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Update: The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN has exciting new benefits, and a great new limited time offer. Learn more about the current offer here.
As I mentioned last week, one of the exciting things about the New Year for me is that those of us with American Express Platinum cards get a new $200 airline fee credit.
The terms and conditions state that airline fee credits exclude the following:
Airline tickets, upgrades, mileage points purchases, mileage points transfer fees, gift cards, duty free purchases, and award tickets are not deemed to be incidental fees.
In practice, however, many report having luck purchasing airline gift cards and having those reimbursed. This has worked for me personally for the past few years, so I purchased two $100 gift cards on the 1st of January to see if this was still the case:
The reimbursements posted just three days later, which is fantastic!
The American Express forum on FlyerTalk has individual threads dedicated to reimbursement reports for each airline, including Alaska, American, Delta, Southwest, and United. As you can see, anecdotally these credits can be used for a wide variety of things, from lounge memberships, to cancellation fees, to status challenge fees, to (in many cases) gift cards.
Here are the American Express cards with annual airline fee credits:
- The Platinum Card® from American Express — 25,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $2,000 within three months; access to Delta SkyClubs when flying on Delta-operated flights, Priority Pass lounges, Airspace Lounges, and Centurion Lounges, $550 annual fee
- The Platinum Card® from American Express Exclusively for Mercedes-Benz — 50,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $1,000 within three months; access to Delta SkyClubs when flying on Delta-operated flights, Priority Pass lounges, Airspace Lounges, and Centurion Lounges; $50 annual fee
- The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN — Access to Delta SkyClubs when flying on Delta-operated flights, Priority Pass lounges, Airspace Lounges, and Centurion Lounges; $450 annual fee
You have to designate an airline for your annual fee credit, which can be done at americanexpress.com/airlinechoice. Once you log in it will give you the option to change your preferred airline. If you want to keep the same airline as last year, then you don’t need to do anything.
Charges on any of the following airlines are eligible for the American Express annual airline fee credit:
- Alaska Airlines
- American Airlines
- Delta Airlines
- Frontier Airlines
- Hawaiian Airlines
- JetBlue Airways
- Spirit Airlines
- Southwest Airlines
- United Airlines
This is why the $550 annual fee on the Platinum card is no big deal to me for the first year — the airline fee credit is based on a calendar year, while the annual fee is based on the card member year, so it’s easy to squeeze two airline fee credits out of a single annual fee. And beyond that it essentially lowers the annual fee on the Platinum Card to $350 per year after that, which I find worthwhile for all the benefits.
Anyway, just thought I would confirm that at least for American Airlines, gift card purchases are being reimbursed through the American Express airline fee credit program within three days. Hopefully this is helpful to some of you!