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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 27, 2021, 10:51 am
  #1756  
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Boring data: slightly over $200 add/collect credited the full $200 the day it posted.
findark is offline  
Old Dec 27, 2021, 10:57 am
  #1757  
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Originally Posted by pennystinkard
If I have already hundreds of dollars in Delta ecredits, is there a way to just use, say, $10 of that ecredit balance and apply it to my flight purchase? That way I wouldn't have to buy another $50 gift card in the new year.
If you have, say, a $100 eCredit, there is no way to use up only $20 of that credit and pay for the rest with an AMEX.

Obviously if you have multiple eCredits in a variety of amounts you can choose the one that optimizes the add/collect amount of a new transaction.

Failing that, in the first example, you could look for a ticket in the ~$80 range, book it using the eCredit, which will leave $20 left over. Use the $20 + CC if that was your original goal, then cancel the $80 ticket.
Zorak is offline  
Old Dec 27, 2021, 2:42 pm
  #1758  
 
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Delta worked flawlessly and credit applied easily.
EasternTraveler is offline  
Old Dec 27, 2021, 5:40 pm
  #1759  
 
Join Date: Dec 2021
Posts: 7
1) Anyone knows if eCredit issued for P1 can be applied to a reservation on which there are 2 persons (P1+P2)?
2) For a multi-passenger reservation, are separate travel credits issued for each passenger's share of fare? Or either of the passengers can use the credits?
arl12 is offline  
Old Dec 28, 2021, 5:27 am
  #1760  
 
Join Date: Jun 2021
Posts: 4
Originally Posted by EasternTraveler
Delta worked flawlessly and credit applied easily.
Which method did you use?
4szns is offline  
Old Dec 28, 2021, 5:29 am
  #1761  
 
Join Date: Jun 2021
Posts: 4
Originally Posted by kflies
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!
To be clear, you applied the $8 ecredit + $192 on your AMEX, correct?

​​​​​​​
4szns is offline  
Old Dec 28, 2021, 9:36 am
  #1762  
 
Join Date: Dec 2021
Posts: 2
My Delta flight transaction just posted and the $200 Airline credit was not deducted. My flight unfortunately departs at 5:00am on 12/30, so I don't have much time--if the credit hasn't posted within 24 hours of my flight departure, should I simply cancel and not expect to get it due to poor timing?

Here's the timeline:

12/22: Transaction for $50 Delta gift card posted (on separate card, no my Amex Plat).
12/26: My $50 Delta e-gift card became active--hadn't realized this would take 4 days. Bought a main cabin flight for $264 on my Amex Platinum (departs 12/30),
12/28: $214 Delta flight purchase on Amex Platinum goes from pending to a standard Additional Collection charge. My airline fee credit (set to Delta weeks ago) is still at $200.

I see in another flyertalk report on this thread, the credit posted 2 full business days later. I foolishly booked a flight in a tight window and do not have 2 full business days to wait. Can I cancel within 24 hours of my flight departure, and if so should I just try to wait until the last hour or so if the credit doesn't post before cancelling?
voler9171 is offline  
Old Dec 28, 2021, 9:47 am
  #1763  
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Originally Posted by voler9171
I see in another flyertalk report on this thread, the credit posted 2 full business days later. I foolishly booked a flight in a tight window and do not have 2 full business days to wait. Can I cancel within 24 hours of my flight departure, and if so should I just try to wait until the last hour or so if the credit doesn't post before cancelling?
You can cancel any time up until flight departure (although I wouldn't leave it until literally the last minute in case of long hold times etc.)

You can also contact DL (phone/Twitter/SMS) and tell them you can't take the flight but would prefer to take an eCredit instead of a refund and they should be able do that too.
Zorak is offline  
Old Dec 28, 2021, 9:56 am
  #1764  
 
Join Date: Dec 2021
Posts: 2
Originally Posted by Zorak
You can cancel any time up until flight departure (although I wouldn't leave it until literally the last minute in case of long hold times etc.)

You can also contact DL (phone/Twitter/SMS) and tell them you can't take the flight but would prefer to take an eCredit instead of a refund and they should be able do that too.
That sounds like a great option. Thanks! Is there any reason not to just do this tomorrow (rather than waking at like 3:00am the next day or staying up super late to cancel) and/or before the credit hits?

Looking over reports here, I've noticed multiple people have the credit hit 2 business days after the transaction posts. Given that's a pattern and that I don't have 2 full business days, it seems there's an argument in pre-emptively just asking Delta directly for an eCredit, assuming that would have no impact on Amex issuing the credit--I'm guessing in the case of a direct eCredit request, Amex won't ever even receive that information or care at that point.
voler9171 is offline  
Old Dec 28, 2021, 10:05 am
  #1765  
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Originally Posted by voler9171
That sounds like a great option. Thanks! Is there any reason not to just do this tomorrow (rather than waking at like 3:00am the next day or staying up super late to cancel) and/or before the credit hits?
In terms of the credit there's no reason to wait; it's more of a tradeoff in case the wait time on the phone is long. Although if you don't mind using the Twitter/SMS chat then you can do it non-interactively, which is a plus.

Another possibility, if the website lets you*, would be to change your ticket to something further in the future and then you don't have to worry about it. The cost won't need to be exactly the same, you'll either end up with a residual credit (if the future ticket costs less) or have to pay more (if the future ticket costs more, obv you would try to minimize the additional outlay).

*however due to Delta's stellar IT sometimes you can't change or cancel online yourself and have to get an agent to do it; IME this happens more with tickets involving eCredits

Originally Posted by voler9171
I'm guessing in the case of a direct eCredit request, Amex won't ever even receive that information or care at that point.
Right, if you take an eCredit that's purely between you and DL.
Zorak is offline  
Old Dec 28, 2021, 4:12 pm
  #1766  
 
Join Date: Dec 2021
Posts: 7
FYI - at this point, its better to buy the $50 Delta gift card from BestBuy (they also have an extra 10% gc deal going on their $100, $250, $500 Delta GCs in case you want to go that route) since their digital gift card comes in already activated as opposed to when you buy it from Delta.com. There are plenty of ways to get 5% CB on BestBuy purchases so you don't really lose out buying from BB.
arl12 is offline  
Old Dec 28, 2021, 10:03 pm
  #1767  
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 3
A heads up for anyone who's doing the GC route, Delta online gift cards have a 72-hour hold before you can use them. My recent experience is that it took 96 hours! Received GC on 12/24 and it did not work until just now (12/28), exactly at 96 hours. Maybe they don't count Christmas, not sure, but plan accordingly. It would be too late for the online gift card for 2021. You might be able to do the mobile or app gift cards, which have a 24-hour hold. Good luck!
NewYorker4Life is offline  
Old Dec 28, 2021, 10:10 pm
  #1768  
 
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Originally Posted by hhdl
What do you mean by upgraded seat? I believe that a charge for selecting a seat within the class of service purchased (e.g. a "preferred" seat on DL) qualifies for reimbursement, while purchasing an upgrade (which on DL would include Comfort+) to a different class of service does not.

In any event, yes, I'd expect that you'll get a $160 credit automatically, and may or may not get the $35 (depending on if DL posts it as an additional collection).
By upgraded, I meant to Comfort+. And although the charges posted separately, I did get the full credit for both charges. The credits posted about 72h after the ticket was booked.
weezl is offline  
Old Dec 29, 2021, 6:28 am
  #1769  
 
Join Date: Sep 2021
Posts: 44
Any suggestions to use the credit with only 2 days left? Can't use the gift card route since it has a 3-day hold and still have $175 left on the bar. Sigh.
foryoureyesonly is offline  
Old Dec 29, 2021, 6:35 am
  #1770  
mia
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Originally Posted by foryoureyesonly
....Can't use the gift card route since it has a 3-day hold and still have $175 left on the bar.
Purchase a Delta giftcard at Best Buy, rather than directly from Delta. See post 1766.
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