American Express Platinum airline fee credit data point: successful reimbursement of American Airlines gift cards

Last week I wrote about how a new calendar year meant a new year of fee reimbursements on the American Express Platinum card. Given that the annual fee on the card is $550 and you can squeeze two $200 airline fee credits out of the first year’s annual fee, it essentially lowers the annual fee on the card to $50 for the first year (and $250 per year thereafter since you do get an annual airline fee credit).

What makes these fee credits so valuable is that you can usually be reimbursed for the purchase of airline gift cards. Last year I purchased American Airlines gift cards using the credit and was reimbursed, and I intended to do the same this year. Many readers asked me to report back on my experience with reimbursement this year, so I figured I would.

On January 3 I purchased $200 worth of American Airlines gift cards — two $50 cards and one $100 card. The reason I got different amounts was to see if one amount triggered the reimbursement and another didn’t. Well, I’m happy to report that the entire amount was reimbursed within three days.

So there you have it, reimbursements on American Airlines gift cards are alive and well.

Filed Under: American Express, Credit Cards
  1. Cool! I just got mine. I also wrote myself amazing affirmations in the “Message” box. Yes, I am beautiful – AND smart! 😉

    Thanks for the follow-up on this.

  2. I purchased a $50 card on 12/28/12, and it posted (was reimbursed) to my account 1/2/13. Do you think this will still count for 2012 fee, so I should still get all of the $200 this year? Thanks!

  3. @ Greg — That could go either way. If I were you I’d just make a purchase and if it’s not automatically credited I’m sure customer service would issue the credit as a goodwill gesture given that it was credited based on a 2012 purchase.

  4. So far Amex Plat goodwill has sucked for me. They wouldn’t give me the 25K signup bonus (I had signed up in a hurry and just went with their website link) and they wouldn’t reimburse me for Economy Plus (called it an upgrade, not a seat assignment fee)

  5. Question, can you stack AA gift certificates on a ticket? I know you can’t with United so I had just purchased a $200 to make sure. But with AA, I notice people purchase smaller denominations and was curious if you could use more than one on a reservation (for one person).

  6. I ordered 2 x $100 AA virtual giftcards on 1/1 and was reimbursed on 1/4. Three days just like Ben, but figured some people might be interested in the fact 2x $100 work, as there is a max of (I think) eight gift cards per reservation.

  7. Reading previous posts, this seems like a great benefit. Would this be possible by buying a $200 United GC, since they are not stack able? Also does this work for other airlines other then AA and Alaska?

  8. @ Adam — Anecdotal evidence suggests that these can be purchased for just about any airline that sells gift cards with reimbursement.

  9. I just received my reimbursement for $200 after charging 4 x $50 AA gift cards on a single transaction. In case people are wondering, it looks like AMEX doesn’t care if you do it all at once.

  10. Does it matter where you purchase the airline gift cards? Do you have to purchase them through the Am Ex portal, or the individual airline’s shopping portal?

  11. Wow I have a NJ address and just got this error message on AA:

    Based on recent Gift Card-related legislative action in the State of New Jersey that requires sellers of such products to report voluminous documentation with regard to our customers, we have regrettably elected to no longer sell or deliver Gift Cards to individuals in the State of New Jersey. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. Your credit card has not been charged.

  12. Is it possible to get standby fees credit on AA using Amex Platinum?

    I know that its a fee and its $75 usually and you can catch an earlier flight and what not..but its not a travel thing so technically work.

    Anyone try this?

  13. I bought AA gift cards before I designated American as my airline. Any idea if I am SOL on these charges? The charges have already posted.

  14. @ Amit — I got them via email so there was no shipping.

    @ John — You can always send AmEx a secure message and ask them to credit the charges, and there’s a chance they may.

  15. Just bought a United gift card at the UAL site and the charge posted as being from Continental? Will that disqualify me from reimbursement?

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