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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 Mar 31, 2021, 2:13 pm
  #1411  
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: MSP
Posts: 53
Originally Posted by skor
Thanks. I did a mini trial myself. Booked a ticket with partial payment using a $13 eCredit with expiration date of 12/31/2022. The ticket receipt I received shows a 3/30/2022 expiration date, so it does not extend it out to the farthest date.
This datapoint may be useful for people planning to use prior Delta eCredit to trigger 'Additional Collection' for this years Airline Fee Credit. All prior Delta eCredits are being extended until 12/31/2022. Unless all future issued Delta eCredits also get extended to 12/31/2022, it may make sense to NOT use past eCredit for 'Additional Collection'. Better off to use Gift Cards or Pay with Miles methods - unless of course you know for sure you are going to use up the ticket within the next 365 days.
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Old Apr 1, 2021, 11:26 am
  #1412  
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,070
Originally Posted by skor
This datapoint may be useful for people planning to use prior Delta eCredit to trigger 'Additional Collection' for this years Airline Fee Credit. All prior Delta eCredits are being extended until 12/31/2022. Unless all future issued Delta eCredits also get extended to 12/31/2022, it may make sense to NOT use past eCredit for 'Additional Collection'. Better off to use Gift Cards or Pay with Miles methods - unless of course you know for sure you are going to use up the ticket within the next 365 days.
I don't think we need to worry about this. On this page https://www.delta.com/us/en/travel-p...ng-made-simple is the statement. "For travel impacted by coronavirus, we are giving you even more flexibility to fly when you are ready. All tickets expiring in 2021 and all new tickets purchased in 2021 have been extended and will expire on December 31, 2022." Now there is some past tense used there, but I still interpret this as eCredits and tickets will be valid until end of 2022. Maybe it might not show on an active reservation until after you cancel it?

DAK
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Old Apr 1, 2021, 11:31 am
  #1413  
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Chicago
Programs: Delta Diamond, Bonvoy something good; sometimes other things too
Posts: 5,077
Originally Posted by dkerr
I don't think we need to worry about this. On this page https://www.delta.com/us/en/travel-p...ng-made-simple is the statement. "For travel impacted by coronavirus, we are giving you even more flexibility to fly when you are ready. All tickets expiring in 2021 and all new tickets purchased in 2021 have been extended and will expire on December 31, 2022." Now there is some past tense used there, but I still interpret this as eCredits and tickets will be valid until end of 2022. Maybe it might not show on an active reservation until after you cancel it?

DAK
It looks like this is a new development:
https://news.delta.com/more-ways-pro...redits-through
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Old Apr 1, 2021, 11:39 am
  #1414  
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: MSP
Posts: 53
Originally Posted by bgriff
It looks like this is a new development:
https://news.delta.com/more-ways-pro...redits-through
Originally Posted by dkerr
I don't think we need to worry about this. On this page https://www.delta.com/us/en/travel-p...ng-made-simple is the statement. "For travel impacted by coronavirus, we are giving you even more flexibility to fly when you are ready. All tickets expiring in 2021 and all new tickets purchased in 2021 have been extended and will expire on December 31, 2022." Now there is some past tense used there, but I still interpret this as eCredits and tickets will be valid until end of 2022. Maybe it might not show on an active reservation until after you cancel it?
DAK
Yeah, in that case, we dont need to worry about it. You may be right, the ticket expiration shows 365 days because it is active. Possibly will show 12/31/2022 if cancelled, as per your linked articles.
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Old Apr 2, 2021, 12:17 am
  #1415  
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Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: NYC
Posts: 27,407
Originally Posted by Pocatello
I've never done this before so I want to ask about it here:

If I want to travel with my partner on a trip... can I book 1 person per roundtrip PNR ... ie., separately... in order to use up 2 of the AMEX credits?

And after ticketing ask Delta to combine the PNRs? Then my status will allow us to travel together in comfort + or maybe first class. There will only be 2 of us traveling together. I hope we can travel together!

Does Delta care about this kind of post-ticketing combination of PNRs?

Thank you.
Originally Posted by Pocatello
Thanks. Trying to figure how to use the boatload of Amex credits, Delta e-credits, vouchers, companion passes, and upgrade certificates.
Even when you purchase tickets for multiple passengers on the same reservation, the actual tickets are separate transactions on your credit card. So no difference between same or different PNR. That said, you don't really give enough information about what exactly you're trying to do to use what credits/vouchers/etc., but I wouldn't rule it out.
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Old Apr 2, 2021, 5:02 am
  #1416  
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: searching FT for a J deal
Programs: Hyatt Globalist, Marriott Unobtainium, Delta Diamond
Posts: 268
Originally Posted by ijgordon
Even when you purchase tickets for multiple passengers on the same reservation, the actual tickets are separate transactions on your credit card. So no difference between same or different PNR. That said, you don't really give enough information about what exactly you're trying to do to use what credits/vouchers/etc., but I wouldn't rule it out.
I have three Amex credits: $200, $200, $100 - Platinum x2 and Gold; plus another $200 if I book through the Amex travel site = $700 total.

I have a $370 Delta e-credit from an unused ticket.

I also have 4 GUCs and 4 RUCs and 3 companion passes. I want to book travel and use these credits.
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Old Apr 2, 2021, 7:13 am
  #1417  
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,070
Originally Posted by Pocatello
I have three Amex credits: $200, $200, $100 - Platinum x2 and Gold; plus another $200 if I book through the Amex travel site = $700 total.

I have a $370 Delta e-credit from an unused ticket.

I also have 4 GUCs and 4 RUCs and 3 companion passes. I want to book travel and use these credits.
Your strategy here depends on the number and overall cost of the tickets you want to buy. But assuming two passengers, you could...
  • For passenger that does not currently have eCredit. Buy any (non basic economy) ticket through Amex travel, get the $200 credit for that. Wait a few days so that transaction completes then cancel. (if you cancel immediately, credit card charge is voided).
You now have two eCredits, one for each passenger. To keep it simple lets assume one is for $370 and the other $270
  • In separate transactions (separate PNRs)...
    For passenger 1... Buy any (non basic economy) ticket for $470. Apply $370 eCredit, charge the $100 balance to Gold card
    For passenger 2... Buy any (non basic economy) ticket for $470. Apply $270 eCredit, charge the $200 balance to Platinum card
    Wait a few days and cancel both tickets.
You now have two eCredits each for $470. Until now you don't care what the actual ticket is... your goal has been to find any one-way or round-trip that gets you as close to the dollar value that each Amex credit will reimburse, then cancel for the eCredit. Final step...
  • In the same transaction (one PNR)...
    Find the actual flights you want, lets assume price is $570 each. Apply $470 eCredit for each, charge the $200 balance to other Platinum card. These will appear as two separate $100 transactions.
You're done.... now you can try and use your upgrade certs.

You should take your time and monitor each step to make sure that the charges come through as "additional collection" and credits are applied. Always keep the charge close to the amount of Amex credit you want, never go above $250. If the final ticket price is going to exceed $570 in this example, then I suggest adding an intermediate step... buying any ticket for close to $570, then in the final step modifying that reservation for your final desired tickets.
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Old Apr 2, 2021, 7:27 am
  #1418  
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Originally Posted by Pocatello
I have three Amex credits: $200, $200, $100 - Platinum x2 and Gold; plus another $200 if I book through the Amex travel site = $700 total.

I have a $370 Delta e-credit from an unused ticket.

I also have 4 GUCs and 4 RUCs and 3 companion passes. I want to book travel and use these credits.
Note that you can't combine the companion passes with the eCredit. When using a companion pass, you have to pay the full amount as a new transaction onto an Amex. The companion passes also should have been extended now to 6/30/22, so you have a bit more time to use those. Also note that the companion certificates are transferrable, so if you don't have enough travel planned to use all of them, you might know someone else who could make use of them in their travel, as long as it's 2 people traveling together on the same domestic roundtrip flights.

In order to make use out of all of these credits, you're going to have to book at least 4 trips -- 3 using the companion certificates and 1 to use the Amex eCredits, although it would be very difficult to use up all your Amex eCredits in one trip (would require a lengthy process of book something you don't need, change it to something slightly more expensive charging the price increase to one of the Amexes to get the credit on that card, and repeat until all cards are hit, either ending with a trip you actually want or just ending with something you cancel to give yourself a large bucket of eCredit to use on something else).

Once you have all of those trips booked, you can apply the GUCs and RUCs to any trips that you are flying on, so that'll be your choice of where you get most value, and potentially where there might be availability to confirm upgrades in advance. Given all the restrictions on international travel right now, there aren't a lot of great uses of GUCs available at the moment, so if it starts to look like you won't have any other use for those before their expiration date, you could also always apply them to a domestic flight same as you would RUCs. It's kind of a waste of GUCs, but better than letting them go to waste entirely by not using them.
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Old Apr 2, 2021, 8:17 am
  #1419  
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Join Date: Oct 2011
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Originally Posted by skor
Thanks. I did a mini trial myself. Booked a ticket with partial payment using a $13 eCredit with expiration date of 12/31/2022. The ticket receipt I received shows a 3/30/2022 expiration date, so it does not extend it out to the farthest date.
Interesting and thanks for the data point! In my case, my *entire* ticket was paid for using an eCredit, so that may have been the difference.

My initial guess is that DL's systems are still programmed to use stick with the most restrictive rule for lots of things, so for ticket expiration it's the earliest date of all payment methods. Prior to all the COVID rules/flexibility, this definitely worked in reverse as well - if you booked a trip on 4/2/2019 and paid in part with an eCredit that expired on 6/1/2019, your newly booked ticket will still expire 6/1/2019 - barring an agent applying a workaround, you couldn't extend eCredits by applying them to a new flight.

All of this I guess is irrelevant now given the subsequent posts about extending all expiration dates from 2021 to 2022, though. But that's a good thing for anyone needing that extra flexibility. It will definitely help our Mrs. Lee who has a random eCredit that was previously set to expire this fall.
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Old Apr 2, 2021, 10:04 pm
  #1420  
 
Join Date: May 2016
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Posts: 268
That was very helpful! Thanks dkerr and bgriff ! I purchased some flights today!
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Pocatello is offline  
Old Apr 3, 2021, 12:01 pm
  #1421  
 
Join Date: Feb 2021
Posts: 10
Another happy camper here. Set preferred airline for Delta and the purchased tickets for $120.+ $50 gift card few mins later. Transaction posted on 31st March as additional collection, and Amex credit posted today. Platinum
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Old Apr 5, 2021, 5:52 pm
  #1422  
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
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Posts: 2,704
I purchased a $285 ticket on March 29th using a $65 e-credit and the balance on my Amex Plat. The $220 amount posted as additional collection on the 30th, the $200 credit posted on April 2nd. Easy peasy.
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Old Apr 6, 2021, 7:19 am
  #1423  
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,070
How the game is played

Thought I would report success in leveraging $600 of credits across one platinum and one gold card over 2020/2021.
December...
Buy 3x $50 gift cards.
Buy 3x $150 airline tickets in three separate PNRs over the two cards.
3x $100 credits received.
New Year...
Cancel the 3x tickets, obtain 3x "unused eTicket" credits for $150 each.
Find flight to anywhere as close to $185 as possible.
Book 3x $185 tickets in the same PNR, apply the three credits, charge balance to gold card, appears as 3x $35 charges
Used up all $100 credit in gold card for 2021
Find flights that I really wanted at close to $255 as possible.
Modify existing reservation to book 3x $255 tickets, current value applied, charge balance to platinum card, appears as 3x $70 charges.
Used up all $200 credit in platinum card for 2021

I may end up having to change the flights again, but I have converted $600 of statement credits into Delta that I can use through end 2022.

DAK
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dkerr is offline  
Old Apr 6, 2021, 11:38 am
  #1424  
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Join Date: Oct 2011
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Technically excluded by the T&Cs, but award ticket fees still seem to be working.

Booked a normal RT award last wee. ~$30 in fees/taxes charged to plat card; reimbursement posted a few days later.

Will easily use up this year's credit with a couple more awards and SkyClub guest fees.
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Old Apr 6, 2021, 12:50 pm
  #1425  
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Washington, DC
Programs: Delta Platinum, Marriott Platinum, Hilton Gold
Posts: 205
Random question: does anyone know if the fee credit will trigger if you are using BOTH a gift card and an eTicket in the same transaction?

For instance, buying a $404.80 airfare with:
  • $50.00 Delta (physical) gift card
  • $257.40 Remaining eTicket Applied
  • Remaining $97.40 charged to Amex Gold (with full value of airline fee credit remaining)
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