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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 Nov 22, 2020, 10:52 am
  #901  
Marriott 5+ Badge
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Chicago
Programs: Delta Diamond, Bonvoy something good; sometimes other things too
Posts: 5,076
Agree that card credits and Amex offers typically can be stacked (Iíve done so between the Saks credit and Amex offers, and the Gold card restaurant credit and various offers), but given the typical $250 ďlimitĒ, it may be tough to achieve here.

Note that I have successfully triggered the $120 offer with a $300 gift card (despite the offer T&Cs), so simply claiming the offer that way is an option, possibly alongside doing other things to claim the $200 annual credit.
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Old Nov 22, 2020, 10:53 am
  #902  
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Chicago
Programs: Delta Diamond, Bonvoy something good; sometimes other things too
Posts: 5,076
Originally Posted by G2244
Curious for confirmation on one important point. Is it the overall fare that has to be less that $250 or is it the balance being charged after application of a gift card? In my case the total fare is $260ish. Hoping that applying the $50 ecard makes it look like $210 and triggers the annual $200 credit.

Thanks in advance.
Itís the Amex charge amount, so $210 in your case, and you should probably be fine.
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Old Nov 22, 2020, 10:59 am
  #903  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: SAF
Programs: IHG Silver
Posts: 678
Originally Posted by bgriff
Itís the Amex charge amount, so $210 in your case, and you should probably be fine.
Seems so from what I am reading and the Wiki. Like I said, I will give it a go and report back later in the week.
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Old Nov 22, 2020, 11:01 am
  #904  
Moderator: Hyatt, American Express; FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
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Originally Posted by bgallthat1
Those looking to stack the $120 off $300 it's possible likely but in 2 transactions. Instead of buying two gift cards, I would buy one $50 gift card, then find a $49 fare (they have several, haven't found cheaper) and book it using GC. Wait 24+ hours and cancel. Now use the $49 voucher and book a <$250 fare, use amex to get the credit. Then use the $1 remaining balance on GC and book another fare, also use Amex, and make sure total spend is $300+.

With that said, If anyone has $1 gift card left, PM me, would trade $10 Amazon for it. Rapido is out of gift cards and I really dont want to buy a $50 GC.
Just wondering out loud, is the part I bolded necessary? If you wanted to keep the first ticket amount as a credit, then agreed you need to wait until the 24 hour risk-free-cancellation period has elapsed*. But if you are changing the ticket, I don't think it matters -- i.e. if you book a $49 ticket, then immediately modify it to a $149 ticket, I think that will still result in a $100 add/collect (... maybe some intrepid soul can try this -- if I'm wrong then you're still inside the 24-hour period and can reset and try again )

*worth noting also that DL interprets this fairly generously as "until midnight of the day *following* the day you book it" so if you book at 12:01am you will actually have almost 48 hours. Which timezone exactly is unclear (people have advanced theories but I'm not sure it's been definitively proven). Anyway long story short 48 hours would be safer if you are waiting out the RFC period.
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Old Nov 22, 2020, 11:22 am
  #905  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 73
Originally Posted by Zorak
Just wondering out loud, is the part I bolded necessary? If you wanted to keep the first ticket amount as a credit, then agreed you need to wait until the 24 hour risk-free-cancellation period has elapsed*. But if you are changing the ticket, I don't think it matters -- i.e. if you book a $49 ticket, then immediately modify it to a $149 ticket, I think that will still result in a $100 add/collect (... maybe some intrepid soul can try this -- if I'm wrong then you're still inside the 24-hour period and can reset and try again )

*worth noting also that DL interprets this fairly generously as "until midnight of the day *following* the day you book it" so if you book at 12:01am you will actually have almost 48 hours. Which timezone exactly is unclear (people have advanced theories but I'm not sure it's been definitively proven). Anyway long story short 48 hours would be safer if you are waiting out the RFC period.
agree. You technically probably donít need to wait but can just modify.
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Old Nov 22, 2020, 12:06 pm
  #906  
 
Join Date: Nov 2020
Posts: 2
Hi, thanks to everyone contributing to this thread ... a qq first:
If I use a covid issued ecredit (Exp. 12/2022) + $100 on Amex Gold to pay a ticket and then cancel the ticket within 24 hrs, will my ecredit be refunded? if so, will it maintain its expiration date?
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Old Nov 22, 2020, 12:30 pm
  #907  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 73
Originally Posted by gaialinux
Hi, thanks to everyone contributing to this thread ... a qq first:
If I use a covid issued ecredit (Exp. 12/2022) + $100 on Amex Gold to pay a ticket and then cancel the ticket within 24 hrs, will my ecredit be refunded? if so, will it maintain its expiration date?
This doesn't make sense. If you cancel in 24 hours, you will get $100 back on your Gold Amex refunded, and the e-credit will keep its original expiration
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Old Nov 22, 2020, 12:35 pm
  #908  
 
Join Date: Nov 2020
Posts: 2
RTFM .. I think I misread what the wiki said about cancellations withing the 24-hour risk free and I thought it would trigger the credit. So nevermind, thanks.
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Old Nov 22, 2020, 2:14 pm
  #909  
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 94
So I'm trying trigger the $200 statement credit with a flight that costs $252. I bought a $50 egift card via Delta last night. Once I got the gift card, I tried to book the flight. Instead of confirming the reservation, it told me my reservation is not complete and I have to call customer service to either cancel or confirm the reservation. I called, and they wanted me to pay over the phone. I said nevermind, that I preferred to book online. She said ok, cancelled it, and I just tried again with the same result, they want me to call and pay over the phone. I looked at my credit card account (Amex Platinum) and there are no pending charges from last night or today.

Has anyone run into this problem?

And more importantly, does anyone know if paying over the phone will trigger the credit reimbursement the same way?
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Old Nov 22, 2020, 2:19 pm
  #910  
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Originally Posted by mera
So I'm trying trigger the $200 statement credit with a flight that costs $252. I bought a $50 egift card via Delta last night. Once I got the gift card, I tried to book the flight. Instead of confirming the reservation, it told me my reservation is not complete and I have to call customer service to either cancel or confirm the reservation. I called, and they wanted me to pay over the phone. I said nevermind, that I preferred to book online. She said ok, cancelled it, and I just tried again with the same result, they want me to call and pay over the phone. I looked at my credit card account (Amex Platinum) and there are no pending charges from last night or today.

Has anyone run into this problem?

And more importantly, does anyone know if paying over the phone will trigger the credit reimbursement the same way?
Can't answer the first part, but there should be no difference (in terms of the credit) between booking over the phone with an agent vs. doing it online.
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Old Nov 22, 2020, 2:27 pm
  #911  
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 94
Originally Posted by Zorak
Can't answer the first part, but there should be no difference (in terms of the credit) between booking over the phone with an agent vs. doing it online.
Ok, thanks much! I will give it a go once I get through their wait time. I appreciate your response!
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Old Nov 22, 2020, 2:53 pm
  #912  
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 94
Well, as a followup to my post, the customer service rep this time pointed out I can't use the egift card for 72 hours after purchase. Nope, I did not read the fine print. So, I'll wait for two and a half more days and then try again.
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Old Nov 23, 2020, 8:26 am
  #913  
 
Join Date: Nov 2020
Posts: 1
Just tried to trigger $250 credit on my HH Aspire and failed. I'm ultimately trying to book a ~$490 ticket for two people on 1 itinerary to maintain status benefits while utilizing my $250 (HH Aspire) and $88 (Amex Gold) credits to purchase this ticket. Trying to identify the flaw in my steps and would appreciate feedback:
  1. 11/22 - bought a refundable $303 ticket using $50 GC. Remaining $253 got charged to HH aspire
    1. I think this is the oversight that led me to fail where the amount charged was greater than $250 to trigger the additional collection on Amex
  2. Plan was to then cancel the $303 ticket which I am thinking would be refunded in a form of ecredit?
    1. Should I not be buying a refundable ticket as it would just get refunded back to Amex instead of becoming an Ecredit?
  3. Buy the $490 ticket for two people using the $303 credit, $100 GC and charge the remaining $95 to Amex Gold which would trigger the $88 credit I have
    1. I'd like to keep the two tickets under one itinerary so that my DL gold status benefits flows through both parties
All help would be appreciated !
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Old Nov 23, 2020, 12:32 pm
  #914  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
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Posts: 1,370
Back in January or February, I purchased an inexpensive but refundable DL ticket for early December using a GC with the rest being posted as an addition collection, which triggered my full $200 credit. All was well.

Now I don't want to use that ticket. If I cancel for a refund, what is the likelihood of Amex clawing back the credit? If I request it as an e-Credit, that credit will expire aftera year, right? If I don't have an opportunity to use it before the e-Credit expires, can I still have the e-Credit refunded?
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Old Nov 23, 2020, 12:46 pm
  #915  
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: Miami
Programs: AA, AMEX Plart, CSR
Posts: 31
Hello,

I think I've found a way to book and stack the credits. can somebody tell me if I am missing something?

1. buy 2 $25 gift cards
2. Book 1 $186 round trip with $25 gift card - pay $161 remaining on amex plat
3. Book another $186 round trip with $25 gift card -pay $161 remaining on amex plat
Total spent on amex plat $322. Enough to get the 120 and the 2 $161 charges should trigger the $200 incidental credit.

Am i missing something totally obvious? I understand the GC purchase might count towards the $120 but i'm not counting on it cause of the T&C
clo3o5 is offline  

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