One of the cool perks of American Express’ high end Platinum-line of cards is the $200 annual airline fee credit benefit they come with. While card annual fees are based on membership years (aka when you opened your card account), the annual airline fee credit benefit is based on calendar years.
Here are the American Express cards with annual airline fee credits:
- The Platinum Card® from American Express
- The Platinum Card® from American Express Exclusively for Mercedes-Benz
- The Business Platinum® Card from American Express
So what can airline fee credits be used for? Well, I guess the easiest way to explain it is in terms of what they can’t be used for, which include 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.
However, anecdotally I’ve had luck using the annual fee credit to purchase airline gift cards in small increments. My strategy has typically been to purchase American Airlines gift cards in $100 increments. So I figured I’d report back on my experience.
I picked up the The Business Platinum® Card from American Express in the last few weeks of last year, so purchased $200 worth of American gift cards in the last week of last year, and then $200 in American gift cards in the first week of this year (as I said above, that’s because the benefit is based on calendar years, so I was entitled to two sets of fee credits).
I’m happy to report that both of these transactions have been reimbursed within 2-3 days:
Doesn’t get much better than that!
As a reminder, keep in mind that before you make a purchase you’ll want to designate an airline for your annual fee credit, which can be done at americanexpress.com/airlinechoice. Once you log in it will give you the option to change your preferred airline. If you want to keep the same airline as last year, then you don’t need to do anything.
If you don’t do that first then you won’t be reimbursed for your purchase.
Have you used your 2015 American Express annual airline fee credit benefit, and if so, for what?