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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 Dec 23, 2020, 4:15 am
  #1051  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 27
Hi, quick question. I have cancelled my Delta Main Cabin ticket, and received email confirmation about the eCredit along with the 13-digit ticket number (starting with 006). How long does it take for it to show up in my profile? I did a search in the link below - eCredit does not show up immediate, presumably this will take a few days to come through?? Thanks.
https://www.delta.com/edocs/redeem-documents
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Old Dec 23, 2020, 7:36 am
  #1052  
 
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Originally Posted by Marcia3641
Ooooooowwwweeee thanks for posting this as I was only doing Delta since there weren't may options available but definitely prefer to go with United for the travel bank since it last longer. Just changed both Plat and Aspire to United.
yeah but then you have to fly united
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Old Dec 23, 2020, 7:52 am
  #1053  
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Originally Posted by dj1970
Hi, quick question. I have cancelled my Delta Main Cabin ticket, and received email confirmation about the eCredit along with the 13-digit ticket number (starting with 006). How long does it take for it to show up in my profile? I did a search in the link below - eCredit does not show up immediate, presumably this will take a few days to come through?? Thanks.
https://www.delta.com/edocs/redeem-documents
Yes, if you are the traveler on the eCredit and had your SkyMiles # on the ticket, then the credit should show up on that page when you're logged in. I think it usually shows up pretty quickly, but not sure. If it doesn't show up there, you can still use the credit, you just have to keep track of the ticket number and book your next ticket with a phone agent, giving them the number. (Occasionally the phone agents can also see the credits in their system even if it doesn't show up on that page.)
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Old Dec 23, 2020, 10:39 am
  #1054  
 
Join Date: Dec 2020
Posts: 1
Originally Posted by Kmm3285
Hi all.

I successfully used my $200 from my new Amex Platinum thanks to this forum! (Bought 2 $50 gift cards and bought 2 different tickets in separate transactions that came to $116 in additional collection each)

However my fiancé has the Hilton Aspire that I wanted to take advantage of his $250 delta funds before year end. I am afraid I got too eager with my earlier success and did it wrong so hoping you have some insight within my 24 hour cancellation!

I booked 2 tickets on the same transaction but used an e credit under his name to make his additional collection under $250 and also used an e credit under my name to do the same. Pending charge is for $444 total on his Amex now. I know you can’t do 2 GC while buying 2 tickets as it would only take the money off one ticket, but hoping by using e credits by name it would.

Any thoughts would be appreciated!
Hi Kim any updates on the Hilton aspire card I need to book my $250 Credit with Delta as well. And would appreciate your feedback. Thanks David
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Old Dec 23, 2020, 8:36 pm
  #1055  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
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I have $188 credit left with AMEX on the airline fee credit can you confirm this work and $50 eGC on DL in getting airline fee credit benefit??

Thanks

Last edited by euromannn; Dec 23, 2020 at 8:48 pm
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Old Dec 23, 2020, 8:46 pm
  #1056  
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Originally Posted by euromannn
Checking the Delta gift card promo and shows smallest increment is now $75 vs the old $50 limit Ihat was previously discussed on FT.
I have $188 credit left with AMEX on the airline fee credit can you confirm this work and $75 on DL is the new limit and the credit this works??

Thanks
There are two parts to this question:

Part 1: smallest gift card available

It does seem like if you start here https://www.delta.com/us/en/gift-cards/overview and click "Buy a Gift Card" the smallest denom available is $75.

If I Google for Delta Gift card I see also: https://buy-m.giftcards.delta.com/

the -m makes me wonder if this is second link is for what usually comes up as the mobile site and gets fulfilled by CStar and thus does not work for AMEX sync offers because it doesn't code as Delta. But if you aren't concerned with AMEX sync offers (like the $120 off $300) then this site stills sells $50s.

I have also seen $50s frequently in grocery stores, office stores, Best Buy, etc. so that's always an option too.

Part 2: for the airline fee credit, as noted in the wiki, "there is no reason it needs to be specifically $50, or even a gift card." $75 or any other amount will work just as well. Just make sure that the remainder that is charged to your card is $250 or less.
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Old Dec 23, 2020, 8:54 pm
  #1057  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
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Thanks

DL web site - defaults to $75.......but under the entry box it states "Min $50 - Max $1,000 in $5 increments (USD)".
So I enter $50 and looks like it will work but i haven't bought eGC yet.
SO if I buy the eGC for $50 and book/pay for my ticket prior to Dec 31, 2020, you still think it will work?


DL has stated on its web site all ticket purchased before Mar 31 are allowed ecredit upto one from date of purchase.
So I'm planning to just buy a ticket for $188 approximately, apply $50 eGC if I can and then change it next year.

Last edited by euromannn; Dec 23, 2020 at 9:02 pm
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Old Dec 23, 2020, 9:01 pm
  #1058  
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Originally Posted by euromannn
SO if I buy the eGC for $50 and bok/pay for my ticket prior to Dec 31 you still think it will work?
If you read the last few pages of the thread, the most recent data points are from ~4 days ago, and a few more from the last couple weeks, so unless you have reason to believe it has stopped working since then?

Originally Posted by euromannn
So I'm planing to just buy a ticket for $188 approximately, apply $50 eGC if I can and then change it next year.
If you have $188 in credits to burn you would want to try to buy a $238 ticket ($50GC+$188) if you want to maximize the credit, but if you are ok with just using up most of it then obv a $188 total amount should work just as well (but you'll only get $138 credited)
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Old Dec 23, 2020, 9:13 pm
  #1059  
mia
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Originally Posted by euromannn
... haven't bought eGC yet.
SO if I buy the eGC for $50 and book/pay for my ticket prior to Dec 31, 2020,
Take into account that e-gift cards cannot be used until 72 hours after purchase.
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Old Dec 23, 2020, 9:14 pm
  #1060  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
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THanks ---- I want to buy $238 ticket. $188+egc($50). Appreciate the reminder.
Going to buy the $50 eGC now!
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Old Dec 24, 2020, 8:22 am
  #1061  
 
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Originally Posted by mia
Take into account that e-gift cards cannot be used until 72 hours after purchase.
Yes, thanks I read that about 72 hour wait, but there is a new Delta web problem.
Default value shows $75 for egift but below the amount entry box states it's $50.00 minimum.
When I enter $50, hit continue, only a virtual card display no option to purchase.
Delta phone waits is over 2 hours last time I called and didn't ask me for call back. Got a call again in to Delta as they haven't answered via FB also.

Delta is waiving all fees through March 2021 so in January I'll get another egift card for my AMEX credit , buy ticket, then get ecredit on all trips and combine for one ticket late in 2021.

Thanks


Update:
$50 e gift card works. Using MAC OS Catalina could NOT get payment option to display to pay using Chrome or Safari browser even with cookies deleted.
Finally used my Iphone IOS usinG Delta mobile app and $50 purchased worked. Thanks

Last edited by euromannn; Dec 24, 2020 at 10:22 am
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Old Dec 24, 2020, 10:33 am
  #1062  
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Washington, DC
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Originally Posted by flower282
Has using points then paying cash been reimbursed? The miles + cash option for Delta.
Any more data points on this?

There is a report from "Kelly" on FrequentMiler about a month ago claiming that this worked. From her: "Delta Airfare – Pay With Miles (5,000) split with Amex Gold ($98.10). Reimbursed for $98.10 1 day after charge posted to CC"

I attempted this on 12/21 by purchasing a ticket for 1,500 miles + $95.60 charged to my Amex Gold. The charges just changed from "pending" to an actual charge, but no credit has been issued yet. Interestingly, it posted as two separate transactions - $5.60 is listed as "additional collection," but $90.00 is listed as "Frequent Flyer Fee/Purchase." Anyone know the "frequent flier fee/purchase" will trigger the credit, or if it's worth asking for an account audit to get it (if not?).
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Old Dec 24, 2020, 11:21 am
  #1063  
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Just as background info, DL has two different programs that sound similar...

Originally Posted by am13
There is a report from "Kelly" on FrequentMiler about a month ago claiming that this worked. From her: "Delta Airfare – Pay With Miles (5,000) split with Amex Gold ($98.10). Reimbursed for $98.10 1 day after charge posted to CC"
This sounds like "Pay With Miles": https://www.delta.com/us/en/skymiles...pay-with-miles

which is a feature available to Delta AMEX cardholders and essentially lets you cash out points at 1cpm (5000 miles = $5). This was confirmed to work recently in the thread, post 1010.

Originally Posted by am13
I attempted this on 12/21 by purchasing a ticket for 1,500 miles + $95.60 charged to my Amex Gold. The charges just changed from "pending" to an actual charge, but no credit has been issued yet. Interestingly, it posted as two separate transactions - $5.60 is listed as "additional collection," but $90.00 is listed as "Frequent Flyer Fee/Purchase." Anyone know the "frequent flier fee/purchase" will trigger the credit, or if it's worth asking for an account audit to get it (if not?).
This sounds like "Miles + Cash" which is different (at the bottom of the DL link above, there is a expanding section for the question "What is the difference between Pay with Miles and Miles + Cash?") -- this is basically the same as an award ticket, except you are using money to buy award miles on the spot to satisfy some of the award cost. FYI the value for the dollar is usually pretty poor in this case.

For AMEX fee credit purposes however it ought to work, since it has the word "fee" explicitly in the name, so if it doesn't credit automatically then IMO you have a good case to contact them for manual adjustment.

Although the one data point I found so far suggests this won't post automatically:

Originally Posted by redandshiny
Here's a data point of a mostly failure. I purchased a fare with miles plus cash, of which the cash was 95.60. the 95.60 was split into charges of 90 and 5.60 on July 31. On Aug 2 I was reimbursed by amex for the 5.60 but not the 90. Must have to do with the coding
this is from Aug 2019, so will be useful to update with your experiences.
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Old Dec 24, 2020, 11:30 am
  #1064  
 
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Originally Posted by Zorak
This sounds like "Miles + Cash" which is different (at the bottom of the DL link above, there is a expanding section for the question "What is the difference between Pay with Miles and Miles + Cash?") -- this is basically the same as an award ticket, except you are using money to buy award miles on the spot to satisfy some of the award cost. FYI the value for the dollar is usually pretty poor in this case.

For AMEX fee credit purposes however it ought to work, since it has the word "fee" explicitly in the name, so if it doesn't credit automatically then IMO you have a good case to contact them for manual adjustment.
Ah, thanks for the useful clarification. Indeed, "Miles + Cash" is what I booked...I didn't realize those were two separate, similarly named programs. I'm going to wait and see what credit posts automatically and then call for a manual audit if it doesn't trigger automatically. If no luck there, hopefully I will be able to cancel this ticket (which I never had intent of flying) and using the eCredit to book a more expensive flight before December 31 to get the statement credit used.

Also, wise to reinforce the poor value here with "Miles + Cash". Indeed, it was 1,500 miles + $95.60 for a flight that was $87 outright. Only did it to trigger the credit....or so I thought. Would not recommend this as a normal redemption strategy.
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Old Dec 24, 2020, 9:09 pm
  #1065  
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I bought 3x $50 a couple nights ago with no issue
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