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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 May 6, 2021, 10:58 am
  #1456  
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 206
Originally Posted by jamesteroh
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.
It's not technically an upgrade. It's a fare change, which happens to trigger the airline fee credit. Also, Amex does not consider seat selection in C+ as an upgrade and will reimburse these costs under the airline fee credit (it might have to be requested, although last week I made a purchase for a different flight to C+ and it was automatically credited) So it might not work if the fare change is from MC to F, but if you try it out let us know!

As for free credit, I think you are right about the platinum card. I just checked and so far it's only going away on the gold card, so at least we still have it on the platinum card.
mkt80 is offline  
Old May 6, 2021, 12:10 pm
  #1457  
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 15
Im Looking into potential upgrading my mom to first class on a flight that she has already purchased. I have my full $250 Hilton aspire credit. In previous years I have booked myself flights via the buy $50 gift card and charge the rest to the amex and been reimbursed. Anyway. let me know if I have this right.

I currently have Delta credit from flights totally like $264.
Lets say to upgrade her and my dad it would be $500

Will I trigger the credit if I simply pay with the credit and my card. Or should I buy a $50 gift card pay with that my credit and the card.

ALSO if the original flight was booked by her on her credit card and I upgrade her without her knowing as a gift and pay the cost to upgrade to first (ticket has already been paid for by her) with my card would all of this still work?
DannyMalbec is offline  
Old May 10, 2021, 10:24 am
  #1458  
 
Join Date: Jan 2021
Location: NYC
Posts: 3
Sharing my Amex Plat DP:
  • 5/6 - Selected Delta on Benefits tab
  • 5/6 - Bought $50 GC, immediately used it towards a $256.80 ticket (decided to try my luck not waiting the 72 hours)
  • 5/6 - Remainder $206.80 posted as A/C
  • 5/9 - $200 credit posted
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w312487 is offline  
Old May 10, 2021, 1:35 pm
  #1459  
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Toledo, OH
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Posts: 15,414
Originally Posted by DannyMalbec
Im Looking into potential upgrading my mom to first class on a flight that she has already purchased. I have my full $250 Hilton aspire credit. In previous years I have booked myself flights via the buy $50 gift card and charge the rest to the amex and been reimbursed. Anyway. let me know if I have this right.

I currently have Delta credit from flights totally like $264.
Lets say to upgrade her and my dad it would be $500

Will I trigger the credit if I simply pay with the credit and my card. Or should I buy a $50 gift card pay with that my credit and the card.

ALSO if the original flight was booked by her on her credit card and I upgrade her without her knowing as a gift and pay the cost to upgrade to first (ticket has already been paid for by her) with my card would all of this still work?
I tried upgrading to first once and it didn't trigger the credit but Am Ex put a manual adjustment through (I found out later it wasn't an eligible purchase).

IIRC you can't use a gift card to upgrade to First Class on a purchased ticket. I also don't think you can use an e-credit to upgrade on a purchase ticket, I tried doing it once with my annual diamond credit and I don't think the agent would let me do it.
jamesteroh is offline  
Old May 12, 2021, 9:19 am
  #1460  
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: NYC
Posts: 59
Does using an existing eCredit combined with your Amex trigger the credit, much like a gift card plus Amex does?
kswissreject is offline  
Old May 12, 2021, 9:37 am
  #1461  
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,070
Originally Posted by kswissreject
Does using an existing eCredit combined with your Amex trigger the credit, much like a gift card plus Amex does?
Yes.
dkerr is offline  
Old May 17, 2021, 2:55 pm
  #1462  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: BWI,SFO,SJC,IAD,LAX,DCA
Programs: mvp75k, DL-0body
Posts: 310
New at this, and I been reading the Wiki, and I just want to make sure, signed up for DL credit, wait few days, then can I use a consumer GC ( Xfinity -100 rebate-with PIN) and login to DL, choose any ~ $300 or less refundable air trip, purchase with Am Plat + pay the difference in GC, then the (additional) transaction is qualified for AMex credit, correct ?

TIA
ccna101 is offline  
Old May 17, 2021, 2:59 pm
  #1463  
mia
Flyertalk Posting Legend Moderator: Credit Card Programs, American Express, Capital One, Chase, Citi, Diners Club, Signatures.
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Miami, Mpls & London
Programs: HH & IHG Gold; Marriott & AA Perpetual Platinum
Posts: 49,168
Originally Posted by ccna101
.... purchase with Am Plat + pay the difference in GC

TIA
You would use the gift card first, and Platinum card to pay the balance.
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mia is offline  
Old May 29, 2021, 9:32 pm
  #1464  
 
Join Date: May 2021
Posts: 1
Hi. I am new here.

I am going to transfer amex points to Delta points.

How would that work with trying to use my 200 credit? Pay with some as points, and the rest cash?

Also, if I buy a ticket with points and upgrade from Main to Delta comfort, would that trigger the 200?

Or is there a better way for me to get this 200 credit reimbursed without using points? The flight itself is $399

Any suggestions would help. Sorry, its just confusing to me

Thank you very much
Jetblue123 is offline  
Old Jun 1, 2021, 10:51 am
  #1465  
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 699
Trying to buy a wildly fluctuating >$300 ticket (fare currently half yesterday's price) to ABC. Purchased a main cabin ticket to XYZ with $50 delta gc and cc to trigger airline credit. When I try to cancel the XYZ ticket to get an ecredit I'm only offered the option to refund completely or change ticket (flight booked earlier today). If I go with the modify flight option and pay the fare difference (<$250) to ABC that should trigger the credit still, no? Thanks so much!
brownie20 is offline  
Old Jun 1, 2021, 11:09 am
  #1466  
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Join Date: Aug 2005
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Programs: Delta Diamond, Bonvoy something good; sometimes other things too
Posts: 5,077
Originally Posted by brownie20
Trying to buy a wildly fluctuating >$300 ticket (fare currently half yesterday's price) to ABC. Purchased a main cabin ticket to XYZ with $50 delta gc and cc to trigger airline credit. When I try to cancel the XYZ ticket to get an ecredit I'm only offered the option to refund completely or change ticket (flight booked earlier today). If I go with the modify flight option and pay the fare difference (<$250) to ABC that should trigger the credit still, no? Thanks so much!
Yes, a <$250 cost associated with changing a ticket should trigger the credit. (I assume you have multiple cards you're trying to use the credits from, since you should also be getting one credit from your XYZ ticket already?)
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bgriff is online now  
Old Jun 1, 2021, 11:39 am
  #1467  
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 699
Originally Posted by bgriff
Yes, a <$250 cost associated with changing a ticket should trigger the credit. (I assume you have multiple cards you're trying to use the credits from, since you should also be getting one credit from your XYZ ticket already?)
Thanks so much for your quick reply and help! Yes, trying to use up more than one card credit. Sadly fare went up 50% already since this AM; will need to bite the bullet and book as soon as the price comes down to a reasonablish amount
brownie20 is offline  
Old Jun 7, 2021, 11:36 am
  #1468  
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Atlanta
Programs: DL PM, Hertz PC, HH Dia
Posts: 246
How long is it taking these days for the reimbursement to process?

Purchase a $215 ticket on 6/3 with a $60 E-Credit and the rest (~$155) on AMEX Plat. Coded as additional collection but no credit yet. Getting concerned this loophole has been permanently closed.
WillSkiGT is offline  
Old Jun 7, 2021, 11:39 am
  #1469  
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 372
Originally Posted by WillSkiGT
How long is it taking these days for the reimbursement to process?

Purchase a $215 ticket on 6/3 with a $60 E-Credit and the rest (~$155) on AMEX Plat. Coded as additional collection but no credit yet. Getting concerned this loophole has been permanently closed.
What does your meter say?
jjangoo is offline  
Old Jun 7, 2021, 11:59 am
  #1470  
Moderator: Hyatt, American Express; FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: WAS
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Posts: 19,221
Originally Posted by WillSkiGT
How long is it taking these days for the reimbursement to process?

Purchase a $215 ticket on 6/3 with a $60 E-Credit and the rest (~$155) on AMEX Plat. Coded as additional collection but no credit yet. Getting concerned this loophole has been permanently closed.
I would not be worried yet at 4 days (so only 3 days at most since it actually posted?)
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Zorak is offline  

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