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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 Jul 23, 2020, 8:22 am
  #661  
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Programs: AA, DL, UA, SWA
Posts: 21
Originally Posted by dlMSP019
Has anyone successfully used the additional collection trick using an existing e-credit from a cancelled flight? I had $50 in ecredits and bought a $250 flight (charged the $200 remaining on the Amex plat) and now waiting to see if Ill get reimbursed. Bought a dummy flight which I will cancel and then hold onto the $250 ecredit in my delta account (which should be valid till 2022 because of the covid waiver). Essentially I wanted to use my $200 credit this year but save it for actual use sometime next year.
Update: Transaction posted on my platinum account today and under details it shows up as Additional Collection, so I am expecting this one to be reimbursed (tx amount of $201.60, so reimbursement should be of the full $200)
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Old Jul 23, 2020, 6:22 pm
  #662  
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: SFO/SJC/OAK
Programs: OZ Diamond (*G), KQ Asante Gold (ST+), Hilton Diamond, IHG Diamond, Marriott Gold
Posts: 1,513
DP: Worked using e-credit and Aspire. Took about 4 days to get credited.
zeer0 is offline  
Old Jul 24, 2020, 7:36 am
  #663  
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Programs: AA, DL, UA, SWA
Posts: 21
Originally Posted by dlMSP019
Has anyone successfully used the additional collection trick using an existing e-credit from a cancelled flight? I had $50 in ecredits and bought a $250 flight (charged the $200 remaining on the Amex plat) and now waiting to see if Ill get reimbursed. Bought a dummy flight which I will cancel and then hold onto the $250 ecredit in my delta account (which should be valid till 2022 because of the covid waiver). Essentially I wanted to use my $200 credit this year but save it for actual use sometime next year.
Update: Full $200 credit posted on my Amex and I chatted with Delta yesterday to make sure I would indeed get the ecredit valid until 9/30/22 if I cancelled my flight.

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Old Jul 24, 2020, 6:44 pm
  #664  
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 114
ecredit expires earlier

Originally Posted by dlMSP019
Has anyone successfully used the additional collection trick using an existing e-credit from a cancelled flight? I had $50 in ecredits and bought a $250 flight (charged the $200 remaining on the Amex plat) and now waiting to see if Ill get reimbursed. Bought a dummy flight which I will cancel and then hold onto the $250 ecredit in my delta account (which should be valid till 2022 because of the covid waiver). Essentially I wanted to use my $200 credit this year but save it for actual use sometime next year.
I called to figure out their policy. I was told that, the ecredit will expire one year after the purchase date of the original ticket. If we use the ecredit plus money to buy ticket, we can only buy flight up to one year from the original purchase.

I wanted to cancel my flight and get ecredit, but this flight is not bought within the covid 2 year plan. So even if I add more money to change to a more expensive one, and cancel later, the ecredit will expire one year from the first ticekt purchase date.
hermitw is offline  
Old Jul 25, 2020, 7:04 am
  #665  
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: BSB
Posts: 260
Originally Posted by hermitw
I called to figure out their policy. I was told that, the ecredit will expire one year after the purchase date of the original ticket. If we use the ecredit plus money to buy ticket, we can only buy flight up to one year from the original purchase.
I wanted to cancel my flight and get ecredit, but this flight is not bought within the covid 2 year plan. So even if I add more money to change to a more expensive one, and cancel later, the ecredit will expire one year from the first ticekt purchase date.
I'm not disputing the information you got, but Im in doubt if it will be applied that way.
I bought a ticket last October for a flight this June, which would expire this October. Cancelled the ticket this May and got the e-credit, valid through October this year.
Booked another flight using the e-credit and got the Amex credit for the cash portion. The ticket says it expires on September 22.
I'm assuming that the whole ticket value will expire on '22, not just the cash portion.
Carq is offline  
Old Jul 26, 2020, 8:35 pm
  #666  
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 66
Originally Posted by geoff325
Did this work?
I ended up buying them as 2 one-way tickets with 2 $50 delta gift cards applied to each flight. The amex flight credits posted a few days after.
Remxed is offline  
Old Jul 27, 2020, 8:32 am
  #667  
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Programs: hilton diamond SPG/Marriott platinum UA silver AA platinum
Posts: 100
Does upgrading to Comfort + from Main qualify for the airline credit. I haven't seen any recent posts on this in 2020 so wanted to have a confirmation. I read on some of the blogs since this a class change it will NOT trigger the replacement. Can anybody confirm please.

Last edited by r6vo; Jul 27, 2020 at 8:59 am
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Old Jul 27, 2020, 8:40 am
  #668  
mia
Flyertalk Posting Legend Moderator: Credit Card Programs, American Express, Capital One, Chase, Citi, Diners Club, Signatures.
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Miami, Mpls & London
Programs: HH & IHG Gold; Marriott & AA Perpetual Platinum
Posts: 49,168
Originally Posted by r6vo
Does upgrading to Comfort + from Main qualify to the airline credit......
See THIS post from January. Use Search this Thread with the keyword "Comfort+" or ""C+" to look for more.
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Old Jul 28, 2020, 10:28 pm
  #669  
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Programs: Flying Blue Silver
Posts: 123
First of all: booking online including a gift card still does not work, it does not charge the Amex. Since I am booking for someone else and am not logged in as a SM member, I don't know if there is any chance to retrieve the booking code. Or do I need to book from scratch via the phone?

Did anybody buy gift cards online and was able to use them earlier than after 72h? I was not aware of that rule, and with prices potentially going up and the more favorable change waivers potentially going away for bookings after 7/31 I would book rather soon than later.
HeartFist is offline  
Old Jul 28, 2020, 11:01 pm
  #670  
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 26
Originally Posted by HeartFist
First of all: booking online including a gift card still does not work, it does not charge the Amex. Since I am booking for someone else and am not logged in as a SM member, I don't know if there is any chance to retrieve the booking code. Or do I need to book from scratch via the phone?

Did anybody buy gift cards online and was able to use them earlier than after 72h? I was not aware of that rule, and with prices potentially going up and the more favorable change waivers potentially going away for bookings after 7/31 I would book rather soon than later.
I followed the steps in the post quoted below, and it finally worked for me. The first two times I had the same problem with Delta not charging my AMEX, but starting the booking from the gift card value lookup screen worked!


Originally Posted by kramerica72
I booked a flight last week using a gift card and my Amex Aspire, and it too disappeared in 2 days, with no charge on my Amex. I went back in today, and instead of adding the gift card at the checkout screen, I went to the Delta gift card value lookup/redeem section of their website, checked the gift card balance there, clicked redeem, and then searched my flight and booked using the Amex to cover the balance. I can now see the pending hold on my Aspire and will update once the transaction processes, and hopefully I am credited.

Not sure if the gift card bug was just an issue Delta was having, or if me using the redeem function up front had anything to do with it, FWIW.
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Old Jul 29, 2020, 7:24 am
  #671  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: NYC
Posts: 1,756
Originally Posted by yoyo
My giftcard was a bit over $11 and it was a residual value from a $100 giftcard. It turned out when you use a giftcard, delta will issue a different card number for the remaining value (but with the same PIN). I forgot about it and kept using the original card num (it showed as valid) so went ahead booked with the new number customer service gave me. They said the booking was automatically cancelled after 24hrs.

However, even with the new card number, my booking still didn't ticket. I had to call in again and the CSR had to manually charge the $11 something giftcard and then take my CC and charged the rest manually.

Now waiting...
All worked as expected.
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Old Jul 29, 2020, 8:15 am
  #672  
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Programs: Flying Blue Silver
Posts: 123
Originally Posted by dpks
I followed the steps in the post quoted below, and it finally worked for me. The first two times I had the same problem with Delta not charging my AMEX, but starting the booking from the gift card value lookup screen worked!
That did not work either, after clicking "Complete purchase" it threw me back on the flight selection page - whether this is because the gift card is younger than 72h or still a general IT glitch I don't know.
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Old Jul 29, 2020, 11:48 am
  #673  
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Programs: DL AA Hilton Hyatt
Posts: 49
Originally Posted by kramerica72
I booked a flight last week using a gift card and my Amex Aspire, and it too disappeared in 2 days, with no charge on my Amex. I went back in today, and instead of adding the gift card at the checkout screen, I went to the Delta gift card value lookup/redeem section of their website, checked the gift card balance there, clicked redeem, and then searched my flight and booked using the Amex to cover the balance. I can now see the pending hold on my Aspire and will update once the transaction processes, and hopefully I am credited.

Not sure if the gift card bug was just an issue Delta was having, or if me using the redeem function up front had anything to do with it, FWIW.
I also tried out this method couple days ago and I was able to purchase the tickets with gift card
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Old Jul 29, 2020, 11:42 pm
  #674  
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 26
Originally Posted by bgriff
I am also interested in this data point, specifically on the part about the credit being valid until 2022. I think the 2022 extension was only for flights that were originally scheduled in a relatively narrow window, like March-April, and doesn't still apply to tickets being booked new now, if I understand Delta's T&Cs correctly? And it is unclear if booking a new flight with a preexisting valid-until-2022 credit and then cancelling reverts to a credit that is valid until 2022, or if the newly booked ticket being cancelled would revert to normal valid-for-a-year ecredit policies.
I can confirm that recently booked tickets don't seem to qualify for the 2022 eCredit expiry, just the normal expiry 1-year from the booking date. I booked a flight on Jul 25 (flying US domestic on Sep 29-30), just cancelled it, and my eCredit shows with an expiry of Jul 24, 2021. The cancellation e-mail they sent me also clarifies that the 2022 policy only applies for tickets booked before April 17, 2020.
bgriff likes this.
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Old Jul 30, 2020, 12:16 am
  #675  
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Programs: DL AA Hilton Hyatt
Posts: 49
Originally Posted by shun
I also tried out this method couple days ago and I was able to purchase the tickets with gift card
Purchased on 7/27:
1) one way $68 Aspire + 10 gift card
2) one way $89 Aspire + 10 gift card

Transaction date 7/28
Meter moved by $157 on 7/29
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