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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 Sep 23, 2020, 10:58 pm
  #751  
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 8
September 22: I bought a one-way ticket for $194 ($244 - $50 gift card).
September 23: Transaction posted as Additional Collection

$200 benefit needle hasn't moved yet. Will quote and update my post if and when it goes through.
bleuchill is offline  
Old Sep 24, 2020, 2:51 pm
  #752  
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 29
I have a question re: selecting the airline time frame. My work booked me a flight using a DL certificate, so I'm pretty sure that the taxes I had to pay on my card will post as adcol and be eligible for reimbursement (2 x $82 charges)
However I didn't realize they were booking the flight this way till I got the email confirmation that it was purchased - and I didn't have an airline selected on Amex. I went in straight away and selected DL as my airline of choice on AMEX, I'm hoping as its same day as the transaction will code/post, that I should be in the clear.
What do you think the odds are that I may still get reimbursed?
passportsandpolaroids is offline  
Old Sep 25, 2020, 10:08 am
  #753  
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 8
Originally Posted by bleuchill
September 22: I bought a one-way ticket for $194 ($244 - $50 gift card).
September 23: Transaction posted as Additional Collection

$200 benefit needle hasn't moved yet. Will quote and update my post if and when it goes through.
September 24: Received the reimbursement.

Last edited by bleuchill; Sep 25, 2020 at 10:09 am Reason: Clarification
bleuchill is offline  
Old Sep 29, 2020, 9:22 am
  #754  
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 148
I have $83 in credits left on my Hilton card, but don't plan on flying delta any time soon. Can I book a flight for around $135 with the gift card to trigger the credit, and then cancel a week later to just get a Delta Travel certificate under the new cancellation policies? That way I'll have used this years credits and have a delta travel cert for another year.
UAFLYER22 is offline  
Old Sep 29, 2020, 9:24 am
  #755  
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Join Date: Aug 2005
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Programs: Delta Diamond, Bonvoy something good; sometimes other things too
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Originally Posted by UAFLYER22
I have $83 in credits left on my Hilton card, but don't plan on flying delta any time soon. Can I book a flight for around $135 with the gift card to trigger the credit, and then cancel a week later to just get a Delta Travel certificate under the new cancellation policies? That way I'll have used this years credits and have a delta travel cert for another year.
Experience has been that yes, this typically works. The main downside to keep in mind is that your $50 gift card will then be tied up in a ticket that expires after a year, so may be lost if you don't end up needing to use it in that timeframe.
bgriff is offline  
Old Sep 29, 2020, 11:03 am
  #756  
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 1,031
I checked my e-credit on my Skymiles account and it says it has no value but expiring 12/31/2022? This is bugged?
phant0m is offline  
Old Sep 30, 2020, 12:35 pm
  #757  
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Originally Posted by phant0m
I checked my e-credit on my Skymiles account and it says it has no value but expiring 12/31/2022? This is bugged?
Not sure what you mean by "bugged", but does it say $0, or does it not specify a value?

If the latter, it may have value to it. I have an outstanding ecredit for $250 or so which resulted from a complicated ticket situation (had been changed multiple times, etc.) so I assume at some point Delta's system lost the ability to readily display the value, but I've been assured by Delta agents that when I need to use it, an agent should be able to manually unlock the value. So don't lose track of it.
bgriff is offline  
Old Sep 30, 2020, 8:00 pm
  #758  
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 82
Originally Posted by bgriff
Experience has been that yes, this typically works. The main downside to keep in mind is that your $50 gift card will then be tied up in a ticket that expires after a year, so may be lost if you don't end up needing to use it in that timeframe.
Can you please elaborate on this? In his example, if you were to book at non refundable ticket today 9/30 ($85 on credit card and $50 on gift card), then proceed to cancel, lets say 12/1, he will get an ecredit for the amount $135 that he would need to book by 11/30/21. Is that correct?
psykopath515 is offline  
Old Oct 1, 2020, 7:32 am
  #759  
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Programs: Delta Diamond, Bonvoy something good; sometimes other things too
Posts: 5,063
Originally Posted by psykopath515
Can you please elaborate on this? In his example, if you were to book at non refundable ticket today 9/30 ($85 on credit card and $50 on gift card), then proceed to cancel, lets say 12/1, he will get an ecredit for the amount $135 that he would need to book by 11/30/21. Is that correct?
I believe it is that you would need to book and travel by 9/30/21 (or so) for domestic tickets, and book by 9/30/21 but travel within a year of when you rebook for international. Source for that, although things may have changed since then (in particular I'm not sure if those rules might have changed as a result of the no-more-change-fees policy). And if you have a domestic ticket that gets rebooked as an international ticket, or vice versa, then it gets even less clear.

In any case, for anyone considering doing this to claim an Amex credit this year, I'd certainly at least wait until the last week of December or so to do it, to give yourself the maximum possible validity on the new ticket. (But not waiting until 12/31, because if you push it too close to the end of the year there's a chance your transaction doesn't post in time and you end up using the 2021 credit.)
bgriff is offline  
Old Oct 1, 2020, 9:55 am
  #760  
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 82
Originally Posted by bgriff
I believe it is that you would need to book and travel by 9/30/21 (or so) for domestic tickets, and book by 9/30/21 but travel within a year of when you rebook for international. Source for that, although things may have changed since then (in particular I'm not sure if those rules might have changed as a result of the no-more-change-fees policy). And if you have a domestic ticket that gets rebooked as an international ticket, or vice versa, then it gets even less clear.

In any case, for anyone considering doing this to claim an Amex credit this year, I'd certainly at least wait until the last week of December or so to do it, to give yourself the maximum possible validity on the new ticket. (But not waiting until 12/31, because if you push it too close to the end of the year there's a chance your transaction doesn't post in time and you end up using the 2021 credit.)
I wonder how this would work in my situation.

I booked a 8/6/21 refundable ticket which includes a $50 gc on 9/21/20. I intend to change 8/6/21 refundable ticket to a non-refundable ticket (lets say to 12/1/21). I should get an ecredit but question is when will it expire?
psykopath515 is offline  
Old Oct 1, 2020, 10:01 am
  #761  
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Originally Posted by psykopath515
I wonder how this would work in my situation.

I booked a 8/6/21 refundable ticket which includes a $50 gc on 9/21/20. I intend to change 8/6/21 refundable ticket to a non-refundable ticket (lets say to 12/1/21). I should get an ecredit but question is when will it expire?
In theory, if your current booking is for a domestic trip, your ticket, or any subsequent e-credit issued from that ticket, will expire on ~9/20/21 and cannot be used for travel after that date. Not sure if Delta ever makes exceptions to that, but they would presumably just tell you to refund the ticket and book a new one -- though of course that's not what you're trying to do here since that might result in your Amex credit being clawed back.
bgriff is offline  
Old Oct 1, 2020, 10:09 am
  #762  
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 82
Originally Posted by bgriff
In theory, if your current booking is for a domestic trip, your ticket, or any subsequent e-credit issued from that ticket, will expire on ~9/20/21 and cannot be used for travel after that date. Not sure if Delta ever makes exceptions to that, but they would presumably just tell you to refund the ticket and book a new one -- though of course that's not what you're trying to do here since that might result in your Amex credit being clawed back.
So you are saying that even if I change from refundable to non-refundable then cancel, the ecredit will expire on 9/20/21.
Even if try to rebook using the ecredit to a future date passed 9/20/21, they wouldn't allow me to?

In the event they refund me, I would what card they would refund it to since I used multiple.
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Old Oct 1, 2020, 10:29 am
  #763  
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Chicago
Programs: Delta Diamond, Bonvoy something good; sometimes other things too
Posts: 5,063
Originally Posted by psykopath515
So you are saying that even if I change from refundable to non-refundable then cancel, the ecredit will expire on 9/20/21.
Even if try to rebook using the ecredit to a future date passed 9/20/21, they wouldn't allow me to?

In the event they refund me, I would what card they would refund it to since I used multiple.
It's possible you could get lucky or exceptions may be made, but by the rules you would not be allowed to rebook for a flight later than 9/20/21.

Since you used a gift card, gift cards are never fully refundable, so I assume you would get a new gift card (or possibly some equivalent form of credit) and the balance paid above the gift card would go back to the credit card used.
bgriff is offline  
Old Oct 1, 2020, 10:39 am
  #764  
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 4
Originally Posted by bleuchill
September 24: Received the reimbursement.
I used a $50 gift card on a flight with a remaining of $193.30 I charged on the card. When I click the transaction, I dont see if the charge was charged as additional collection however. What did I do wrong?
Dane Ziperski is offline  
Old Oct 1, 2020, 10:52 am
  #765  
mia
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Originally Posted by Dane Ziperski
. When I click the transaction,
Is the transaction still pending?

Are you using the desktop website? You wont see these details on the mobile site or app.
mia is online now  

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