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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 Nov 12, 2021, 4:16 am
  #1636  
Marriott 5+ Badge
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Chicago
Programs: Delta Diamond, Bonvoy something good; sometimes other things too
Posts: 5,077
Originally Posted by glu800
That's true... only problem is the ticket I wanted to book is $39 Kinda hard to find another DL ticket for ~$16! I did some random searches and didn't see anything for under $39 anywhere.
I can't guarantee it but there is a chance a $39 ticket booked outright will trigger the credit. I don't think we have any Delta data points on this but there have been data points on other airlines where super-cheap tickets triggered the credit, presumably because Amex set a threshold that below a certain amount charges were presumably fees and not tickets.
bgriff is offline  
Old Nov 13, 2021, 1:17 pm
  #1637  
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: ATL
Posts: 52
Originally Posted by glu800
Is there any way to purchase a DL gift card under $15? I have just over $22 remaining for my DL airline fee credit, and I'm looking to buy a really cheap one-way ticket to make use of this credit. Looks like DL only sells gift cards over $50. If anyone has a DL gift card <$15, I'd be happy to buy it too. Thanks!
Is there a place that sells $25 DL cards? All I'm coming across is $50.
jonathoneskel is offline  
Old Nov 14, 2021, 4:05 pm
  #1638  
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Posts: 1
Is delta eCertificate usable for booking someone's flight?

I have 2 platinum cards. my plan is to
1. log in account A,
2. book $250 flight main class using $50 GC and $200 'additional collection'
3. cancel $250 flight
4. book $450 flight main class using $250 eCertificate and $200 'additional collection'
5. cancel $450 flight, and get $450 eCertificate

I want to confirm that $450 eCertificate can use to book $225 flight in 2022 for myself (account A) and my SO (account B).

Can anyone help confirm this plan will work?
Allenflyer is offline  
Old Nov 14, 2021, 4:29 pm
  #1639  
Marriott 5+ Badge
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Chicago
Programs: Delta Diamond, Bonvoy something good; sometimes other things too
Posts: 5,077
Originally Posted by Allenflyer
Is delta eCertificate usable for booking someone's flight?

I have 2 platinum cards. my plan is to
1. log in account A,
2. book $250 flight main class using $50 GC and $200 'additional collection'
3. cancel $250 flight
4. book $450 flight main class using $250 eCertificate and $200 'additional collection'
5. cancel $450 flight, and get $450 eCertificate

I want to confirm that $450 eCertificate can use to book $225 flight in 2022 for myself (account A) and my SO (account B).

Can anyone help confirm this plan will work?
eCertificate can only be used for the person whose name is on it. So your $450 cert could be used for your $225 flight with a $225 cert as a balance, but it can’t be applied to SO’s flight.
Allenflyer likes this.
bgriff is offline  
Old Nov 19, 2021, 3:53 pm
  #1640  
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 5
I apologize, as I'm certain this has already been answered, but I want to 100% verify. If I use an existing Delta eCredit and charge the rest of the balance of a ticket to my Amex Platinum, as long as the extra charge is <$250, it will count for the incidentals credit?
I know this works for gift cards and "additional collection", but do eCredits trigger the same thing?

Thanks!
cokewins is offline  
Old Nov 21, 2021, 12:37 am
  #1641  
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: RTW
Programs: Delta PM, AA PlatPro
Posts: 410
Data point: I bought $100 Delta Gift card, found a $326 fare, applied gift card. Total cost $226.
All excited to use this $200 credit.

And you know what I did? Promptly charged the $226 flight to my Chase Sapphire Reserve.
That didn't move the needle.... nor apply my Amex credit.......

So, as a helpful reminder, make sure you actually use your Amex Plat card to pay for the flight if you want the Amex credit
ijgordon likes this.
WestCoastPDX is offline  
Old Nov 21, 2021, 7:33 pm
  #1642  
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 24
If I have 3 cards I need to get my flight credits from (1x plat and 2x hilton Aspire) is the best plan is to book 3 different flights on delta and then cancel them all. Granted I do the gift card then additional collection which will trigger the credit? My next question is you can stack canceled flight ecredits? Like when/if I get my 3 ecredits to delta I can then stack those on a flight I plan to take later in the next year? Is there anything I am missing? Just making sure I am doing this right.
sharpfish is offline  
Old Nov 21, 2021, 7:48 pm
  #1643  
Marriott 5+ Badge
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Chicago
Programs: Delta Diamond, Bonvoy something good; sometimes other things too
Posts: 5,077
Originally Posted by sharpfish
If I have 3 cards I need to get my flight credits from (1x plat and 2x hilton Aspire) is the best plan is to book 3 different flights on delta and then cancel them all. Granted I do the gift card then additional collection which will trigger the credit? My next question is you can stack canceled flight ecredits? Like when/if I get my 3 ecredits to delta I can then stack those on a flight I plan to take later in the next year? Is there anything I am missing? Just making sure I am doing this right.
The easiest and cheapest thing to do would be to buy the cheapest fare you can find, say $50. Then find a $250 fare and change to that and charge it to a plat. Then find a $450 fare and change it to that and charge to the other plat. Then find a $700 fare, change to that and charge to the Hilton. (It does not matter what each of these flights are, as long as they’re approximately these relative prices for a domestic flight for you alone.) Then wait 2 days and cancel and you’ll have a $700 credit good through 12/31/22 which you can use for one or multiple flights.

If you do 3 separate credits, yes you could combine them, but you’ll have to start with 3 separate $50 starting flights or gift cards, increasing your out of pocket investment.
bgriff is offline  
Old Nov 21, 2021, 9:57 pm
  #1644  
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 24
Originally Posted by bgriff
The easiest and cheapest thing to do would be to buy the cheapest fare you can find, say $50. Then find a $250 fare and change to that and charge it to a plat. Then find a $450 fare and change it to that and charge to the other plat. Then find a $700 fare, change to that and charge to the Hilton. (It does not matter what each of these flights are, as long as they’re approximately these relative prices for a domestic flight for you alone.) Then wait 2 days and cancel and you’ll have a $700 credit good through 12/31/22 which you can use for one or multiple flights.

If you do 3 separate credits, yes you could combine them, but you’ll have to start with 3 separate $50 starting flights or gift cards, increasing your out of pocket investment.
With all the changing to different flights the credits will kick in each time? 0.0 thank you for the idea! Would have never thought of this. Does the beginning flight cost matter that much or the cheaper the better as less out of my pocket?
sharpfish is offline  
Old Nov 22, 2021, 5:14 am
  #1645  
Marriott 5+ Badge
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Chicago
Programs: Delta Diamond, Bonvoy something good; sometimes other things too
Posts: 5,077
Originally Posted by sharpfish
With all the changing to different flights the credits will kick in each time? 0.0 thank you for the idea! Would have never thought of this. Does the beginning flight cost matter that much or the cheaper the better as less out of my pocket?
As long as each change transaction is in the $200-250 range, the credits should kick in. And correct, beginning flight cost doesn't matter, but cheaper is better to minimize your outlay ... but if you can't find a $50 starting flight, then adjust the other amounts up or down accordingly to keep the $200-250 gap between prices. (You could also start with a $50 gift card instead of a $50 flight, but just note that it takes a couple of days after buying for gift cards to become active.)
bgriff is offline  
Old Nov 22, 2021, 1:51 pm
  #1646  
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: ATL
Posts: 52
Talking

Originally Posted by jonathoneskel
Is there a place that sells $25 DL cards? All I'm coming across is $50.
DP: 11/16-Bought $50 DL gc on PayPal (Instant activation, thanks for that tidbit) and $138 flight
11/17-$88.40 charge hits
11/19-$88.40 credited back

I had $88 dollars left on spend so I guess AE felt generous to give me an extra .40 back too.
jonathoneskel is offline  
Old Nov 24, 2021, 11:54 pm
  #1647  
 
Join Date: Nov 2021
Posts: 1
Buying 4 tickets

I want to buy 4 tickets (family and on delta). I have 22K skymiles, I have a $50 gift card, $200 amex credit and also the spend $300 on delta get $125 credit. How in the world do I maximize this to buy my family the tickets to trigger the credits across the board.
Jamie Jamie is offline  
Old Nov 26, 2021, 8:50 am
  #1648  
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: WAS
Programs: Virtuoso TA, UA 1MM, Hilton Diamond, Marriott LT Platinum
Posts: 445
Hi all, I need to buy tix for two people, each $218. Best way to go about this is to get $250 of gift card, and then charge the rest on Amex biz plat?
Can I use two giftcards? I have a $50 gc as an actual gift, can I buy and add a $200 gc and then charge the remainder on the Amex?
ChateauMargaux is offline  
Old Nov 26, 2021, 3:34 pm
  #1649  
Moderator: Hyatt, American Express; FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: WAS
Programs: :rolleyes:, DL DM, Mlife Plat, Marriott Plat, UA Gold, Hyatt Glob, invol FT beta tester
Posts: 19,248
Originally Posted by ChateauMargaux
Hi all, I need to buy tix for two people, each $218. Best way to go about this is to get $250 of gift card, and then charge the rest on Amex biz plat?
This will work, but see the caution in the wiki about booking multiple tickets -- if you book them in a single PNR then only the residual $186 will be charged to the AMEX and get the credit. If that's ok, then no problem, but if you were looking to consume the entire $200 credit from this trip then you'll need to book the two tickets separately.

Originally Posted by ChateauMargaux
Can I use two giftcards? I have a $50 gc as an actual gift, can I buy and add a $200 gc and then charge the remainder on the Amex?
Yes. But as above, if your goal is to use up the entire credit in one shot then you should buy another $50 gift card and book the two tickets individually (you'd get $168 credit from the first one and the remaining $32 on the 2nd one)

You can also buy a ticket that is less than $218 and then immediately change it to the one you want, and the difference will get credited, so you don't necessarily have to buy a 2nd gift card if you go this route.

Last edited by Zorak; Nov 26, 2021 at 3:41 pm Reason: fix quoting damage
Zorak is offline  
Old Nov 27, 2021, 4:36 am
  #1650  
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: WAS
Programs: Virtuoso TA, UA 1MM, Hilton Diamond, Marriott LT Platinum
Posts: 445
Originally Posted by Zorak
This will work, but see the caution in the wiki about booking multiple tickets -- if you book them in a single PNR then only the residual $186 will be charged to the AMEX and get the credit. If that's ok, then no problem, but if you were looking to consume the entire $200 credit from this trip then you'll need to book the two tickets separately.



Yes. But as above, if your goal is to use up the entire credit in one shot then you should buy another $50 gift card and book the two tickets individually (you'd get $168 credit from the first one and the remaining $32 on the 2nd one)

You can also buy a ticket that is less than $218 and then immediately change it to the one you want, and the difference will get credited, so you don't necessarily have to buy a 2nd gift card if you go this route.
Thanks! This is helpful. I was just thinking of using a total of $250 in GC for the two tickets (218 each, 436 total), and then getting a refund of 186. It's okay if I don't get the entire $200 credit from Amex.
ChateauMargaux is offline  

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