Many of the premium (read: expensive) credit cards available come with some pretty premium benefits. One of the best ways to maximize the value you get out of your credit cards is to know all of the benefits each one comes with. One of the big perks of select American Express cards is a yearly airline fee credit. There are a few tricks to using the American Express Airline Fee Credit, and I will show you all you need to know.
How to Use The American Express Airline Fee Credit
The American Express Platinum Personal and Business cards each come with a $200 airline fee credit and the American Express Premiere Rewards Gold has a $100 credit.
These fee credits are fairly easy to use, however you must first select a qualifying airline. You can do this in the “Benefits” section of your online account. Choose carefully as your selected airline can’t be changed until the following calendar year!
After your airline is selected, any qualifying charges from that airline charged to your American Express card will be automatically credited back to your account. Qualifying charges include incidental fees from checked bags, in-flight refreshments, flight-change fees, overweight / oversize baggage fees, and phone reservation fees.
You should see a reimbursement come through on your statement a few days after a qualifying purchase.
Do Gift Cards Count Towards Your Airline Fee Credit?
Well yes and no.
Gift cards are technically excluded from the qualifying fees that will generate a credit. However, in practice, purchasing an e-gift card does trigger the credit for some airlines. I have had both Delta and Southwest as my airline of choice on my American Express Platinum. For both of these airlines, e-gift cards purchased in $50 increments have qualified to receive a credit. Via Flyertalk there are lots of reports for gift cards working for other major airlines as well.
Keep in mind that using this airline fee credit to purchase gift cards is technically a loophole, and it could change at any time. Test it out with one $50 gift card first to see if it works.
Amex Trick: Double Dip The Airline Fee Credit
The American Express airline fee credit runs on a calendar year. That means that for the first year you have a card you can receive the full $200 or $100 credit twice! For instance, if you sign up for a Platinum card in January 2018 you would have a $200 credit to use by Dec 31, 2018. Then on Jan 1, 2019 you will have a new $200 credit to use. You could use all $400 in credits then cancel your card before paying the second annual fee!
How have you used your American Express Airline Fee Credit? Happy Travels!