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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 Dec 17, 2021, 9:50 pm
  #1711  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,140
Originally Posted by tomasdev
Been there in 2019. Then guess what? 2020 I forgot to do it. And here we are in 2021, and only did it 2 weeks ago because I miraculously remembered. And you know this community. Imagine what happens to average people. That's why it's profitable for them to offer the benefit.
Guess what I did last New Years....watched football and made airline reservations to utilize multiple credits. This year I can also add an FHR reservation to the list.....
diesteldorf is offline  
Old Dec 18, 2021, 4:24 pm
  #1712  
 
Join Date: Dec 2021
Posts: 6
Originally Posted by shaunw84
12/10: purchased $50 Delta gift card on PayPal.
12/12: Booked flight for $248.80 (paying $50 using the gift card and the remaining $198.80 on Amex Platinum) on delta.com.
12/14: Delta transaction of $198.80 tagged with “Additional Collection” posts on AmericanExpress.com.
12/15: Amex reimbursement for $198.80 posts on American Express account.
12/15: Canceled flight in exchange for $248.80 in Delta eCredits.

Thanks folks!!!!
Nice work! I did a very similar thing, so sharing my experience as well (in similar format to yours as it was easy to follow).

12/13: Changed my airline to Delta through Amex
12/13: Purchased $50 Delta gift card through Delta site (used different card to keep clean)
12/14 (make sure at least 24 hours after gift card purchase): Purchased main cabin flight $248.40 through Delta site using $50 gift card and remaining $198.40 on Amex Plat
12/16: Transaction of $198.40 posted (if you click on transaction on a desktop, you can see it described as "Additional Collection")
12/17: Through Amex Benefits, saw that $198.40 of my $200 credit had been used, though credit did not show on statement yet
12/18: Amex credit of $198.40 shows on statement
12/19: Plan to cancel flight in exchange for eCredit in amount of $248.40

Thanks all for the help!
shaunw84 likes this.
flyerhacker is offline  
Old Dec 18, 2021, 8:25 pm
  #1713  
 
Join Date: Dec 2021
Posts: 5
Am I wrong in thinking of booking a flight as far out as possible and only canceling once I have a use for the ecredit or 48hrs before date of flight to extend the redemption of the ecredit another 12 months?
Lisa Bean is offline  
Old Dec 20, 2021, 11:20 am
  #1714  
 
Join Date: May 2021
Posts: 6
So, procrastinated and now have 8 cards to use up credits. Split between 3 players.

Best way to do it is:

Buy $50 GC
Find a ~$250 flight. Apply $50 GC and $200 from card 1
Find a $450 flight. Change my flight to this flight which will apply $250 credit. Then use card 2 for last $200.
Find $650 flight. Change flight as above.

Do this for each player.

Cancel after 48 hours or book very far ahead in time to allow more time to cancel or just change flight in the future.

Looks like I should use main cabin based on above?
Fryes is offline  
Old Dec 20, 2021, 1:21 pm
  #1715  
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: DTW - Rochester Hills, MI
Programs: Cathay MPC, IHG Diamond Ambassador, Domestic Airline Nobody
Posts: 737
I'm looking for a cancellable ticket. The ones I see say "refundable to your original form of payment"... not an eCredit. What am I missing?
Gongzuokuang is offline  
Old Dec 20, 2021, 1:38 pm
  #1716  
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
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Originally Posted by Gongzuokuang
I'm looking for a cancellable ticket. The ones I see say "refundable to your original form of payment"... not an eCredit. What am I missing?
"Cancellable" and "refundable" are two different things. A non-refundable ticket is still cancellable, and if it is main cabin, there is no penalty for cancelling or to rebook it to something else.

Since there is currently no change penalty for main cabin tickets, an unflown ticket functions the same as an eCredit, so there is really no need to cancel the ticket either (unless the flight date is coming up soon)
Zorak is offline  
Old Dec 20, 2021, 2:21 pm
  #1717  
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Programs: Hilton Diamond
Posts: 98
Am I wrong in thinking of booking a flight as far out as possible and only canceling once I have a use for the ecredit or 48hrs before date of flight to extend the redemption of the ecredit another 12 months?
No, I'm pretty sure the expiration date is based on when you bought the original ticket, not when the date of the flight is. It's a little funky now because of all the covid waivers, but it's going back to that way

Last edited by chris30269; Dec 20, 2021 at 2:23 pm Reason: idk how flyertalk works
chris30269 is offline  
Old Dec 20, 2021, 2:24 pm
  #1718  
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Programs: Hilton Diamond
Posts: 98
Originally Posted by Fryes
So, procrastinated and now have 8 cards to use up credits. Split between 3 players.

Best way to do it is:

Buy $50 GC
Find a ~$250 flight. Apply $50 GC and $200 from card 1
Find a $450 flight. Change my flight to this flight which will apply $250 credit. Then use card 2 for last $200.
Find $650 flight. Change flight as above.

Do this for each player.

Cancel after 48 hours or book very far ahead in time to allow more time to cancel or just change flight in the future.

Looks like I should use main cabin based on above?
You don't have to buy a new GC for each player. You can use any credit card to buy anyone a ticket. So you could use all 8 of your cards for 1 person's ticket. Keep in mind the eCredits are locked to the person you buy the original ticket for. So that could be a reason to break it up, but you don't have to
chris30269 is offline  
Old Dec 20, 2021, 2:31 pm
  #1719  
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: 19,268
Originally Posted by chris30269
No, I'm pretty sure the expiration date is based on when you bought the original ticket, not when the date of the flight is.
This would be the case normally, but...

Originally Posted by chris30269
It's a little funky now because of all the covid waivers, but it's going back to that way
... right, other than the caveat about the Basic rules changing, tickets bought at any point during 2021 expire on Dec 31, 2022.
Zorak is offline  
Old Dec 20, 2021, 4:49 pm
  #1720  
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 825
Wiki says "In general, only additional collections less than ~$250 are automatically reimbursed."

So a $257 flight ($50 giftcard +amex plat for payment) would work for $200 reimbursement, correct?
exarkun is offline  
Old Dec 20, 2021, 5:24 pm
  #1721  
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Programs: Hilton Diamond
Posts: 98
Originally Posted by exarkun
Wiki says "In general, only additional collections less than ~$250 are automatically reimbursed."

So a $257 flight ($50 giftcard +amex plat for payment) would work for $200 reimbursement, correct?
Yes the credit will only trigger if the amount charged to the amex is less than $250. In your example the charge to the amex would be $207 ($257-$50), so you'll be paying $7 of your own money
chris30269 is offline  
Old Dec 20, 2021, 6:40 pm
  #1722  
 
Join Date: Dec 2021
Posts: 1
Originally Posted by flyerhacker
Nice work! I did a very similar thing, so sharing my experience as well (in similar format to yours as it was easy to follow).

12/13: Changed my airline to Delta through Amex
12/13: Purchased $50 Delta gift card through Delta site (used different card to keep clean)
12/14 (make sure at least 24 hours after gift card purchase): Purchased main cabin flight $248.40 through Delta site using $50 gift card and remaining $198.40 on Amex Plat
12/16: Transaction of $198.40 posted (if you click on transaction on a desktop, you can see it described as "Additional Collection")
12/17: Through Amex Benefits, saw that $198.40 of my $200 credit had been used, though credit did not show on statement yet
12/18: Amex credit of $198.40 shows on statement
12/19: Plan to cancel flight in exchange for eCredit in amount of $248.40

Thanks all for the help!
I am guessing you don't get the 5x points as well on this purchase since it is marked as "additional collection", correct?
markallover757 is offline  
Old Dec 20, 2021, 6:54 pm
  #1723  
mia
Flyertalk Posting Legend Moderator: Credit Card Programs, American Express, Capital One, Chase, Citi, Diners Club, Signatures.
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Miami, Mpls & London
Programs: HH & IHG Gold; Marriott & AA Perpetual Platinum
Posts: 49,212
Originally Posted by markallover757
I am guessing you don't get the 5x points as well on this purchase since it is marked as "additional collection", correct?
Welcome to Flyertalk.

Any transaction that's run through the Delta Airlines merchant account should earn 5X. It doesn't need to be a ticket purchase.

Some discussion here: Amex Platinum/Gold (USA) 5X/3X on OTA's, foreign carriers, fees, award taxes, etc?
mia is offline  
Old Dec 21, 2021, 12:13 am
  #1724  
 
Join Date: Dec 2021
Posts: 5
Originally Posted by flyerhacker
Nice work! I did a very similar thing, so sharing my experience as well (in similar format to yours as it was easy to follow).

12/13: Changed my airline to Delta through Amex
12/13: Purchased $50 Delta gift card through Delta site (used different card to keep clean)
12/14 (make sure at least 24 hours after gift card purchase): Purchased main cabin flight $248.40 through Delta site using $50 gift card and remaining $198.40 on Amex Plat
12/16: Transaction of $198.40 posted (if you click on transaction on a desktop, you can see it described as "Additional Collection")
12/17: Through Amex Benefits, saw that $198.40 of my $200 credit had been used, though credit did not show on statement yet
12/18: Amex credit of $198.40 shows on statement
12/19: Plan to cancel flight in exchange for eCredit in amount of $248.40

Thanks all for the help!
Good work! In retrospect I should have bought the gift card at delta.com as I missed out on 200 extra MR points. Live and learn.
shaunw84 is offline  
Old Dec 21, 2021, 6:57 am
  #1725  
 
Join Date: Dec 2021
Posts: 5
Originally Posted by chris30269
No, I'm pretty sure the expiration date is based on when you bought the original ticket, not when the date of the flight is. It's a little funky now because of all the covid waivers, but it's going back to that way
The ecredit T&Cs state ecredits are valid one year from the date of issuance. When you cancel a flight you are issued the ecredit, so it reads one year from cancelation date and not one year from original ticket purchase.
Lisa Bean is offline  

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