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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 Oct 6, 2020, 11:26 am
  #781  
Moderator: Hyatt, American Express; FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
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Originally Posted by LouNanne
I know the ecredit is not transferrable but I assumed if I included the additional ticket on the same transaction that it would be coded as an additional collection.
There is a caution in the wiki* at the top of the thread about buying multiple tickets for just this reason.

*I just made some minor edits to make things crystal clear but the warning has been there for some time now.

Originally Posted by LouNanne
That obviously is not the case, so I will claim it is a change fee (even though an argument can be made that it is not since Delta no longer imposes such a fee) and see what they say. The nomenclature used is important so if fare difference can also trigger the fee credit, I will use that as it is more appropriate.
Fare difference has never been eligible for the fee credit. The current method doesn't even technically qualify -- also note from the wiki: "THIS IS A LOOPHOLE. BE DISCREET"

Being that this is a public forum my assumption is they already know about it and so far it has not risen to the level where they care enough to change their IT to plug it, but if people start abusing it that could change, and anything that draws additional scrutiny can only hurt, not help.
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Old Oct 12, 2020, 7:38 am
  #782  
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Programs: Amex, Citi
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DP

10/10: Bought round trip ticket for $557 with $350 GC, $207 charge showed up as Add Col.
10/12: Posted, meter moved
10/13: $200 credit appeared
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Last edited by hman1359; Oct 13, 2020 at 7:17 am
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Old Oct 12, 2020, 5:52 pm
  #783  
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 13
Originally Posted by shun
10/3: Paid for round trip ticket $226 + $10 gift card (total $236)

Where did you get a $10 gift card?

Last edited by mia; Oct 12, 2020 at 6:47 pm Reason: Add Quote for context.
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Old Oct 12, 2020, 7:23 pm
  #784  
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
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My company gives out reward money as part of "maintaining healthy lifestyle" check up. I can choose to purchase delta gift cards with it and minimum is $10.
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Old Oct 13, 2020, 7:28 am
  #785  
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
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Bought round trip airfare for >$400 on 10/9

Used eCredits and voucher and paid ~120 to my amex plat.

10/10 Charge posted
10/13 Travel credit applied
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Old Oct 13, 2020, 3:57 pm
  #786  
 
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Originally Posted by redcorns
Where did you get a $10 gift card?
I've bought $10 gift cards from Rapido.com.

I was a little hesitant since the site doesn't look all that legit, but it came through within seconds and I had no issue using the gift card. They charge a ~$1.99 fee on $10 gift cards.
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Old Oct 13, 2020, 8:26 pm
  #787  
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
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First post - thanks to the community for all the info in this thread! Just wanted to stop lurking and offer my own DP:

10/7 Ticket purchased with gift card, ~205 charged to Amex
10/9 Charge posted as "Additional Collection"
10/11 $200 credit received
pnweng is offline  
Old Oct 13, 2020, 11:12 pm
  #788  
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Potential new use for the fare difference / additional collection that I don't think I've seen posted. Buy a basic economy ticket. Then "modify" the ticket and choose main cabin (or higher), on the same flight. Credit card charged the difference. Will see what happens...
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Old Oct 14, 2020, 12:50 am
  #789  
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
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Has anyone ever successfully called Delta to use a gift card + Amex, and not used the entirety of a gift card? I have a $500 GC and see a flight that's about $400, I'd rather not buy an extra $200 GC (but will for the airline incidental) if I can split the payment over the phone?
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Old Oct 14, 2020, 1:42 am
  #790  
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Originally Posted by Gig103
Has anyone ever successfully called Delta to use a gift card + Amex, and not used the entirety of a gift card? I have a $500 GC and see a flight that's about $400, I'd rather not buy an extra $200 GC (but will for the airline incidental) if I can split the payment over the phone?
​​​​​​Are you phrasing it that way because you already tried and got turned down? Otherwise I'd just call and ask if they won't do it, or if you're antisocial like me, you could buy some random flight in the $200 range using the gift card (Google Flights map search might be useful here), then change it to the one you really want and use the credit card.
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Old Oct 14, 2020, 6:27 am
  #791  
 
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Originally Posted by Gig103
Has anyone ever successfully called Delta to use a gift card + Amex, and not used the entirety of a gift card? I have a $500 GC and see a flight that's about $400, I'd rather not buy an extra $200 GC (but will for the airline incidental) if I can split the payment over the phone?
Deleted irrelevant comment.

Last edited by coleslaw; Oct 14, 2020 at 10:18 am
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Old Oct 14, 2020, 10:16 am
  #792  
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Originally Posted by coleslaw
Or you could buy a $10 DL gift card for $11.99 and use that (rapido.com/en-us/delta-gift-card)
How will buying a new $10 gift card for $11.99 help OP use part of the $500 gift card they already have?

Also, OP wants to buy a $400 ticket. If they use a $10 gift card the additional collection will exceed $250 and won't get reimbursed.
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Old Oct 14, 2020, 10:17 am
  #793  
 
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Originally Posted by Zorak
How will buying a new $10 gift card for $11.99 help OP use part of the $500 gift card they already have?

Also, OP wants to buy a $400 ticket. If they use a $10 gift card the additional collection will exceed $250 and won't get reimbursed.
Ah, apologies, I misread the OP's comment.
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Old Oct 14, 2020, 11:01 am
  #794  
mia
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Moderator observation

Originally Posted by Zorak
How will buying a new $10 gift card for $11.99 help OP.....
Flyertalk threads are public conversations. Even if not directly responsive to the most recent question, a strategy may help someone else who has a different circumstance. In recent days I read two ways to obtain and use $10 Delta gift cards, which I did not previously realize existed.
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Old Oct 14, 2020, 11:35 am
  #795  
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
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Originally Posted by Zorak
​​​​​​Are you phrasing it that way because you already tried and got turned down? Otherwise I'd just call and ask if they won't do it, or if you're antisocial like me, you could buy some random flight in the $200 range using the gift card (Google Flights map search might be useful here), then change it to the one you really want and use the credit card.
No, I'm still waiting on some details before booking my flight, and since GC take some time before activating, I was trying to judge if I should buy that new GC or not.
​​​​​​An interesting idea of doing the flight change though
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