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Airline fee $250/$200 reimbursement reports: DL only (2022)

Old Jan 1, 22, 10:29 am
FlyerTalk Forums Expert How-Tos and Guides
Last edit by: mia
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.

Previous versions of this thread:
2020-2021: https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/amer...2020-21-a.html
2015-2019: https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/amer...15-2019-a.html

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. (Gold card $100 credit is gone as of 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

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 -- exactly $250 is known to work)
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.
To re-iterate, you do not necessarily have to start with a gift card. As noted in step 1, an existing eCredit will work just as well; and changing an existing ticket is equivalent to using an eCredit. If you do not have an existing eCredit, you can easily create one by simply buying a cheap ticket (important: basic economy flexibility has ended as of Dec 2021, so you must buy main cabin for this to work). There are often $40-$50 one-ways available in shorthaul markets; see post 212 for a way to search for these by calendar on the new ITA Matrix interface (see post 108 for the old "classic" Matrix UI)

Gift cards purchased directly from Delta online are often not activated until 24-72 hours later as an anti-fraud measure. Physical gift cards purchased in retail stores (grocery, office, etc.) may activate sooner. Buying a cheap eCredit avoids these issues.

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. An existing eCredit, or modifying an unflown ticket, will work just as well. 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 $230 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.
    • If for example you wanted to buy 2 $125 tickets ($250 total) using 2 $50 gift cards, if you bought both in a single transaction both gift cards would apply to the first ticket -- in order to get 2 $75 additional collection charges you would have to buy the 2 tickets in separate transactions using one gift card on each. Note that there may be other downsides to buying the tickets in separate transactions, including that you could be separated if there are schedule changes or day-of flight cancellations (Delta should be able to put you back together after the former, but may not be able to do after the latter), and there could be implications for how various benefits are treated, such as losing the ability to share a credit card holder bag fee wavier with companions or in some cases resulting in different rules around Medallion companion upgrades.
    • 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 (and will remain as an ecredit in the account of the named person, available for future use).
    • Using Pay With Miles for multiple people works differently as well -- see this post for details.
  • 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.
  • There is no particular reason to be in a rush to cancel the ticket. You can avoid the headache of guessing whether the risk-free period has passed by simply booking a ticket that is weeks or months in the future (just remember to cancel it, or change it to a ticket you actually intend to fly, before the flight time on the original ticket). Alternatively you can contact Delta and explicitly request an eCredit (they will be happy to hold on to your money even if you were theoretically eligible for a full refund)
  • 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 such as food and drinks
  • Wifi passes to the new Viasat system may reimburse; wifi purchases on the old Gogo system do not. More information about which provider is available on which plane can be found here; Viasat flights offer a $5 per flight pass while Gogo usually charges more than that and is purchased from a website with Gogo in the URL.
  • 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
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Airline fee $250/$200 reimbursement reports: DL only (2022)

Old Jan 15, 22, 10:50 pm
  #106  
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Programs: DL PM, MR Titanium/LTP, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 9,679
Originally Posted by jtenman View Post
If you call or chat in, they can apply your eCredit for your ticket, and they can apply the gift card on your wife's ticket. I just did this two times as I had minors that I wanted to use my Amex credits on.
Yeah I tried to do that yesterday and the first chat person said she could do it but of course it took so long to be connected I was out getting dinner and didnít have the details to provide.

The next chat person claimed he couldnít do that and then of course today it went from 2x confirmable RUC space to just 1x so Iím still waiting for a chat person that can use my eCredit to book 1 F ticket (and Iíll just use the AMEX Aspire credit there) and then book 1 Y ticket for my wife with RUC (and use the Plat credit and the gift card)
Duke787 is offline  
Old Jan 16, 22, 10:47 am
  #107  
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Thousand Oaks, Ca., USA
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It seems like if you don't have an existing trip credit or travel voucher, the best way to start if one wants to minimize cash outlay is with a $50 gift card.
The only fares sub $50 I've seen are Basic Economy, which has a $99 haircut on the trip credit refund. Any sub $50 regular economy fares out there?
beachfan is offline  
Old Jan 16, 22, 6:59 pm
  #108  
Moderator: Hyatt; FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: WAS
Programs: :rolleyes:, DL DM, Mlife Plat, Caesars Diam, Marriott Tit, UA Plat, Hyatt Glob, invol FT beta tester
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Originally Posted by x712xdamx View Post
So we can just book any regular Main Cabin ticket with a collection of $250 or less on an Amex, and cancel it 48 hours later for a Delta e-credit correct?
That is what the wiki and all the posted data points say, yes.

If you book something further out you don't even particularly need to cancel it. Changing an unflown ticket is functionally the same as using an eCredit. Then you don't even need to worry about the 48-hour question.

Originally Posted by x712xdamx View Post
Has anyone done Pay With Miles yet this year? I'd love to do some 5k redemptions for $50 off of a $250 flight, and then cancel for $250 Delta credits.
Read back a page or two to post #89.

Originally Posted by beachfan View Post
It seems like if you don't have an existing trip credit or travel voucher, the best way to start if one wants to minimize cash outlay is with a $50 gift card.
The only fares sub $50 I've seen are Basic Economy, which has a $99 haircut on the trip credit refund. Any sub $50 regular economy fares out there?
Currently I see LAS-LAX V fares for $39-$49 throughout Feb and March. Do an ITA Matrix calendar search and plug this in for both origin and destination:

SFO, OAK, SJC, STS, MRY, SMF, FAT, SBP, RNO, SBA, BUR, MFR, LAX, GTP, LGB, ONT, SNA, LAS, PSP, SAN, EUG, RDM, BOI, MXL, PDX, SUN, SLC, PVU, PSC, PHX, AZA, IDA, SEA, BFI, PAE, GEG, JAC, TUS, GJT, MSO, BLI, MTJ, BZN, FCA, HMO, BIL

Click on advanced codes and add DL+ for one or more Delta flights and F ~BC=E to suppress basic economy.

I came up with this list by first putting in SFO and then clicking "nearby airports" and arbitrarily picking 1000 miles, plus the mild annoyance of having to manually filter out the MX/CA airports because ITA doesn't let you do searches with multiple counties of origin due to tax reasons or somesuch.



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Zorak is offline  
Old Jan 16, 22, 8:01 pm
  #109  
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 209
wondering about a companion ticket and the reimbursement. hasn't worked in the past for fees, but what if the ticket was $300 for first person, then I use a $100 eCredit for that. would the remaining balance qualify for the $200 credit? Any experience on that?
dszrew is offline  
Old Jan 16, 22, 8:10 pm
  #110  
Moderator: Hyatt; FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
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Originally Posted by dszrew View Post
wondering about a companion ticket and the reimbursement. hasn't worked in the past for fees, but what if the ticket was $300 for first person, then I use a $100 eCredit for that. would the remaining balance qualify for the $200 credit? Any experience on that?
There was a post in one of the previous year versions of the thread, where that poster said they had read that the fees on the 2nd ticket *did* qualify. On a quick search for "companion" however it wasn't clear what post they may have been referencing, so take that FWIW.

Being able to use eCredits for the companion certs is fairly new, so not sure we have DPs on that yet.
Zorak is offline  
Old Jan 16, 22, 8:20 pm
  #111  
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 209
Originally Posted by Zorak View Post

Being able to use eCredits for the companion certs is fairly new, so not sure we have DPs on that yet.
I have not gotten the fees reimbursed in the past--there was something I read that said companion tickets did NOT apply.
I might give the eCredit a try and report my results.
dszrew is offline  
Old Jan 16, 22, 8:36 pm
  #112  
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Originally Posted by dszrew View Post
I have not gotten the fees reimbursed in the past--there was something I read that said companion tickets did NOT apply.
On further search of the 2020-21 thread:

post 80:

Originally Posted by AJCU View Post
I remember reading a while back a DP about getting the taxes and fees on a Companion Pass reimbursed, (earned from the Platinum Delta CC). I was wondering if there is any DPs out there of this happening recently.
post 429:

Originally Posted by Zorak View Post
There were reports in the previous version of this thread from 2016 and 2019 where (only the) taxes on the companion's ticket were reimbursed.
post 1795 from December 2021:

Originally Posted by kefkaticfanatic View Post
Earlier in the year multiple companion bookings, every time the companion tax/fee were fully reimbursed.
So...

Originally Posted by dszrew View Post
I might give the eCredit a try and report my results.
much appreciated! Based on the above you might get a two-fer, both the residual amount on the 1st ticket and the taxes/fees on the companion.
Zorak is offline  
Old Jan 17, 22, 8:21 am
  #113  
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 8
01/11 - Bought two domestic DL tickets total of ($138.6*2=$277.2)-$50 GC = $227.2 expecting a $200 credit.
01/12 - I see on Amex two separate charges for the two tickets I bought, $138.6 and $88.6 ($138.6-$50GC)
01/14 - "AMEX Airline Fee Reimbursement" for $88.6 just as I feared, no mention of the $138.6

Lesson learned here to not combine two tickets.


Worth it to cancel and redo? Is my assumption correct in assuming Amex will claw back the $88 credit I receive and my meter will reset to 0 again? Or just eat this one and do a refundable for the rest of the airline credit I haven't received....
mal010 is offline  
Old Jan 17, 22, 8:39 am
  #114  
 
Join Date: Sep 2021
Posts: 3
Originally Posted by mal010 View Post
01/11 - Bought two domestic DL tickets total of ($138.6*2=$277.2)-$50 GC = $227.2 expecting a $200 credit.
01/12 - I see on Amex two separate charges for the two tickets I bought, $138.6 and $88.6 ($138.6-$50GC)
01/14 - "AMEX Airline Fee Reimbursement" for $88.6 just as I feared, no mention of the $138.6

Lesson learned here to not combine two tickets.


Worth it to cancel and redo? Is my assumption correct in assuming Amex will claw back the $88 credit I receive and my meter will reset to 0 again? Or just eat this one and do a refundable for the rest of the airline credit I haven't received....

So thatís the issue with buying two tickets together. The $50 GC applied to first ticket and then the $88 was additional collection which triggered the reimbursement. The other ticket was not an additional collection because it had no GC applied to it. Therefore, no reimbursement.

If youíre outside of the 24 hr window, you canít get a refund unless you bought a refundable ticket.
Brooke Prusik is offline  
Old Jan 17, 22, 11:23 am
  #115  
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 8
Originally Posted by Brooke Prusik View Post
So thatís the issue with buying two tickets together. The $50 GC applied to first ticket and then the $88 was additional collection which triggered the reimbursement. The other ticket was not an additional collection because it had no GC applied to it. Therefore, no reimbursement.

If youíre outside of the 24 hr window, you canít get a refund unless you bought a refundable ticket.
Thought so, sounds like my only option is to do the refundable ticket method with GC to make sure I get the $112 left over from Amex travel credit back. This time I'll make sure it's only 1 ticket.
mal010 is offline  
Old Jan 18, 22, 9:19 am
  #116  
 
Join Date: Jan 2022
Posts: 2
Did I mess up by buying a refundable ticket? We are planning a trip for late spring and figured it was time to turn our AMEX credits (my HH Aspire and my wife's Platinum) into DL eCredits. Ultimately, we'll need three tickets, so my plan was to just use eCredits towards those to keep everyone on a single reservation - either using my eCredit towards my ticket and my wife's towards hers (if DL allows) or using my credit towards my ticket on the outbound and my wife's towards her ticket on the return flight. I found a refundable flight for $348 (I only booked a refundable fare because that came the closest to $350 for the route I was checking), attached two $50 GCs that I had left from when AMEX still reimbursed them and charged the $248 balance to my Aspire. I don't doubt that I'll get the reimbursement from AMEX based on reports here. However, my concern is that when I do go to cancel my ticket, I want to make sure it's possible to get an eCredit for my refundable fare vs. having it refunded to the GCs and the Aspire (knowing that AMEX would then claw back my airline credit). Is this an option with a refundable fare or will it always be refunded to my original payment?
iatraveler is offline  
Old Jan 18, 22, 10:14 am
  #117  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 127
Any recent DP's on whether upgrades to Biz work?
JohnnyGraz is offline  
Old Jan 18, 22, 12:26 pm
  #118  
 
Join Date: Dec 2020
Posts: 2
01/14 - Bought one domestic ticket for slightly more than $250 ($50 gc and rest on Plat)
01/15 - Saw charge on Amex account
01/17 - "AMEX Airline Fee Reimbursement" for $200

Thanks all!
kczr is offline  
Old Jan 18, 22, 1:14 pm
  #119  
 
Join Date: Dec 2020
Location: MKE
Programs: AAdvantage | MileagePlus | World of Hyatt | Bonvoy Gold Elite
Posts: 19
FYI all - Just got an email from delta stating they are extending all eCredits through December 21, 2023. Hasn't updated in my profile yet but good news with more time to use.
Prak903 is offline  
Old Jan 18, 22, 3:23 pm
  #120  
 
Join Date: Jan 2022
Programs: Delta
Posts: 3
Originally Posted by Zorak View Post
Welcome to FT!

I'm not sure we've ever had a data point at exactly $250.00, so the thread will be eager to learn the outcome
Meter Moved. Looks like up to exactly $250.00 will trigger credit.
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DeltaAMEX26 is offline  

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