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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 17, 2020, 7:28 pm
  #811  
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Originally Posted by ijgordon
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...
So this worked - the fare difference to the higher booking class posted as Additional Collection and was credited back ~3 days after the purchase.
Seems like an easier way to chip away at the credits without having to deal with gift cards (and the 72hr wait), especially if you want to buy C+ or FC.
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Old Oct 18, 2020, 9:27 pm
  #812  
 
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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?
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.
Following up to my question... I called and they were NOT able to use a partial gift card. In fact, the balance after booking my ticket (i moved forward, not trying to use my 'incidentals') was converted to an eCredit now instead of remaining as a gift card. Not sure I like that yet, but it's sort of off topic for this thread.
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Old Oct 18, 2020, 9:30 pm
  #813  
 
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Originally Posted by ijgordon
So this worked - the fare difference to the higher booking class posted as Additional Collection and was credited back ~3 days after the purchase.
Seems like an easier way to chip away at the credits without having to deal with gift cards (and the 72hr wait), especially if you want to buy C+ or FC.
ijgordon, does this only work with Basic, or would it work on normal upfares? The F ticket I'm shopping is about $500, so to get it at $200 for Amex means buying a ~$300 C+ ticket.

Or I'm considering buying a $300 ticket somewhere else, then changing to the flight I want without change fees. Does Delta only allow "one free change" due to Covid-19 policies like some airlines? I'm worried if I do this, then need to change for a legitimate reason.
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Old Oct 19, 2020, 12:48 pm
  #814  
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Originally Posted by Gig103
ijgordon, does this only work with Basic, or would it work on normal upfares? The F ticket I'm shopping is about $500, so to get it at $200 for Amex means buying a ~$300 C+ ticket.

Or I'm considering buying a $300 ticket somewhere else, then changing to the flight I want without change fees. Does Delta only allow "one free change" due to Covid-19 policies like some airlines? I'm worried if I do this, then need to change for a legitimate reason.
F buy-ups (from the seat map) don't trigger the credit, at least as of last year. Possible there is a different way you might be able to get such an upgrade processed that would, but there may be some risk.

And not sure which airline you're referring to but with Delta I don't believe there's any particular limit to how many changes you can make under the COVID change fee waiver, and for domestic tickets going forward with no change fees there is also no published limit to the number of changes.
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Old Oct 19, 2020, 3:47 pm
  #815  
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Originally Posted by Gig103
ijgordon, does this only work with Basic, or would it work on normal upfares? The F ticket I'm shopping is about $500, so to get it at $200 for Amex means buying a ~$300 C+ ticket.

Or I'm considering buying a $300 ticket somewhere else, then changing to the flight I want without change fees. Does Delta only allow "one free change" due to Covid-19 policies like some airlines? I'm worried if I do this, then need to change for a legitimate reason.
I don't see why it wouldn't work with normal fares -- but I think you'd perhaps have to go through the process to change/modify the ticket, but then just select the same flight in a higher class, as opposed to directly choosing the "upfare" option as bgriff mentions.
I think there was a "one free change" limit on the basic economy fare that I originally purchased, but since I had bought up to main cabin, presumably that limit would no longer apply. If you had already made a "legit" change to a BE ticket, then you probably couldn't do this. But if you're initially buying C+, then I don't think there will be any limit.
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Old Oct 21, 2020, 9:38 am
  #816  
 
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Hi all,

Datapoint - booked a $260 fare, used a $50 gift voucher purchased from CVS (credit avail immediately) and was reimbursed $200 on my Amex Biz Plat 3 days after purchase.

Thank you Flyertalk!
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Old Oct 22, 2020, 2:23 pm
  #817  
 
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$250 GC and $207 additional collection, reimbursed $200 on the Plat card. Grateful for the other data points that show it doesn't have to be right on the money!
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Old Oct 23, 2020, 11:23 am
  #818  
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So the current wisdom is that FCM doesn't count for the fee reimbursement, but calling to update would count? Also, purchasing RDM ("mileage boost") during OLCI "Add Extras/mile boost" would work, right?
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Old Oct 26, 2020, 12:21 pm
  #819  
 
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For additional collection method... can I purchase a ticket with a $50 gift card then put part of the balance on Platinum card and part of the balance on Amex Gold card.... as I have $200 credit available on one and $100 on the other. Any data points on this working (assuming DL will let me split the charge that many ways). Thanks.

DAK
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Old Oct 26, 2020, 3:29 pm
  #820  
 
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First I would like to thank the forum. I just processed a transaction using a non refundable ticket and a $50 GC.
I will update the group in the next few days on the status.
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Old Oct 26, 2020, 3:37 pm
  #821  
 
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Originally Posted by dkerr
For additional collection method... can I purchase a ticket with a $50 gift card then put part of the balance on Platinum card and part of the balance on Amex Gold card.... as I have $200 credit available on one and $100 on the other. Any data points on this working (assuming DL will let me split the charge that many ways). Thanks.

DAK
Answering for myself, I think... it looks like DL does not allow more than one credit card per transaction. Therefore I would have to split the purchase of two tickets into two transactions, each of which would require its own $50 gift card. This may present a problem with 2nd person being on a different PNR and therefore not benefit from my status (like free checked bags)?
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Old Oct 26, 2020, 3:43 pm
  #822  
 
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Originally Posted by dkerr
Answering for myself, I think... it looks like DL does not allow more than one credit card per transaction. Therefore I would have to split the purchase of two tickets into two transactions, each of which would require its own $50 gift card. This may present a problem with 2nd person being on a different PNR and therefore not benefit from my status (like free checked bags)?
Checked bags is usually less of an issue than upgrades. If you go to the check in counter together and tell the agent you're traveling together, they'll almost always extend your free checked bags to your companion. However, for upgrades a companion on a separate reservation is ineligible for C+ upgrades and will be at the bottom of the list (instead of right next to you if on the same reservation) for F upgrades.
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Old Oct 26, 2020, 3:55 pm
  #823  
 
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Originally Posted by mattp1987
Checked bags is usually less of an issue than upgrades. If you go to the check in counter together and tell the agent you're traveling together, they'll almost always extend your free checked bags to your companion. However, for upgrades a companion on a separate reservation is ineligible for C+ upgrades and will be at the bottom of the list (instead of right next to you if on the same reservation) for F upgrades.
A possible work-around might be to book as two separate PNRs. Then for unforeseen reasons have to cancel and receive two eCredits. Then those two eCredits could be used for the same two passengers booked in a new single PNR. This works only while no change/cancel penalties imposed of course!
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Old Oct 26, 2020, 8:52 pm
  #824  
 
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Bought $330 fare on 10/15 with $50 GC and $280 on card, posted 10/17 as additional collection but no credit.

Thats what I get for not reading the wiki...

Last edited by 839083c; Oct 27, 2020 at 1:28 am Reason: Didnt read the wiki
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Old Oct 26, 2020, 9:17 pm
  #825  
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Originally Posted by 839083c
Bought $330 fare on 10/15 with $50 GC and $280 on card, posted 10/17 as additional collection but no credit.
Note the caveat in the wiki, which can be found at the top/on page 1 of the thread:

"based on available data this only seems to happen if the additional amount collected is below ~$250"
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