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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 21, 2021, 8:04 am
  #1726  
Moderator: Hyatt, American Express; FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: WAS
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Originally Posted by Lisa Bean
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.
I see T&C that say "Validity Period: This is a residual eCredit from a partially redeemed TCV, DBC or non refundable eTicket and is valid for 1 year from the original documents date of issue."

The original document is the ticket, not the eCredit. Or really, they're the same thing. But the above language also covers a residual eCredit that gets issued when you use one partially.
Zorak is offline  
Old Dec 21, 2021, 10:37 am
  #1727  
 
Join Date: Dec 2021
Posts: 1
Wanted to add my two cents since this forum has been helpful. I had a leftover $8 e-credit from Delta that I used.

12/18: Purchased $200 flight
12/19: Posted on Amex under "additional collections"
12/20: Nothing; no credit was deducted from $200 bar under Benefits
12/21: Got $192 deducted from statement balance and plan to cancel my flight for e credit!

Thanks all!
kflies is offline  
Old Dec 21, 2021, 10:59 am
  #1728  
 
Join Date: Dec 2021
Posts: 3
Question, have there been any data points that point to differences between e-giftcards and physical gift cards? Or are they the same
varunpkumar96 is offline  
Old Dec 21, 2021, 11:47 am
  #1729  
Moderator: Hyatt, American Express; FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
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Originally Posted by varunpkumar96
Question, have there been any data points that point to differences between e-giftcards and physical gift cards? Or are they the same
As noted in the wiki at the top of the thread, "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." and "... 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."
Zorak is offline  
Old Dec 22, 2021, 6:05 am
  #1730  
 
Join Date: Dec 2021
Posts: 3
Question... if I see the transaction posted as Delta and not as an additional collection, I would have to assume I did something wrong? I did end up getting a flight that cost $258 and used a $50 gift card, so my charge to my Plat ended up being about 207ish.
thesupplier2021 is offline  
Old Dec 22, 2021, 7:32 am
  #1731  
Moderator: Hyatt, American Express; FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
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Originally Posted by thesupplier2021
Question... if I see the transaction posted as Delta and not as an additional collection, I would have to assume I did something wrong? I did end up getting a flight that cost $258 and used a $50 gift card, so my charge to my Plat ended up being about 207ish.
Welcome to FT!

Has the transaction posted, or is it still pending?

Are you looking in the website or the mobile app?
Zorak is offline  
Old Dec 22, 2021, 7:59 am
  #1732  
 
Join Date: Dec 2021
Posts: 3
Originally Posted by Zorak
Welcome to FT!

Has the transaction posted, or is it still pending?

Are you looking in the website or the mobile app?
I was looking at the mobile app and it says the transaction was posted, but the website currently doesn't have the transaction posted yet, not sure if that makes any difference?
thesupplier2021 is offline  
Old Dec 22, 2021, 11:23 am
  #1733  
 
Join Date: Dec 2021
Posts: 5
Itís safe to book into 2022 as long as youíre booking a main cabin ticket that will be canceled correct? Itís just basic economy that has the cancellation fee for 2022 flights right?
Lisa Bean is offline  
Old Dec 22, 2021, 3:18 pm
  #1734  
 
Join Date: Dec 2021
Posts: 9
Originally Posted by Lisa Bean
Itís safe to book into 2022 as long as youíre booking a main cabin ticket that will be canceled correct? Itís just basic economy that has the cancellation fee for 2022 flights right?
I believe this is correct, either way what I did was book a refundable flight, and then call delta and ask for an eCredit instead of a card refund, theyíre more then happy to accommodate- I did this because I didnít want to run into problems with 2022 different regs
Dave1378 is offline  
Old Dec 23, 2021, 1:05 pm
  #1735  
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: ATL, BHM, DUB, County Wexford
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Trying to book online using Safari, the transactions are not going through.
Called AMEX, nothing wrong with card. They show no attempted transaction, approvals, or declines.
Called DL, they said they could process it the same as me doing it online. (Not trusting this unless there are data points to support)
EasternTraveler is offline  
Old Dec 23, 2021, 1:15 pm
  #1736  
Moderator: Hyatt, American Express; FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
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Originally Posted by EasternTraveler
Called DL, they said they could process it the same as me doing it online. (Not trusting this unless there are data points to support)
There is nothing different about doing it over the phone vs. online, something-else-plus-credit-card always leads to additional collection. There are DPs in this thread and the pre-2020 version you can search for if you like.
Zorak is offline  
Old Dec 23, 2021, 1:18 pm
  #1737  
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: ATL, BHM, DUB, County Wexford
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Posts: 4,889
Originally Posted by Zorak
There is nothing different about doing it over the phone vs. online, something-else-plus-credit-card always leads to additional collection. There are DPs in this thread and the pre-2020 version you can search for if you like.
I trust the word of an FT'er more than a DL rep. Thanks.
EasternTraveler is offline  
Old Dec 23, 2021, 1:33 pm
  #1738  
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: ATL, BHM, DUB, County Wexford
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Posts: 4,889
Well the trick is that it really can take FOUR days for the gift card to be validated. The date you purchase is not the date the 72 hours starts from, it is actually the issue and post date which can be 24 hours later. Another Ugh!
EasternTraveler is offline  
Old Dec 23, 2021, 6:33 pm
  #1739  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Left Coast
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Posts: 1,366
I would like to lock in my DL $200 plat credit before 12-31-21
Does this make sense:
1. Buy a $50 DL eCard today
2. Buy a refundable Feb, 2022 ticket to somewhere for ~$249 next week (after 4d have elapsed, to be sure the DL eCard is active) so that I don't get charged anything above the $200 annual credit limit (or keep it simple and just pay the extra overage if the ticket exceeds $250)
3. Cancel the ticket the following week and ask for eCredit
Then I will have ~$199 in DL credit to use next year
weezl is offline  
Old Dec 23, 2021, 10:17 pm
  #1740  
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: searching FT for a J deal
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Posts: 268
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, that will work fine.
Pocatello is offline  

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