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):
- The Platinum Card® from American Express — $200 annual airline fee credit
- The Business Platinum® Card from American Express — $200 annual airline fee credit
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 Alaska, American, Delta, Hawaiian, JetBlue, Southwest, 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 americanexpress.com/airlinechoice. 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.
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?