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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 Feb 14, 2021, 10:04 am
  #1306  
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Mexico City
Programs: Hyatt Explorist, Hilton Gold, Marriot Gold, IHG Silver, Choice Platinum, Wyndham Gold
Posts: 3,998
Originally Posted by Global Adventurer
Booked a flight yesterday, $236. Used $30 e-credit and remainder of $206 on platinium. Will cancel tomorrow and rebook actual flight before March 30th (Delta's new deadline to book and receive free changes on flights originating outside the US).
I just cancelled this flight and no e-credit showed up except the original $30 one I used to book it along with the platinium card. The email indicated my credit card will be credited instead. I'm contacting Delta to see what they show on my account. I'll just wait to see if my credit card is credited or not. If so I'll book again and wait a week and cancel. I waited two days to cancel so it should have been an e-credit. I'll report back.
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Old Feb 14, 2021, 10:44 am
  #1307  
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Originally Posted by WillTins3
I was about to use a $50 gift card on a $109 flight for me and then another $50 gift card for the same $109 flight for my wife on Delta in order to activate the airline credit.. I then got to thinking, that would leave me with about $83 left over on the Platinum airline credit. So to use up that $83 I would at some point need to use another $50 gift card to use up the $83. So based on my current flight and not using up my credits, it would require me to use up 3 $50 gift cards to fully use up the airline credit. I don't view that as good value using up a 3rd gift card. Ideally you would want to just use up one $50 gift card to get the $200 credits used up, not 2 and 3 gift cards. Keep those gift cards for next time or for other trips.
I think you're right that, unfortunately, with fares in that range it's going to be hard to use up the credit in one or two transactions if you are using $50 gcs each time.

A potential source for smaller gift cards has been mentioned previously in the thread:

Originally Posted by coleslaw
I've bought $10 gift cards from Rapido.com.

I was a little hesitant since the site doesn't look all that legit, but it came through within seconds and I had no issue using the gift card. They charge a ~$1.99 fee on $10 gift cards.
Also with current liberal free-change waivers (at time of posting, applying to any tickets purchased before March 30th) an alternate strategy to using gift cards is to buy a cheaper ticket, then changing to the more expensive ticket you actually want, which will result in an additional collection and trigger the credit (for the differential amount). It's probably hard to find anything much cheaper than $50, so this won't result in more "efficient" consumption of the AMEX credit, but it does save having to go through the process of buying a gift card first.

If you're airline-agnostic you might want to look into switching over to Southwest for the fee credit going forward: https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/amer...ly-2020-a.html
Zorak is offline  
Old Feb 14, 2021, 11:14 am
  #1308  
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Programs: AMEX Platinum, Marriot Gold
Posts: 51
Originally Posted by Zorak
I think you're right that, unfortunately, with fares in that range it's going to be hard to use up the credit in one or two transactions if you are using $50 gcs each time.

A potential source for smaller gift cards has been mentioned previously in the thread:



Also with current liberal free-change waivers (at time of posting, applying to any tickets purchased before March 30th) an alternate strategy to using gift cards is to buy a cheaper ticket, then changing to the more expensive ticket you actually want, which will result in an additional collection and trigger the credit (for the differential amount). It's probably hard to find anything much cheaper than $50, so this won't result in more "efficient" consumption of the AMEX credit, but it does save having to go through the process of buying a gift card first.

If you're airline-agnostic you might want to look into switching over to Southwest for the fee credit going forward: https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/amer...ly-2020-a.html

Thank you for the reply. I will check this out. And when I woke up, its amazing the thoughts one has, I'm an idiot, Instead of purchasing my wifes tix on a separate itinerary, I will just buy both tix on the same transactiion and use one gift card and that should trigger most of the credit leaving me with about a $40 balance. I could always then just fly to vegas to centurion lounge hop later in the year for free at that point and fly right back if I can't use up the remaining 40 bucks.
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Old Feb 14, 2021, 11:43 am
  #1309  
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Originally Posted by WillTins3
Thank you for the reply. I will check this out. And when I woke up, its amazing the thoughts one has, I'm an idiot, Instead of purchasing my wifes tix on a separate itinerary, I will just buy both tix on the same transactiion and use one gift card and that should trigger most of the credit leaving me with about a $40 balance. I could always then just fly to vegas to centurion lounge hop later in the year for free at that point and fly right back if I can't use up the remaining 40 bucks.
When you buy tickets for multiple people in a single transaction on Delta.com, the tickets always charge to Amex as separate transactions. So if you buy a ticket for you and your wife in a single transaction using 2 $50 gift cards, I believe the most likely outcome would be a $9 additional charge and a $109 regular ticket charge, resulting in only $9 reimbursed. So 2 separate transactions would be better (although keep in mind that with no advance seat selection on basic economy tickets, you will most likely not be seated together if you buy separately -- you might be able to get the gate agent to move you together but depends how full the flight is and how friendly they are).
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Old Feb 14, 2021, 11:55 am
  #1310  
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Programs: AMEX Platinum, Marriot Gold
Posts: 51
Originally Posted by bgriff
When you buy tickets for multiple people in a single transaction on Delta.com, the tickets always charge to Amex as separate transactions. So if you buy a ticket for you and your wife in a single transaction using 2 $50 gift cards, I believe the most likely outcome would be a $9 additional charge and a $109 regular ticket charge, resulting in only $9 reimbursed. So 2 separate transactions would be better (although keep in mind that with no advance seat selection on basic economy tickets, you will most likely not be seated together if you buy separately -- you might be able to get the gate agent to move you together but depends how full the flight is and how friendly they are).
Thank you for the reply. If i buy in one transaction I would only use on gift card.

Scenario is this:

One way tix price: $109 for me $109 for wife so thats $218

Use one $50 Delta Gift card So 218 - 50 is 168

Airline credit $200 brings it down to 0 with with $32 left over.

Is that correct? Will it work like that or should I still do separate ticket transactions.
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Old Feb 14, 2021, 11:57 am
  #1311  
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Originally Posted by WillTins3
Thank you for the reply. If i buy in one transaction I would only use on gift card.

Scenario is this:

One way tix price: $109 for me $109 for wife so thats $218

Use one $50 Delta Gift card So 218 - 50 is 168

Airline credit $200 brings it down to 0 with with $32 left over.

Is that correct? Will it work like that or should I still do separate ticket transactions.
It will be 2 Amex line items no matter how you book. So if you buy in one transaction with a single $50 gc, it will be one $68 additional collection line item and one $109 regular ticket line item on your Amex, and you will get only $68 reimbursed.
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Old Feb 14, 2021, 12:05 pm
  #1312  
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Programs: AMEX Platinum, Marriot Gold
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Originally Posted by bgriff
It will be 2 Amex line items no matter how you book. So if you buy in one transaction with a single $50 gc, it will be one $68 additional collection line item and one $109 regular ticket line item on your Amex, and you will get only $68 reimbursed.
Thank you.

So would my best option then be to buy a random ticket somewhere for $250 dollars and use 1 $50 GC. Wait about 48 hours to let the transaction go through, etc. and then cancel the tix hoping Delta then just issues me an e credit for $250. Then use that $250 to purchase both tix? Is that how it works?
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Old Feb 14, 2021, 12:12 pm
  #1313  
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Originally Posted by WillTins3
Thank you.

So would my best option then be to buy a random ticket somewhere for $250 dollars and use 1 $50 GC. Wait about 48 hours to let the transaction go through, etc. and then cancel the tix hoping Delta then just issues me an e credit for $250. Then use that $250 to purchase both tix? Is that how it works?
That also won't work as the ecredit issued in that case would be non-transferrable, it could only be used by one of you (whichever one's name was on the dummy ticket).

There is a lot of year left so I imagine you might have another ticket to book later that would use the rest of the credit? (Keep in mind you could book a ticket in December for travel in 2022.) If you're dead set on getting the full $200 with this trip, you would need to find a way to get 2 $9 Delta gift cards and buy the tickets in separate transactions, which I'm not sure is possible, but some resources were posted upthread about getting <$50 Delta gcs.
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Old Feb 14, 2021, 12:19 pm
  #1314  
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Programs: AMEX Platinum, Marriot Gold
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Originally Posted by bgriff
That also won't work as the ecredit issued in that case would be non-transferrable, it could only be used by one of you (whichever one's name was on the dummy ticket).

There is a lot of year left so I imagine you might have another ticket to book later that would use the rest of the credit? (Keep in mind you could book a ticket in December for travel in 2022.) If you're dead set on getting the full $200 with this trip, you would need to find a way to get 2 $9 Delta gift cards and buy the tickets in separate transactions, which I'm not sure is possible, but some resources were posted upthread about getting <$50 Delta gcs.
Thank you. I appreciate your reply and looking out. The tix are pretty cheap at 109 so I may just save the airline credit for later but I guess it is good to use while the GC loophole still works. Perhaps later in December it will not work.

Thank you again
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Old Feb 14, 2021, 12:49 pm
  #1315  
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Programs: AMEX Platinum, Marriot Gold
Posts: 51
Originally Posted by bgriff
That also won't work as the ecredit issued in that case would be non-transferrable, it could only be used by one of you (whichever one's name was on the dummy ticket).

There is a lot of year left so I imagine you might have another ticket to book later that would use the rest of the credit? (Keep in mind you could book a ticket in December for travel in 2022.) If you're dead set on getting the full $200 with this trip, you would need to find a way to get 2 $9 Delta gift cards and buy the tickets in separate transactions, which I'm not sure is possible, but some resources were posted upthread about getting <$50 Delta gcs.
I guess I could just book a round trip tix with delta as well. Was gonna fly american back because I wanted to connect to try out the CLT Centurion Lounge. I guess I could go with Delta on the way back and connect in JFK to try the JFK lounge. Crazy I know to route based on a lounge but oh well.
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Old Feb 14, 2021, 7:39 pm
  #1316  
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
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Originally Posted by Global Adventurer
I just cancelled this flight and no e-credit showed up except the original $30 one I used to book it along with the platinium card. The email indicated my credit card will be credited instead. I'm contacting Delta to see what they show on my account. I'll just wait to see if my credit card is credited or not. If so I'll book again and wait a week and cancel. I waited two days to cancel so it should have been an e-credit. I'll report back.
Tried calling Delta, and was on hold forever, and then I requested a call back and I end up hanging up because no one ever responded. I just checked my annual airline credit balance and it shows it has all been used for this year. So, I'll get the $200 amex credit, and Delta is refunding my ticket even though I canceled it two days after making the booking. I don't understand that, because it was a non-refundable ticket. The full amount should have been reimbursed as an e-credit. Has anybody else experienced this???

I'm just going to rebook my flight and pay full price and hopefully Amex won't snatch back the $200.
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Old Feb 15, 2021, 9:47 am
  #1317  
 
Join Date: Dec 2020
Posts: 8
I purchased a ticket with additional collection of just over $200. I had to do it with the help of a Delta agent because my gift card wasn’t activating. Has anyone had a Delta rep book it and the AmEx credit still trigger?

Also, should the transaction appear with “additional collection” before posting, or is it not visible while pending?
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Old Feb 15, 2021, 10:46 am
  #1318  
Moderator: Hyatt, American Express; FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
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Originally Posted by TheAmEx
I purchased a ticket with additional collection of just over $200. I had to do it with the help of a Delta agent because my gift card wasn’t activating. Has anyone had a Delta rep book it and the AmEx credit still trigger?

Also, should the transaction appear with “additional collection” before posting, or is it not visible while pending?
​​​​​​Phone bookings should still work. "Additional collection" will appear only when posted, and only on the website interface (not the app)
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Old Feb 15, 2021, 11:11 am
  #1319  
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: NYC
Posts: 175
Originally Posted by TheAmEx
I purchased a ticket with additional collection of just over $200. I had to do it with the help of a Delta agent because my gift card wasn’t activating. Has anyone had a Delta rep book it and the AmEx credit still trigger?

Also, should the transaction appear with “additional collection” before posting, or is it not visible while pending?
I had the same experience the other day.
I made 2 separate one-way $152.00 ticket transactions; First one was with a Delta $50 egift cardI purchased months ago and purchased ticket online.
Second one next day was using a $50 egift purchased on my Delta app as it was supposed to be valid after 24 hrs as opposed to 72 hours when done by laptop. Same as you, wasn't activating so had to call for Delta to assist and worked! Credits posted after 2 days
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Old Feb 16, 2021, 9:28 am
  #1320  
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 139
Anyone know if you can cancel a refundable ticket and use the value to buy a new ticket under a different passenger? Don't want the refund to back to the original card
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