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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 Apr 11, 2021, 3:01 pm
  #1441  
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 14
Originally Posted by dimm0k
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.
Im also in the same boat here, Delta said any tickets purchased in 2021 (or eCredit received from said canceled ticket) would be valid until December 2022, my credit says it expires in March of 2022. Im wondering the same thing as you are here.
Seansnail is offline  
Old Apr 11, 2021, 3:28 pm
  #1442  
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Virginia USA
Posts: 1,246
Use the text support through the app to create a record. I had a credit incorrectly say it expired 4/21, and while they couldn't change it I have it in writing from them that it is good until 12/22 and I confirmed with them once it disappeared off my account after the "expiration" date they confirm they still have it noted.
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Old Apr 11, 2021, 7:15 pm
  #1443  
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Programs: DL PM, MR Titanium/LTP, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 10,141
Recently booked 2 flights using eCredits (one in my name, one in my wife's name). Was left with a $51 balance for each ticket. Put it on the AMEX Plat to see if it would trigger the fee reimbursement and it did -- so that's half of it.
Duke787 is online now  
Old Apr 13, 2021, 11:48 am
  #1444  
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Posts: 1
I have some questions regarding this. So according to the wiki, this wouldn't work if I paid on the app? Also, in this case, using an e-credit for a flight under $250 would likewise trigger the airline credit like the gift cards? Finally, would it be the same way if I partially paid with miles using the feature granted for the Delta Platinum card?

Thanks in advance.
Justin Kim is offline  
Old Apr 13, 2021, 1:10 pm
  #1445  
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: RMS
Programs: DL Plat, UA Gold, Bonvoy Titanium, Hilton Credit Card Diamond
Posts: 8,872
Originally Posted by Justin Kim
I have some questions regarding this. So according to the wiki, this wouldn't work if I paid on the app?
The app reference in the Wiki is just referring to being able to see your purchase posted as Additional Credit. In the Amex app it will just show as Delta, while the desktop and mobile websites will show the Transaction Details as Additional Collection. You should be able to purchase on the FlyDelta app if you want to.

Also, in this case, using an e-credit for a flight under $250 would likewise trigger the airline credit like the gift cards? Finally, would it be the same way if I partially paid with miles using the feature granted for the Delta Platinum card?

Thanks in advance.
Yes, either of those should work as long as the Additional Collection portion paid with your credit card is less than $250.

Welcome to FT.
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Old Apr 14, 2021, 12:53 pm
  #1446  
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Virginia USA
Posts: 1,246
Originally Posted by Zorak
​​​​​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 just realized gift card cannot be combined with ecredit, so just to be sure, will it work to trigger the Amex Plat travel credit to buy a main cabin ticket with an e-credit, then go into mydelta and change that flight to the same route but on C+ (which is less than $250 more)?
flyerfirsts is offline  
Old Apr 15, 2021, 9:41 am
  #1447  
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Posts: 1
Hello there, so i read many different posts but still confused. In order to use the amex credit for example for a $195 ticket , should i buy a gift card and then pay the rest with the amex plat ? Can anyone guide me here ? thanks so much
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Old Apr 15, 2021, 11:53 am
  #1448  
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Join Date: Mar 2013
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Originally Posted by flyerfirsts
I just realized gift card cannot be combined with ecredit, so just to be sure, will it work to trigger the Amex Plat travel credit to buy a main cabin ticket with an e-credit, then go into mydelta and change that flight to the same route but on C+ (which is less than $250 more)?
You can combine them but you have to call
Duke787 is online now  
Old Apr 24, 2021, 7:49 am
  #1449  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Salt Lake City
Programs: Delta DM and 2 MM, HHonors Diamond, Marriott Gold
Posts: 603
Hello, I was unable to find the answer to this: if I bring in a guest to the Delta SkyClub with the Plat card, will the extra guest fee be reimbursed as part of the $200 yearly credit? Thank you.

Answering my own post after editing a typo in my original search...the answer seems to be yes! Have a good weekend all!

Last edited by mia; Apr 24, 2021 at 9:14 am Reason: Combine consecutive posts
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Old Apr 25, 2021, 10:47 pm
  #1450  
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Originally Posted by Uncle Lars
Hello, I was unable to find the answer to this: if I bring in a guest to the Delta SkyClub with the Plat card, will the extra guest fee be reimbursed as part of the $200 yearly credit? Thank you.

Answering my own post after editing a typo in my original search...the answer seems to be yes! Have a good weekend all!
Yes. I did this last week traveling with my wife and the reimbursement has already occurred.
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Old May 5, 2021, 9:14 pm
  #1451  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: NYC
Programs: United 1P
Posts: 689
Hi all, I just want to confirm that taxes and fees on award flights can be reimbursed as incidentals, correct?
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Old May 5, 2021, 9:58 pm
  #1452  
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Originally Posted by kgkg
Hi all, I just want to confirm that taxes and fees on award flights can be reimbursed as incidentals, correct?
They are technically ineligible based on the written T&Cs, but in practice they are almost always automatically reimbursed. Basically you have a 99% chance of it working but if you're in the unlucky 1% you may not want to bring attention to it.
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gooselee is offline  
Old May 6, 2021, 8:50 am
  #1453  
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 206
Instead of selecting a C+ seat on a previously purchased Main Cabin ticket, I changed the flight entirely from Main Cabin to C+ and the difference in fare was reimbursed as part of my airline fee credit. Two advantages to this:
1) somehow the fare difference was cheaper than actually paying to "upgrade" to C+
2) since my ticket is now in C+ (S class) instead of Main Cabin, I get to keep the fare difference if I have to cancel or change the flight, whereas otherwise it would have been a non-refundable purchase

I would recommend anyone who wants to select a C+ seat after purchasing main cabin, to instead try changing their flight first.

Shame this benefit is going away!
mkt80 is offline  
Old May 6, 2021, 10:21 am
  #1454  
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Originally Posted by mkt80
Instead of selecting a C+ seat on a previously purchased Main Cabin ticket, I changed the flight entirely from Main Cabin to C+ and the difference in fare was reimbursed as part of my airline fee credit. Two advantages to this:
1) somehow the fare difference was cheaper than actually paying to "upgrade" to C+
2) since my ticket is now in C+ (S class) instead of Main Cabin, I get to keep the fare difference if I have to cancel or change the flight, whereas otherwise it would have been a non-refundable purchase

I would recommend anyone who wants to select a C+ seat after purchasing main cabin, to instead try changing their flight first.

Shame this benefit is going away!
Is it officially going away on all cards or just the gold cards? I know there were rumors of it going away on the platinum card but no official announcement and haven't heard any rumors at all of it going away on the Hilton card. I wouldn't mind seeing this going away on the Hilton card if it means people may drop the Hilton card resulting in fewer diamonds.

I didn't know this would work on upgrading from main cabin to C+. I know it hasn't worked in the past on upgrading from main cabin to First. If this works on a S fare this might be a good way to use the credit on a competive upgrade route since an S fare should should trump any coach fare for upgrade priority.
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Old May 6, 2021, 10:53 am
  #1455  
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: 19,220
Originally Posted by jamesteroh
I didn't know this would work on upgrading from main cabin to C+. I know it hasn't worked in the past on upgrading from main cabin to First.
Note, OP did this as a flight change, not a seat upgrade.
Zorak is offline  

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