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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 Jan 28, 2021, 9:40 pm
  #1261  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: NYC
Posts: 27,417
Originally Posted by json343
Here's a DP since there doesn't seem to be many recent ones.
I booked a $290 flight, using a $50 Delta gift card and my Hilton Aspire. Then immediately after booking I modified the flight to my actual desired flight, which cost $100 more, and charged that to my Amex Platinum.
Yeah, I think I posted that a while back - something like buy Basic Economy, then change the flight to Main Cabin (or another flight) and the additional collection will be reimbursed.

Separately, I recently legitimately changed a flight that I purchased in December (with $50 GC, so the bulk of that was "free"...), as my plans changed, and the ~$62 add-collect was reimbursed 1-2 days after the charge posted.
Loving this zero change fee environment!
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ijgordon is offline  
Old Jan 30, 2021, 8:34 am
  #1262  
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,073
Originally Posted by conshek
Has anyone purchased a delta gift card from best buy (and getting the $50 best buy credit). Do the delta gift cards you use need to by physical or can you use ones purchased online? I would be using the gift card towards a flight and hopefully trigger the credit. I wasn't good with using all of our airline credits last year so I'm trying to ensure we use them for 2021.
The terms of the $50 rebate at Best Buy states that gift cards are excluded....

Excludes GeekSquad.com, PartStore.com, Best Buy Private Store, Best Buy Business, Best Buy Education, Best Buy Ignite, Best Buy Secondary Markets, Best Buy Auction site, corporate gift cards, electronic gift cards, group gift cards, phone purchases and purchases shipped outside of the U.S., U.S. Virgin Islands or Guam.

I understand what an electronic gift card is, but not sure what "corporate" means, that might catch a physical delta gift card. I think it unlikely that you would get the credit, but if you want to try please report back here. Note, you must ship to your home, pickup at store is also excluded.

DAK
dkerr is offline  
Old Jan 30, 2021, 9:12 am
  #1263  
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: NYC
Posts: 175
Originally Posted by dkerr
The terms of the $50 rebate at Best Buy states that gift cards are excluded....

Excludes GeekSquad.com, PartStore.com, Best Buy Private Store, Best Buy Business, Best Buy Education, Best Buy Ignite, Best Buy Secondary Markets, Best Buy Auction site, corporate gift cards, electronic gift cards, group gift cards, phone purchases and purchases shipped outside of the U.S., U.S. Virgin Islands or Guam.

I understand what an electronic gift card is, but not sure what "corporate" means, that might catch a physical delta gift card. I think it unlikely that you would get the credit, but if you want to try please report back here. Note, you must ship to your home, pickup at store is also excluded.

DAK
I have seen physical $50 Delta gift cards at Staples.
Will those work toward the reimbursements?
surikatina is offline  
Old Jan 30, 2021, 9:44 am
  #1264  
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,073
Originally Posted by surikatina
I have seen physical $50 Delta gift cards at Staples.
Will those work toward the reimbursements?
As far as I know Amex is not offering any rebates for purchases at Stables right now? Unless maybe on business cards.
dkerr is offline  
Old Jan 30, 2021, 10:03 am
  #1265  
mia
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Originally Posted by dkerr
As far as I know Amex is not offering any rebates for purchases at Stables right now? .
The giftcard purchase does not need to be made with an American Express card.
mia is offline  
Old Jan 30, 2021, 10:10 am
  #1266  
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,073
Originally Posted by mia
The giftcard purchase does not need to be made with an American Express card.
We're talking about different promotions. Currently Amex has an offer of a $50 rebate for purchases of $50 or more at BestBuy.com... can claim twice, expires June 30th. So the OP's question was can we leverage that offer to get a $50 Delta Airlines gift card for free by buying it through BestBuy.com. Then you use that gift card to buy a ticket and generate the "additional collection" which gets rebated through the Amex travel incidentals offer. Its a great idea, but question is whether the gift card purchase at BestBuy.com would qualify for that Amex offer. The T&C language suggests probably not.
dkerr is offline  
Old Jan 30, 2021, 11:35 am
  #1267  
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: NYC
Posts: 175
Originally Posted by dkerr
As far as I know Amex is not offering any rebates for purchases at Stables right now? Unless maybe on business cards.
Apologies for the confusion as I didn't know you were initially talking about the BestBuy Amex Offer.
I was asking if a Delta gift card bought at Staples (as opposed to buying an egift card from Delta.com) would work to trigger the additional collection when purchasing a ticket.
surikatina is offline  
Old Jan 30, 2021, 2:08 pm
  #1268  
 
Join Date: May 2016
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Posts: 268
Originally Posted by surikatina
Apologies for the confusion as I didn't know you were initially talking about the BestBuy Amex Offer.
I was asking if a Delta gift card bought at Staples (as opposed to buying an egift card from Delta.com) would work to trigger the additional collection when purchasing a ticket.
Yes, any Delta card should work. Just like e-credits also work. A gift card is not required.
Pocatello is offline  
Old Jan 30, 2021, 6:27 pm
  #1269  
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: NYC
Posts: 175
Originally Posted by Pocatello
Yes, any Delta card should work. Just like e-credits also work. A gift card is not required.
Thank you!
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surikatina is offline  
Old Feb 1, 2021, 8:44 am
  #1270  
 
Join Date: Jan 2021
Posts: 10
I just created an account because I rarely see DPs with the Gold, so here's my experience:

- Ticket was $175 round trip.
- Used $50 GC that I bought on the mobile website so that it activated in 24 hours and not 72.
- Total was $125. Card was charged 1/29.
- Posted as Additional Collection 1/30.
- Reimbursed $100 1/1.

Even though I used the airline credit, it seems like I also got the first $10 Uber credit this morning. I don't know if this wasn't supposed to happen, as this new Uber credit is suppose to be replacing the airline.
laroux is offline  
Old Feb 1, 2021, 9:31 am
  #1271  
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Bought a $433. Used $200 Delta Diamond e-credit and $233 was charged on my Hilton Am Ex and received reimbursement a couple days after it posted.

Last edited by jamesteroh; Feb 2, 2021 at 9:17 pm
jamesteroh is offline  
Old Feb 1, 2021, 9:01 pm
  #1272  
 
Join Date: Jan 2021
Posts: 15
Originally Posted by laroux
I just created an account because I rarely see DPs with the Gold, so here's my experience:

- Ticket was $175 round trip.
- Used $50 GC that I bought on the mobile website so that it activated in 24 hours and not 72.
- Total was $125. Card was charged 1/29.
- Posted as Additional Collection 1/30.
- Reimbursed $100 1/1.

Even though I used the airline credit, it seems like I also got the first $10 Uber credit this morning. I don't know if this wasn't supposed to happen, as this new Uber credit is suppose to be replacing the airline.
did you use the delta mobile website to buy the GC or another website? Thanks!
BergLust is offline  
Old Feb 1, 2021, 10:57 pm
  #1273  
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 697
Hello is my strategy will work?

buy a $300 ticket.
Use $100 gift card and $200 on my Amex platinum card.
the $200 will be reimbursed right?
flybie is offline  
Old Feb 2, 2021, 1:12 pm
  #1274  
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Programs: Alaska MVP Gold, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 17
Quick data point: I purchased a $50 Google Play GC on the Best Buy website using my Amex Platinum, and it did trigger the promotional $50 credit a week or so later. Not sure about Delta GCs, YMMV
Seattle206 is offline  
Old Feb 2, 2021, 1:17 pm
  #1275  
viz
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
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Programs: DL DM, AC 75K, NEXUS, Bonvoy Platinum
Posts: 61
Originally Posted by flybie
Hello is my strategy will work?

buy a $300 ticket.
Use $100 gift card and $200 on my Amex platinum card.
the $200 will be reimbursed right?
Yes, this should work.
flybie likes this.
viz is offline  

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