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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 28, 2021, 7:03 pm
  #1651  
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 805
Any data on booking delta on airmexio metal if I can get seats and bags to charge under delta?
Ijones027 is offline  
Old Nov 29, 2021, 11:19 am
  #1652  
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 1
I have $300 GC and I'm trying to book for 3 pax total of $627. ($209 x 3).
What would be the best way to use $200 credit in this case?
dhna1217 is offline  
Old Nov 29, 2021, 7:14 pm
  #1653  
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 825
Do I have this down right?
  1. Set airline as Delta
  2. Book a non-refundable $250 or less flight (within the US) - pay with $50 gift card and rest on the amex
  3. Wait a few days
  4. Cancel ticket and get an ecredit for ~$250 that is good for one year.
exarkun is offline  
Old Nov 30, 2021, 11:19 am
  #1654  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: BWI,SFO,SJC,IAD,LAX,DCA
Programs: mvp75k, DL-0body
Posts: 310
Originally Posted by exarkun
Do I have this down right?
  1. Set airline as Delta
  2. Book a non-refundable $250 or less flight (within the US) - pay with $50 gift card and rest on the amex
  3. Wait a few days
  4. Cancel ticket and get an ecredit for ~$250 that is good for one year.
Why ? just book a fully refundable dummy -shortest, cheapest fly from wherever you are ?
ccna101 is offline  
Old Dec 1, 2021, 6:27 am
  #1655  
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 825
Originally Posted by ccna101
Why ? just book a fully refundable dummy -shortest, cheapest fly from wherever you are ?
Isn't a refundable ticket credited back to the original payment method(s) which would negate the amex credit?
ijgordon, tomasdev and hhdl like this.
exarkun is offline  
Old Dec 1, 2021, 8:06 am
  #1656  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: BWI,SFO,SJC,IAD,LAX,DCA
Programs: mvp75k, DL-0body
Posts: 310
Talking

Originally Posted by exarkun
Isn't a refundable ticket credited back to the original payment method(s) which would negate the amex credit?
FYI- I am follow the wiki to the teeth, and if you want to contest or argue on "reimbursable" , I paid a fully-refundable Main fare, all go to DL-money.

...
You mustclick here to select Delta as your enrolled airlinebefore you make a reimbursable purchase, else the benefit won't apply. The feature is activated immediately upon airline designation.
...
ccna101 is offline  
Old Dec 1, 2021, 10:25 am
  #1657  
mia
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Join Date: Jun 2003
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Posts: 49,168
It appears there could be confusion. Refundable and Reimbursable are distinct concepts.

Refundable refers to an airline ticket which can be cancelled for a refund paid by the airline. Normally, the refund will be automatically made to the original method of payment, and this is NOT what you want for purposes of using the Airline Fee Credit.

Reimbursable refers to a transaction which will trigger the Airline Fee Credit paid by American Express.
ccna101 and hhdl like this.

Last edited by mia; Dec 1, 2021 at 10:40 am
mia is offline  
Old Dec 1, 2021, 8:59 pm
  #1658  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: BWI,SFO,SJC,IAD,LAX,DCA
Programs: mvp75k, DL-0body
Posts: 310
Point taken: I think I will stick to non-refundable fare come 2022

exarkun : my bad .
ccna101 is offline  
Old Dec 2, 2021, 2:05 pm
  #1659  
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Posts: 7
Im looking to book a dummy booking for $279 with ($50 in Gift card, $200 in AMEX credit and $12 29 in Credit card charge)
Will this work or should I find a ticket under $250 to begin with. Thanks
premece is offline  
Old Dec 3, 2021, 10:55 am
  #1660  
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 18
Hey guys,

I need to use up the credit on 3 cards and also have the deal for $100 off $300 spend so want to make sure I maximise this. I already have an existing e-credit so I would like to try to use that rather than purchasing gift cards so I think this is the process but just want to confirm:

- Existing eCredit of $550
- Purchase a flight for $750 on Platinum and apply e-Credit. $200 charged to Platinum
- Wait 24 hours and then cancel. Should now have an eCredit of $750.
- Purchase a ticket for $1000 and apply eCredit. $250 charged to Hilton Aspire
- Wait 24 hours and then cancel. Should now have an eCredit of $1000.
- Purchase a ticket for $1100 and apply eCredit. $100 charged to Gold
- Wait 24 hours and then cancel. Should now have an eCredit of $1100.
- Purchase a ticket for $1200 and apply eCredit. $100 charged to Platinum. This should equal $300 total on the platinum to trigger the offer.

Anything I'm missing or misunderstanding?

Thanks!
atuttle10 is offline  
Old Dec 3, 2021, 1:47 pm
  #1661  
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Join Date: Aug 2005
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Programs: Delta Diamond, Bonvoy something good; sometimes other things too
Posts: 5,077
Originally Posted by atuttle10
Hey guys,

I need to use up the credit on 3 cards and also have the deal for $100 off $300 spend so want to make sure I maximise this. I already have an existing e-credit so I would like to try to use that rather than purchasing gift cards so I think this is the process but just want to confirm:

- Existing eCredit of $550
- Purchase a flight for $750 on Platinum and apply e-Credit. $200 charged to Platinum
- Wait 24 hours and then cancel. Should now have an eCredit of $750.
- Purchase a ticket for $1000 and apply eCredit. $250 charged to Hilton Aspire
- Wait 24 hours and then cancel. Should now have an eCredit of $1000.
- Purchase a ticket for $1100 and apply eCredit. $100 charged to Gold
- Wait 24 hours and then cancel. Should now have an eCredit of $1100.
- Purchase a ticket for $1200 and apply eCredit. $100 charged to Platinum. This should equal $300 total on the platinum to trigger the offer.

Anything I'm missing or misunderstanding?

Thanks!
Generally you've got it. Only nuance is, best to wait 48 hours between transactions (or make flight changes rather than cancellations) -- Delta's risk free cancel policy runs until midnight the following night so cancelling 24 hours after booking will usually lead to a refund, which you don't want.
bgriff is offline  
Old Dec 4, 2021, 12:46 pm
  #1662  
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: NYC
Programs: DL ✈️
Posts: 638
Originally Posted by ccna101
Point taken: I think I will stick to non-refundable fare come 2022

exarkun : my bad .
I think the wiki needs editing to avoid confusion in the future. It currently says to buy refundable if you don't have immediate travel plans, with a _note_ to COVID-19 waivers.
tomasdev is offline  
Old Dec 4, 2021, 5:52 pm
  #1663  
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Join Date: Jun 2015
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Posts: 19,222
Originally Posted by tomasdev
I think the wiki needs editing to avoid confusion in the future. It currently says to buy refundable if you don't have immediate travel plans, with a _note_ to COVID-19 waivers.
The full context of the refundable ticket suggestion is that as an alternative to canceling a ticket, "consider buying a fully refundable[2] ticket and then changing it later once you know your future travel dates." with note [2] being: "the "refundable ticket" comment above predates the COVID-19 pandemic; given change fee and waiver flexibility, a non-refundable ticket may serve equally well for the time being -- see this thread in the DL forum for more details about COVID waivers."

Nowhere is it suggested to buy a refundable ticket and then cancel it, so I'm not sure what the confusion is. But either way, wikis are a community resource and can be edited by anyone who has 90+ days and 90+ posts on FT, and contributions/improvements are welcomed from all those who are eligible
hhdl likes this.
Zorak is offline  
Old Dec 5, 2021, 6:15 pm
  #1664  
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 18
Originally Posted by bgriff
Generally you've got it. Only nuance is, best to wait 48 hours between transactions (or make flight changes rather than cancellations) -- Delta's risk free cancel policy runs until midnight the following night so cancelling 24 hours after booking will usually lead to a refund, which you don't want.
Off the back of this I read back a few pages. Am I right in thinking that rather than doing the multiple cancellations I can just book a flight and then do a few changes (to increase the flights by those amounts) and then do a final cancellation at the end? Thanks for your help!
atuttle10 is offline  
Old Dec 6, 2021, 12:08 pm
  #1665  
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Posts: 7
On 12/1, Got $50 Delta Gift Card from best buy. Waited a day for it to get activated.
On 12/2, Booked a ticket for $251 with $200 from my Platinum card
On 12/4, cancelled the ticket and got the $251 back as eCredit on my Delta account valid until 12/31/2022
On 12/6 received the $200 Reimbursement from Amex

Now onto my next Platinum and Gold
premece is offline  

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