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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 Jul 14, 2021, 5:54 pm
  #1546  
 
Join Date: Nov 2020
Posts: 31
any recommendations on handling all of these credits? are there any negatives to using one gift card and then refund/use eCredit repeatedly creating a large eCredit balance if all of them are set to expire end of next year? or would it be better to use several gift cards to have several eCredits?
dimm0k is offline  
Old Jul 15, 2021, 9:31 pm
  #1547  
formerly willbbiddy
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 209
Anyone have a recent do on drinks in ATL specifically?
BirdLawyer is offline  
Old Jul 19, 2021, 11:15 am
  #1548  
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 94
Can anyone confirm I'm still understanding/reading this correctly?

If I purchase a Delta ticket, as long as it's not Basic Economy, I can later cancel the ticket and receive an eCredit without a change fee?
mera is offline  
Old Jul 19, 2021, 11:19 am
  #1549  
Marriott 5+ Badge
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Chicago
Programs: Delta Diamond, Bonvoy something good; sometimes other things too
Posts: 5,067
Originally Posted by mera
Can anyone confirm I'm still understanding/reading this correctly?

If I purchase a Delta ticket, as long as it's not Basic Economy, I can later cancel the ticket and receive an eCredit without a change fee?
Generally yes, though the other big asterisk to keep in mind is that there are still change fees in many international markets. But a non-basic economy *domestic* ticket is safe.
bgriff is offline  
Old Jul 19, 2021, 11:23 am
  #1550  
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 94
Originally Posted by bgriff
Generally yes, though the other big asterisk to keep in mind is that there are still change fees in many international markets. But a non-basic economy *domestic* ticket is safe.
Excellent, thank you!! I am only booking a flight within the US so I should be good. Thanks for confirming before I pull the trigger and use my 2021 credits.
mera is offline  
Old Jul 19, 2021, 12:12 pm
  #1551  
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 155
Trying to catch up on this thread and use my DL credit for this year. What is the best way to cash in if I don't have any flights planned?

Can I use PWM or part of an e-credit to book a flight, get the credit, then cancel the flight and receive a new Delta eCredit?
dblue is offline  
Old Jul 28, 2021, 6:43 am
  #1552  
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: NYC
Posts: 498
Just another successful DP using Pay with Miles(PWM). 20k points + charged $218, took 1 day after posting to get the credit.
Amex For Children Of Africa is offline  
Old Jul 29, 2021, 7:22 am
  #1553  
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: NYC
Programs: DL PM, HH Diamond, Hertz PC
Posts: 174
Hopefully I did this correct (been trying to read back pages and the Wiki)
- 7/21 - Called DL to switch a flight. Increase fare was $638.00
- used a E-Credit with agent in the amount of $119.00
- Charged the remainder of $519.00 on AMEX Platinum and labeled "Additional Collection"

Will I be credited the $200?
OneHourPhoto is offline  
Old Jul 29, 2021, 7:27 am
  #1554  
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 163
Originally Posted by OneHourPhoto
Hopefully I did this correct (been trying to read back pages and the Wiki)
- 7/21 - Called DL to switch a flight. Increase fare was $638.00
- used a E-Credit with agent in the amount of $119.00
- Charged the remainder of $519.00 on AMEX Platinum and labeled "Additional Collection"

Will I be credited the $200?
My experience says no. The additional collection amount has to be close to the amount of credit for the card your using. My memory says there hasnt been charge of over 210 or so reimbursed if the credit was 200.
Werty7777 is offline  
Old Jul 29, 2021, 8:24 am
  #1555  
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: 19,158
Originally Posted by OneHourPhoto
Hopefully I did this correct (been trying to read back pages and the Wiki)
- 7/21 - Called DL to switch a flight. Increase fare was $638.00
- used a E-Credit with agent in the amount of $119.00
- Charged the remainder of $519.00 on AMEX Platinum and labeled "Additional Collection"

Will I be credited the $200?
No -- the amount charged to the card needs to be less than $250.

Reminder to newcomers to the thread that a lot of accumulated wisdom and known "gotchas" can be found in the wiki at the top of the thread (if reading FT on a mobile device use << to get to the first page)

Originally Posted by Werty7777
My experience says no. The additional collection amount has to be close to the amount of credit for the card your using. My memory says there hasn’t been charge of over 210 or so reimbursed if the credit was 200.
There have been successful DPs close to $250 (and >$100 on the Gold card). I forget whether we've had one of exactly $250 yet.
Zorak is offline  
Old Jul 31, 2021, 2:40 pm
  #1556  
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Programs: Flying Blue, Hilton Honors, Amtrak Guest Rewards
Posts: 2,495
I seem to remember the highest charge which received the credit is $249.88, though I've not seen a $250.NN charge one way or the other.
hhdl is offline  
Old Jul 31, 2021, 3:00 pm
  #1557  
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 163
Originally Posted by hhdl
I seem to remember the highest charge which received the credit is $249.88, though I've not seen a $250.NN charge one way or the other.
I get confused with all these amounts because I thought the one of about 250 was on a Hilton card. We know that substantially higher charges don't trigger the credit for sure.
Werty7777 is offline  
Old Jul 31, 2021, 7:06 pm
  #1558  
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: 19,158
Originally Posted by Werty7777
I get confused with all these amounts because I thought the one of about 250 was on a Hilton card. We know that substantially higher charges don't trigger the credit for sure.
There's a Gold DP of $200 add/collect getting $100 credit one or two pages ago in this thread, and going further back, the person who reported $249.20 actually did 2x$249.20, one on an Aspire and one on a Plat. It received the full $200 credit on the Plat, and left 80 cents remaining on the Aspire's meter. This seems like strong evidence that there's just one cap that applies to all cards...

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Zorak is offline  
Old Aug 4, 2021, 4:42 pm
  #1559  
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: PHX, SEA
Programs: Avis President's Club, Global Entry, Hilton/Marriott Gold. No more DL/AA status.
Posts: 4,428
Is $50 still the least expensive gift card option out there? Or are there any $25 options, perhaps at a grocery store or other retail outlet?

Given my intent, I figured I'd ask here instead of the DL forum, but I understand if mods move this.
Gig103 is offline  
Old Aug 7, 2021, 2:46 pm
  #1560  
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 14
I am trying to cancel my trip for ecredit but it forces me to submit a written refund request that will be reviewed by a Delta representative. Booked in main cabin.
n923la is offline  

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