originally Posted by BirdLawyer
I don't see anything in the wiki. Is there a definitive answer to skyclub drinks triggering the credit?
Just curious what you mean by purchasing Sky Club drinks? Are you referring to in the lounge ? I thought those were complimentary
jmsnyc is offline  
Old Jun 27, 2021, 10:18 am
  #1510  
Moderator: Hyatt; 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: 19,041
Originally Posted by jmsnyc
Just curious what you mean by purchasing Sky Club drinks? Are you referring to in the lounge ? I thought those were complimentary
There are complimentary drinks, but also a menu of premium drinks.
Zorak is offline  
Old Jun 27, 2021, 11:12 am
  #1511  
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: NYC
Posts: 174
Originally Posted by jmsnyc
Just curious what you mean by purchasing Sky Club drinks? Are you referring to in the lounge ? I thought those were complimentary
Not all beverages are complimentary; There is a sign at the bar listing the complimentary beverages such as sparkling wine, other wines and spirits plus beer and all soft drinks; however, also listed are non-complimentary beverages such as mixed cocktails and other spirits for an additional fee.
surikatina is offline  
Old Jun 27, 2021, 6:06 pm
  #1512  
formerly willbbiddy
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 208
Before I go off doing a ton of work, how long is e credit good for? I have $850 to burn through before the end of the year. I can just roll credit on credit right?$149 fare - 50gc = $99 off gold; refund that and apply $149 credit to $349 flight = $200 Plat credit and so on until I use them all up?
BirdLawyer is offline  
Old Jun 27, 2021, 11:17 pm
  #1513  
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 372
Data point -
Purchased 2 ~$600 ticket. Applied ~$400 of ecredit on one ticket. Paid balance of ~$200 on the same ticket. Confirmed it registered as "Additional Collection".
Amex credit posted 2 days later (wow that was fast!)
bizum is offline  
Old Jun 28, 2021, 2:52 pm
  #1514  
 
Join Date: Nov 2020
Posts: 31
is there an easier way to cancel your ticket once all this is done? thought texting Delta was easy, which it was in the past, but I've been put on hold since Sunday with these repetitive texts!
dimm0k is offline  
Old Jun 29, 2021, 4:59 am
  #1515  
 
Join Date: Jun 2021
Posts: 2
Originally Posted by bleuchill
Bought a ticket 6/22
Fare: $250, PHL MSP
Paid with a $50 gift card, remaining $200 with a Platinum AMEX.
I will update this post once I receive the credit.

Update 6/24: Charge came through as Additional Collection.
Update 6/25: Meter moved. I now have $0 airline travel credits left.
Update 6/26: Credit posted.
Hi I'm new here, but do you have to buy the ticket through the amex portal?

Or you can book through other services?
arvingaye is offline  

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