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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 Dec 6, 2021, 1:32 pm
  #1666  
nrr
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Posts: 10,291
Originally Posted by premece
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
Will you be flying on DL in the "near future"?
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Old Dec 6, 2021, 1:35 pm
  #1667  
nrr
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Wth all these clever work-a-rounds will AMEX shut them down, like they did with pure GC purchases.
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Old Dec 6, 2021, 9:07 pm
  #1668  
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Posts: 7
Originally Posted by nrr
Will you be flying on DL in the "near future"?
Not sure, but since MSP is my airport, I have more chances of flying Delta than any other airlines.
Delta domestic prices are very competitive from MSP (Basic Economy + AMEX Delta Reserve)
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Old Dec 6, 2021, 9:16 pm
  #1669  
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Posts: 7
Originally Posted by nrr
Will you be flying on DL in the "near future"?
Originally Posted by nrr
Wth all these clever work-a-rounds will AMEX shut them down, like they did with pure GC purchases.
Pure GC purchase is considered gaming by AMEX and leads to shutdown
AMEX Incidentals has so far led to only clawback and that too double dips. So far no instance where a claw back or shutdown solely happened because of a loophole with Airline system not reporting the transaction correctly
I sometime think, AMEX doesnt care much about this because only a small percentage of people do work arounds for credits, Rest of them still use it for the purposes defined by AMEX.

I always try to use credits as defined and in December try a workaround for the unused credit. This year I used 200 during the year (Jan to Nov) for seat assignment fees. Whatever is left over, I'm working around now
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Old Dec 8, 2021, 6:53 am
  #1670  
 
Join Date: Dec 2021
Posts: 3
Hello,

So I am a new cardholder and wanted to clarify some items after reading the wiki.

Can someone please confirm if there are any inaccuracies in this plan:

1. Buy $50 GC
2. Purchase mid $200 flight (lets say $250 for example)
3. Purchase non refundable ticket with GC + 200 on plat
4. Within 24 hours cancel ticket (due to covid-19 policies otherwise would have to use refundable ticket)
5. A ecredit/eticket will be added to my account for $250 that I can utilize for any airport at any time (does not have to be gated to the destinations or time frame of the non refundable ticket originally booked)
6. Wait for $200 credit to post


Trying to figure out how to use airline credit soon so I can double dip!
varunpkumar96 is offline  
Old Dec 8, 2021, 8:05 am
  #1671  
Marriott 5+ Badge
 
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Programs: Delta Diamond, Bonvoy something good; sometimes other things too
Posts: 5,077
Originally Posted by varunpkumar96
Hello,

So I am a new cardholder and wanted to clarify some items after reading the wiki.

Can someone please confirm if there are any inaccuracies in this plan:

1. Buy $50 GC
2. Purchase mid $200 flight (lets say $250 for example)
3. Purchase non refundable ticket with GC + 200 on plat
4. Within 24 hours cancel ticket (due to covid-19 policies otherwise would have to use refundable ticket)
5. A ecredit/eticket will be added to my account for $250 that I can utilize for any airport at any time (does not have to be gated to the destinations or time frame of the non refundable ticket originally booked)
6. Wait for $200 credit to post


Trying to figure out how to use airline credit soon so I can double dip!
Yes to all of the above except #4. Cancel after 48 hours. If you cancel within 24 hours (and up to the following day at midnight) you will receive a refund to your credit card for the charge and Amex will reverse the $200 credit.
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Old Dec 8, 2021, 8:21 am
  #1672  
 
Join Date: Dec 2021
Posts: 3
Ok so that makes a lot of sense. I don't entirely understand why the wiki says that non refundable tickets work solely while covid-19 provisions last. Under this logic, shouldn't you always do a non refundable ticket, otherwise amex will reverse credit once your card is refunded from refundable ticket?
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Old Dec 8, 2021, 8:23 am
  #1673  
Marriott 5+ Badge
 
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Programs: Delta Diamond, Bonvoy something good; sometimes other things too
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Originally Posted by varunpkumar96
Ok so that makes a lot of sense. I don't entirely understand why the wiki says that non refundable tickets work solely while covid-19 provisions last. Under this logic, shouldn't you always do a non refundable ticket, otherwise amex will reverse credit once your card is refunded from refundable ticket?
Yeah it's confusing. I guess whoever wrote that was assuming that waived change fees are a short-term thing, but AFAIK it is the new policy for non-basic economy tickets (at least until Delta someday decides to change it again, of course).
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Old Dec 8, 2021, 11:42 am
  #1674  
Moderator: Hyatt, American Express; FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
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Originally Posted by varunpkumar96
Ok so that makes a lot of sense. I don't entirely understand why the wiki says that non refundable tickets work solely while covid-19 provisions last. Under this logic, shouldn't you always do a non refundable ticket, otherwise amex will reverse credit once your card is refunded from refundable ticket?
Yes, that is why the wiki instructs you, if you go the refundable ticket route, to CHANGE the ticket to the actual desired dates/itinerary once you know what those are, rather than canceling a refundable ticket.

Originally Posted by bgriff
Yeah it's confusing. I guess whoever wrote that was assuming that waived change fees are a short-term thing, but AFAIK it is the new policy for non-basic economy tickets (at least until Delta someday decides to change it again, of course).
At the time it was written, it might not have been clear that the new rules were going to be a permanent feature. But regardless of how the text evolved, since apparently it just creates confusion we can remove mention of refundable tickets until/if the policy changes back.
Zorak is offline  
Old Dec 8, 2021, 12:11 pm
  #1675  
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,570
Originally Posted by bgriff
Yes to all of the above except #4. Cancel after 48 hours. If you cancel within 24 hours (and up to the following day at midnight) you will receive a refund to your credit card for the charge and Amex will reverse the $200 credit.
Does anyone know if this also works for the $200 (or whatever) statement credit option for new SUBs? (like the Gold Business Delta recently had a $200 statement credit after your first delta purchase plus X miles)?

I imagine the process would work, but figured I'd ask first.
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Old Dec 8, 2021, 12:57 pm
  #1676  
Moderator: Hyatt, American Express; FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
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Originally Posted by hurnik
Does anyone know if this also works for the $200 (or whatever) statement credit option for new SUBs? (like the Gold Business Delta recently had a $200 statement credit after your first delta purchase plus X miles)?

I imagine the process would work, but figured I'd ask first.
Yes, but even easier in that case because you can skip over step 1 since any straight up DL purchase counts for the SUB (the machinations that are the main topic of this thread are only necessary for the airline fee credit)
hurnik likes this.
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Old Dec 8, 2021, 6:34 pm
  #1677  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
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Posts: 2,420
When using a Delta e-credit for the flight, can I use the Amex Plat Biz airline allowance in addition for the additional rest-amount of $233.- - is this allowed ?

12/12/21 Update - can answer my own question with: YES

Last edited by Travelomania; Dec 13, 2021 at 12:44 pm
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Old Dec 9, 2021, 6:50 am
  #1678  
 
Join Date: Jan 2021
Posts: 10
I'm a little worried about not having received the credit yet.

I have the Delta Amex Gold and this is the last year we can use the $100 incidental credit before they remove it January. So I decided I had to take advantage of this asap. I feel like I did everything right but it's taking longer than in the past.

11/4 (Saturday) - Purchased $50 physical GC and booked a flight for $167
11/5 - $116 charge posted as Additional Collection
11/9 - still nothing?
​​​​

Last edited by laroux; Dec 9, 2021 at 7:24 am
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Old Dec 9, 2021, 6:56 am
  #1679  
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Originally Posted by laroux
I'm a little worried about not having received the credit yet.

I have the Delta Gold and this is the last year we can use the $100 incidental credit before they remove it January. So I decided I had to take advantage of this asap. I feel like I did everything right but it's taking longer than in the past.

11/4 (Saturday) - Purchased $50 physical GC and booked a flight for $167
11/5 - $116 charge posted as Additional Collection
11/9 - still nothing?
​​​​
The Amex Gold has a $100 fee credit that is going away this year. I'm pretty sure the Amex Delta Gold does not? The Amex Delta Gold appears to have a $100 credit that is more flexible and triggered in a different way (by spending $10k on the card).
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Old Dec 9, 2021, 7:25 am
  #1680  
 
Join Date: Jan 2021
Posts: 10
Originally Posted by bgriff
The Amex Gold has a $100 fee credit that is going away this year. I'm pretty sure the Amex Delta Gold does not? The Amex Delta Gold appears to have a $100 credit that is more flexible and triggered in a different way (by spending $10k on the card).
My bad, it was the Amex gold. And yes, I already planned all my trips for the next three months so I just booked a Main ticket that I will then cancel to get e-credit.
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