Update: This offer for American Express® Gold Card has expired. Learn more about the current offers here.
Happy 2019! There are many things I don’t like about the new year on the miles & points front, including my elite status being reset with most programs.
One of the positive things about the start of the new year, though, is that American Express airline fee credits are also reset. One of those is the airline fee credits that are offered by several American Express credit cards. Based on the credit cards that I have, this is an opportunity to get hundreds of dollars of value per year.
Just as I posted a reminder last week that it was your last chance to use them for 2018, this is your reminder that you can now start using them for 2019.
What are Amex airline fee credits?
Credit cards offer a variety of benefits, and in the case of several American Express cards, one of those is an annual airline fee credit. The credit is intended to be used towards airline fees (as the name suggests), and for many of us, benefits like this help offset the annual fees on cards.
What’s the validity for Amex airline fee credits?
In the case of all American Express credit cards offering airline fee credits, the validity is based on the calendar year. This is a strict calendar year definition, so it’s not like some cards, where it’s based on your cardmember year, or other cards, where it’s valid through your last statement closing date in December.
With Amex, airline fee credits are valid January 1 through December 31, and it’s a “use it or lose it” situation.
Which airlines are eligible for the Amex airline fee credit?
You can designate one of the following airlines as your airline of choice for this benefit:
- Alaska Airlines
- American Airlines
- Delta Air Lines
- Frontier Airlines
- Hawaiian Airlines
- JetBlue Airways
- Spirit Airlines
- Southwest Airlines
- United Airlines
Which Amex cards come with airline fee credits?
The following cards offer airline fee credits, in the following increments:
- The Platinum Card® from American Express ($550 annual fee (Rates & Fees)) — $200 annual airline fee credit
- The Business Platinum® Card from American Express ($595 annual fee (Rates & Fees)) — $200 annual airline fee credit
- American Express® Gold Card ($250 annual fee (Rates & Fees)) — $100 annual airline fee credit
- Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card ($450 annual fee) — $250 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 purchases made directly with airlines, 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.
As you can see, this excludes a ton of stuff. Anecdotally, however, many report having luck purchasing airline gift cards and having those reimbursed.
For example, I recently purchased $250 in American Airlines gift cards (two $100 gift cards and one $50 gift card — the key is that you buy them in small increments), and they were automatically reimbursed a couple of days later (which consistently seems to be how quickly they post, in my experience).
Those threads should be a useful resource for figuring out what exactly is and isn’t reimbursable, though just keep in mind that this can always change.
Do you need to register to take advantage of Amex airline fee credits?
Your eligible airline purchase should be automatically reimbursed when charged to a qualifying 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 this link. You can change your designated airline once per year, in January, so you can now change your designated airline, if you’d like.
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.
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 any of the above Amex cards, you can go ahead and start taking advantage of your 2019 credits.
Based on my three cards with credits, I’m getting $650 worth of airline fee credits, and that doesn’t even account for the cards that my family members have.
If you’ve just recently picked up an Amex card, make sure you designate an airline and then use the credit.
Do you plan on redeeming your 2019 Amex airline fee credits soon?
Non-Affiliate Product Disclaimer: The information for the Hilton Honors Aspire Card has been collected independently by One Mile At A Time. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
The following links will direct you to the rates and fees for mentioned American Express Cards. These include: American Express® Gold Card (Rates & Fees), The Business Platinum® Card from American Express (Rates & Fees), and The Platinum Card® from American Express (Rates & Fees).