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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 Mar 2, 2021, 10:44 pm
  #1366  
Moderator: Hyatt, American Express; FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
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Originally Posted by jamesteroh
Anyone use PWM lately and get the credit to post? I have a ton of skypeso's and figure this might be a good way to burn some
Thread search for "PWM" shows a positive DP from January.
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Zorak is offline  
Old Mar 3, 2021, 12:30 pm
  #1367  
 
Join Date: Mar 2021
Posts: 3
Originally Posted by Zorak
Welcome to FT! If I'm counting correctly you are booking 4 tickets and have 6 cards' worth of benefits to use, so not really going to be possible.

You can call in and ask them to split payment between two cards, in which case whatever amount ends up on the second card should get the airline credit. If you already have gift cards or eCredits you could use those as the first form of payment and a card for the rest (you can do this yourself online).

There's a wiki at the top of the thread (on mobile, due to infinite scroll you'll have to use << to get to the first page and then scroll to the top) which has a lot of collected/distilled info and discusses some other caveats about booking multiple tickets in the same reservation, etc.

As for using it for drinks in the Sky Club, as also alluded to in the wiki this does not appear to get credited automatically but at least one person has had luck getting AMEX to issue the credit manually after the fact.

With 6 cards, unless you have a specific DL loyalty you might also consider switching a few of the cards to other airlines that may have simpler ways of capturing the credit (but then you have to keep careful track of which card gets used for which airline purchases, of course)
Thanks! I donít have DL loyalty, they just had the best times and direct flights. I might try spreading out some of the cards to other airlines.
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Old Mar 3, 2021, 12:32 pm
  #1368  
 
Join Date: Mar 2021
Posts: 3
Originally Posted by jamesteroh
I thought the uber credit was replacing the airline credit this year on the gold card.

For the plat credit buy a $10 Delta gift card at a grocery store and use that and the am ex plat on one ticket and you should get the entire $200 credit. Since the aspire is $250 not sure if you can just buy $5 gift cards and if the balance will trigger the credit or not, but you'll have to keep track of the remaining credit.

Seeing the five year old would be a UM, I wouldn't put them on a third ticket in case you get an anal employee that tries charging you the UM fee and also if you have status they wouldn't be eligible for the upgrade if you clear.

As far as the DOM, I don't think that will work since I tried buying drinks before at the skyclub luxury bar and didn't get reimbursed.

IIRC, entrance fees to skyclubs qualify for the credit. Your five year old would have to pay so you could probalby use the $39 fee towards the credit also.
Thanks! I will try and buy a $10 GC and see what happens!
I appreciate the DP on the luxury bar
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Old Mar 5, 2021, 8:20 am
  #1369  
 
Join Date: May 2017
Programs: avis, national, jetblue, delta, marriot
Posts: 33
Originally Posted by jessebrown30
Bought a ticket for $168 using $138 ecredit and the rest on my Amex plat. Just posting to update if i get the $30ish dollars credited with airline credit

Just to confirm i receievd the credit to my amex plat!
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Old Mar 5, 2021, 10:56 am
  #1370  
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 13
DP: Used 2x delta gift cards (50$ and $19.70) for a $309 flight and paid the remaining $239 on my Hilton Aspire. Coded as Additional Collection and the full amount was credited in 2 days.
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Old Mar 5, 2021, 2:20 pm
  #1371  
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 139
Purchased a fully refundable ticket in 2020 that cost around $250. Used giftcard + amex. I would like to use the credit for this flight for a new cheaper flight that only costs $140. Anyone know if delta is able to refund the difference to a giftcard instead of the CC?
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Old Mar 5, 2021, 2:25 pm
  #1372  
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Originally Posted by co.miller89
Purchased a fully refundable ticket in 2020 that cost around $250. Used giftcard + amex. I would like to use the credit for this flight for a new cheaper flight that only costs $140. Anyone know if delta is able to refund the difference to a giftcard instead of the CC?
To a gift card, almost certainly not. To a (non-transferrable, expires a year from your original purchase) eCredit, maybe, if you speak to an agent.
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Old Mar 5, 2021, 2:27 pm
  #1373  
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Originally Posted by co.miller89
Purchased a fully refundable ticket in 2020 that cost around $250. Used giftcard + amex. I would like to use the credit for this flight for a new cheaper flight that only costs $140. Anyone know if delta is able to refund the difference to a giftcard instead of the CC?
In addition to what bgriff said, IMO since you'll only end up with a partial refund, I think you're at less risk/scrutiny for a clawback.
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Old Mar 5, 2021, 2:30 pm
  #1374  
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 139
Originally Posted by Zorak
In addition to what bgriff said, IMO since you'll only end up with a partial refund, I think you're at less risk/scrutiny for a clawback.
Interesting. Maybe worth just trying and see what happens.
Do you know if the delta website automatically refunds to the CC after making a flight change from a refundable ticket?

Last edited by co.miller89; Mar 5, 2021 at 2:35 pm
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Old Mar 5, 2021, 2:51 pm
  #1375  
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Originally Posted by co.miller89
Interesting. Maybe worth just trying and see what happens.
Do you know if the delta website automatically refunds to the CC after making a flight change from a refundable ticket?
The website being able to competently process flight changes is a pretty new state of affairs, so I don't know. You could try clicking through the process and I believe it should give you some idea of what's going to happen in the summary page before you click the final "process change" (or whatever it's labeled) button. There's a chance you might actually end up with an eCredit going via the website, since that's what the website does for nonrefundable tickets.
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Old Mar 5, 2021, 2:58 pm
  #1376  
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 139
Originally Posted by bgriff
The website being able to competently process flight changes is a pretty new state of affairs, so I don't know. You could try clicking through the process and I believe it should give you some idea of what's going to happen in the summary page before you click the final "process change" (or whatever it's labeled) button. There's a chance you might actually end up with an eCredit going via the website, since that's what the website does for nonrefundable tickets.
Correct, it says e-credit. But I imagine I'll be able to call in afterwards and have them refund that to my card.
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Old Mar 7, 2021, 7:27 pm
  #1377  
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 30
Originally Posted by mattp1987
Assuming you're buying a nonrefundable ticket, my experience is you will end up with an $89 e-credit valid for one year from the original date of ticket purchase.
For a nonrefundable flight, it can only be changed/delayed up to 1 year from original booking and there's no difference between doing that or refunding for e-credit as both options are non-transferable to a different passenger (other than the fact that change fees will be re-introduced in the future, which would make e-credit preferable all else equal)?

What's different if it's a refundable ticket?

Unfortunately I was under the impression that you could re-book a ticket indefinitely as suggested by an old post as long as it's within 1 year of rebooking (it's 1 year of original rebooking date, so to use the credits, you actually need to plan on flying with Delta). I actually have no plans with flying with Delta in the near future but my Gold airline credit was expiring and UA was dead then.

Last edited by mind; Mar 7, 2021 at 7:33 pm
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Old Mar 8, 2021, 8:03 am
  #1378  
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Originally Posted by mind
For a nonrefundable flight, it can only be changed/delayed up to 1 year from original booking and there's no difference between doing that or refunding for e-credit as both options are non-transferable to a different passenger (other than the fact that change fees will be re-introduced in the future, which would make e-credit preferable all else equal)?

What's different if it's a refundable ticket?
"Refunding for e-credit" isn't actually a thing in the DL world (and other airlines, I'm sure). When you receive an e-credit, you're simply not redeeming some/all of the value of a ticket - but you still hold that ticket with the airline and they aren't giving you any money back. You're instead holding that ticket (or remainder) for use toward a future trip, with all the conditions/restrictions you listed above.

A refundable ticket, OTOH, can actually be refunded back to the original form of payment in a reversal of the original purchase transaction. Thus it returns all the way to the buyer's pocket and the funds can be used for anything else at any time (a new ticket for another passenger, groceries, etc.). In the context of this thread, the original FOP is usually an Amex credit card, and people are worried about it b/c it could trigger a clawback of the Amex promo being discussed.
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Old Mar 8, 2021, 2:36 pm
  #1379  
 
Join Date: May 2013
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I used two $50 gift cards and approximately $250 tickets to generate two e-credits of ~$250 each in Dec 2020. The e-credits showed an expiration date of Dec 2021. I then used my credits in Feb to book an ~$400 ticket, leaving a $100 credit that still expired in Dec 2021. I was actually planning to take this flight but ended up having to cancel it last week; when I checked today my $100 credit still expires Dec 2021, but my $400 credit has a Feb 2022 expiration date. There's no guarantee this will work because it seems to go against the published terms, but it may be a way to reset the one-year expiration counter.
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Old Mar 8, 2021, 4:05 pm
  #1380  
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: DCA, LEX
Programs: DL Platinum, Marriott Platinum, Caesars Diamond, K Fund
Posts: 375
DP: Bought 2 tickets using PWM to take off $100($50 for each ticket), used Amex Platinum to pay remaining balance on 2/17. Showed up as additional collection and $200 Credit was applied on 2/19.
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