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Last week the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express got a refresh, whereby we saw some great new features, including:
- The addition of a $100 airline fee credit
- The addition of 2x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent at US restaurants (previously this wasn’t a category bonus on the card)
- The elimination of foreign transaction fees
- The intro annual fee increased by $20, from $175 to $195 (though there’s still an introductory first year annual fee of $0)
That first point is especially awesome. With American Express, airline fee credits are based on calendar years, while annual fees are based on card member years. For example, if you were to apply for the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express now, you wouldn’t pay your first annual fee until June 2016. However, you’d get a $100 airline fee credit now, and then another $100 airline fee credit in January 2016.
Anyway, this benefit is very similar to the one offered by The Platinum Card® from American Express, in the sense that you have to log-in to designate the airline you want for your $100 fee credit, and then you can make the purchase.
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.
Anecdotally, however, in many cases it seems like gift card purchases can be reimbursed as well. To test this out on the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express, I purchased two $50 gift cards from American on June 3:
On June 7 the gift cards were reimbursed:
So it does seem like in practice this credit works similar to the one on the Platinum Card, except it’s for $100 per year rather than $200.
The American Express forum on FlyerTalk has individual threads dedicated to reimbursement reports for each airline, including Alaska, American/US Airways, Delta, Hawaiian, JetBlue, 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.
I’m thrilled to see the refresh this card has undergone, as it’s once again quite competitive with the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card and Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. While the annual fee is $100 higher than both of those cards, you do get a $100 airline fee credit, which sort of helps offset that. The fact that you get $200 in airline fee credits before you pay your first year’s annual fee is quite awesome as well.
Have you used your airline fee credit on the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express yet?