American Express’ US Platinum (personal and business) cardholders can use the annuity $200 flight credit The card comes with a calendar year basis that can be used for certain expenses on certain airlines.
American Express offers this airline fee credit in the form of a refund after transactions are charged and registered to an eligible card account — but there are some downsides to consider.
Officially, these credits For incidental expenses only Passengers incur fees for the Platinum Card, such as seat upgrades, change fees, pet fees, lounge passes and more.
Eligible airlines include: Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Spirit Airlines, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines.
Airline tickets, upgrades, mileage points purchases, mileage points transfer fees, gift cards, tax-free purchases and award tickets (again, officially) No Considered as incidental charge.
Some solutions have been around for a while, but with the changing parameters set by Amex you never know what they’re paying back or which purchases will stick in your account without a refund.
Here is the full T&C for Airline Credit:
$200 Airfare Credit
Benefit available to Consumer and Corporate Platinum Card Members only. Cardmembers must select a qualifying airline through their American Express online account to receive statement credits of up to $200 per calendar year for incidental airline charges charged to an eligible card.
Eligible airlines include Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Spirit Airlines, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines. Only the primary Cardmember or authorized Account Manager(s) on the Card Account can select the Eligible Airline. Cardmembers who have not selected a qualifying airline can do so at any time. Cardmembers who have already selected an eligible airline can change their choice in January each year through their American Express online account or by calling the number on the back of the card. Cardmembers who do not change their flight selection will remain with their current airline. Statement Credits: Incidental Airline Charges must be charged to the Cardmember on the Eligible Card Account to apply. Incidental Airline Charges charged by Basic and Additional Cardmembers to Eligible Card Accounts are eligible for Statement Credits. However, each card account is eligible for statement credits on all cards in the account up to a total of $200 per calendar year. Incidental air fares should be separate from air ticket fares. Charges not collected by the Cardmember’s selected airline (eg wireless Internet and charges with airline alliance partners) are not eligible for statement credits. Incidental airfares incurred prior to selection of a qualifying airline are not eligible for statement credits. Airline tickets, upgrades, mileage points purchases, mileage points transfer fees, gift cards, duty free purchases and award tickets are not considered incidental charges. To be recognized as an incidental air travel charge, the airline must submit the charge under the appropriate business code, industry code, or required service or product identifier. Please allow 6-8 weeks after the qualifying incidental air travel charge is charged to your card account for the statement credit(s) to be posted to the account. We rely on airlines to submit correct information on flight transactions, so if statement credits are not issued after 8 weeks from the date of purchase, please call the number on the back of the card. Cardmembers are responsible for timely payment of all charges. To qualify for this benefit, the card account(s) must not be canceled and not past due at the time of statement credit completion.
Over the years I have had success charging American Airlines gift cards, revenue ticket fees under $100, and award ticket purchases under $100 and they were always reimbursed. It seems that American Express got even worse and stopped refunding all of these. Often because the airline submitting the fares has adjusted the transaction code.
In January 2022, I was able to get a $120 refund on an Alaska Airlines ticket because I convinced someone at Amex. Pet fee. I really hate playing these games.
One option that still works (as of January 2023), however, is the United Airlines Travel Bank, an electronic wallet that works like a gift card but is linked to a specific Mileage Plus account.
The United Airlines website for travel banking can be accessed here.
Note that United has a history of discontinuing the travel bank purchase option for long periods of time without prior notice. Not sure why they do this, but that’s one of the reasons I decided to buy my 2x $100 travel money now and get it over with.
Please note that you must select your airline before purchase or the transaction will not be eligible for refund.
It took five days to see a credit in my account:
I’ve used an award accelerator in the past and bought some miles instead of travel money:
How to apply $100/$200 American Express Airline Credit to US-based Gold/Platinum Prepaid Cards?
No guarantee it still works. I can only say with confidence Travel bank is still ok till four days ago.
I want to make sure I get all the valuable credits from the Platinum card, especially since the annual fee has increased to $695. It’s impossible to get all of them, especially since many (like the $300 Peloton loan) are literally worthless to me. I think it’s pretty easy to separate airline credit and hotel credit. For the sox credit, I have to go to the US, but that will be possible in April when I make my trip.
Of course, if one has random charges on that particular airline, there’s no need to play around trying to get $200. The “problem” is that once you get elite membership, there are no incidental fees you have to pay anymore.
I don’t like the flexibility of the Amex Airline Credit and it played a big part in my decision to get rid of it next year. At least the Chase CSR credit is a fully flexible travel credit, and they define “travel” very loosely to include public transit tickets, taxis, Uber/Crab, etc. Chase credit is as good as cash. , you should always be thrilled.
In previous years it was always possible to buy some gift cards, but they (Amex) have found it necessary to eliminate that option as well. If you are an elite member of the airline or buy premium tickets, there is no “fee” you have to pay, so this credit goes away. At least for now, the United Travel Bank option still works perfectly. However, who knows for how long? It’s better to do it sooner rather than later.