As we move into the new calendar year, every American Express Platinum cardholder receives another $200 airline credit benefit. I was reminded of this in an email they sent me this morning:
Your $200 Airline Fee Credit1 can help lessen the stress of air travel. Once you select a qualifying airline, receive up to $200 per calendar year in statement credits when incidental fees, such as checked bags and airport lounge day passes, are charged by the airline you selected to your Platinum Card® Account.
I have my $200 airline credit selected for American Airlines, where I am an elite flyer, however there are a number of other options as well, some not as widely publicized or recommended as others, but are still there for the choosing:
- Alaskan Airlines
- American Airlines
- Delta Air Lines
- Frontier Airlines
- Hawaiian Airlines
- JetBlue Airways
- Spirit Airlines
- Southwest Airlines
- United Airlines
- US Airways
Many users report being able to buy gift cards with the $200 credit, however if you’re going to do so, I highly recommend buying (4) $50 cards, that way they appear as true miscellaneous purchases.
What are some unique ways to redeem the credit for?
- I have purchased an American Airlines Platinum Challenge, and that did not automatically trigger the reimbursement, and I had to call in to have it manually removed.
- I have purchased 500-mile upgrade stickers on American Airlines, though did have to call in to have the charges manually removed.
- It should be redeemable on US Airways gate-offered upgrades.
Can you think of some other unique ways to redeem? I’ll update this list to reflect any other unique ideas, that way folks can have better ideas of things to redeem for, if they don’t normally pay for checked bags, change fees, etc.
You can only change the designated airline you’d like to redeem on during January, and from what I’ve seen, it is impossible to change it afterwards – so, choose wisely now.
Here is American Express’s terms and conditions on the credit:
Benefit is available to Consumer and Business Platinum Card® and Centurion® Members only. To receive statement credits of up to $200 a year toward incidental air travel fees, Card Member must enroll and choose a qualifying airline at www.americanexpress.com/airlinechoice. Only the Basic Card Member or Authorized Account Manager(s) on the Card Account can enroll and select the qualifying airline. Card Members who have not chosen a qualifying airline will be able to do so at any time. Card Members who have already selected a qualifying airline will be able to change their choice one time each year in January at www.americanexpress.com/airlinechoice or by calling the number on the back of the Card. Card Members who do not change their airline selection will remain with their current airline. Statement Credits: Incidental air travel fees must be charged on the enrolled Card Account for the benefit to apply. Purchases made by both the Basic and Additional Card Members on the enrolled Card Account are eligible for statement credits. However, each Card Account is eligible for up to a total of $200 a year in statement credits across all Cards on the Account. Incidental air travel fees must be separate charges from airline ticket charges. Fees not charged by the Card Member’s airline of choice (e.g. wireless internet and fees incurred with airline alliance partners) do not qualify for statement credits. Incidental air travel fees charged prior to enrollment in this benefit are not eligible for statement credits. 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. The airline must submit the incidental air travel fees under the appropriate merchant code, industry code, or required service or product identifier for the charge to be identified. Please allow 2-4 weeks after the qualifying incidental air travel fee is charged to your Card Account for statement credit(s) to be posted to the Account. We rely on airlines to submit the correct information on airline transactions, so please call the number on the back of the Card if statement credits have not posted after 4 weeks from the date of purchase. Card Members remain responsible for timely payment of all charges. To be eligible for this benefit, Card Account(s) must be active and not in default at the time of statement credit fulfillment. If a charge for any incidental air travel fee is included in a Pay Over Time feature balance on your Card Account (for example, Sign & Travel), the statement credit associated with that charge will not be applied to that Pay Over Time feature balance. Instead, the statement credit will be applied to your Pay In Full balance. For additional information about this benefit, call the number on the back of your Card.
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