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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 Jun 7, 2021, 12:07 pm
  #1471  
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Atlanta
Programs: DL PM, Hertz PC, HH Dia
Posts: 246
Originally Posted by jjangoo
What does your meter say?
Still stuck on $0
WillSkiGT is offline  
Old Jun 10, 2021, 8:18 am
  #1472  
 
Join Date: Nov 2019
Location: NYC
Programs: DL gold, HH gold, National EE, Hertz PC, Hyatt Globalist
Posts: 10
Originally Posted by WillSkiGT
Still stuck on $0
how about now?
flyernathan is offline  
Old Jun 10, 2021, 8:23 am
  #1473  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
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Can report that award ticket fees are still being reimbursed automatically. Booked two award tickets in late May, Amex credits appeared within the week.

I also paid for a couple SkyClub guests earlier in the year and those also credited quickly with no issue.

No real surprise with any of these, just figured fresh data points might be helpful.
bizum and Zorak like this.
gooselee is offline  
Old Jun 10, 2021, 11:48 am
  #1474  
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 399
Originally Posted by w312487
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
I was not sure what you meant by 72 hours. I thought you meant that it took 72 hours for AMEX airline selection to kick in before making a DL purchase. Unfortunately, I learned the hard way trying to book a flight. "Gift Cards are eligible for redemption 72 hours after the time of purchase.", my luck the price will go up in 72 hours
jmsnyc is offline  
Old Jun 10, 2021, 12:00 pm
  #1475  
 
Join Date: Jun 2021
Posts: 5
Had award ticket fees reimbursed automatically like gooselee did as well. Appeared after 8 days
gooselee likes this.
SirTravels is offline  
Old Jun 10, 2021, 1:23 pm
  #1476  
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Atlanta
Programs: DL PM, Hertz PC, HH Dia
Posts: 246
Originally Posted by flyernathan
how about now?
Credit posted yesterday. Took a week more or less but the loophole is still active.
Zorak likes this.
WillSkiGT is offline  
Old Jun 10, 2021, 1:44 pm
  #1477  
Marriott 5+ Badge
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Chicago
Programs: Delta Diamond, Bonvoy something good; sometimes other things too
Posts: 5,067
Originally Posted by WillSkiGT
Credit posted yesterday. Took a week more or less but the loophole is still active.
It's not really a loophole...you paid to change a booking, which was one of the core original intents of the credit. (There's a distinction between a fare difference, which this is, and a change fee, which was the intended purpose of the credit, but functionally those have always been commingled.)
gooselee likes this.
bgriff is offline  
Old Jun 10, 2021, 2:02 pm
  #1478  
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 399
This 72 hour wait rule is really frustrating. Is it possible to cancel a gift card if bought within the past 24 hours. If I pick one up from Target (assuming they have in stock) will it work right away?
jmsnyc is offline  
Old Jun 10, 2021, 4:35 pm
  #1479  
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Programs: Flying Blue, Hilton Honors, Amtrak Guest Rewards
Posts: 2,495
Originally Posted by bgriff
It's not really a loophole...you paid to change a booking, which was one of the core original intents of the credit. (There's a distinction between a fare difference, which this is, and a change fee, which was the intended purpose of the credit, but functionally those have always been commingled.)
Likewise, as long as DL IT effectively considers a gift card to be a changeable ticket, the gift card loophole will be open.
hhdl is offline  
Old Jun 11, 2021, 7:17 am
  #1480  
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Atlanta
Programs: DL PM, Hertz PC, HH Dia
Posts: 246
Originally Posted by bgriff
It's not really a loophole...you paid to change a booking, which was one of the core original intents of the credit. (There's a distinction between a fare difference, which this is, and a change fee, which was the intended purpose of the credit, but functionally those have always been commingled.)
I would not say I paid to change a booking. I made a booking in such a way that the majority of it coded as an additional collection. It is certainly a loophole, as the program details from AMEX specify that the credit cannot be used on airfare.

But as hhdl alluded to above, unless DL IT changes their system, it will continue to work.
WillSkiGT is offline  
Old Jun 11, 2021, 10:14 am
  #1481  
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Posts: 2
How is everyone cancelling their purchased ticket to get an eVoucher?

Credit took pretty long to post earlier this month, like others have posted.

Now I want to cancel and just collect future credit, but the cancellation screen is showing me it will refund to my payment method, which I don't want
Is there some magic online path to a voucher or should I call?
jamesmurphy2 is offline  
Old Jun 11, 2021, 10:26 am
  #1482  
Marriott 5+ Badge
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Chicago
Programs: Delta Diamond, Bonvoy something good; sometimes other things too
Posts: 5,067
Originally Posted by jamesmurphy2
How is everyone cancelling their purchased ticket to get an eVoucher?

Credit took pretty long to post earlier this month, like others have posted.

Now I want to cancel and just collect future credit, but the cancellation screen is showing me it will refund to my payment method, which I don't want
Is there some magic online path to a voucher or should I call?
If you've booked within the last day or so, you would be within the risk-free cancellation window meaning you'd get a refund. In which case you'd just wait another few days for that to end and then cancel.

If you're outside of that window and have booked a nonrefundable ticket, IIRC the website often (always?) shows a screen that implies it will give a refund, even though on most tickets that's not an option, but as you click through the process the website will realize that and give you a credit rather than a refund. The website is also often glitchy so you may want, or need, to talk to an agent (or use the chat feature in the app -- asking it to connect you to a representative) to make this happen anyway.
bgriff is offline  
Old Jun 11, 2021, 2:59 pm
  #1483  
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 7
6/6 - Used a $100.00 gift card and a $303.80 e-credit to purchase a $617.95 ticket.
6/8 - Remainder $214.15 posted as A/C.
6/10 - Meter moved.
6/11 - $200 credit posted
tetro is offline  
Old Jun 12, 2021, 12:14 pm
  #1484  
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 399
Originally Posted by bgriff
If you've booked within the last day or so, you would be within the risk-free cancellation window meaning you'd get a refund. In which case you'd just wait another few days for that to end and then cancel.

If you're outside of that window and have booked a nonrefundable ticket, IIRC the website often (always?) shows a screen that implies it will give a refund, even though on most tickets that's not an option, but as you click through the process the website will realize that and give you a credit rather than a refund. The website is also often glitchy so you may want, or need, to talk to an agent (or use the chat feature in the app -- asking it to connect you to a representative) to make this happen anyway.
I see you are in this thread as well so you know why I can't buy a ticket without using a gift card to hold the price until the 72 hour window lapses. There is only one flight left on day of travel that did not go up . 72 hours is 2:47am tomorrow morning. I wonder if calling will get me a hold, only 4 hour wait
jmsnyc is offline  
Old Jun 12, 2021, 1:47 pm
  #1485  
Moderator: Hyatt, American Express; FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
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Posts: 19,158
Originally Posted by jmsnyc
I see you are in this thread as well so you know why I can't buy a ticket without using a gift card to hold the price until the 72 hour window lapses. There is only one flight left on day of travel that did not go up . 72 hours is 2:47am tomorrow morning. I wonder if calling will get me a hold, only 4 hour wait
If you don't want to risk waiting another however many hours, note that gift cards are not the only way to trigger the reimbursement. eCredits, or changing an existing flight, work just as well.

You'll then have a leftover gift card that you will eventually want to use up, but you can hang on to it for triggering the 2022 credit...
Zorak is offline  

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