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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 Apr 6, 2021, 1:05 pm
  #1426  
Marriott 5+ Badge
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Chicago
Programs: Delta Diamond, Bonvoy something good; sometimes other things too
Posts: 5,076
Originally Posted by am13
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)
Yes, it should. Or, since the gift card doesn't expire and could be used another time (if you've already bought it), you could also use only the eTicket value and the $147.40 charge should also trigger the credit, and get you $2.60 more out of Amex than you would with the current plan.
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bgriff is offline  
Old Apr 7, 2021, 5:52 am
  #1427  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 116
How long does it usually take to see the airline credit post? I purchased two tickets in two separate transactions for $270 each. Used $50 gift card for each ticket and paid with Amex Plat and Amex Gold. Transactions posted as Additional Collect on 4/3. Still no credit as of today.
mochi0172 is offline  
Old Apr 7, 2021, 6:30 am
  #1428  
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,070
Originally Posted by mochi0172
How long does it usually take to see the airline credit post? I purchased two tickets in two separate transactions for $270 each. Used $50 gift card for each ticket and paid with Amex Plat and Amex Gold. Transactions posted as Additional Collect on 4/3. Still no credit as of today.
I would expect it today... my purchase on 4/2 credited yesterday. If you click on "benefits" on the Amex website and scroll down to "Airline fee credit" then you will see a statement about how much is available to use. If you see "You have used all of your $200 Airline Fee Credit for this year." then you know it worked... this usually appears a day or two before the actual credits post. Note that this info seems to have been removed from the Gold card page, possibly because the benefit has gone away for new card holders.
dkerr is offline  
Old Apr 7, 2021, 7:23 am
  #1429  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 116
Originally Posted by dkerr
I would expect it today... my purchase on 4/2 credited yesterday. If you click on "benefits" on the Amex website and scroll down to "Airline fee credit" then you will see a statement about how much is available to use. If you see "You have used all of your $200 Airline Fee Credit for this year." then you know it worked... this usually appears a day or two before the actual credits post. Note that this info seems to have been removed from the Gold card page, possibly because the benefit has gone away for new card holders.
Thank you! Ill keep an eye out the next couple days. Amex site still shows I have the full $200 credit to use for 2021.
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Old Apr 7, 2021, 4:47 pm
  #1430  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Programs: TK Elite+, DL Plat, Bonvoy Gold, IHG Spire, IC Ambassador, Hilton Gold
Posts: 188
If I got my airline fee credit for a Delta award taxes and fees, and then subsequently cancel the ticket, does Amex then take back the credit? Or once it's applied to the account it stays?
dtphonehome is offline  
Old Apr 8, 2021, 7:17 am
  #1431  
Marriott 5+ Badge
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Chicago
Programs: Delta Diamond, Bonvoy something good; sometimes other things too
Posts: 5,076
Originally Posted by dtphonehome
If I got my airline fee credit for a Delta award taxes and fees, and then subsequently cancel the ticket, does Amex then take back the credit? Or once it's applied to the account it stays?
There have been reports of clawbacks, including some that came much later (like the next year). But experiences vary. If there's a fair chance your award ticket may be cancelled, like if you're speculatively booking travel to Europe for this summer, ideally it would be better to use up the credit first on another trip that has a lower likelihood of being cancelled -- or at least a might-be-cancelled trip paid in cash that could be converted to an ecredit to be used later, which you can't do with the taxes and fees on an award ticket.
bgriff is offline  
Old Apr 8, 2021, 11:39 am
  #1432  
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Posts: 1
Originally Posted by mochi0172
Thank you! Ill keep an eye out the next couple days. Amex site still shows I have the full $200 credit to use for 2021.
Was your credit posted? My purchase was posted on 4/5 and have not seen the credit yet.
caupljx is offline  
Old Apr 9, 2021, 9:13 am
  #1433  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 116
Originally Posted by caupljx
Was your credit posted? My purchase was posted on 4/5 and have not seen the credit yet.
Yes! It posted 4/7 at night because I saw it on my account on 4/8.
mochi0172 is offline  
Old Apr 10, 2021, 12:15 am
  #1434  
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Virginia USA
Posts: 1,246
AmEx plat travel credit questions

I read so many conflicting experiences with this - does anybody have recent experience with selecting a C+ seat after booking Main Cabin and whether that triggers the AmEx Platinum travel credit?
flyerfirsts is offline  
Old Apr 10, 2021, 12:52 am
  #1435  
Moderator: Hyatt, American Express; FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: WAS
Programs: :rolleyes:, DL DM, Mlife Plat, Caesars Diam, Marriott Tit, UA Gold, Hyatt Glob, invol FT beta tester
Posts: 19,221
Originally Posted by flyerfirsts
I read so many conflicting experiences with this - does anybody have recent experience with selecting a C+ seat after booking Main Cabin and whether that triggers the AmEx Platinum travel credit?
This is probably better off in the AMEX forum thread dedicated to using the airline fee credit on DL: https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/amer...ly-2020-a.html (will ping mods to move)

I don't think there are any super-recent experiences in that thread but conventional wisdom is that it won't credit automatically but people have had success calling/chatting after the fact and getting it credited manually as a "seat selection fee".

Depending on the fare difference another effective way to use the airline fee credit might be to buy main cabin and then do an actual flight change to buy up to C+ -- this will get charged as an additional collection and get the credit (provided it's less than $250, which is almost certainly the case for a main-to-C+ differential)
Zorak is offline  
Old Apr 10, 2021, 6:41 am
  #1436  
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Virginia USA
Posts: 1,246
How do you do a flight change rather than simply selecting the seats?

Also, if I have ecredits does the balance code as additional collection no matter what, or do I need to make sure the balance is below $250? Looking at $729 ticket and have $388 e credit.

Last edited by flyerfirsts; Apr 10, 2021 at 8:20 am
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Old Apr 10, 2021, 10:27 am
  #1437  
Moderator: Hyatt, American Express; FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: WAS
Programs: :rolleyes:, DL DM, Mlife Plat, Caesars Diam, Marriott Tit, UA Gold, Hyatt Glob, invol FT beta tester
Posts: 19,221
Originally Posted by flyerfirsts
How do you do a flight change rather than simply selecting the seats?
Click on Modify Flight as if you were going to change flights/dates, then pick the same flight except in C+.

Originally Posted by flyerfirsts
Also, if I have ecredits does the balance code as additional collection no matter what, or do I need to make sure the balance is below $250? Looking at $729 ticket and have $388 e credit.
​​​​​If you pay partially with an eCredit, the remainder codes as additional collection no matter what the amount. However it will only get reimbursed from the airline fee credit if the remainder is less than $250. So with the amounts you mentioned, you would not get the credit.

Similarly to the above though you could try to find some other trip that costs some amount in between and buy that first, then change it to the $729 ticket you actually want.

(I believe the COVID waiver allowing Basic Economy tickets to be changed has ended, so make sure to buy main cabin if pursuing this strategy)
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Last edited by Zorak; Apr 11, 2021 at 12:49 am Reason: Fix autocorrect
Zorak is offline  
Old Apr 10, 2021, 1:36 pm
  #1438  
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Virginia USA
Posts: 1,246
I suppose I could always do the gift card thing. Just to be sure, is $250 the magic number even if the card in question is a Platinum card (so only a $200 credit)?
flyerfirsts is offline  
Old Apr 10, 2021, 2:52 pm
  #1439  
Moderator: Hyatt, American Express; FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: WAS
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Posts: 19,221
Originally Posted by flyerfirsts
I suppose I could always do the gift card thing. Just to be sure, is $250 the magic number even if the card in question is a Platinum card (so only a $200 credit)?
Yes. See most recently posts 1427 & 1433 above ($220 a/c, full credit on a Plat and a Gold)
Zorak is offline  
Old Apr 11, 2021, 12:11 pm
  #1440  
 
Join Date: Nov 2020
Posts: 31
anyone know if Delta can see how many times one has canceled reservations and reused the same eCredit using this method each time and building a large amount of eCredit?

also, I thought all eCredits were set to expire in December of 2022? I recently used all my eCredit to drain the Amex Gold credit and after doing so canceled a few days later. looking at my available eCredit it says it must be redeemed by April of 2022.

lastly, has anyone experienced any issues using their eCredit to buy two flights in the attempt to make it easier to find flights to use the Amex credit on? for example purchasing a $464 flight to drop your eCredit balance down to $285 and then using that remainder in addition to the Amex credit only to cancel both flights after. how would the expiration on these two be after, unchanged?

Last edited by dimm0k; Apr 11, 2021 at 12:37 pm
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