American Express Platinum $200 Airline Fee Credit Posted

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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:

AmEx-Reimbursement-2
AmEx-Reimbursement-1

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 AlaskaAmericanDeltaSouthwest, 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:

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!

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Comments

  1. I’ll be cancelling my plat card when the annual fee becomes due. Can I apply for the Mercedes Benz card right after I cancel and still get the 50k points? Or do I have to wait a year until after I cancel?

    Thanks!

  2. I should know this, but do the credits post as the eligible expenses hit the card, or in bulk once per year? Because it now occurs to me I’ve had a bunch of DL charges and I don’t recall seeing any of them rebated.

  3. “And beyond that it essentially lowers the annual fee on the Platinum Card to $250 per year after that, which I find worthwhile for all the benefits.”

    What benefits going forward? Delta lounge access? That’s about it.

  4. I think I’m going to cancel before my annual fee comes due. When they took away the US Airways/AA lounge access, they offered me nothing in compensation, while similarly-situated people seemed to get substantial credits. Lame.

  5. AA “Gift Cards may not be used for upgrades, Admirals Club® memberships enrollments, Admirals Club One-Day passes, AAdvantage Award Travel or other non-flight products and/or services sold on aa.com.” Does AA enforce this?

  6. Got my card in May of 2013. I used it for $200 in American Airlines gift cards. This week, I changed my airline designation to Delta and used it for economy comfort seats for ATL/HNL segments in July. All of my charges were reimbursed. I also used $100 for Global Entry so my entire $450 was covered with $50 extra. I probably will cancel the card in May now that lounge access for AA is gone.

  7. @ Mike — Not only Delta lounge access but Priority Pass lounge access (as an Alaska flyer that’s valuable) and access to American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts comes to mind.

  8. @ Valerie — If it can be booked on aa.com for a revenue ticket then you should be able to use gift cards for it, in my experience.

  9. Last year for UA, a gift certificate was eligible. But looking at the FlyerTalk trend, it looks like no, but Gift Registry contributions are counting in. My Gift Registry contribution to myself was reimbursed within 3 days. Yay!!!

  10. Got reimbursed for UA Gift Registry purchase (made it for slightly above $200) at the end of 2013 since FT thread seemed to indicate that Gift Cards stopped being reimbursed.

  11. American Express did not reimburse for Delta gift cards. Also, the gift card purchases did not post until Jan. 1, 2014. Regardless of when they posted, according all posts on Flyertalk, Amex should have reimbursed them and they did not.

  12. Did you purchase the gift cards to your own name as recipient or used another person’s name as recipient?

  13. The gift cards that were purchased for me, were charged on a Platinum card, with a totally different name from mine. I am not impressed with Amex Platinum card benefits. Most of the benefits have all kinds of conditions that have to be satisfied before Amex provides the benefit. I am probably going to be getting rid of the Platinum Card as I am tired of the bait and switch.

  14. @Paul – Yes don’t do the entire $200 in one transaction there are reports of not getting reimbursed that way. I bought 2 $50 gift certs on 1/3 one at a time so it posted 1x$50 then 1x$50 on the statement. Was reimbursed on 1/6. Just submitted 2 more $50 charges and expect to get reimbursed by the end of the week.

  15. I purchased 2 x $100 United gift cards on mine and my wife’s AMEX Plat on 3rd Jan – no credits have yet posted.

  16. anyone know if making a purchase from AA Skymall with the plat card qualifies for the reimbursement & / or can AA gift cards be used for Skymall purchases ?

  17. Didn’t work for gift card purchases made on January 14th. Called AMEX rep and they refused to issue credit for the charges.

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