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

Old Jan 1, 22, 11:29 am
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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 1, 22, 2:58 am
  #1  
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Airline fee $250/$200 reimbursement reports: DL only (2022)

It's the start of a new year, and it's time for a new thread. I am looking forward to more discussion about DL reimbursements in 2022!
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Old Jan 1, 22, 7:01 am
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Happy new year, bring on the datapoints.
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Old Jan 1, 22, 11:01 am
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Originally Posted by lsquare View Post
It's the start of a new year, and it's time for a new thread. I am looking forward to more discussion about DL reimbursements in 2022!
OP, Can we have a brief summary on the first post explaining how this has worked in the past year?

When I read the posts for 2020-21 it is usually mia or GUWonder who seem to know all the tricks of the trade on DL.
Travel Bank on UA was good for 5 yrs so it was almost good as cash - with a 1 yr ecredit expiry and ongoing pandemic then it will be more hit and miss.

Last edited by ffI; Jan 1, 22 at 11:10 am
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Old Jan 1, 22, 11:19 am
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Should we just copy/paste the wiki? Or just link the old one?
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Old Jan 1, 22, 11:31 am
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Originally Posted by chris30269 View Post
Should we just copy/paste the wiki?
Done.
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Old Jan 1, 22, 11:38 am
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Originally Posted by ffI View Post
OP, Can we have a brief summary on the first post explaining how this has worked in the past year?

When I read the posts for 2020-21 it is usually mia or GUWonder who seem to know all the tricks of the trade on DL.
Travel Bank on UA was good for 5 yrs so it was almost good as cash - with a 1 yr ecredit expiry and ongoing pandemic then it will be more hit and miss.
With UA TB gone, I'm going to need some dp for DL for now. I got a bunch of airline credits that will need to be used.

Originally Posted by chris30269 View Post
Should we just copy/paste the wiki? Or just link the old one?
Originally Posted by Zorak View Post
Done.
Thank you.
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Old Jan 1, 22, 11:44 am
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Thanks
Originally Posted by Zorak View Post
Done.
  • taxes on award flights (including the $5.60 September 11 security fee)
So if I am a DL Skymiles Platinum Medallion - set airline to Amex - Book tickets from UK - with high award fees - on Amex - get credit - Wait a month - cancel ? - As simple as that?
or
set airline to Amex for all cards in Jan - use a 50$ gift card - book 250$ ticket - refund in 3 days - then cancel in 1 month or so - restart again with next ticket on next card - repeat and rinse?
But this time I get only flight credits on DL for each ticket and not cash back
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Old Jan 1, 22, 11:52 am
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1st DP for 2022?

Purchased: $950 DL Premium Select Ticket
Used: $450 E-credit
Charged: $500 on Plat, Posted as DELTA.COM ATLANTA, GA
Credit Meter: Shows $200 of credit has been used
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Old Jan 1, 22, 11:56 am
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Originally Posted by ffI View Post
So if I am a DL Skymiles Platinum Medallion - set airline to Amex - Book tickets from UK - with high award fees - on Amex - get credit - Wait a month - cancel ? - As simple as that?
If you cancel an award ticket, the taxes will be refunded. I'm not sure if we have DPs but this seems more likely to lead to clawback.

Originally Posted by ffI View Post
set airline to Amex for all cards in Jan - use a 50$ gift card - book 250$ ticket - refund in 3 days - then cancel in 1 month or so - restart again with next ticket on next card - repeat and rinse?
But this time I get only flight credits on DL for each ticket and not cash back
This would work, but you don't have to start with a gift card -- an existing eCredit or unflown ticket works just as well. If the resulting funds are going to be used by the same passenger you can use $50 GC + credit card #1 to buy ticket 1, then change ticket 1 into ticket 2 and paying the extra amount with CC #2, and so on.
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Old Jan 1, 22, 11:58 am
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Originally Posted by Gertjaars View Post
1st DP for 2022?

Purchased: $950 DL Premium Select Ticket
Used: $450 E-credit
Charged: $500 on Plat, Posted as DELTA.COM ATLANTA, GA
Credit Meter: Shows $200 of credit has been used
Is this for a single passenger? This is a $500 add/collect and would not expect this to get the airline fee credit based on past experiences that the amount of the additional collection must be under $250 (or possibly exactly $250, don't think we know)

Did you use the fee credit last year? Wondering if they haven't reset it yet and the $200 used you're seeing is from 2021. Mine says $200 travel credit used but not sure if that's referring to the airline fee credit or the (targeted?) bonus $200 for AMEX Travel that they added last year.

EDIT: oh, I was missing the "Show More" button -- the $200 showing as used is indeed the AMEX Travel credit, not the airline fee credit. My bad.

Last edited by Zorak; Jan 1, 22 at 12:24 pm
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Old Jan 1, 22, 12:03 pm
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Originally Posted by ffI View Post
Thanks
  • taxes on award flights (including the $5.60 September 11 security fee)
So if I am a DL Skymiles Platinum Medallion - set airline to Amex - Book tickets from UK - with high award fees - on Amex - get credit - Wait a month - cancel ? - As simple as that?
or
set airline to Amex for all cards in Jan - use a 50$ gift card - book 250$ ticket - refund in 3 days - then cancel in 1 month or so - restart again with next ticket on next card - repeat and rinse?
But this time I get only flight credits on DL for each ticket and not cash back
IME, for this to work, the flight has to originate in the US. Maybe it's a currency thing?

RT US-UK-US works every time.
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Old Jan 1, 22, 12:15 pm
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Originally Posted by Zorak View Post
Is this for a single passenger? This is a $500 add/collect and would not expect this to get the airline fee credit based on past experiences that the amount of the additional collection must be under $250 (or possibly exactly $250, don't think we know)

Did you use the fee credit last year? Wondering if they haven't reset it yet and the $200 used you're seeing is from 2021. Mine says $200 travel credit used but not sure if that's referring to the airline fee credit or the (targeted?) bonus $200 for AMEX Travel that they added last year.
Single passenger, I did use the fee credit for last year. Mine showed $200 credit available this morning before I made the purchase
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Old Jan 1, 22, 12:25 pm
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Originally Posted by Gertjaars View Post
Single passenger, I did use the fee credit for last year. Mine showed $200 credit available this morning before I made the purchase
Ah, indeed my airline fee credit meter is reset to $0 (I edited my previous reply)

Well this is certainly a novel DP then! will be interesting to see if it can be replicated.
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Old Jan 1, 22, 1:48 pm
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Happy New Year!

I want to thank you all for your help in the old thread. I booked a few flights to use my airline credits on my personal plat, plat biz, and Hilton card. I booked on 12/30, hoping they would post in 2021 and they did!

No more cutting it close, I'm off to Bestbuy now to buy gift cards to take care of it early this year.

Thanks again!
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Old Jan 1, 22, 5:50 pm
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Just booked a DL flight, time will tell if it worked 🤞🏻

First of all, oddly DL was already selected in my AMEX benefits site, and it did not give me an option to select another airline. I thought we get to change the airline in the first month?

Anyway, I booked a refundable flight (because I am going to change it later for a flight that's more expensive anyway) with my eCredits, with about $225 going on my AMEX. There's nothing indicating that it worked yet (can't see if it posted as additional collection and the airline credit meter is still at $0/$200 used), but fingers crossed!

Will update once it clears.
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