Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Credit, Debit and Prepaid Card Programs > American Express | Membership Rewards
Reload this Page >

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:

Print Wikipost

Airline fee $250/$200/$100 reimbursement reports: DL only (2020-21)

Old Jan 5, 2021, 6:53 pm
  #1201  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: ATL
Programs: DL Scattered Smothered Covered Medallion, Some hotel & car stuff, Kroger Plus Card
Posts: 10,759
You do you. I understand wanting to find loopholes to use the airline fee credits in ways other than intended, even if I don't share that need/desire. My main point is I think lots of people in this thread are severely overcomplicating things for themselves in an entirely unnecessary way.
gooselee is offline  
Old Jan 5, 2021, 7:11 pm
  #1202  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Seattle, WA. USA
Programs: MR, AA, UA, DL, AVIS and growing
Posts: 1,173
Delta - We are broadly waiving change fees for travel impacted by coronavirus, including any flights purchased before April 17, 2020, departing March 2020 through March 2021 and all tickets purchased March 1, 2020 through March 30, 2021.
gooselee likes this.
euromannn is offline  
Old Jan 5, 2021, 7:12 pm
  #1203  
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 79
Originally Posted by ameskay
I purchased a refundable ticket using eCredit, charged just under $220 to my Amex Platinum on 1/1. Charge posted on my Amex on 1/3 and I got the credit on 1/4.

Now I gotta figure out what to do with this ticket, because who knows when I will be flying again....
Originally Posted by co.miller89
I'm trying to modify a refundable ticket and use the value of that ticket to purchase a new ticket. Every time I try that, it says "You are about to change your itinerary, but It will be less expensive to purchase a new ticket." Anyone see this before?
So, I tried to change my refundable ticket (referenced at the top) to a non-refundable ticket that's pretty much the same amount and got the same error. So I got frustrated and cancelled my refundable ticket to "start all over" and... the entire balance got credited as eCredit expiring 12/31/22. Nothing got refunded to my Amex. I'm not fussed about it, because it saves me a step of booking another flight that I might have to cancel later on. Of course, YMMV and I'm not guaranteeing the same thing will happen to someone else.

Originally Posted by gooselee
Still unsure of why people are focusing on refundable tickets. If you actually take the refund, you risk an Amex clawback. Nonrefundable tickets convert to an eCredit when the booking is cancelled, which is the desired outcome for this workaround. Asking an agent to extend the expiration date of an eCredit has more to do with a friendly agent than the refundability of the ticket (in fact, a refundable ticket may play against you since the agent might suggest you just take the refund and buy again later).

To me, if you truly never incur any airline incidental charges ever, then the add/collect workaround seems like a good way to burn the airline fee credit on airfare for flights you actually intend to take. If you're trying to bank $$ for yet-to-be-determined flights, UA Travel Bank seems like a far better method.
Everyone's got their own reason. I did it because I was too lazy to look for a flight that matched the $ amount I need, and my first couple searches near by for refundable tickets fit the amount. Also I wanted to be able to get a refund, in case the credit doesn't post. And I personally hate flying UA, so that's why I don't get the UA credit.

Last edited by ameskay; Jan 5, 2021 at 7:23 pm
ameskay is offline  
Old Jan 5, 2021, 7:34 pm
  #1204  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: ATL
Programs: DL Scattered Smothered Covered Medallion, Some hotel & car stuff, Kroger Plus Card
Posts: 10,759
Originally Posted by ameskay
Also I wanted to be able to get a refund, in case the credit doesn't post. And I personally hate flying UA, so that's why I don't get the UA credit.
This reasoning actually makes a lot of sense. (And I also understand the lazy part. )
gooselee is offline  
Old Jan 6, 2021, 9:38 am
  #1205  
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 139
Originally Posted by gooselee
This would be evidence that the system is treating the rebooking as a ticket change, and applying the original ticket expiration date to the new booking.

So after some experimenting, looks like you cant rebook a refundable flight more than 365 days after the original booking was made. Now I wonder if I book a non-refundable flight with the refundable flight as partial credit, and then cancel the non-refundable flight, will I get e-credit that lasts 1 year from when I booked the non-refundable flight?
co.miller89 is offline  
Old Jan 6, 2021, 10:01 am
  #1206  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: ATL
Programs: DL Scattered Smothered Covered Medallion, Some hotel & car stuff, Kroger Plus Card
Posts: 10,759
Originally Posted by co.miller89
So after some experimenting, looks like you cant rebook a refundable flight more than 365 days after the original booking was made. Now I wonder if I book a non-refundable flight with the refundable flight as partial credit, and then cancel the non-refundable flight, will I get e-credit that lasts 1 year from when I booked the non-refundable flight?
IME, the automated system treats such a scenario as a rebooking of the original ticket, with additional payment for the fare difference. Most of the time there is wording in various fare rules indicating something to the effect of "most restrictive rule apply."

But if you get a chance to try it out and report back, I'm sure that will be a valuable data point.
gooselee is offline  
Old Jan 6, 2021, 7:08 pm
  #1207  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Arlington, VA
Programs: DL DM, 1.5 MM; AS MVP Gold 100K; HHonors Diamond; AMEX Platinum
Posts: 495
I had multiple Delta credits sitting on the books. So, I waited for the new year and used them (with the associated additional collections) to buy some new tickets. The $250 on my Aspire is mostly used ($246.75), the $200 on my Platinum card is used, and the $100 on my Gold card is used. It's actually easier than making the effort to buy gift cards. With COVID in our rear view mirrors, this probably won't happen next year. But, it's a silver lining for 2020/2021.
DCAhome is online now  
Old Jan 7, 2021, 9:26 am
  #1208  
 
Join Date: Dec 2020
Posts: 7
Originally Posted by euromannn
Successful on Dec 23, 2020, $50 eGift Card then bought DL airfare ticket same day and got the airline fee $200 credit 2 days later
Appreciated your feedback still works.
So you bought gift card and ticket on the same day? Just wondering if the "please wait 72 hours to use this gift card" is still a thing, or if it impacts effectiveness of the loophole.

I bought a $50 GC today and was able to apply it immediately during checkout (it lowered the balance of the flight), but stopped short of pulling the trigger. Wondering if I need to wait 72 hours for any reason if the GC is indeed working.
ricosalvy is offline  
Old Jan 7, 2021, 10:14 am
  #1209  
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: RMS
Programs: DL Plat, UA Gold, Bonvoy Titanium, Hilton Credit Card Diamond
Posts: 8,874
Originally Posted by ricosalvy
So you bought gift card and ticket on the same day? Just wondering if the "please wait 72 hours to use this gift card" is still a thing, or if it impacts effectiveness of the loophole.

I bought a $50 GC today and was able to apply it immediately during checkout (it lowered the balance of the flight), but stopped short of pulling the trigger. Wondering if I need to wait 72 hours for any reason if the GC is indeed working.
I think the 72 hour restriction was put in place by Delta, and it had something to do with preventing credit card fraud. Don't ask me to explain the details because I don't understand. Regardless, once the GC is activated (able to be used), this method should work. I bought gift cards in late Dec and although they showed as Closed for the remainder of the day I purchased them, I was able to use them the next morning.
mattp1987 is offline  
Old Jan 8, 2021, 9:52 am
  #1210  
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: LAX
Posts: 1,208
Originally Posted by dcrombie
Purchased 12/31. "Posted" on 1/1 to Amex. Moved my needle for 21 on both Plat Biz and Pers Gold cards.
Gambled and I lost, assuming this method holds for 2021. Hope I will be able to use for travel later this fall otherwise I'm out $50X2 gift certs.
Oh well live and learn

Should be a WIKI Update - Use this method before 12/30.
Just as an additional data point, I bought a ticket using a credit and an additional $199 in fare difference on 12/29. It didn't "really" post until 1/1 (it was still pending after midnight PT NYE), but it shows as posting 12/31. Received the $199 credit on 1/2 and the website still shows $200 left on my 2021 credit.

Given the no change fee policy, it should be easy to use these credits going forward. Very easy.
JFKLAX321 is offline  
Old Jan 8, 2021, 12:06 pm
  #1211  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: NYC
Posts: 27,407
Originally Posted by Calboy9903
I contacted 1 chat rep and 2 phone reps. They agree the transaction date was 12/31 but said posting date is what matters and there is nothing they can do to use the 2020 credit.
Is this in the terms & conditions???

If I was actually traveling on NYE, and say, paid to check a bag and buy a lounge day pass that day, and if the charges(s) didn't post until the next day and the credit applied toward 2021, I'd be MIGHTY mad! Like, cancel all my Amexes and move to Chase mad!
ijgordon is offline  
Old Jan 10, 2021, 1:33 pm
  #1212  
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 6
I'm trying to book an award flight roundtrip SEA-Rome (via ATL- for 'Covid Free flight') -the total flight comes to 108k + $197.35 taxes & fees.

I'm having a hard time finding recent data points on this award taxes & fees collection.

Will the $197.35 taxes and fees from the award flight likely be reimbursable as a travel credit?
electricarod is offline  
Old Jan 10, 2021, 1:46 pm
  #1213  
Moderator: Hyatt, American Express; FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: WAS
Programs: :rolleyes:, DL DM, Mlife Plat, Caesars Diam, Marriott Tit, UA Gold, Hyatt Glob, invol FT beta tester
Posts: 19,222
Originally Posted by electricarod
I'm trying to book an award flight roundtrip SEA-Rome (via ATL- for 'Covid Free flight') -the total flight comes to 108k + $197.35 taxes & fees.

I'm having a hard time finding recent data points on this award taxes & fees collection.

Will the $197.35 taxes and fees from the award flight likely be reimbursable as a travel credit?
Multiple data points in the thread from June/July, see below.

Either way I don't think there's much to be lost by trying, though, unless you could really use the ~$200 spend to hit a threshold on some other card quickly. (You didn't say which flavor of card you have -- I'm only familiar with the Plat but I think it's still bonused airline spend in the other cases as well?)

Originally Posted by wj123
On June 8th,
3 Award Tickets purchased using Skymiles Miles + Fees (via phone to Delta representative)
Total Fee was 3 x $118.81 = $356.43.
Used 1st gift card $100 + 2nd gift card $50 gift card + Hilton Aspire card.
Ticket 1 : $100 was taken from 1st gift used and $18.81 was taken 2nd gift card. (Balance : $31.19 left on gift card)
Two charges of $118.81 went to Hilton Aspire card.
After two days $118.81 x 2 = $237.62 credit reimbursed. Meter moved.
Transaction had "Additional Collection" and ticketNumber mentioned.
Originally Posted by bgriff
Data point:

Booked 2 international award tickets (in a fit of optimism and wanting something to look forward to) for next spring. Fees of ~$71 each. Both fees are marked as "additional collection" on Amex.com and were automatically reimbursed by Amex on my Platinum card.

I booked them in part because as a Delta DM I can cancel them later at no penalty, though I think (but am not 100% sure) the same is true for anyone as long as you book by June 30.
Originally Posted by rcmiller
I had the same situation. Purchased two international award tickets (AF & KLM flights) for next spring. $80 in taxes, etc.. for each ticket was paid with my Hilton Aspire. Within two days of charges posting to my Amex the reimbursement credit hit for both.
NOLAnwGOLD likes this.
Zorak is offline  
Old Jan 10, 2021, 6:22 pm
  #1214  
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 6
Originally Posted by Zorak
Multiple data points in the thread from June/July, see below.

Either way I don't think there's much to be lost by trying, though, unless you could really use the ~$200 spend to hit a threshold on some other card quickly. (You didn't say which flavor of card you have -- I'm only familiar with the Plat but I think it's still bonused airline spend in the other cases as well?)
Thank you!! I'll give it a try (with no gift card) and report back what happens. I'll be trying either with Aspire or Platinum
Zorak likes this.
electricarod is offline  
Old Jan 10, 2021, 7:29 pm
  #1215  
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 1,003
So my early reminder on how to use this credit up...

I actually do want to use it for flights, probably domestic first class in (hopefully) October if things are safe.

Is the best way to use it...

Buy the cheapest refundable flight I can find, then change that to a more expensive refundable flight with as close to $200 more as possible and charge that extra cost to the platinum card? That should then look like a fee and not a ticket and trigger the credit...

Than do the same for my Amex Gold to use that credit you. Then I have two refundable fares I can change to real flights when I actually feel safe to travel, things are open, and I know my dates.

I think thats what I did last year... and I ultimately had to cancel my flights last year because of COVID so I should already have some ~$350 worth of credits in a delta wallet or rebookable or something... I honestly have no idea how Delta did it with the covid cancel on a non-refundable ticket... they just told me flights had to be booked by May of this year...
acarney is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

This site is owned, operated, and maintained by MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Designated trademarks are the property of their respective owners.