Claim Your 2018 Amex Airline Fee Credits!

Filed Under: American Express, Credit Cards
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While the new year can be depressing for those of us into miles & points, the good news is that it also means a new year of American Express airline fee credits, as those reset on January 1. Based on my card portfolio, it’s an opportunity to get hundreds of dollars of travel.

Which Amex cards come with airline fee credits?

The following cards offer airline fee credits, in the following increments (they’re offered per calendar year, regardless of what your cardmember year looks like):

What can the Amex airline fee credit be used for?

Per the terms, the annual airline credit can be used for airline purchases, excluding 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, many report having luck purchasing airline gift cards and having those reimbursed. For example, just a few days ago I purchased two $100 American Airlines gift cards, and they were reimbursed a couple of days later.

The American Express forum on FlyerTalk has individual threads dedicated to reimbursement reports for each airline, including AlaskaAmericanDeltaHawaiianJetBlueSouthwest, 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. Generally it seems like gift cards in smaller increments are most likely to be reimbursed. Again, there’s no guarantee that will work, though.

How to register for your Amex airline fee credit

Your airline purchase should be automatically reimbursed when charged to an eligible card, assuming you’ve designated an airline for this benefit. Each year you have to designate an airline for your airline fee credit, which can be done at You can change your designated airline once per year.

If you already designated an airline last year, that will be the default one this year, so if you want to keep it you don’t have to do anything. But if you haven’t designated an airline in the past or want to change your selection, you’ll want to go to the above link to edit it.

Here are the airlines you can choose from (it might be time to eventually get rid of “US Airways”):


Keep in mind that for The Business Platinum® Card from American Express, the airline you choose is the same one for which you’ll get 35% off when redeeming points with the “Pay With Points” feature. So you’ll want to choose your airline carefully.

Bottom line

While I hate when the year “resets” in terms of elite status, I do love picking up new annual airline fee credits thanks to the Amex credit cards I have. If you have The Platinum Card® from American Express or The Business Platinum® Card from American Express, you can go ahead and take advantage of the 2018 credit. Just make sure you designate an airline for the benefit.

Is anyone else already redeeming their 2018 credit card airline credits?

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  1. @Lucky I signed up for the both the Amex Business platinum card in January last year (which I already got the $200 immediately), Theb I just signed up for the Amex Platinum – Personal version two weeks ago and have gotten the $200 credit as well. Is the benefit refreshed every January? Does that mean I can have the same credit again right now? (Intend to buy another AA gift card. )

  2. Does anyone know if we can buy AA GCs in New Jersey Yet?

    Also will Amex Card usage in Mileage Plus X app work for credit back or no?

  3. @lucky great! Thanks for the clarificatiob. There’s one mistake I think I’ve done thought.. when I bought the AA cards using the NEW Amex personal – I forgot to designate AA as airline of choice. I only did it after when I realized it a day after. I also didn’t see the credit came in yet and usually – you’ll see it in days. It has been more than a week now. Do you know who that will affect that particular purchase? Will I get the 2017 credit?

  4. @Jeremiah, I made the same mistake (I had United designated and purchased AA gift cards) so I messaged AMEX on their chat and my credit appeared about a week later. I suggest that you do that.

  5. I usually buy Alaska Airlines gift cards and I have read they are not getting credited from a few people. Is that correct still?

  6. Has anyone tried using it for buy on board purchases or alcoholic beverages in the lounges? Would AMEX reimburse that? Has it worked? Any luck with Delta onboard purchases or at Sky Club?

  7. I bought AA gift cards on 12/30/17, but the credit has a date of 1/1/18. Is it the date of the purchase or the date of the credit that determines which year’s benefit was used?

  8. So far i have gotten 600.00 in AA GC with the Ameriprise Amex Plat without paying the annual fee, one of the 2018 reimbursements was for 150.00 dollars that i accidentally chose when making the GC purchase. I figured that based on what most have reported with GC purchase over 100.00, it wouldn’t trigger the reimbursement, i would have to eat the cost. Fortunately i looked at my account and the AA GC purchase for 150.00 was reimbursed. Any others had luck with purchases over 100.00 being reimbursed?

  9. Can one charge the lifemiles award cancellation fee $200 to any credit card for reimbursement? Amex or Chase?

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