Success: $900 In Amex Airline Credit Reimbursements

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As I wrote about on Sunday, the fact that it’s a new calendar year means that many of us are eligible for a new set of airline fee credits. The following Amex cards offer airline fee credits every calendar year:

Technically this credit can only be used towards airline fees, which excludes 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.

However, in practice many of us have been successfully reimbursed for purchases of airline gift cards. Before you even buy anything, be sure you designate a preferred airline at If you’ve selected an airline last year and don’t want to change it, then the selection will carry over — you don’t have to do anything.


So on January 1 I bought American Airlines gift cards in $100 increments for five sets of Amex cards, including my Amex Premier Rewards Gold Card and Amex Platinum Card, Ford’s Amex Business Platinum Card, and both of my dad’s Amex Platinum Cards.


I checked the accounts today, and all five sets of airline fee credits have posted for 2017. Here’s the credit for the Premier Rewards Gold Card, since it’s a $100 credit:


Meanwhile here’s what the credit looks like for all the Platinum Cards, as it’s a $200 credit per card (though you’ll still want to buy gift cards in increments of $100 at most, since bigger purchases don’t seem to reimburse):


Again, there’s no guarantee that the purchase of airline gift cards will continue to be reimbursed, though it has worked up until now, including this year.

Has anyone else already maxed out their Amex airline fee credits for 2017?

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  1. I had trouble with $100 with Delta last year. I had always done $50’s, but decided to play fast and loose and be a big spender…and I had to pay for the stupid cards -_-

    Anyone else?

  2. I had read on FlyerTalk (I think) that Delta had a $50 max. I did the transaction midnight-ish on January 3, so everything hasn’t posted yet. But I’ll report back once it does.

  3. @moe only if you get a physical card. No way to redeem virtual cards for luggage unfortunately (I tried online and at airport last week)

  4. I tried to get $200 in Delta gift cards reimbursed last year, without success. I guess they like Lucky a lot more than me.

  5. In Dec 2016, I bought a Delta $70 gift e-card — not reimbursed. So I went down to $50 and got four — all reimbursed. I bought them separately — it’s a pain entering the info each time. Some blogs say you can order four 4 $50 cards at once, but I didn’t try that.

  6. Delta gift cards will not fall into the Amex category for reimbursement. I tried last year and when I called Amex to complain I did not get the credit they said it was a gift card purchase and they would credit me as a one time courtesy but not anymore.

  7. You guys are idiots who are saying you didn’t get reimbursed for Delta. It’s plastered all over the Internet that it has to be a $50 gift card and only a $50 gift card. Anything higher will not work.

  8. I wasn’t reimbursed for gift card so I called them and told them everyone is doing it and they said they would fix the problem but credit me as a courtesy for telling them about it.

  9. 1500$ in AA just posted for December and about to do the same now that it’s January. Way easier with AA and 100 at a time.

  10. It’s $50 for Delta and $100 for AA. I just realized this after doing Delta $50’s, as it would be easier to buy $100 AA gift cards for these types of reimbursements. Also did a single $250 gift card for Citi Prestige.

  11. Reminder that MileagePlusX purchases get reimbursed too if you select United as your airline (it worked a couple months ago when I last did it)

  12. Ricky, MPX no longer works. For United, you can do a gift registry and get reimbursed. I just did $200 and got reimbursed today.

  13. Jackie. please tell me you’re not serious! If it’s a joke your’re funny , if it’s not I don’t even want to say what you are!

  14. Does MileagePlus X still work? I always used that for fee reimbursements, but I’ve heard rumors that Amex stopped reimbursing MileagePlus X purchases as airline fees.

  15. @Jackie, one of the reasons these thing will not work anymore in the near future is because of people like you…SMH

  16. AmEx Platinum successfully used for two $100 Southwest gift cards toward 2017 $200 airline fee credit.

  17. I was worried about gift card reimbursement for United so I created a gift registry for myself and donated $50 twice to it to be used towards purchase of flights at a later date (did not use mileagex app). Both were reimbursed within 48 hours.

  18. Maybe this is a stupid question, but what is the big deal about doing GC if you will fly that airline this year? I understand Lucky doing it to test it out for others, especially if you will be giving to others or something, but it seems like there must be more here I am missing?

    I mostly fly AA, DL and AS. I book my flights, charge to my card, and get the reimbursement. What am I missing?

    Thanks for any input!

  19. Way to go Lucky – I think that this post will likely put the end to some of these reimbursements!

    Why not play it a little cooler – like saying you just reimbursed $100 and perhaps it might work again instead of bragging how you gamed the system once again.

    There will be a huge increase in people attempting this that AA will identify – and then shut the door.

    Play it cooler and it may last longer.

    Don’t brag so much

  20. Do you just buy the AA gift cards from their website to get the credits? I’m among those who wound up paying $100 for a delta gift Card last year. This year I’m switching to AA anyway

  21. @ Julie – It’s only supposed to work for incidentals, and doesn’t work if you charge airfare. You really need to be detailed to play this game, and read closely because every card is different.

  22. Anyone know if the United Gift Registry can be used for the $200 fee to deposit miles back from a cancelled award ticket?

  23. @Julie – what Lynn said. And NEVER tell the airline (or credit card company, etc) that “everyone else is doing it”. Then you’re making them aware of the problem (which for us is a HUGE benefit) and the (unintended) benefit will be stopped for everyone.

  24. @Lynn/@a

    Thank you. I guess the cards I have worked for airfare, but this makes total sense now.

    I am good at many parts of this whole travel game, just didn’t understand this aspect of this one. I would never call in and say that everyone is doing it.

    Thanks again!

  25. Really dumb idea to brag Lucky for someone who’s supposed to be smart. Maybe Amex will close all your cards for a breach of terms and conditions.

  26. Do people really think amex doesn’t know what’s going on? If any moron with access to Google knows you can buy GCs (and you see how truly moronic they are by some of their reports), do you really think amex corporate is clueless, but one phone call to a clueless representative will suddenly shut this down? Don’t be thick.
    Lucky, as others have mentioned, this may have been a pointless and not well thought out post.

  27. BTW, on AA, it posts like any other AA purchase, so not only do you get to use the $200 on gift cards, but you also get the 5x points because Amex codes it like airlines purchases, it’s a great deal!

  28. I was successful at buying a $100 AA digital gift card. Two days later, Amex issued the fee reimbursement.

  29. @MYK Brown. any update so far? Also did you try customer service and ask them about the reimbursement without telling them that your actually brought giftcard?

  30. Thanks. I will try $100 for two gift cards from American Airlines. Do you suggest actual card or virtual card? Thanks.

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