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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 Feb 16, 2021, 9:29 am
  #1321  
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Originally Posted by co.miller89
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
Almost certainly would need to get a refund to the card as part of that process. Delta's tickets/ecredits aren't transferrable.
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Old Feb 16, 2021, 9:40 am
  #1322  
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 139
Originally Posted by bgriff
Almost certainly would need to get a refund to the card as part of that process. Delta's tickets/ecredits aren't transferrable.
Figured. I bought a refundable flight around October of last year, and I want to use that credit and my amex to buy a new ticket, but won't be flying until 2022. Online system won't let me purchase a ticket departing after the original date I booked the refundable ticket in October. Hopefully they can do it over the phone?
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Old Feb 16, 2021, 9:43 am
  #1323  
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Originally Posted by co.miller89
Figured. I bought a refundable flight around October of last year, and I want to use that credit and my amex to buy a new ticket, but won't be flying until 2022. Online system won't let me purchase a ticket passed the original date I booked the refundable ticket in October. Hopefully they can do it over the phone?
They will also likely do it as a refund and new transaction, as your ticket will have expired by then. That's just how Delta's systems are set up to handle such a situation. (There were some tickets extended to Dec 2022 expiration where you could do this without refunding, but only if bought before April 17 2020.)

In theory you might be able to get them to refund to a different card, but I tried that at one point last year and they took the information and said they were going to do it, but the refund then came through on the card I'd booked on.
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Old Feb 16, 2021, 11:21 am
  #1324  
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 139
Originally Posted by bgriff
They will also likely do it as a refund and new transaction, as your ticket will have expired by then. That's just how Delta's systems are set up to handle such a situation. (There were some tickets extended to Dec 2022 expiration where you could do this without refunding, but only if bought before April 17 2020.)

In theory you might be able to get them to refund to a different card, but I tried that at one point last year and they took the information and said they were going to do it, but the refund then came through on the card I'd booked on.
Now I wonder if I use the credit from the original refundable flight to book a new refundable flight, can that new refundable flight be changed to a date within one year of this second booking? Or would it keep the original expiration date of October 2020 from the first booking.

Last edited by co.miller89; Feb 16, 2021 at 11:37 am
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Old Feb 16, 2021, 12:20 pm
  #1325  
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Originally Posted by co.miller89
Now I wonder if I use the credit from the original refundable flight to book a new refundable flight, can that new refundable flight be changed to a date within one year of this second booking? Or would it keep the original expiration date of October 2020 from the first booking.
Generally no. The ticket expiration date generally does not change after rebookings. Delta has even started to display the ticket expiration date prominently on the upper-right corner of the existing booking page on Delta.com, presumably because questions like this are going to become a lot more common in the no change fees world.
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Old Feb 16, 2021, 12:27 pm
  #1326  
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 139
Originally Posted by bgriff
Generally no. The ticket expiration date generally does not change after rebookings. Delta has even started to display the ticket expiration date prominently on the upper-right corner of the existing booking page on Delta.com, presumably because questions like this are going to become a lot more common in the no change fees world.
Got it. Thanks for the help
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Old Feb 17, 2021, 7:44 am
  #1327  
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
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My airline ticket was refunded back to my amex card, even though I cancelled it two days after booking And within two days, I received the $200 Amex credit and the airline refund $206 back on my card and $30 e-credit back on my Delta account. The booking was a non- refundable ticket. I still don't know why they refunded the entire ticket. Now, I'll just wait for them to snatch it back. Oh well.
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Old Feb 18, 2021, 10:12 am
  #1328  
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 139
Anyone know how amex codes a purchase of two tickets totalling $415 when a giftcard worth $200 is used? What about if a $250 giftcard is used?
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Old Feb 18, 2021, 10:19 am
  #1329  
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Originally Posted by co.miller89
Anyone know how amex codes a purchase of two tickets totalling $415 when a giftcard worth $200 is used? What about if a $250 giftcard is used?
Assuming it's 2 tickets each ~$207, if you use a $200 gift card I believe most likely it will be one $7 additional collection and one $207 regular ticket. If using a $250 gift card, not 100% sure if I've seen a data point personally but I'd guess it would be one $164 additional collection, with the first ticket fully covered by the gift card.
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Old Feb 18, 2021, 10:22 am
  #1330  
 
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Originally Posted by co.miller89
Anyone know how amex codes a purchase of two tickets totalling $415 when a giftcard worth $200 is used? What about if a $250 giftcard is used?
So you're talking about buying tickets for two passengers on the same flight in a single purchase, and the tickets cost $207.50 each? With a $200 gift card, it should charge an additional collection of $7.50 for one passenger and a normal ticket purchase that won't trigger the credit for the second passenger. I'm less sure about how the $250 GC would work, but I think it would likely end up with one ticket fully paid with the gift card and an additional collection of $165 for the second ticket which should credit.
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Old Feb 18, 2021, 3:31 pm
  #1331  
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 139
Originally Posted by mattp1987
So you're talking about buying tickets for two passengers on the same flight in a single purchase, and the tickets cost $207.50 each? With a $200 gift card, it should charge an additional collection of $7.50 for one passenger and a normal ticket purchase that won't trigger the credit for the second passenger. I'm less sure about how the $250 GC would work, but I think it would likely end up with one ticket fully paid with the gift card and an additional collection of $165 for the second ticket which should credit.
Just realized I could use the gift card to outright purchase the first ticket, then use the remainder of the gift card to purchase the second ticket separately.
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Old Feb 18, 2021, 5:22 pm
  #1332  
 
Join Date: May 2013
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Originally Posted by conshek
Data point -
Purchased a physical $50 delta gift card from Best Buy online using AMEX platinum. A few days later we received the $50 Best Buy credit to the AMEX.
Tried this, my charge posted 2/15 and still no credit - typically AMEX offers credit within 1-2 days. I'll wait and see some more...

EDIT - posted today, 8 days after purchase - quite a long time by AMEX offer standards but I'll take it!

Last edited by OPAcolt; Feb 23, 2021 at 5:42 pm Reason: incorrect info previously
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Old Feb 19, 2021, 10:09 am
  #1333  
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
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Everything is taking a really long time with them, for Amex Offers and credits. Seems like 11 days has been the magic number for me
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Old Feb 20, 2021, 11:09 am
  #1334  
 
Join Date: Dec 2020
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I successfully booked an approx $250 flight with a $50 GC and my AmEx Plat, got the $200 credit, and then cancelled. But then, the AC was refunded to my card. I still have the credit and it's been about a week since I canceled. Anyone know how long it takes for AmEx to clawback the credit?
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Old Feb 20, 2021, 3:05 pm
  #1335  
mia
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Originally Posted by TheAmEx
....how long it takes for AmEx to clawback the credit?
This does not happen automatically, but as the result of an audit. If you are lucky it will happen is 2021 and you may have an opportunity to re-use the credit, but if it happens later the credit would be lost.

Clawbacks of 2019 reimbursements for REFUNDED airline "fees".

In any event there is nothing you can "do" about it, Set it aside.
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