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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 14, 2021, 12:13 am
  #1381  
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Thousand Oaks, Ca., USA
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Posts: 8,563
Originally Posted by TF_fella
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.
Interesting. I thought over $200 was pushing it, but is it generally considered ok to go that high without drawing attention?

Thanks for the data point. I have two Aspires, so this would be great.
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Old Mar 14, 2021, 1:56 am
  #1382  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,136
Originally Posted by beachfan
Interesting. I thought over $200 was pushing it, but is it generally considered ok to go that high without drawing attention?

Thanks for the data point. I have two Aspires, so this would be great.
The limit is generally thought to be $250.00. I also have 2 Aspires and had a charge for $249.00 reimbursed automaticaly.
beachfan likes this.
diesteldorf is offline  
Old Mar 14, 2021, 6:12 am
  #1383  
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Originally Posted by beachfan
Interesting. I thought over $200 was pushing it, but is it generally considered ok to go that high without drawing attention?

Thanks for the data point. I have two Aspires, so this would be great.
I dont know if drawing attention is a particular concern, but the general experience seems to be that charges over ~$250 arent automatically reimbursed.
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bgriff is offline  
Old Mar 18, 2021, 12:48 pm
  #1384  
 
Join Date: May 2019
Posts: 3
Thank you!
roxymigs is offline  
Old Mar 18, 2021, 1:18 pm
  #1385  
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Programs: Amex, Citi
Posts: 15
If you use e-credit instead of a gift card to reduce the cost of the ticket, does the rest still code as additional collection like a gift card?
hman1359 is offline  
Old Mar 18, 2021, 9:20 pm
  #1386  
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Originally Posted by hman1359
If you use e-credit instead of a gift card to reduce the cost of the ticket, does the rest still code as additional collection like a gift card?
Yes, I used my diamond credit when I bought a ticket last month and used my am ex aspire for the balance and it worked fine.
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Old Mar 23, 2021, 10:02 am
  #1387  
 
Join Date: May 2019
Posts: 179
Originally Posted by beachfan
Interesting. I thought over $200 was pushing it, but is it generally considered ok to go that high without drawing attention?

Thanks for the data point. I have two Aspires, so this would be great.
Yes, I also thought $200 was the threshold. Otherwise I could have pushed to $230 for my last purchase and take advantage of the $40 back for $200 Delta purchase on the Amex Biz Plat. Oh well. Just happy to be able to use the $200 credit. Now off to find a way to use the other $200 on the personal platinum card.
llngoc is offline  
Old Mar 25, 2021, 10:40 am
  #1388  
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Programs: Amex, Citi
Posts: 15
Just a few more DPs:

CS Plat:

3/19: 196.20 additional collection
3/20: 196.20 credit applied

Plat:

3/23: 206.00 additional collection
3/24: 200.00 credit applied

HH Aspire:

3/24: 248.20 additional collection
3/26: 248.20 credit applied

Last edited by hman1359; Mar 30, 2021 at 12:00 pm Reason: updated info
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Old Mar 27, 2021, 3:57 pm
  #1389  
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,069
I have eCredits for two different people and want to book flights for both of us. Can I do that in one reservation and have the balance charge to AMEX as "additional collection" or do I need to make two separate bookings? I would like to book as one reservation because then my companion benefits from my medallion status (e.g. free checked bags).

Thanks
DAK
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Old Mar 27, 2021, 4:07 pm
  #1390  
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Originally Posted by dkerr
I have eCredits for two different people and want to book flights for both of us. Can I do that in one reservation and have the balance charge to AMEX as "additional collection" or do I need to make two separate bookings? I would like to book as one reservation because then my companion benefits from my medallion status (e.g. free checked bags).

Thanks
DAK
Yes, you can do in one booking, even online now I believe. Any balance on each ticket will charge as a separate additional collection so for example if you are using a $150 credit and a $200 credit to buy 2 tickets of $300 each, you would have a $150 additional collection and a $100 additional collection.
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Old Mar 27, 2021, 4:18 pm
  #1391  
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,069
Originally Posted by bgriff
Yes, you can do in one booking, even online now I believe. Any balance on each ticket will charge as a separate additional collection so for example if you are using a $150 credit and a $200 credit to buy 2 tickets of $300 each, you would have a $150 additional collection and a $100 additional collection.
Good, thank you.

Now I have run into an additional problem. I cancelled flight for three people a while ago and have three "unused eTickets" in each of our sky miles accounts. I cannot figure out how to use them. All appears well until the very end. So for example, I have $150 of "unused eTicket" and I select it then search for flights, I find one for $250 and get as far as checkout, it shows that I am applying an "eCredit" and that $100 will be charged to my card. I click on purchase and it silently fails, no error message, after a few seconds it displays the flight results page again... so a few steps before checkout. But it no longer has the unused eTicket attached.

I have tried this several times logged in with each of the three sky miles accounts. And tried different flights. And I tried Chrome, Firefox and Safari. Always fails.

If I try on the mobile app then when I click to purchase the ticket it comes back with a message that the fare I selected is no longer available. Which I know is not the case, feels like a generic error message.

Anyone have any success applying "unused eTicket"

DAK
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Old Mar 27, 2021, 4:36 pm
  #1392  
mia
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Originally Posted by dkerr

Anyone have any success applying "unused eTicket"
I would look in the Delta forum. Here are some likely threads:

Booking Delta Flight with Unused Credit Requires Phone Booking?

https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/delt...solidated.html
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Old Mar 27, 2021, 4:42 pm
  #1393  
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Originally Posted by dkerr
Good, thank you.

Now I have run into an additional problem. I cancelled flight for three people a while ago and have three "unused eTickets" in each of our sky miles accounts. I cannot figure out how to use them. All appears well until the very end. So for example, I have $150 of "unused eTicket" and I select it then search for flights, I find one for $250 and get as far as checkout, it shows that I am applying an "eCredit" and that $100 will be charged to my card. I click on purchase and it silently fails, no error message, after a few seconds it displays the flight results page again... so a few steps before checkout. But it no longer has the unused eTicket attached.

I have tried this several times logged in with each of the three sky miles accounts. And tried different flights. And I tried Chrome, Firefox and Safari. Always fails.

If I try on the mobile app then when I click to purchase the ticket it comes back with a message that the fare I selected is no longer available. Which I know is not the case, feels like a generic error message.

Anyone have any success applying "unused eTicket"

DAK
You probably just need to call. The ability to apply credits online is pretty new in general and still working out some kinks.
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Old Mar 27, 2021, 5:49 pm
  #1394  
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,069
Originally Posted by bgriff
You probably just need to call. The ability to apply credits online is pretty new in general and still working out some kinks.
I was afraid of that... I'm reading of huge wait times. Yuk.
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Old Mar 27, 2021, 8:03 pm
  #1395  
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Originally Posted by dkerr
I was afraid of that... I'm reading of huge wait times. Yuk.
The credits should show up in your wallet but are a pain to apply and I usually just call Delta.
I had to call Delta twice last week for things I couldn't handle online and they will give you the option to get a call back or tell you the wait time if you want to hold. I only had to wait around five minutes one time and around ten the other so I just chose to hold but the call back option is nice if there is a long wait time. I think the longest wait time I've been quoted was 40 minutes and I had the call back before then.
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