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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 Sep 12, 2021, 9:49 am
  #1591  
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 72
Not sure if this is a question for this thread or the delta forum- it has been a while since I have travelled with a guest due to covid. The last time I travelled with my S/O, I could bring her as a guest for free into the sky club. Am I correct in understanding that they now charge for guests? Is the $39 covered under travel credit on platinum?

sort of off topic but any thoughts on whether >$75k spend in 2022 will also allow for a guest in sky club similar to centurion lounges in 2023?
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Old Sep 12, 2021, 10:10 am
  #1592  
mia
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Delta eliminated free guests at Skyclubs in 2014: Delta Skyclub-- no more free guests, effective 5.1.2014

If you pay the guest fee with The Platinum Card, -and- if Delta is the selected airline, the fee should be reimbursed under the $200 airline fee benefit.

Spending $75,000 on an American Express Platinum card will not change Delta's guest policy.
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mia is offline  
Old Sep 12, 2021, 10:23 am
  #1593  
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 72
Originally Posted by mia
Delta eliminated free guests at Skyclubs in 2014: Delta Skyclub-- no more free guests, effective 5.1.2014
interesting. Maybe I am confusing lounges or I was charged without being aware previously. I have definitely brought my S/O in as a gust before. I thought I read that the policy changed in 2020 but perhaps that change was just the amount charged for a guest.
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Old Sep 14, 2021, 6:08 pm
  #1594  
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: RIC
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Posts: 126
I needed to buy a Delta flight for $248.80, so used Pay with Miles for $50 (5,000 miles) and put the rest on the Biz Plat card ($198.80). Two days later, reimbursement received. Sweet! Nice to not have to go through the gift card process. Have used these credits on AA in the past, but harder to use than this was.
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Old Sep 15, 2021, 2:52 am
  #1595  
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: New York City
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Originally Posted by pubsmeister
I needed to buy a Delta flight for $248.80, so used Pay with Miles for $50 (5,000 miles) and put the rest on the Biz Plat card ($198.80). Two days later, reimbursement received. Sweet! Nice to not have to go through the gift card process. Have used these credits on AA in the past, but harder to use than this was.
Thanks for this data point. Quick question: say, your ticket was for $500. Could you have done 5000 miles ($50) + $450 on Amex, and still received the $200 Amex credit back? I am trying to understand if the amount put in Amex has to be always "max. credit" available, or lesser.
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Old Sep 15, 2021, 3:29 am
  #1596  
 
Join Date: May 2013
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Programs: DL Plat, UA Gold, Bonvoy Titanium, Hilton Credit Card Diamond
Posts: 8,848
Originally Posted by metalblaze
Thanks for this data point. Quick question: say, your ticket was for $500. Could you have done 5000 miles ($50) + $450 on Amex, and still received the $200 Amex credit back? I am trying to understand if the amount put in Amex has to be always "max. credit" available, or lesser.
The amount put on Amex needs to be $250 or less and post as additional collection (which this method does) to trigger the credit.
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Old Sep 18, 2021, 8:52 pm
  #1597  
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: New York City
Programs: UA: 1K, Hyatt: Explorist and Marriott: LF Titanium Elite
Posts: 1,269
Just another data point for my AMEX Platinum

September 16: $42 e-credit used + $158.40 used on AMEX Platinum
September 17: Flight posted on AMEX Platinum
September 18: Tagged as "Additional Collection" and bar moved "158.40"
September 19: Credited on my account
September 24: Changed my flight and booked a refundable flight that was a total of $242 and booked the remaining $41.80 on my AMEX Platinum to round off my $200 by charging $.20
September 25: Tagged as "Additional Collection" and bar moved $200

Will let people know the data points of the updated bar moving

Thanks everyone in this forum for providing data points & clarification
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Last edited by LDNConsultant; Sep 25, 2021 at 4:47 pm
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Old Sep 19, 2021, 3:47 pm
  #1598  
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Virginia USA
Posts: 1,243
I'm having a brain fart, do i need to do the initial booking on a different card before using the card to change the flight?
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Old Sep 21, 2021, 8:28 pm
  #1599  
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Originally Posted by flyerfirsts
I'm having a brain fart, do i need to do the initial booking on a different card before using the card to change the flight?
No.
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Old Sep 22, 2021, 1:39 pm
  #1600  
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
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Posts: 1,269
Originally Posted by AnHeroicHippo
  1. 12/29 selected DL for Aspire, Plat, and Gold (all 100% unused credits for 2019)
  2. 12/29 purchased (unneeded) $339 refundable one-way domestic flight (LAX-SFO), with 2x$50 existing DL GCs, charged $239 to Aspire
  3. 12/29 changed to $448 refundable one-way domestic flight (LAX-PDX), charged $109 to Gold
  4. 12/29 changed to $640 refundable one-way domestic flight (LAX-DFW), charged $202 to Plat
  5. 12/30 all 3 transactions posted
  6. 12/31 $239 credit posted to Aspire, $100 credit posted to Gold, $200 credit posted to Plat
  7. I have a $640 refundable DL ticket I can change or cancel for ~1 year
I just did something similar where I booked a refundable flight and changed it to another refundable one way (both in Main Cabin). If I wanted to lets say change it again to another refundable flight but in a different cabin (e.g. First or Delta One) and charge it to my AMEX Platinum next year would I get the $200?
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Old Sep 22, 2021, 2:22 pm
  #1601  
GK8
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
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9/6: charged $5.60 taxes on an award ticket x3
9/8: reimbursed x3
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Old Sep 22, 2021, 10:47 pm
  #1602  
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Originally Posted by LDNConsultant
I just did something similar where I booked a refundable flight and changed it to another refundable one way (both in Main Cabin). If I wanted to lets say change it again to another refundable flight but in a different cabin (e.g. First or Delta One) and charge it to my AMEX Platinum next year would I get the $200?
Any "additional collection" charged when you change a DL ticket (to a more expensive one of course) will trigger the airline credit, as long as the A/C is below a certain threshold (might be $200 or $250, not sure, but it's likely discussed or in the wiki).
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Old Oct 7, 2021, 6:15 pm
  #1603  
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
Posts: 8
hello!

I've been able to redeem the $200 credit for the past few years, but mostly doing a solo trip on a flight where the post gift card price price charged to the platinum card comes out to $249 or less.

This time I wanted to book a family trip that is coming out to ~$1000. Is the only (even possible?) option to buy $750 of giftcards and charge the rest to the card?

or would the recommendation be to do the family trip normally given price and try to find a normal $200+ to $400 dollars flight to do solo in order to redeem the $200 credit?

basically just trying to see if there is a scenario where I can redeem this $200 credit on $1000 worth of total fare

thanks!
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Old Oct 7, 2021, 6:37 pm
  #1604  
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Originally Posted by only1swami
This time I wanted to book a family trip that is coming out to ~$1000. Is the only (even possible?) option to buy $750 of giftcards and charge the rest to the card?
Maybe. There are some wrinkles here.

1. if you were booking a solo trip of $1000 then you would want to charge $200-$250 as an additional collection to your Plat card. It does not matter how you pay for the other $750-$800, it can be gift card, ecredit, even some other credit card (as long as you get them to charge that card first and the Plat card for the rest).

2. However, you said family trip. We know from past data points that if you buy, say, 2 tickets for $150 each and try to use a $100 gift card and pay the rest on your card, what ends up happening is DL charges $100 GC + $50 on the first ticket (additional collection) and then charges the 2nd ticket as $150 entirely to the card (not an additional collection) ending up with only $50 in AMEX credit. So it depends what your ticket cost is and how many. For example, if you are buying 5 x $200 tickets and paid with $750 GC + $250 AMEX then I am guessing you would end up with something similar: 3 tickets wholly paid from the GC ($600), the 4th ticket partially paid with $150 GC + $50 AMEX, and the 5th ticket $200 AMEX and thus also only end up with $50 credit. But I am just speculating/extrapolating from the 2-ticket data point (if anyone has first-hand experience with 3+ pax, please let us know...)
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Old Oct 7, 2021, 6:55 pm
  #1605  
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
Posts: 8
Originally Posted by Zorak
Maybe. There are some wrinkles here.

1. if you were booking a solo trip of $1000 then you would want to charge $200-$250 as an additional collection to your Plat card. It does not matter how you pay for the other $750-$800, it can be gift card, ecredit, even some other credit card (as long as you get them to charge that card first and the Plat card for the rest).

2. However, you said family trip. We know from past data points that if you buy, say, 2 tickets for $150 each and try to use a $100 gift card and pay the rest on your card, what ends up happening is DL charges $100 GC + $50 on the first ticket (additional collection) and then charges the 2nd ticket as $150 entirely to the card (not an additional collection) ending up with only $50 in AMEX credit. So it depends what your ticket cost is and how many. For example, if you are buying 5 x $200 tickets and paid with $750 GC + $250 AMEX then I am guessing you would end up with something similar: 3 tickets wholly paid from the GC ($600), the 4th ticket partially paid with $150 GC + $50 AMEX, and the 5th ticket $200 AMEX and thus also only end up with $50 credit. But I am just speculating/extrapolating from the 2-ticket data point (if anyone has first-hand experience with 3+ pax, please let us know...)
Thanks for replying. I went back to the wiki and saw the case for multiple tickets listed.

Sigh...I think I'll use this credit for a solo trip somewhere and will just go old school for this trip. It was 3 people with each ticket around 350 bucks. I'm sure I could figure it out but it just seems easier to get a solo ticket haha. Lets see might give it a shot
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