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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 29, 2021, 6:38 am
  #1771  
 
Join Date: Sep 2021
Posts: 44
Thanks! just realized that after I posted. Just purchased it and hoping the gift card comes in shortly and the credit posts on 12/31.
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Old Dec 29, 2021, 6:54 am
  #1772  
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Another option, especially if time is of the essence, is to book a ticket and then change it to a second ticket, no gift card needed.
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Old Dec 29, 2021, 7:34 am
  #1773  
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For those with a $100 back on $300 of Delta purchase offer on their card, would it be possible to use a $50 gift card on a $200 ticket to use up $150 of the Amex $200 credit and then buy a separate ticket for $150 in order to trigger the $100 back (from $300) Amex offer?

Originally Posted by mia
Purchase a Delta giftcard at Best Buy, rather than directly from Delta. See post 1766.
That's the kind of thing I would suggest too. Some of the bigger chain-affiliated/supplied grocery stores -- even those far away from Best Buy -- also have DL gift cards available for sale.

Last edited by GUWonder; Dec 29, 2021 at 7:40 am
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Old Dec 29, 2021, 8:58 am
  #1774  
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 3,180
Does the reimbursement still work for taxes on award tickets?
I'm having difficulty triggering credits on mine.
agjil is offline  
Old Dec 29, 2021, 9:15 am
  #1775  
 
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Originally Posted by Gongzuokuang
I'm curious if the wording changes on the website. I purchased a ticket on 12/25 (Comfort+ to get me to the right amount). It's now 12/27... 36 hours past the purchase. I understand the "runs until midnight the following night" would mean (in this case) midnight of 12/26.

I went in to cancel this morning and as I follow the cancellation process the final screen reads, "Your flight is eligible for a refund/redeposit of miles under Delta's Risk Free Cancellation program. If you have purchased Delta Comfort+ seats, our Mileage Booster, and Priority Boarding products with this trip, your extras will be cancelled and charges automatically refunded and/or miles redeposited." So I have not cancelled it yet.

I don't know what I was thinking, but I booked this flight for needlessly close for 12/29, so I can wait another day to cancel, but probably need to do something no later than tomorrow. But I'm wondering if the wording will change on that final screen after midnight tonight? Or is that just the standard wording? Should I just use twitter customer support and just ask them to cancel it and leave it as an ecredit?

As a side note, I think the "buy the gift card and wait 24 hours" only applies to online purchases directly from Delta, right. I just purchased a physical gift card locally and did wait the 24 hours just because I was trying to followed the instructions precisely. But I would not think in my case the 24 hours would matter, right?
Just to follow-up.... The website continued to read, "Your flight is eligible for a refund/redeposit of miles under Delta's Risk Free Cancellation program.", so I reached out on Twitter. They no longer do support through Twitter; you need to login to your account and use their "secure messaging" chat. After 1:15 in the queue I was connected to some moron who could not understand my question about cancellation / eCredit. I transferred me to another support person who understood my question and issued the eCredit within 15 seconds. I used it to purchase another flight a hour later.

The Amex Credit was posted with a date of 12/27.
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Old Dec 29, 2021, 11:08 am
  #1776  
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Posts: 8
Originally Posted by Zorak
Another option, especially if time is of the essence, is to book a ticket and then change it to a second ticket, no gift card needed.
How does this work? I have $75 left in incidental credit that I'm trying to use up. Considering buying a $50 GC from Best Buy, but I don't fly DL a ton so not sure I'd use the eCredit before it expires, so if there is an option that doesn't require buying a gift card, that would be great.
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Old Dec 29, 2021, 11:36 am
  #1777  
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Originally Posted by arnoldpettybunk
How does this work? I have $75 left in incidental credit that I'm trying to use up. Considering buying a $50 GC from Best Buy, but I don't fly DL a ton so not sure I'd use the eCredit before it expires, so if there is an option that doesn't require buying a gift card, that would be great.
If you don't think you'll use up the resulting eCredit before 31 Dec 2022, then this alternative won't help you either, but the basic idea is (you'd have to play around with Google Flights or somesuch to optimize the amounts involved):

1. Buy the cheapest main cabin ticket you can find

2. After it tickets, click on Modify Flight and change it to some other flight (doesn't have to be the same airports) that costs $75 more than the first one


Step 1 here merely eliminates the need to begin with a gift card.

Last edited by Zorak; Dec 29, 2021 at 12:18 pm Reason: Fix wording
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Old Dec 29, 2021, 11:43 am
  #1778  
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Posts: 8
Originally Posted by Zorak
If you don't think you'll use up the resulting eCredit before 31 Dec 2022, then this alternative isn't won't help you either, but the basic idea is (you'd have to play around with Google Flights or somesuch to optimize the amounts involved):

1. Buy the cheapest main cabin ticket you can find

2. After it tickets, click on Modify Flight and change it to some other flight (doesn't have to be the same airports) that costs $75 more than the first one


Step 1 here merely eliminates the need to begin with a gift card.
Thank you
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Old Dec 29, 2021, 12:25 pm
  #1779  
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Posts: 11
For anyone who has the Delta Reserve card, does using 5K miles ($50) + your amex card trigger the airline fee?

I booked a couple of flights recently using a gift card + amex card and It's not triggering the airline fee. I can't even get a credit for the taxes and fees portion of the ticket. It looks like the flights are going through as one transaction.

Last edited by lourod87; Dec 29, 2021 at 12:34 pm
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Old Dec 29, 2021, 1:10 pm
  #1780  
mia
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Originally Posted by lourod87
I booked a couple of flights recently using a gift card + amex card and It's not triggering the airline fee. I can't even get a credit for the taxes and fees portion of the ticket. It looks like the flights are going through as one transaction.
There is no reason to expect reimbursement of taxes and fees on a paid ticket. 1) How recent is the transaction? 2) What are the dollar amount(s) of the Delta Airlines transactions that posted to your card? 3) Using a browser on a computer (not using the Amex app on a phone or tablet), click the posted Delta Airlines transaction, and let us know if you see "Additional Collection" in the description. That's one key to making this work.
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Old Dec 29, 2021, 1:14 pm
  #1781  
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Originally Posted by lourod87
For anyone who has the Delta Reserve card, does using 5K miles ($50) + your amex card trigger the airline fee?
Both Pay With Miles and Miles+Cash will trigger the airline fee credit; for more information scroll to the top of the thread or click << in mobile view and see the wiki under "Paying for a ticket partially with SkyMiles"

For your second paragraph, the clarifying questions mia asked may help pinpoint what's going on.
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Old Dec 29, 2021, 2:03 pm
  #1782  
 
Join Date: Dec 2021
Posts: 4
how do i go about cancelling for ecredit? do i need a valid reason? i have a main cabin ticket i purchased 3 days ago just posted.
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Old Dec 29, 2021, 3:18 pm
  #1783  
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Posts: 11
I booked a flight about two weeks ago and received a credit pretty much for the taxes and fees which came through as "additional collection". When I first purchased it, there were multiple transactions. Two days ago I booked a flight and only a single transaction posted. All flights were $80-$135 before using a gift card.
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Old Dec 29, 2021, 4:03 pm
  #1784  
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: SFO
Posts: 38
Some datapoints:

Aspire: Verifying that >$250 doesn't trigger credit
Nov 6 - Bought a flight in Basic E for $38.40
Nov 6 - Changed to a flight that was $323.40, charging $285.00 to Aspire ($250 credit)
Nov 7 - $285 as "Additional Collection" on Aspire
Nov 2? - Chat with rep, explaining it's a change fee.
Nov 27 - $250 amex airline feed credited

MS Plat
Dec 14 - Buy $50 Delta gift card on Paypal, receive code <1 hour
Dec 14 - Buy $261.80 flight with MS Plat ($200 credit) and $50 gift card
Dec 15 - $211.80 as "Additional Collection"
Dec 17 - $200 Credit
Dec 20 - Canceled ticket, now $261.80 ecredit expiring 2022-12-31
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Old Dec 29, 2021, 6:14 pm
  #1785  
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Originally Posted by k1ngkev1n1
how do i go about cancelling for ecredit? do i need a valid reason? i have a main cabin ticket i purchased 3 days ago just posted.
On the web site: use the red Modify Flight button in the upper right corner of a trip on the web site, after which you should see a panel (or possibly a tab if you are viewing the website on a mobile device) offering a cancel option.

In the smartphone app: there is a Cancel Flight link at the bottom of each reservation (buried along with a bunch of other option in a small font size)

If for some reason you are unable to cancel through the system automatically* and need to call/contact to get an agent to process the cancellation for you, "my plans have changed and I would like to cancel this flight for an eCredit" is completely valid.

*this can fail in at least two ways; you may get an error that the trip can't be cancelled through the website; you may also get redirected to submit a refund request form. The latter *probably* eventually leads to an eCredit, for trips that aren't actually eligible for a refund, but I have low confidence of this happening quickly or correctly so when this happens personally I treat it as "can't cancel online" and call in.

Originally Posted by lourod87
I booked a flight about two weeks ago and received a credit pretty much for the taxes and fees which came through as "additional collection". When I first purchased it, there were multiple transactions. Two days ago I booked a flight and only a single transaction posted. All flights were $80-$135 before using a gift card.
Was the first ticket for multiple passengers? What were the exact dollar amounts? Is it possible you've already used up all your airline fee credit for the year (what does the tracker in your account say)

To reiterate, the more specific and complete info you give, the more accurately people will be able to speculate what's going on with your situation.
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