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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

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 Jan 3, 2020, 5:35 pm
Join Date: Jan 2014
Programs: Delta
Posts: 61
I got back $118 for the miles bonus purchase and $60 in luggage fees. I don't have status on Delta.
Hikmer01 is offline  
Old Jan 3, 2020, 5:43 pm
Join Date: May 2012
Location: BOS, YYZ, HKG, TPE
Programs: OZ Diamond, DL Gold, QF Gold, HH Diamond, Bonvoy Titanium, WoH Explorist, Shangri-la Jade
Posts: 305
Originally Posted by Zhenghang524
Has your credit posted? Please keep us updated! I have the same situation as yours.

Meter moved, 2020 credit
DreamHigh is offline  
Old Jan 3, 2020, 8:06 pm
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Mexico City
Programs: Hyatt Explorist, Hilton Gold, Marriot Gold, IHG Silver, Choice Platinum, Wyndham Gold
Posts: 3,884
I haven't been following this thread for sometime, but last I recalled you could purchase a flight directly with Delta using your Amex, without any gift card attached as long as the fare was below $200.

The fare I'm looking at is $180, will I still get reimbursed without applying a gift card?

Edit: I just went ahead and purchased a $50 GC and will apply it to my airline ticket tomorrow when the gift card becomes valid.

Last edited by Global Adventurer; Jan 3, 2020 at 9:03 pm
Global Adventurer is offline  
Old Jan 3, 2020, 8:33 pm
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 3
Originally Posted by klakhav
I have read a lot of threads and am confused. Is AMEX PLAT allowing $200 purchase of DL gift cards in 2020 and then get credit back? Thanks
I heard that too... a couple posts in the last two weeks... I bought a $50 delta GC on 1/2 with my Hilton aspire just to see what happens. Was going to buy one anyways so Im not out anything if it doesnt work. Also bought a $59 mileage booster (3000 miles) which I assume does work from what Ive heard. I dont expect the GC to get reimbursed but Ill update when I find out for sure.
Scott1977 is offline  
Old Jan 3, 2020, 9:17 pm
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Mexico City
Programs: Hyatt Explorist, Hilton Gold, Marriot Gold, IHG Silver, Choice Platinum, Wyndham Gold
Posts: 3,884
Originally Posted by lourod87
Is there anywhere I can purchase a gift card from someone ? Not many on eBay and the gift card sites I know about.

Physical cards take 24 hrs to activate and e-gift cards take 72 hrs.
Several months ago I purchased two egift cards and the notice stated 72 hours, but the egift card I purchased today has the following note:

"Gift cards may be redeemed for any Delta-marketed flight worldwide by visiting www.delta.com or by calling 1-800-221-1212. Gift Cards may not be redeemed within twenty-four (24) hours after the time of purchase."

I'll see what happens tomorrow.
Global Adventurer is offline  
Old Jan 3, 2020, 10:23 pm
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: New York, NY
Programs: BAEC Gold, Delta Platinum, Hilton Diamond, Marriott Gold, AMEX Platinum (US)
Posts: 18,487
Not wanting to beat the metaphorical expired equine...In previous years have used my Platinum Charge Card, Aspire and wifes Gold charge to buy AA gift cards. Now Ive $550 credits to attempt to use...This may be a replacement for 2020 but just want to confirm based on the few hundred posts I have read...

1) I can use any credit card to purchase a DL gift card
2) It seems that as long as amount billed after the gift card is less than $250 then it should trigger the airline credit
3) I see most tickets people are referencing in their data points are lower dollar amounts. Any upper limit to what I can start off with? I.e $675 ticket with a $450 gift card?

Failing that on my current reservations I see mileage boosters available with plenty of reports of those being covered. I see the Wiki says inflight WiFi is not covered but I can purchase it ahead of time it seems. I didnt see any reports of that in the last few months. Sorry, dont fly DL too much!

Thank you!
Fraser is offline  
Old Jan 4, 2020, 12:34 am
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 27
Originally Posted by Fraser
1) I can use any credit card to purchase a DL gift card
2) It seems that as long as amount billed after the gift card is less than $250 then it should trigger the airline credit
3) I see most tickets people are referencing in their data points are lower dollar amounts. Any upper limit to what I can start off with? I.e $675 ticket with a $450 gift card
Yes, thats how it works. (For now!)
SuitCase is offline  
Old Jan 4, 2020, 9:27 am
Join Date: Jan 2020
Programs: Delta
Posts: 3
Originally Posted by DreamHigh
Meter moved, 2020 credit
Mine $200 credit showed up this morning, and it took from 2020 as well. I gave AMEX a call, and they said I could call them back when I have a future eligible transaction in 2020 to use the $200 credit because the transaction was placed in 2019. Basically, it means I still have the $200 credit for 2020 (Hopefully I will have no problems using it). I suggest you do that too. The representative was very nice. Let us know how it goes! Good luck!
Zhenghang524 is offline  
Old Jan 4, 2020, 10:30 am
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 1
Does anyone know if you purchase a r/t airfare if it will post as one or two charges (for the individual flights)

I had made a purchase of two one-way flights and it rang up seperately, so I am just curious if I should use one gc for the r/t airfare or expect for two and purchase the individual flights.

Thanks in advance.
Ryan Pigeon is offline  
Old Jan 4, 2020, 11:18 am
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 12
Purchased a roundtrip ticket LGA to BNA in C+ for $455.80 (ouch, btw)

Used 2 $50 gift cards I had from early 2019 when that still worked to trigger the credit
Used 1 new $250 gift card I bought on 12/29/19
Remaining $105.80 charged to my Amex Gold card

Transaction on 1/2/20
Posted on 1/3/20
Changed to "Additional Collection" on 1/4/20

Still no credit back, but I imagine it's too soon to worry. I'll post back if it goes through. Appreciative of the info from this forum!
racheva is offline  
Old Jan 4, 2020, 11:24 am
Join Date: Dec 2019
Posts: 11
Did anyone have a transaction date on 12/31 ?

I called AMEX and confirmed with them that I'd be able to use the 2019 credit on 12/31. I was told yes, he even put me on hold to confirm that info with customer service. I made the purchase on 12/31 and the transaction posted on 1/1 and it used up my 2020 credit.
lourod87 is offline  
Old Jan 4, 2020, 11:54 am
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 155
Originally Posted by lourod87
Did anyone have a transaction date on 12/31 ?

I called AMEX and confirmed with them that I'd be able to use the 2019 credit on 12/31. I was told yes, he even put me on hold to confirm that info with customer service. I made the purchase on 12/31 and the transaction posted on 1/1 and it used up my 2020 credit.
I also made a transaction on 12/31 and was reimbursed but both credited against 2020 :-\

Any suggestions?
dblue is offline  
Old Jan 4, 2020, 12:25 pm
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 53
Planning on cancelling my Plat card in the next 2 weeks or so but have an upcoming flight on DL coming up next week. Mileage boosters still work for reimbursement right? Will the mileage boosters get charged to my card the day I select or the day of the flight?
AlphonsoMango is offline  
Old Jan 4, 2020, 12:27 pm
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,100
Originally Posted by diesteldorf
Thanks for the tip. I was doing something similar and needed a fare that was around $448 so I could use my $200 Platinum credit. PDX-LAX non-refundable works well and I was able to book out till 11/2020.

I was busy using my Gold and Aspire credits last night. I will also update my post when and if the credits post.

I'm a little curious, since I will also have a fully refundable ticket, will Delta allow you to keep booking future travel as the dates open up, so you can basically keep the funds alive until you are ready to use them? I would rather keep the funds with Delta than request a refund online and risk Amex clawing back the credits.
Just wanted to post a followup. On 1/1/2020, I purchased a non-refundable ticket for $375, for a trip I already plan on taking, using 3 $50 Gift Cards, and charging the remaining $225 to my Amex Hilton Aspire.

Also, on 1/1/2020, I purchased a FULLY REFUNDABLE DGA TO BOS ticket for $205.40, using 2 $50 Delta Gift Cards and charging the remaining $105.40 to my Amex Gold.
On 1/2/2020, I changed the DGA to BOS Refundable flight to an earlier date and the fare went up to $248.40. I charged the $43 difference to my Amex Hilton Aspire to burn the remaining $25 of the $250 airline credit. Then, immediately afterwards, I changed the DGA to BOS refundable flight to a refundable LAX to PDX flight for $448.40, charging the $200 difference to my Amex Platinum.

As of today, checking the benefits of all cards,I can see my credit meter for the Amex Gold has moved to ZERO with a message that my benefit will reset in 2021. The meter on My Hilton Aspire shows $25 remaining. The actual credits should post next week, and I am also expecting the meter on my Platinum card, and Aspire to move to ZERO WITHIN 1-2 DAYS.

Regarding my $448 refundable ticket from LAX to PDX for November, 2020, I'll just plan to use those funds the next time I book a flight within the next year.

I'm glad I was able to utilize all $550 worth of travel credits, since it'll allow me to justify keeping my Gold, Aspire, and Platinum for another year. Of the 3, the Aspire and Platinum are 2 of my favorites for travel benefits.
diesteldorf is offline  
Old Jan 4, 2020, 2:03 pm
Join Date: Dec 2019
Posts: 11
Originally Posted by dblue
I also made a transaction on 12/31 and was reimbursed but both credited against 2020 :-\

Any suggestions?
I had to call twice and explain the situation. The first person I spoke to didn't want to give me anything. I called back and he was able to give me a statement credit for what I had leftover from 2019 which was $155.

Unfortunately, my 2020 airline credit went to a comfort+ seat I would never normally purchase, but I guess thats my fault for waiting so long to use the credit. Lesson learned.

Thank you all for your help!

Last edited by lourod87; Jan 4, 2020 at 2:12 pm
lourod87 is offline  

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