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Airline fee $250/$200 reimbursement reports: DL only (2023)

Old Jan 2, 2023, 7:31 pm
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Last edit by: LDNConsultant
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 (2023)

Old Jan 1, 2023, 9:34 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: New York City
Programs: UA: 1K, Hyatt: Explorist and Marriott: LF Titanium Elite
Posts: 1,263
Airline fee $250/$200 reimbursement reports: DL only (2023)

Not sure if there is a 2023 wiki but for data point purpose:
  • Purchased $50 Giftcard in Nov 2022
  • Purchase refundable flight $248.90 with $50 giftcard on Jan 01
LDNConsultant is offline  
Old Jan 1, 2023, 10:24 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 45
Question about annual fee and cancellation with Delta credits

My annual fee on my platinum came up in mid December and it says that the due date for the statement with the annual fee is January 8th. Now that I'm in a new year, can I use the $200 credit today in conjunction with a Delta gift card and get the credit before I cancel the card? Will they claw back the credit? The same thing for the hotel credit and the saks credit?
jgrossman2 is offline  
Old Jan 1, 2023, 11:13 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: ATL, BHM, DUB, County Wexford
Programs: DL DM, AA ExPlt, Diamond HH, HY, BW, & Titanium Elite Marriott
Posts: 4,827
Originally Posted by jgrossman2
My annual fee on my platinum came up in mid December and it says that the due date for the statement with the annual fee is January 8th. Now that I'm in a new year, can I use the $200 credit today in conjunction with a Delta gift card and get the credit before I cancel the card? Will they claw back the credit? The same thing for the hotel credit and the saks credit?
Go ahead and be expecting a claw back for sure. YMMV
EasternTraveler is offline  
Old Jan 1, 2023, 4:51 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Dec 2022
Posts: 1
Wanted to add my last minute DP for my platinum and aspire cards. Thanks for the straightforward instructions !
Plat
12/22 - Purchased 2 $50 Delta GC

12/26 - Purchased $257.20 flight ($50 GC + $207.20 on Platinum - coded as "additional collection")
12/27 - Transaction Posted

12/31 - $200 credit posted
Aspire
12/26 - Purchased $292.20 flight ($50 GC + $242.20 on Aspire - coded as "additional collection")
12/27 - Transaction Posted
12/31 - $242.20 credit Posted
notgeorge is offline  
Old Jan 2, 2023, 5:39 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 8
Airline fee $250/$200 reimbursement reports: DL only (2023)

Happy New Year! I didn't see a 2023 thread yet, looking forward to more data points.
omgbikes is offline  
Old Jan 2, 2023, 7:18 pm
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: New York City
Programs: UA: 1K, Hyatt: Explorist and Marriott: LF Titanium Elite
Posts: 1,263
Moved over from DL 2022 Thread:
  • Nov 20 22: Purchased $50 Giftcard
  • Jan 01 23: Purchase refundable flight $248.90 with $50 giftcard
  • Jan 03 23: Posted as "Additional Collection" - but I did have issue that highlights that I needed to re-select my airline when it was always Delta
  • Jan 06 23: Meter moved to $199
  • Jan 07 23: Credit posted

Last edited by LDNConsultant; Jan 7, 2023 at 8:49 pm
LDNConsultant is offline  
Old Jan 2, 2023, 11:41 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,767
After purchasing the flight(fully refundable) with amex and gift card, can we cancel the flight to get back as DL credits?

Thanks!
HawaiiO is online now  
Old Jan 3, 2023, 6:14 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,016
Originally Posted by HawaiiO
After purchasing the flight(fully refundable) with amex and gift card, can we cancel the flight to get back as DL credits?

Thanks!
Absolutely.
LDNConsultant likes this.
diesteldorf is offline  
Old Jan 3, 2023, 11:21 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Feb 2022
Posts: 48
My plat annual fee will post late-Jan. Im going to cancel the card as soon as it posts (one year anniversary).

anyone know if I can use the airline credit before then? Will they claw it back when I close the card?
cagiva92 is offline  
Old Jan 3, 2023, 3:35 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 699
Accidentally procrastinated using up credit. Was a little worried the last few days but it seems I received my expected 2022 amount - woohoo!

12/29 Purchased tickets, partially with e credits and charged $130 + $105 on to Amex
1/2 $130 + $101 credits posted

Status bar shows $250 remaining for 2023. Will definitely be using credit up earlier this year
brownie20 is offline  
Old Jan 3, 2023, 5:17 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Feb 2022
Posts: 48
Does anyone know if this works in foreign currency?

I have about $500 eCredits. I want to book a one-way flight in EURs (from Europe to US, it only gives a EUR price). It's about 640 EUR so $675, so I should get reimbursed $175.

Or is it safer for me to book a US flight and then cancel for more eCredits?
cagiva92 is offline  
Old Jan 4, 2023, 11:02 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: ATL, BHM, DUB, County Wexford
Programs: DL DM, AA ExPlt, Diamond HH, HY, BW, & Titanium Elite Marriott
Posts: 4,827
Originally Posted by cagiva92
Does anyone know if this works in foreign currency?

I have about $500 eCredits. I want to book a one-way flight in EURs (from Europe to US, it only gives a EUR price). It's about 640 EUR so $675, so I should get reimbursed $175.

Or is it safer for me to book a US flight and then cancel for more eCredits?
In my experience, it will not work.
EasternTraveler is offline  
Old Jan 4, 2023, 11:33 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: May 2013
Programs: DL PM
Posts: 61
Originally Posted by HawaiiO
After purchasing the flight(fully refundable) with amex and gift card, can we cancel the flight to get back as DL credits?

Thanks!
You don't need to book fully refundable, as long as you book Main Cabin (not basic), you can cancel the flight and get an eCredit for the full ticket value.
HawaiiO and Illinwu like this.
OPAcolt is offline  
Old Jan 4, 2023, 12:03 pm
  #14  
Moderator: Hyatt; 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: 18,682
Originally Posted by cagiva92
Does anyone know if this works in foreign currency?

I have about $500 eCredits. I want to book a one-way flight in EURs (from Europe to US, it only gives a EUR price). It's about 640 EUR so $675, so I should get reimbursed $175.

Or is it safer for me to book a US flight and then cancel for more eCredits?
Originally Posted by EasternTraveler
In my experience, it will not work.
FWIW on a quick search there are successful reimbursement DPs in the 2020-2021 version of the thread, both an award flight bought on AF where the taxes were paid in EUR, and a WS codeshare bought in CAD.
Zorak is offline  
Old Jan 4, 2023, 12:43 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Michigan, USA
Programs: Hilton Diamond; Delta Platinum
Posts: 547
Originally Posted by OPAcolt
You don't need to book fully refundable, as long as you book Main Cabin (not basic), you can cancel the flight and get an eCredit for the full ticket value.

Isnt non-refundable main actually preferred, as you dont actually want a refund you want the e-credit so Amex doesnt claw it back ?
StangGT909 is offline  

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