Maximizing Amex Airline Fee Credit [2021]

About


EARN 3 FREE NIGHTS
Marriott Hotels & Resorts
Plus 1 Free Night Every Year
Earn 150,000 Bonus Hilton Points
You receive Hilton Diamond Status, Resort Credit, Airline Credit & 1 Free Weekend Night Every Year!
Land Alaska Airlines bonus of your summer dreams!
Score up to 60% bonus miles.
World of Hyatt Credit Card
Apply by September 30, 2021 to earn 60,000 Bonus Hyatt Points & Double Elite Night Credits.
Chase Sapphire Preferred 100,000 Bonus Points!
This is the best offer on this credit card!
Amex Platinum Card 125,000 Bonus Points & Up to $919 in New Benefits Value!
The card that gives you $179 CLEAR membership credit!
Amex EveryDay Preferred Card 30,000 Membership Rewards Points
Click on the Learn More button below using Incognito mode to see the offer!
Save up to 25% on a Marriott Resort Vacation
Select resorts in US, Canada, Caribbean & LATAM!

Maximizing Amex Airline Fee Credit [2021]


Updates: 
  • Good News: United Travel Bank works again according to FlyerTalk. 

Amex Airline Fee Credit
benefit is getting harder and harder these days to go around it. The reimbursement fee credit is useful because by making a good use of it, it essentially offsets the high annual fee on the Amex card that has this airline fee credit benefit. 

According to American Express, only incidental air travel fees such as baggage fees, inflight food and beverages to name a few that are considered qualified purchases. Any airline gift card or flight's ticket purchases are not qualified purchases. It makes this benefit very restrictive to use for people that do not like to check bags or do not fly often to pay for those incidental air travel fees in a year with a specific airline.

Here in this post, we are putting a list together for known workarounds that trigger the Amex Airline Fee Credit from the points and miles community, mainly FlyerTalk. We monitor FlyerTalk closely so that when one of the following workarounds no longer works, we can update this post accordingly. Feel free to bookmark this page or subscribe to our blog's post update found below this post. 

Table of Contents  [show/hide]

    Selecting A Qualifying Airline for Amex Airline Fee Credit

    First and foremost, you must select one qualifying airline you want. This can be done online, chat, or call the number on the back of your card. You can only change your airline selection once a year in January. If you do not change it, the previous year's preferred airline selection remains in place.

    To select a qualifying airline for Amex Airline Fee Credit online, go here

    What Qualifies for Amex Airline Fee Credit?

    First thing first, according to American Express only incidental air travel fees are considered qualified purchases. You can find extensive list of eligible and ineligible charges below. 

    Here's the Amex terms and conditions on airline fee credit:
    Statement Credits: Incidental air travel fees must be charged to the Card Member on the eligible Card Account for the benefit to apply. Incidental air travel fees charged by both the Basic and Additional Card Members on the eligible Card Account are eligible for statement credits. 
    • Incidental air travel fees must be separate charges from airline ticket charges.  
    • Fees not charged by the Card Member's airline of choice (e.g. wireless internet and fees incurred with airline alliance partners) do not qualify for statement credits.  
    • Incidental air travel fees charged 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 deemed to be incidental fees. 
    • The airline must submit the charge under the appropriate merchant code, industry code, or required service or product identifier for the charge to be recognized as an incidental air travel fee. 

    Eligible airline fee charge billed AFTER airline section:

    • Airport lounge day passes and annual memberships
    • Change fees
    • Checked baggage fees
    • Early check-in fees
    • In-flight amenity fees (beverages, food, pillows/blankets, and so on)
    • In-flight entertainment fees (excluding wireless internet)
    • Overweight/oversize baggage fees
    • Pet flight fees
    • Phone reservation fees
    • Seat assignment fees
    • Unaccompanied minor fees

    Ineligible airline fee charges include:

    • Eligible airline fee charge billed to the account prior to airline selection
    • Air freight
    • Airline tickets
    • Award ticket fees
    • Cancellation fees
    • Charges processed by Merchants other than the airline the Card Member has selected in (for example, in-flight internet services providers such as GoGo)
    • Charges made by airline partner (for example, Card Member purchase tickets on selected airline Delta, but purchase food on an Air France flight)
    • Duty-free purchase
    • Frequent Flyer purchase
    • Gift Cards issued by airlines
    • Point transfer fees
    • Trip insurance/baggage insurance
    • Ticket upgrades (including American Airlines Upgrade Stickers)
    • Travel agent fees

    Airlines Workaround That Triggers Amex Airline Fee Reimbursement Credit

    Below is a compilation list of known workaround for a specific airline that triggers Amex airline fee credit provided by the miles and points community at the FlyerTalk.

    Alaska Airlines

    Due to COVID-19, Alaska Airlines now allows ticket's change and cancellation free of charge prior to departure. Instead of receiving the credit back to your credit card, the credit is deposited into your Alaska Airlines Wallet. The fund in the Wallet is good for one year from the date of ticket's purchase. 
    • Select Alaska Airlines as your preferred airline first in your Amex account. 
    • Wait a day or so just to give the system to take effect on your airline selection.
    • Use any credit cards or Alaska's wallet fund to purchase an Alaska Airlines ticket. 
    • After the ticket is purchased, use the right Amex card to pay for a Premium Class seat assignment.
    • The premium class seat assignment definitely qualifies for the Amex airline fee credit because the seat assignment does fall under Amex's incidental air travel fees. 
    • If 24 hours later after you purchase the ticket, you decide to take the trip, that’s great. If not, Alaska Airlines allows free changes (except for Saver fare) due to COVID-19. Or you can also cancel the ticket and all the airfare along with the premium seat assignment fees are credited into your Alaska Airlines Wallet to be used for future travels. 
    From the points and miles community, some people are receiving automatic airline fee reimbursement with the above mentioned premium seat assignment, but some have to contact Amex to request the credit to be manually applied. If you don't see automatic airline fee credit 14 days after the charge is posted to your account, you can contact Amex through chat/phone. If you contact them prior to 14 days, they will simply tell you to wait until 14 days is up because that is when they will be able to manually apply the airline fee credit for you.

    Please note that, it is very important you refer to the charge as "seat assignment fee" not seat upgrade fee because upgrade is not an eligible charge for the airline fee credit. 

    Data Point Reference: FlyerTalk (Alaska)

    JetBlue Airways

    • Select JetBlue Airways as your preferred airline first in your Amex account. 
    • Wait a day or so just to give the system to take effect on your airline selection.
    • Purchase a JetBlue ticket that has an airfare under $99. Any ticket that has airfare above $99 will not work. 
    • Be sure to purchase the ticket with the right Amex card. 
    • If you are going to use that JetBlue ticket, great! If not, after 24 hours of purchase you can cancel the ticket and receive the refund in the form of the TravelBank funds that is good for one year from the date of deposit (thanks to the current free change policy that is valid through February 28, 2021). JetBlue has not said anything on the extension of the free change policy at this time. I also do not recommend canceling the ticket right inside the 24 hours window because there's a chance Amex may claw back that credit in the future.
    • Allow some time for the Amex system to process your purchase and the fee reimbursement. It generally takes 2-4 days after the charge is posted to your account. 
    Here's a timeline example:
    • January 10 - Purchased JetBlue ticket for $98.86.
    • January 10 - Amex account shows Pending JetBlue Airways $98.86. 
    • January 10 - Purchase is successfully charged and posted as JETBLUE AIRWAYS. 
    • January 12 - Amex airline fee of $98.86 reimbursed. 
    Data Points Reference: FlyerTalk (JetBlue)

    Delta Airlines

    • Select Delta Airlines as your preferred airline first in your Amex account. 
    • Wait a day or so just to give the system to take effect on your airline selection.
    • When you purchase a Delta ticket, be sure to pay a portion of the airfare with a Delta gift card and charge the remaining balance to your Amex card. This "additional collection" will trigger the Amex airline fee credit as long as the amount is $250 or less. 
    For example:
    • October 25 - Purchase $280 ticket with $50 Delta gift card and have the remaining $230.20 charged to the Amex card. 
    • October 26 - Check the transaction posted as "additional collection"
    • October 27 - $200 airline fee credit posted
    Your timeline may be different. Allow some time for the Amex system to process your purchase and the fee reimbursement. It generally takes 2-4 days after the charge is posted.

    Data Points Reference: FlyerTalk (Delta)

    Southwest Airlines

    • Select Southwest Airlines as your preferred airline first in your Amex account. 
    • Wait a day or so just to give the system to take effect on your airline selection.
    • Purchase a Southwest ticket that has an airfare under $100. Any ticket that has airfare above $100 will not work. Use Southwest's useful low fare calendar to help searching for those less than $100 ticket. 
    • Be sure to purchase the ticket with the right Amex card. 
    • If you are going to use that Southwest ticket, great! If not, after 24 hours of purchase you can cancel the ticket and receive the refund in the form of the travel fund that is good for one year from the date of purchase. I do not recommend canceling the ticket right inside the 24 hours window because there's a chance Amex may claw back that credit in the future.
    • Allow some time for the Amex system to process your purchase and the fee reimbursement. It generally takes 2-4 days after the charge is posted to your account. 
    Here's a timeline example:
    • January 3 - Purchased Southwest ticket for $79.86.
    • January 3 - Amex account shows Pending Southwest Airlines $79.86. 
    • January 3 - Purchase is successfully charged and posted as SOUTHWEST AIRLINES DALLAS TX. 
    • January 5 - Amex airline fee of $79.86 reimbursed. 
    Data Points Reference: FlyerTalk (Southwest)

    United Airlines

    This trigger appears to be working again starting February 15 according to FlyerTalk community's data points. 
    • Be sure to select United Airlines as your preferred airline first in your Amex account. 
    • Wait a day or so just to give the system to take effect on your airline selection.
    • Use that Amex card to purchase United travel cash known as TravelBank here. Any amount will do. 
    • Allow some time for the Amex system to process your purchase and the fee reimbursement. Be patient and do not call Amex to inquire about this. 
    Amex Airline Fee Credit for United Airlines

    Please note that United TravelBank Cash expires 5 years after it's purchased. You can view the expiration date on each of your TravelBank cash by logging into your United account, click on View account and then click on View details under Travel Bank. 

    Data Point Reference: FlyerTalk (United)
    If you like this post, please share it!

    PL

    Posted by: PL

    Hello there! People call me PL and I am a points blogger. Obsessed with using points and miles to elevate travel experiences to explore the world. Enjoy finer things in life and good food. I have a day job, this points blog is mainly my hobby and my contribution back to the points community. If you enjoy reading this post, please help me share it! If you enjoy what you read here, please make sure you subscribe or follow this blog on social media so that you will be notified when there's a new blog's post. I thank you for reading this blog. Your support means a lot to me and it is what makes this blog's work worthwhile. If I can be of any help, you can contact me: thepointslife at gmail dot com

    If you appreicate my contents, you can also buy me a beer through the secured PayPal button below :-)

    Connect: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


    Subscribe

    Would you like to pay for travel with points instead of cash?

    Get our best travel tips and tricks on points travel - Free!

    Sign up for our newsletter below.

    * indicates required

    Post a Comment

    0 Comments