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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 Feb 25, 2020, 7:50 am
  #451  
mia
Flyertalk Posting Legend Moderator: Credit Card Programs, American Express, Capital One, Chase, Citi, Diners Club, Signatures.
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
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Posts: 49,013
Originally Posted by shmom
.... 4 days since the charge posted. .
American Express telephone agents repeatedly tell callers to wait two weeks before they will make a manual reimbursement. This is because American Express uses batch processing, and not every qualifying transaction is detected on the earliest possible date.
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Old Feb 25, 2020, 3:42 pm
  #452  
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 4
Originally Posted by kyleh
For some reason I missed that if you change your refundable flight to a cheaper flight, it will refund the difference to your card. I assumed it would stay on your DL account similar to SW travel funds.

Is there any way to get around this? Trying to change a ~$300 flight purchased with Aspire/GC to a $150 flight and Id rather not have the other $150 refunded and eventually clawed back.
Bumping this in light of today's clawback news... Any way to change a $300 flight to a cheaper flight and keep the credit on your DL account? Thanks all.
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Old Feb 25, 2020, 4:01 pm
  #453  
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
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Posts: 966
Originally Posted by ysq168
Think this happened to me - used a $50 GC and charged remaining $239.80 to Amex Plat. Transaction did NOT post as Additional Collection and meter did not move. Didn't think to check whether $50 GC was purchased with Plat at the time.
I received an additional collection credit / fee reimbursement when I used my Amex plat and a gift card I bought from Bestbuy during their buy 300 dollars in delta gift cards get a 25 dollar Best Buy card promotion (that i also stacked with an Amex offer on my Amex Marriott card)
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Old Feb 25, 2020, 6:33 pm
  #454  
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Originally Posted by kyleh
Bumping this in light of today's clawback news... Any way to change a $300 flight to a cheaper flight and keep the credit on your DL account? Thanks all.
I don't think so, but I suspect that a partial refund will draw much less scrutiny than a full refund. (I am just speculating though...)
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Old Feb 25, 2020, 7:38 pm
  #455  
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
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Posts: 1,556
Originally Posted by fujiteam
Has anyone been reimbursed for a seat upgrade? I have the Ameriprise version of the card and will be canceled before I book my next set of flights. I have some flights booked already and ensuring I sit up front would be a nice way to use the $200.
Any time I have paid for a seat upgrade I have had to get it manually credited. Can call at 14 days past the purchase and I would just say its a seat assignment not an upgrade when talking to a CSR
Brandinho1 is offline  
Old Feb 26, 2020, 6:54 am
  #456  
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Posts: 4
DP

2/21: Bought ticket ($118) with pay with miles option 5000 miles= $50 for a total remaining charge of $68
2:22: Transaction posted as add collect
2/26: meter still hasn't moved

Will continue to check and provide further updates.
PRpapotiti is offline  
Old Feb 26, 2020, 7:02 am
  #457  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Oakland CA
Programs: DL Gold, AS MVPG, Globalist
Posts: 1,008
Originally Posted by PRpapotiti
DP

2/21: Bought ticket ($118) with pay with miles option 5000 miles= $50 for a total remaining charge of $68
2:22: Transaction posted as add collect
2/26: meter still hasn't moved

Will continue to check and provide further updates.
I have the same datapoint except I bought on 2/20 with a gift card. Net charge of $136, posted 2/22, meter hasnt yet moved.
dordal is offline  
Old Feb 26, 2020, 7:53 am
  #458  
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 12
Originally Posted by kyleh
Bumping this in light of today's clawback news... Any way to change a $300 flight to a cheaper flight and keep the credit on your DL account? Thanks all.
I had experience on this. If you originally purchased a refundable fare, you can always change it to a cheaper flight. Just in your reservation, click modify the flight and follow instructions. You can change a refundable fare to a non-refundable fare but then you cannot make changes any more without paying a fee. You can change a one-way to round trip or vice versa.

However, be aware, the fund difference will be issued as an e-certifcate with an expiration date, and ONLY you can use it. You cannot use that e-cert to purchase a ticket for others. It seems you can use it toward tickets including yourself and others though.

I tried to change my refundable one-way to a non-refundable round trip a few days back, and then I wanted to use the remaining certificate to purchase a ticket for my wife, but it did not allow me to. It will ask the name associated with that e-cert, and it has to match. If using that e-cert for both myself and my wife, then it went through. But since I already got mine own ticket, I could not do it this way. So immediately (that is within 24 hours) I cancelled the new reservation. The e-cert got void immediately. Then I made a phone call to have all money refunded to my aspire and it was processed soon enough. Now I have to cross my fingers that it would not be clawed back by amex.
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Old Feb 26, 2020, 9:52 pm
  #459  
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Posts: 2
Originally Posted by dordal
I have the same datapoint except I bought on 2/20 with a gift card. Net charge of $136, posted 2/22, meter hasnt yet moved.
Originally Posted by PRpapotiti
DP

2/21: Bought ticket ($118) with pay with miles option 5000 miles= $50 for a total remaining charge of $68
2:22: Transaction posted as add collect
2/26: meter still hasn't moved

Will continue to check and provide further updates.
I bought a ticket with a $50 GC and a $96.8 charge on Aspire to see if this still works. Transaction posted on Feb 14 as additional collection and got reimbursed on Feb18. Then got another ticket with a net charge of $155.2 on Amex, transaction posted on Feb 21 but still no reimbursement. Hopefully, nothing happened around Feb20!
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Old Feb 27, 2020, 6:59 am
  #460  
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Posts: 1
Hilton aspire
Bought a delta ticket, used 50$ gift card and paid 228$ via the credit card.

2/21 Transaction posted
2/27 Meter moved!
2/27 credit posted

Last edited by zyphax; Feb 28, 2020 at 3:37 pm
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Old Feb 27, 2020, 7:45 am
  #461  
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Posts: 2
Meter moved for me too today

Charege on Aspire:96.8
Transaction posted: 2/14
Credit posted: 2/18


Charge on Aspire: 155.2
Transaction posted: 2/21
Meter moved: 2/27
Credit posted: 2/28

Last edited by ArashSa; Feb 28, 2020 at 7:16 am
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Old Feb 28, 2020, 1:34 pm
  #462  
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Originally Posted by ijgordon
Ok, following up on using the Amex Platinum for premium beverages at a SkyClub.
I spent ~$20 one week ago, and as of today, no reimbursement and no movement on the meter.
The guest fee for entry to the MSY SkyClub I paid (which *was* reimbursed last month, 2 days after the charge) showed up with "Delta Air Lines Atlanta" as the merchant and "Club Membership Fee" as the description.
The bar charge was billed as "DELTA SKY CLUB283107JAMAICA NY" and does not have a transaction description.

I guess I will probably have to call Amex after 3 more weeks and argue this one out.
Follow-up here. I just spoke to Amex and they are manually processing the credit. No pushback at all. Agent did reference that because it has been 2 weeks since the transaction, he was able to push it through manually. Supposedly will post within 5 days.

So for those who already are elite or otherwise have free bags/C+ and want to remain "clean" about how they use their travel credits, and who like a nice(r) glass of wine or specialty cocktail on the ground, this is a decent way IMO. (In that there is no express prohibition against F&B charges in an airline club in the terms of the benefit.)
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Old Feb 28, 2020, 2:26 pm
  #463  
 
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Originally Posted by ijgordon
Follow-up here. I just spoke to Amex and they are manually processing the credit. No pushback at all. Agent did reference that because it has been 2 weeks since the transaction, he was able to push it through manually. Supposedly will post within 5 days.

So for those who already are elite or otherwise have free bags/C+ and want to remain "clean" about how they use their travel credits, and who like a nice(r) glass of wine or specialty cocktail on the ground, this is a decent way IMO. (In that there is no express prohibition against F&B charges in an airline club in the terms of the benefit.)
Thank you for posting about this; Skyclub guest access for my wife is my anticipated usage of the credit this year and maybe I'll splurge on a fancy cocktail
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Old Feb 28, 2020, 5:37 pm
  #464  
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Los Angeles, AA Plat 2MM, DL GM
Posts: 131
GC posted as passenger ticket--no reimbursement

I purchased a $50 GC on my platinum card in January, as I have been doing for several years as a way of using part of my $200 annual benefit, but this time the transaction coded as a passenger ticket, and I did not receive the reimbursement. Is this a new policy as of 2020?
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Old Feb 28, 2020, 6:02 pm
  #465  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Oakland CA
Programs: DL Gold, AS MVPG, Globalist
Posts: 1,008
Originally Posted by dordal
I have the same datapoint except I bought on 2/20 with a gift card. Net charge of $136, posted 2/22, meter hasnt yet moved.
My ticket has posted now:

2/20: Bought ticket with a GC, $136 remaining.
2:22: Transaction posted as add collect
2/28: Meter moved and credit issued, both on the same day ( coded as 2/27 but neither had moved yesterday)
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