Amex Airline Fee Reimbursements. What still works?

We are republishing this post for the procrastinators among us. Only a few days left to use up your credits!

Update 12/24/19: Added all relevant recent datapoints.

Update 7/22/19: Added many data points. eGift cards no longer consistently work with any airline, though a number of other options remain or have since been found. Added a table of contents below for convenience so you can find your chosen airline. Please add your data points in the comments (but wait a few weeks to be sure your credit posts or doesn’t post before reporting it as alive/dead).

American Express Platinum cards offer up to $200 per year in airline fee reimbursements.  These reimbursements can go a long way towards easing the sting of the high annual fees charged by personal Amex Platinum and Business Platinum cards.  Similarly, the Amex Gold card offers up to $100 per year in airline fee reimbursements to help offset that card’s annual fee.  And the Hilton Aspire offers up to $250 per year in airline fee reimbursements.

Amex airline fee credits are offered by calendar year.  For example, Platinum cardholders can get up to $200 in fee credits for charges made up until December of this year, and $200 more for charges made next calendar year.

Step 1 is to make sure that you’ve selected a preferred airline, here: www.americanexpress.com/airlinecreditchoice.  You can change this selection once per year in January (if you don’t change it, your previous selection remains in place).

Step 2 is to make qualifying purchases with your airline of choice in order to get reimbursed.

What purchases count… officially?

Eligible incidental fees include:

  • Checked baggage fees (including overweight/oversize)
  • Itinerary change fees
  • Phone reservation fees
  • Pet flight fees
  • Seat assignment fees
  • In-flight amenity fees (beverages, food, pillows/blankets, headphones)
  • In-flight entertainment fees (excluding wireless internet because it’s not charged by the airline)
  • Airport lounge day passes & annual memberships

And, officially, the following purchases are not deemed to be incidental fees:

  • Airline tickets
  • Upgrades
  • Mileage points purchases
  • Mileage points transfer fees
  • Gift cards
  • Duty free purchases
  • Award tickets

What purchases count… unofficially?

Sometimes purchases of gift cards (update: As of July 2019, gift cards appear to be mostly dead with an occasional exception when the purchase does not code as a gift card), award fees, or even low-cost airfare are reimbursed even though they shouldn’t be.  In some cases there seem to be maximum dollar limits.  The things that work or don’t work vary by airline and over time.  Something that worked in the past won’t necessarily work today.

The following table shows the unofficial stuff that works or doesn’t work with each airline that can be chosen as your preferred airline:

Alaska

What Works? Recent Reports
Airfare under $100 $73.30 7/16/19 Paid airfare for short route, credited automatically (via Flyertalk). Note that there are also a few negative reports of airfares under $100, so YMMV – but most reports under $100 are still positive as of 7/19.
$86.43 11/21/17 Used gift card to force airfare below $100 (via Flyertalk)
Award redeposit fee $125 (x 2 passengers) 6/19. Had to call as it did not post automatically (via Flyertalk)
Club Membership 7/19. Had to call to get it to post (Randy)
What Fails? Recent Reports
Airfare under $100
Via BK250:
8/3/19: $63.30, reimbursed 8/7
8/9/19: $54.30, not reimbursed
8/19/19: $63.30, not reimbursed
9/12/19: $68.80, not reimbursed
E-gift card Gift card purchases stopped working summer 2017
$50 10/28/17

$25 8/6/17
 

American

What Works? Recent Reports
Physical Gift card $50 or less 12/9/17: Note that we are doubtful this still works, but did not uncover a direct data point.
5 Star Service $325 3/21/17
Award taxes Report for $5.60 in taxes 7/9/19. Reports for larger amounts of taxes have been mixed. YMMV.
Mileage Multiplier 7/4/19
Upgrade sticker $40.00 500 mile upgrade purchased online 7/26/19 (Will). Also reported by cliburn.
What Fails? Recent Reports
E-gift card Gift card purchases stopped working for many around February / March 2019. It just depends on how AA codes the purchase (coded as a gift certificate will not trigger the credit) and we have not been able to determine a way to predict how it will code. We had some positive reports in February, but most data points from mid-February onward have been negative. 
$75 close-in fee
7/15/19 (Dan P)
 

Delta

What Works? Recent Reports
Physical Gift card $50 or less $50 12/14/16: Will possibly still work if purchased in a Delta SkyClub
E-Gift card $50 or less Four $50 purchased at once via desktop site 9/18 (Santi C)
$50 10/10/17
Three $50 purchased at once (reported 7/2/18)
Note that gift cards purchased on the desktop website code as Delta airlines purchases; those purchased on the mobile site are processed by CashStar and do not work. (via DoC)
One $50 purchases via desktop 9/18 (Miles Enthusiast)
Award fees under $200 $54.76 12/9/17
Mileage Booster $59 on 10/19 (Patrick)
What Fails? Recent Reports
Gift cards over $50
Award fees over $200
eGift cards As per many reports at Flyertalk, this likely died around 6/22/19, though it’s worth noting that mixed reports such as this one from Flyertalk in 7/19 indicate that it’s not completely conclusive.
Companion Ticket Taxes 7/7/19: $46
6/28/19: $28.60
Economy Plus Upgrade
7/12/19 (Arlington Traveler)
 

Frontier

What Works? Recent Reports
Discount Den membership 12/17
Airfare under $100 $18.31 on 8/10/19 (Rex)
Fee for kids free with vouchers Total under $30 (Usernamechuck)
 

Hawaiian

What Works? Recent Reports
 Airfare under $50 $29.83 10/17 (via Flyertalk). Used gift card to reduce airfare
Extra comfort upgrade $89 6/19 (benjinito)
Food & beverage on board Success reported 10/18 (via Flyertalk)
Split payment for airfare w/ less than $50 charged to the card $29.80 & $44 11/18 (via Flyertalk)
What Fails? Recent Reports
Gift cards $50 7/19/17 (via Flyertalk)
Airfare over $50 $53 10/17 (via Flyertalk)
 

JetBlue

What Works? Recent Reports
Airfare under $150? $81.80 7/19 (via Flyertalk)
$137.40 7/17 (via Flyertalk)
Award taxes / fees $5.60-$85 7/19 (via Flyertalk)
$130 (1/19) (via Flyertalk)
Cancellation fees $75 7/19 (via Flyertalk)
Even More upgrade $35, $50 1/19 (via Flyertalk)
What Fails? Recent Reports
Airfare over $150 $250 1/11/17 (via Flyertalk)
Gift cards They don’t sell them
 

Spirit

 What works? Recent Reports
$9 Fare Club Membership $69 11/18 (Joe)
 

Southwest

What Works? Recent Reports
Airfare under $100 We had a negative report in November (Tab), but then had a positive report on a $68 fare in mid-December 2019 (Commander22) and three others under $100 (Dylan and Jeremy) as well as several in late November, so the negative report was likely an anomaly.
$59 7/19 (via Flyertalk)
$90 2/18
$62.50 8/18 (Two tix under same record locator for $62.50 each – Lia)
Airfare over $100 While conventional wisdom indicates that flights must be under $100 to trigger the credit, a reader reports getting reimbursed on two flights of $100.50 ($200 rebated out of $201 in charges), so we now know that $100 isn’t the exact limit. 12/20/19 (David G)
E-gift card $200 12/21/18
Early bird check-in $50 9/11/19 (Norm)
Award Fees 2/18
A1-A15 boarding $40 12/19 (Sdin123)
Split payment for airfare w/ under $100 charged to card $96 (10/19) Used a gift card to pay part of the airfare ($42) and paid $96 remainder on Amex Gold. Got $96 credit. (Marshall Davis)
Jason reported success too.
In-flight beverage 11/19 (veeRobb)
What Fails? Recent Reports
Airfare under $100
$68.99 and $78.98 (Tab)
On-board Wi-Fi $8 charge posted, but was not credited (2/18)
$185 e-Gift card Charge posted 6/22/18, no reimbursement as of 7/9/18 (Katie)
All e-Gift cards Stopped working in June 2019 (via Flyertalk)
Split payment for airfare w/ $100 or more charged to card $155 (7/19) via Flyertalk
 

United

What Works? Recent Reports
Award Fees $47.30 in fees 8/19 (Sarah). Update: This may no longer work as per a DP from JB in San Diego from October 2019.
Standard stuff Economy Plus, United Club, Pet Fee, Same Day Flight Change
Seat upgrade Made through kiosk 11/18 (Ambrosio)
Economy+ seat 6/22/19 from Flyertalk and also $175 for transatlantic Economy+ seat in 2/19 (SKJL).  See recent negative report below.
What Fails? Recent Reports
Upgrade from economy to first class
$175 charge on 12/27/2018 may have been too large to look like a fee
Economy+ seat
Paid $99 8/17/19 (Heath)
MileagePlus X App Purchases
United Gift Registry This doesn’t really fail — it’s just no longer available
Award Fees
Gift Card
$99 Upgrade Fee 2016

Please report your results!

If you try any unofficial options, please let us know via the comments whether it worked. Tell us the date of purchase, what you purchased, the dollar amount, and whether or not you were reimbursed.  Please do not report purchases that are officially reimbursed unless you do not get the credit.

What to do if you’re not reimbursed?

First, double check that you picked the airline in question as your preferred airline.  If you did not, then Amex won’t reimburse you (but they have been known to make an exception if you call and say that you forgot to set your preferred airline).

If you do not get reimbursed for things that are officially allowed (checked bags, change fees, lounge fees, etc.), then contact Amex for help.  If you do not get reimbursed for things that are not officially allowed (gift cards, award fees, airfare, etc.) do not contact Amex.  You weren’t really supposed to get reimbursed for those anyway.

Other cards that offer fee reimbursements

Quite a few other cards offer airline fee reimbursements.  We’d like to setup pages like this for each of them.  For example, see: Chase Ritz-Carlton Visa airline fee credits: What works?

If you have experience earning or not earning airline fee credits with other cards, we’d like to hear that too!  Please comment below with your experience, but please make sure to include the card name and airline in your comment. Here are some that have been reported:

CNB Crystal Visa Infinite 7/30/17 $54.86 Delta award fee reimbursed 8/3/17 (Greg)
CNB Crystal Visa Infinite 6/1/18 $56.02 Southwest fee to change from anytime to Business Select (Justice Jen)
CNB Crystal Visa Infinite 2019-Feb-14 $50 AA eGC — reimbursed 2019-Feb-20 (Jeph36)
CNB Crystal Visa Infinite 2019-Feb-20 $200 AA eGC — reimbursed 2019-Feb-27 (Jeph36)
CNB Crystal Visa Infinite (P2) 2019-Mar-03 $250 AA eGC — reimbursed 2019-Mar-13 (Jeph36)
PenFed Pathfinder 2019-Mar-04 $100 AA eGC — reimbursed 2019-Jun-06 (Jeph36)

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[…] $100 airline fee credit: up to $100 in statement credits per year for incidental expenses like baggage fees at one selected airline (see what works here). […]

May
Guest
May

$100 southwest gift card purchased 6/18/19 reimbursed 6/21/19.

Shailendra
Guest
Shailendra

did you purchased from Online ( direct website from Southwest?)?

cliburn
Guest
cliburn

I was recently reimbursed for 5 x $40 American 500 mile upgrade “stickers.” I bought them one at a time.

Arlington Traveler
Guest
Arlington Traveler

Upgraded to Economy Plus on Delta 7/12 and it did not credit as the charge was coded an “upgrade.”

Dan P
Guest
Dan P

July 15: Yes to taxes on an award flight on AA. No (so far) to the $75 close-in fee for making an award reservation at last minute.

abruce
Guest
abruce

Can you get airport lounge reimbursement for any lounge if you chose Southwest as your airline?

Bob
Guest
Bob

Any data points on whether the Bonvoy Brilliant cards still (unofficially) reimburse for MArriott gift cards purchased at Marriott-family hotels?

jeph36
Guest
jeph36

Here are some DPs for earlier in 2019 for non-Amex cards based on old statements:
CNB Crystal Visa Infinite 2019-Feb-14 $50 AA eGC — reimbursed 2019-Feb-20
CNB Crystal Visa Infinite 2019-Feb-20 $200 AA eGC — reimbursed 2019-Feb-27
CNB Crystal Visa Infinite (P2) 2019-Mar-03 $250 AA eGC — reimbursed 2019-Mar-13
PenFed Pathfinder 2019-Mar-04 $100 AA eGC — reimbursed 2019-Jun-06

I only have a P2 on the CNB, no P3 or P4 yet.
Yes, that PenFed reimbursement required ~3 months, but that was similar to last year in the first year I had it. Oddly it was described as “MPX*AIRBNB …” for the credit even though the purchase was correctly described as American Airlines (no mention of GC).

I PC’d to an Aspire a couple months ago, so here is hoping I can make it work to get the $250 this year and next. I am pretty sure I can make it happen without GC purchases. But that resort fee is going to a complete waste for me unless someone comes up with a not-staying-at-a-resort way to get reimbursed.

Mary Jane
Guest
Mary Jane

Get a weekend out of the resort fee. Pay for one night and charge the other night and you’ll get the $250 credit for the 2nd night.

jeph36
Guest
jeph36

Mary Jane, I do not understand your approach here. I am not going to any resorts. Are you suggesting a method that does not involve a resort visit?

Will
Guest
Will

$40.00 500 mile upgrade online on American Airlines with Amex Gold on July 26, 2019. Reimbursed on July 29, 2019.

trackback

[…] For years, many cardholders have pocketed the full reimbursement each year by buying airline gift cards.  These apparently appeared to Amex as fees and so they were reimbursed.  Unfortunately, Amex has recently figured out how to identify these charges and no longer reimburses most gift card purchases (there are a few exceptions though). […]

BML
Guest
BML

I really wish Amex doesn’t fix the airline for reimbursement!! I have Ritz card and have had award taxes on an ANA award ticket completely reimbursed when I called in. I just told them it is award fees, no questions asked. However Southwest GC stopped working for Ritz also. May be it depends on the agent when you call.

tassojunior
Guest
tassojunior

The Chase Ritz is very different. I’ve always gotten Southwest and American giftcards reimbursed although not always on the first call or message. Hopefully they haven’t changed but I suspect a lot depends on how airlines describe the purchase and if airlines are now describing the purchase as a giftcard, games up.

Jim P
Guest
Jim P

After losing the gift card reimbursement I decided the annual fee for the Platinum card was no longer worth it and signed up for a Delta AMEX. I called to cancel my Platinum card and they gave me a $500 statement credit to keep it open.

HoKo
Guest
HoKo

How much had you spent on the card in the past 12 months?

Jay
Guest
Jay

Same – tho they offered me 500 sc or 50k mr points, I took the points as I can put those to work better. I think they saw I charged about 40k last year and hardly use the benefits of the card (lounge maybe once a month) so I’m an inexpensive cardholder to maintain.

Solo
Guest
Solo

Have Delta gift card purchases always been redirected to deltavacations.com? If not, could that be the reason they’re not triggering the reimbursement anymore? (It seems that’s how the purchase gets processed by Delta currently.)

Randy
Guest
Randy

Used the credit ($200) to purchase Alaska club membership, had to call 800 number to get credit, didn’t post automatically. Credit posted 7/28/19

Rex
Guest
Rex

$18.31 on airfare Frontier on 8/10/19. Amex Platinum

Jose
Guest
Jose

Did you get the Frontier discount den and get reimbursed for it? Or just the airfare?

Heath Holley
Guest
Heath Holley

I paid $99 for a United Economy+ seat on August 17, only to find it will not be reimbursed. :-/

hungry Gurl
Guest
hungry Gurl

I feel like I want to write Amex and tell them, why bother offering “$100” airline credit when it is almost useless. You can at best use to to choose seat if you do an basic economy fee, not enough to go premium economy, general seat selection might be enough. Now if you are in BE, maybe use the rest of what ever left for food.
I tied to book a flight NYC to SCL There is no BE, I don’t need to check a bag, and neither to I have a pet! Being an international flight, you don’t get to purchase good. What the hell can one use it for? Nothing!

trackback

[…] was cheaper than the bundle that offered a standard checked bag. Seeing as seat assignment fees are eligible for reimbursement for the Amex airline fee credit, you could use them help offset some of these fees if you have United set as your airline for the […]

Jason
Guest
Jason

Had a ticket for $114 on SW that I wanted to buy and purchased a 15 SW GC from SW site using another card and use that GC in conjunction with Amex Hilton Aspire and got it reimbursed the next day. Just confirming that tickets under 100 still work for SW.

Norm
Guest
Norm

AMEX Platinum reimbursed for 2 Southwest Early Bird Check-ins totaling $50.00 on 9/11/19.

BK250
Guest
BK250

I have purchased (4) AS tix, the first was reimbursed, the last three have not. I’m fearing it might be dead.

8/3: $63.30, reimbursed 8/7
8/9: $54.30, not reimbursed
8/19: $63.30, not reimbursed
9/12: $68.80, not reimbursed

Sarah
Guest
Sarah

I was reimbursed for four award tickets. Toronto to London flying on Air Canada using United miles on aug 1, 2019. The ticket cost was 47.30 per ticket. United was my carrier of choice and it was the Hilton Amex $450 card.

Vish
Guest
Vish

Southwest A1-A15 boarding still works. Bought on 16th Sep, reimbursed on 19th Sep.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Does anybody know if carbon offsets purchased with a plane ticket would code right for Amex reimbursement?

Patrick Donahue
Guest
Patrick Donahue

Booked a Delta flight on the DL website on my computer (not the app) using my wifes miles (she is Diamond Medallion). I just signed up for the AMEX Platinum (not the Delta AMEX Platinum). I requested the $59 mileage booster for 3000 miles (I know it’s not the ideal thing to do) and received the $59 airline credit two days later.
So it does work if you need to burn credit $$. Oct 7, 2019.

RKumar
Guest
RKumar

What if we cancel the ticket ? Can we get to keep miles as boost may not be refunded ?

Patrick Donahue
Guest
Patrick Donahue

Good question – I don’t have the answer for that

Cameron
Guest
Cameron

Thanks for this. I have unused credit available and bought a $59 mileage booster on 12/28 and while credit hasn’t posted yet the tracker shows $59 less available. Will update when it posts but this is enough for me to buy 2 more to use up the rest of my credit.

Cameron
Guest
Cameron

Credit posted just fine. I bought two more boosters on 12/31 which unfortunately didn’t post until 1/1, which means they were applied against this year’s credit instead of last year. Bummer but at least they counted!

Usernamechuck
Guest
Usernamechuck

Frontier dp
Had to chat with them in June to get reimbursed for discount den and seat assignments (purchased with tickets etc)
Last week made another purchase, kids free and with vouchers, total came to under $30, credit posted without intervention.

Marshall Davis
Guest
Marshall Davis

Greg,

Southwest is my airline. Just purchased a $138 ticket on 10/30/19 using $ 42 SW gift card and $96 charge on Gold Amex card. Got credit for $96 cc purchase 3 days later. Canceled the ticket. Now have a SW credit I can use for the next year. Work around for no gift card purchases, just have to keep track so it doesn’t expire before I use it.

Ben
Guest
Ben

Do you need to use the Gift card to get the credit, or can you just purchase any ticket under $100 and it will still trigger it?

V H
Guest
V H

Just got an email that they are going to charge my account since they see that the airline credit has been refunded.

jeph36
Guest
jeph36

Greg, not sure when it might have changed but the link to choose your airline is now:
http://www.americanexpress.com/airlinecreditchoice

Tab
Guest
Tab

One way flights on Southwest purchased on 11/10/19: $68.99 and $78.98 (purchased separately) did NOT activate the AMEX credit. AMEX specifically listed the flight information (passenger name and ticket number) in the transaction information.

Nate Nate
Guest
Nate Nate

Would be great to get an update on this

Brandon
Guest
Brandon

Any update on this?

Tab
Guest
Tab

5 weeks after purchase and no reimbursement 🙁

Stephen Dedalus
Guest
Stephen Dedalus

One way flight on Southwest in February for $117 did not trigger credit (not really surprised because amount was over $100). Several individual one way Southwest tickets under $100 on purchased different days in January and February triggered credit. Surprisingly, and disappointingly, two one-way Southwest tickets for $91.96 and $93.98, purchased separately on different SW accounts on the same day, 2/14, didn’t trigger credits. Flight information is listed on all charges, regardless of whether credit was triggered or not. Based on my experience, and Tab’s data point, wondering if buying two tickets under $100 separately on the same day is problematic; not sure how or why it could be a problem, but can’t explain why the credit didn’t trigger either.

Nick Reyes
Editor

I’ll be interested to hear what happens on this in a couple of weeks. It’s definitely too soon to consider your 2/14 purchase a failure. Reimbursements usually happen within a few days, but several times every year the process seems to get bogged down and reimbursements take 2-3 weeks and people inevitably panic when the reimbursements don’t post within a few days. We just had this type of discussion come up in the Facebook group over the Amex Gold credit because someone’s Cheesecake Factory gift card purchase didn’t trigger the credit in the usual 3-4 days, but a week or so after that it posted as expected (just a little later than usual).

Please reply back here either when you receive the credit or 2-3 weeks from now if you still haven’t. Tab’s DP seemed to be an anomaly since there were successes reported in the weeks and months since.

C T
Guest
C T

Purchased 2 one way Southwest flights for $59 each on 11/14 and was reimbursed on 11/19. Didn’t have to use gc’s or anything like that.

Jay
Guest
Jay

Did you purchase the two tickets separately?

C T
Guest
C T

I purchased them together, but they charged separately. It was a ticket for me and one for my husband. The pending charge was for the full $118 but posted separately. HTH.

Mary J
Guest
Mary J

Did you use the desktop site or the mobile Southwest app to book?

John black
Guest
John black

Southwest split payments using Hilton card and southwest funds were reimbursed successfully. Flight information of the tickets were displayed on the credit card bill. Tickets were purchase on southwest website.

11/13/19 – 77 / I cancelled this ticket the same day that I purchased it and refunded it back to my CC. They still reimbursed me the 77 a week after i already cancelled..

11/13/19 – 48.99 / reimbursed
11/16/19 – 39.02 /reimbursed
11/16/19 – 67.83 / partial reimbursed because I used up my 250 credit for the year.

Neal
Guest
Neal

got a couple of very recent data points

Business Platinum Card
booked SW flight for $73.98 on 11/26 and got the credit on 12/1
booked SW flight for $98.98 on 11/29 and got the credit on 12/6

both flights were in my wife’s name and her reservation info actually showed up under the transaction itself but both still credited

DosiDos
Guest
DosiDos

So this seems like a new workaround? Buying ticket under $100 and canceling the next day and getting reimbursement from amex?

Joe
Guest
Joe

If you cancel the next day, aren’t you refunded 100% since its a free 24 hour cancellation policy?

Vinstravel
Guest
Vinstravel

Personal Platinum 88.98 southwest. bought 11/30 cancelled 12/1 reimbursed 12/6

DosiDos
Guest
DosiDos

So this seems like a new workaround? Buying ticket under $100 and canceling the next day and getting reimbursement from amex?

Srw
Guest
Srw

Did you use the desktop or mobile app

Joe
Guest
Joe

If you cancel the next day, aren’t you refunded 100% since its a free 24 hour cancellation policy?

Cyp
Guest
Cyp

Has anyone had success splitting a lounge membership purchase from your chosen airline on multiple amex cards to use the credit across multiple cards. ie: a platinum, aspire, and gold.
.. maybe an in person purchase where they will let you swipe a few cards for the membership.

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

I just bought a 99 dollar southwest flight 10DEC2019 and it refunded me within a week. The sub $100 flight purchases still work for southwest!

Netizen
Guest
Netizen

@Jeremy, Were you logged in to Southwest’s Rapid rewards account while purchasing the tickets? Thanks.

Jack
Guest
Jack

When did you cancel? Within 24 hours?

Commander22
Guest
Commander22

New Datapoint: Just purchased 68$ Southwest Ticket with AMEX Gold (SW is my designed airline). Charge posted today…..with flight information.

So hoping the incidental fee coverage will still kick in, in a few days. As of writing this, it still hasn’t worked 🙁

Commander22
Guest
Commander22

Anyone know how long it takes for your credit to post?

Last month i got the early bird checkin and TSA tax reimbursed 3 days after the charge from SW posted.

My ticket above was under $100 so i hope my amex credit kicks in!

Jo Ch
Guest
Jo Ch

I purchased a SW ticket for $83 Dec 11 and got reimbursed Dec 16 so I’d give it some time!

Commander22
Guest
Commander22

my purchase was on the 14th so i guess i still have time! I will update if it gets reimbursed. Thanks!

Mary J
Guest
Mary J

Did you SW mobile app or desktop? Wondering if it matters…

Commander22
Guest
Commander22

I used the desktop site.

Seems like whatever airline, using the mobile app codes the purchase differently.

Jo Ch
Guest
Jo Ch

I bought through desktop

Srw
Guest
Srw

Did you use a desk top or the mobile app

Netizen
Guest
Netizen

Were you logged in to Southwest’s Rapid rewards account while purchasing the tickets? Thanks.

Commander22
Guest
Commander22

Yes! I dont think this really matters. But you should always be logged in always so you can retrieve the reservation and trip # later.

Netizen
Guest
Netizen

Thanks!

Zovo
Guest
Zovo

I’m not finding any refundable fares below $100 with Southwest. Any hints on specific routes that work for this?

Commander22
Guest
Commander22

From my understanding, route doesn’t matter. It’s just that airfare under $100 are the only ones that get covered by Amex (sometimes). I have yet to hear if mine will be reimbursed (see above)

VRR
Guest
VRR

It’s still working. Just got two under $100 refunds (SW)

Commander22
Guest
Commander22

when did you purchase and how long did it take to get reimbursed?

I purchased my ticket 12/14. still nothing.

Smugpug
Guest
Smugpug

Any update ?

Commander22
Guest
Commander22

@SmugPug I got reimbursed. Charge posted WITH flight information for southwest. Reimbursement posted a few days later. See my post below!

If you have leftover money, buy now! Only a few days left in 2019!

Matt
Guest
Matt

How do you do it exactly? Buy any flight? And cancel within 24 hours? Or just hold on to the ticket?

Commander22
Guest
Commander22

Buy any SW flight under 100$. After you get reimbursed, cancel the ticket and you get credit. Valid for ONE year!

Lynn
Guest
Lynn

I cannot find any refundable fares under 100 – what city pairs, dates did you use? Thanks

Nick Reyes
Editor

There is a semantics issue here. Most people aren’t booking “refundable” Southwest flights in the sense that I think you think they mean. There are two options:

1) Book a cheap flight. Conventional wisdom is this means any flight under $100 (though a comment below bought one just over that worked) — it’ll be a “Wanna Get Away” fare at that price (not a “refundable” Anytime fare). These cheap flights are often detected as airline fees and automatically reimbursed. Let’s say you book a flight that costs $60. Many data points above and below indicate that you’ll probably get credited $60 from your airline fee credit (if you have the airline credit and have chosen Southwest of course) — making your net cost for that flight $0. If your plans change, Southwest allows you to cancel and bank that $60 as a credit toward future travel for one year from the date of booking. Essentially, you’re going to end up with a $60 Southwest credit that is valid for a year. This method is useful for banking the credit to used towards a future flight if you know you’ll fly Southwest again in the next year. So it’s not “refundable” in the sense that you won’t get that $60 back in cash from Southwest — you’re getting it as credit towards a future Southwest flight.

2) Book an award ticket. You’ll use points (maybe transferred from Ultimate Rewards to Southwest) to book the flight and pay the taxes on your credit card with an airline incidental credit. Data points here indicate that the taxes are automatically refunded as though they are a fee. If your plans change and you cancel that flight, you get your Southwest points back immediately and can choose whether you want the taxes in the form of a Southwest credit that’s good for a year *or a refund of the taxes to your credit card*. In this case, you’d obviously choose the credit to your credit card. Some international flights have higher taxes, making this less onerous than it sounds if you were doing it $5.60 at a time.

Lynn
Guest
Lynn

Thank you Nick for the clarificatione, so that makes sense – and since this will be a SW credit and not a refund, timing of flight cancellation is not critical….Another ignorant question – to keep this under $100 -these are one way tickets, correct?s

Srw
Guest
Srw

Did you use the desktop or mobile app

veeRob
Guest
veeRob

Bought a beer on a Southwest flight and got reimbursed over Thanksgiving weekend.

JB SanDiego
Guest
JB SanDiego

Purchased Delta seat upgrade to Comfort+ on Dec 3. Did not credit ($44) to vanilla Plat . I was assured in Chat, that I would get credit, but did not happen!

Purchased United Mile Booster for $125 on Dec 9. Did not credit to Ameriprise Plat!

Nick Reyes
Editor

Just wanted to circle back on these since a bit more time has passed. Did you ever receive credit on either?

JB SanDiego
Guest
JB SanDiego

Just checked again and no credit on either.

JB SanDiego
Guest
JB SanDiego

Oct 8, 2019: United award fee on partner (Lufthansa), credit did not post ($24.50 x 2).
Oct 10, 2019: United award fee on partner (Lufthansa), credit did not post ($47.60 x 2).

On Ameriprise Plat.

Dylan
Guest
Dylan

12/14
Purchased round trip from Houston to LA & LA to Houston 2/9/2020 – 2/11/2020, each ticket under $100, purchase total $109.96

12/15
Processed

12/18
Charges were posted on AMEX with flight itinerary, no reimbursement.

12/19
Still no reimbursement

12/20
The full amount of $100 reimbursed!! What a good day!!

Edit: Tickets were Southwest airlines and I used AMEX gold to pay

Ryan
Guest
Ryan

Mobile site or desktop site purchase?

Commander22
Guest
Commander22

Finally got reimbursed! It can take a few days.

Bought SW flight for $68 with Amex gold on 12/14. Purchase posted WITH flight info on 12/15.

reimbursement posted today 12/20.

Admin, please delete me previous post. Sorry for the false alarm.

DosiDos
Guest
DosiDos

Hey Commander, did you cancel the flight or did you buy it in order to actually travel?
I am trying to understand if cancelling it within 24 hours still works.
I bought 2 flights for $91 and canceled after 22 hours to get a refund… The charges posted to my account and 1-2 days later refunded (from Southwest). But I don’t see the travel credit being used…

Is it not going to work if you simply don’t travel?

Commander22
Guest
Commander22

Good question!

I just bought the ticket to see if the reimbursement works since it’s the end of the year and I had some money leftover.

I have not cancelled it. My plan is to cancel it next week and just keep the SW credit.

I believe Regular SW tickets are refundable within 24 hours of purchase. If you cancel after that, your credit card does not get refunded but you get SW points as credit. You can use these anytime to travel.

Since you cancelled with in 24 hours, I believe This is why your reimbursement didn’t kick in. SW just gave you back your money.

I would buy another cheap ticket And just wait for the reimbursement to post (took me 5-6 days) since it’s already late December. Get your moneys worth!

DosiDos
Guest
DosiDos

Thanks for the reply!
So *any* southwest booking is “refundable” for future travel with them basically? So I can use it like August 2020 or so?

Commander22
Guest
Commander22

Technically yes!

I believe only their top tier tickets can be refunded for your actually money back on your CC.

Otherwise, you can cancel any other SW ticket for as credit, valid for a year I believe.

SW is the best option for the Amex credit as there are no cancellation or change fees, oh and they still reimburse for tickets under $100!

mikitty
Guest
mikitty

did it show 5x on the transaction?

Commander22
Guest
Commander22

I didn’t use my platinum on this, i used gold. So I got 3x points for travel here.

You still get the points multiplied even with reimbursement.

Jack
Guest
Jack

What steps do you take exactly for this to work?
Select SW as your airline on AMEX; Buy ANY flight for ANYTIME on SW for under $100 (or two separate flights for under $100 each); cancel after you receive the reimbursement?
Am I missing anything? Thanks!

Commander22
Guest
Commander22

Do all of those! After you cancel the ticket, you get credit, valid for ONE YEAR.

The charge will post with flight info. Reimbursement posts a few days later. Might take a few days.

Happy traveling!

Buy soon as your credit will expire at the end of 2019.

Jack
Guest
Jack

Thanks!
Does the origin and destination matter cities? Just buy ANY 2 tickets under $100?
I will definitely get reimbursement?
Can I later change my airline on Amex to Delta? I appreciate it!

Joe
Guest
Joe

Can you switch your AMEX airline from SOUTHWEST to JETBLUE after receiving the under $100 airline credit?

SteveH
Guest
SteveH

You can only switch during the year if you have not used any of the credit for the year. Otherwise, you would have to wait until January to switch.

JB SanDiego
Guest
JB SanDiego

Not sure this goes, but here it is?
Dec 11, 2019 – Citi Expedia Explorer Rewards purchased Delta gift card $50 via desktop and did not credit.

Dec 19, 2019 – BofA Premium Rewards purchased Delta preferred seat $24.99 via desktop and did not credit.

Oct 7, 2019 – BoA Premium Rewards purchased United partner award fee (Lufthansa) via desktop for $30.50 x 2 and received travel credit on October 9.

JB SanDiego
Guest
JB SanDiego

Correction:
12/24/19 – BofA Premium Rewards purchase Delta preferred seat $24.99, got credit back.

Also, not sure where these data points link go?

JB SanDiego
Guest
JB SanDiego

This was an update, not a correction.

JB SanDiego
Guest
JB SanDiego

Update: Jan 10, after statement closed, Citi Expedia Explorer Rewards credit back Delta gift card for $50.

Michelle
Guest
Michelle

Would you kindly please explain step by step how to receive the Amex airline credit with Southwest?
Thank you!

David G
Guest
David G

Southwest; 12/16/19; Purchased 2 one way tickets for $100.50 ea. Both were re-embursed via Amex Biz Plat ($100.50;$99.50) for a total of $200 on 12/20/19.

Nick Reyes
Editor

Very interesting data point. Thanks!

Matt
Guest
Matt

If your airline Meter decreases, does this mean you will definitely be reimbursed?

Aspire
Guest
Aspire

Hilton Aspire. E+ worked for United. Both for an international trip and domestic. Reimb posted a day after united charges did

Sarah
Guest
Sarah

Purchased 2 delta one way tickets 12/21/2019, $164 each.
Used a $50 delta gift card on both (after 72hr activation wait for purchasing on desktop), charged remaining $114 to Amex.
Got reimbursed 12/25/2019. $114 for first ticket, $86 for second.

Mike
Guest
Mike

Can also confirm that EarlyBird and Gate A1-15 boardings do count for reimbursement on SW with Amex Aspire on two different accounts. Wi-fi charges on same flights did not get reimbursed. These worked in both 11/19 and 08/19.

Shawon
Guest
Shawon

Frontier Discount Den Membership fee still works.

Gus
Guest
Gus

Purchased two (2) one way flights on Southwest for $98.98 each. Transaction posted on December 26th and I got the credit the next day.
A friend of mine bought four (4) $50 gift cards on Delta last week and he got reimbursed for all of them! He showed me the screenshot. I will try this in January.

NITIN CHOPRA
Guest
NITIN CHOPRA

Please keep us updated..This is good to hear 🙂

Scott
Guest
Scott

I just bought a $50 delta gift card yesterday on my Hilton aspire card to test this out… I’ll update once I see what happens.

voayger
Guest
voayger

any update? Thank you !

Scott
Guest
Scott

I was reimbursed the $59 for the mileage booster (3,000 miles) two days after the charge posted. The $50 delta gift card was not reimbursed as I expected, yet was still hoping for:) I am closing the aspire account in two weeks so I used $59 mileage boosters x4 ($236 reimbursed) and 2 $9 drinks for my wife on the flights ($9 and $5 reimbursed). All were reimbursed except for $4 which is what I had gone over the $250 by. Not as ideal as a gift card, but I’ll take the 12,000 points I guess… those never expire at least.

voayger
Guest
voayger

thanks for the update Scott !

Globetrotter68
Guest
Globetrotter68

Tested this out and it does NOT seem to be working this year either. Bought a $50 delta gift card from desktop site on 1/4, still no credit as of 1/9. Last year, the credits for the mileage booster posted within 2 days.

Suzy
Guest
Suzy

It took longer for mine to show up last year so maybe there is still hope. Hope so!

Jamie
Guest
Jamie

On Dec 27 I bought two flights on SW for $90.98 and $98.98 and I got credited on Dec 30. Great success!

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[…] of the hat to Frequent Miler for collecting those data […]

Jason
Guest
Jason

I bought a ticket on Southwest on 12/31 $92.00. got the AMEX airline fee reimbursement on 1/3/20

So for me worked under $100

Nick Reyes
Editor

For the sake of those subscribing to the comments, here’s my #fail: I purchased United club one-time passes on 12/31. Even though I paid on 12/31 and they posted to my United account immediately (available in the app) on 12/31, they show up on my Amex statement as posted on 1/1. That means I both missed out on completely using the credit for 2019 and have now partially used it for 2020, which means I likely can not change my airline selection. This is why I posted the end-of-year checklist several days in advance — so you wouldn’t make the same mistake. #doasIsaynotasIdo.

Still, good data for those looking at the last minute in 2020: don’t wait until 12/31 to buy United Club passes.

BML
Guest
BML

Hi NIck, In 2018, the amex agent allowed me to switch from United to SW near the end of the year, even though I have used $50 credit on United already, so it is not hard coded in the system, YMMV of course…

RCHC
Guest
RCHC

Another DP for Southwest – purchased two tickets for $98.98 on 1/4/2020, passenger and ticket number appeared on the transaction, credit posted automatically 3 days after.

SOLO
Guest
SOLO

It would be nice if everyone who said they would update us after/if credit posts/doesn’t post would do so.

Lucy2you
Guest
Lucy2you

My $98.00 southwest purchase on my amex plat posted credit 5 days later….this week! Feb 2020

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[…] is called “breakage.” They hope you forget to use your monthly Uber credit. Their airline fee credit is structured so that it’s almost impossible to use if you have elite status. Isn’t […]

Chia
Guest
Chia

Purchased wanna get away southwest ticket $54 1/10/2020 and requested refund within 24 hr. Received refund from southwest 1/12/2020 and Amex also reimbursed on 1/13/2020

Lucy2you
Guest
Lucy2you

Gunna try this :). I just got reimbursed from an actual ticket I needed so what the heck!!!

trackback

[…] are still a few work arounds that trigger the airline fee credit. A few weeks ago, I checked the Frequentmiler blog to see what still works. I learned that for some airlines, purchasing airfare under $100 actually […]

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[…] a post I saw on Frequent Miler, EarlyBird Check-In fees should credit back to my Amex Gold […]

Jaime
Guest
Jaime

Successful use of Aspire credit. Purchased 2 delta one way tickets 13 Jan 2020, $196 each (2 separate purchases, moments apart). Used a $50 delta gift card on both, charged remaining $146 to Amex. Got reimbursed 15 Jan 2020. $146 for first ticket, $104 for second.

Tab
Guest
Tab

$88.40 one way flight purchased with JetBlue on Jan 15th 2020 did NOT activate the Amex Aspire airline credit 🙁 Maybe it’s the Aspire card that is not activating compared to the Gold and Platinum cards? Specially lists the flight information on americanexpress.com.

anonymous
Guest
anonymous

It has only been 2 days.

Tab
Guest
Tab

Fee reimbursement posted on Amex on Jan 18th 2020 🙂

Anonymouse
Guest
Anonymouse

DP:

1/3/2020: Bought 2 one-way Delta tickets, one for $219.20 with vanilla Amex Plat., the other for $312.10 with Aspire. Used one $50 Delta gift card on each ticket and charged the rest to the cards. Amex Plat. credit arrived on 1/9, Aspire credit has not triggered (as of 1/18).

Darlene
Guest
Darlene

Did you get the credit on your Aspire card?

Mel the Chauffeur
Guest
Mel the Chauffeur

Amex Plat personal – Delta credit triggered on a $120 flight cost. January 2020

trackback

[…] reimbursed in the past. This has all been covered at places like Flyertalk, at The Points Guy, at Frequent Miler and […]

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[…] reimbursed in the past. This has all been covered at places like Flyertalk, at The Points Guy, at Frequent Miler and […]

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[…] reimbursed in the past. This has all been covered at places like Flyertalk, at The Points Guy, at Frequent Miler and […]

Commander22
Guest
Commander22

I bought an American airlines ticket on AMEX travel back in July. I had to change the flight, Since the purchase was thru AMEX travel and not AA directly, it did not activate my fee waiver from amex.

I called a few months later after realizing this and they covered the fee. Always call and ask if youre unsure!

Darlene
Guest
Darlene

Several people reported buying Delta flights that cost more than $100 and getting the whole fare reimbursed. Is it because they are using $50 Delta GCs that somehow help trigger the incidental credit? Is there a data point on the highest priced fare that was refunded using this method? Will this work on a refundable $251.40 one way flight offset with a $50 GC?

It also looks like you can purchase a refundable comfort+ seat sometime after making the airfare purchase. Do you think that would trigger the incidental credit also? I was thinking of just cancelling the ticket after the incidental credits post.

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[…] Delta and American, so I use my American Express Platinum Card to pay for checked bags on United; Amex will rebate me up to $200 in fees from United, annually. Finally, my brother-in-law offers a tip: If you don’t want to pay fees for […]

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[…] there are still a few work arounds that trigger the airline fee credit. Frequentmiler blog lists a few things that still […]

Olivia
Guest
Olivia

Southwest DP: Purchased wanna-get-away ticket for $96.98 on 2/3/2020 via desktop website. Received Amex airline credit on 2/8/2020.

Teresa
Guest
Teresa

Reimbursed for purchase of a $100 Delta gift card with my AmEx Gold in early February 2020. I put the gift card toward the purchase of a $300 flight.

MATTHEW SHANKS
Guest
MATTHEW SHANKS

Thanks for the post.

United economy + upgrade was reimbursed Feb 11/2020 for 2 upgrades at $84 each.

Southwest $5.60 taxes for awards booking (3x), 2x $33.44 remainder for pair of tickets bought using LUV voucher for most of the flight. I think the $33.44 was just the taxes portion the LUV didn’t apply to. And then $60.46 reimbursed from a single ticket, which was the remainder of the flight after using up my LUV voucher. That $60.46 was more than just the taxes.. it covered part of the base fare as well. All this was reimbursed Feb 14 2020.

Housing1st
Guest
Housing1st

Somewhat confused by discussion. If United is my chosen airline on Am Ex Gold, I purchase domestic United flight, and then, 2 days later, I separately use my Am Ex Gold to purchase Economy Plus, will Am Ex Gold reimburse me up to $100 for my Economy Plus? Thanks.

Nick Reyes
Editor

Yes, it should.

Lucy2you
Guest
Lucy2you

Ney Nick, just showed a credit for a southwest airline purchase of $98.00 on my American Express Plat. Thanks for the info! thought it was too good to be true! took 5 days….

Sunny
Guest
Sunny

Booked two SW tickets on Feb 17, $48.98 each, using mu AMEX Plat.

Got reimbursed on Feb 22.

Sunny
Guest
Sunny

my*

Gerry
Guest
Gerry

All – I want to help clear this up for anyone who may find it useful.
In reading the comments section here (and a big thank you to anyone who has posted their findings), I tried this myself. I purchased a 1 way Delta ticket on 2/17/2020 for $207.40. Used a $50 Delta gift card and charged the remaining $157.40 to my Amex Platinum. I was reimbursed $157.40 on 2/22/2020. In looking at the transaction details on the Amex site, if your charge gets tagged with “Additional Collection”, you should be good to go. This is what happened to me.

Dr. McFrugal
Guest
Dr. McFrugal

I have another positive data point for Southwest airfare of exactly $100.

I did a split payment. Total airfare was $118.98. I purchased a Southwest e-gift card of $18.98 and applied it to purchase and charged $100 to my Amex Gold card.

Date of purchase: 2/11/2020
What I purchased: Airfare for $100 charged to my Amex Gold card (after applying an e-gift card)

I was reimbursed $100 on 2/16/2020

Camilla
Guest
Camilla

CONFIRMED –
2/15/2020: Paid for a $149 Alaska flight with a $50 gift card and $99 on AMEX Platinum.
2/21/2020: $99 reimbursed

Camilla
Guest
Camilla

Another confirmation –
Same kind of purchase, paid first with gift card for an Alaska flight and $99 for the rest. Transaction on 2/21/2020 and reimbursed 2/27/2020.

Annual credit done! 🙂

LeoM
Guest
LeoM

@Camilla did you use an Airline Certificate? Or how did you get an Alaska Gift Card?

Camilla
Guest
Camilla

@LeoM, I purchased an Alaska Gift Card just from the Alaska website as you normally would.

LeoM
Guest
LeoM

@Camilla, tried it and it didn’t work… Who knows what I’m doing wrong

Hsn
Guest
Hsn

Bought frontier den memebership since they had a promotion going on if you buy den membership between 3/18 to 3/20, you will get $100 voucher. Anyways, bought den membership on 3/20 and reimbursed on 3/23. Can somebody please confirm if credit works on ticket purchase too. Thanks

Commander22
Guest
Commander22

Just purchased a SW flight for $90 with AMEX Gold. I have not used any of my $100 for the year yet. Will update when reimbursement kicks in.

Commander22
Guest
Commander22

Just purchased a SW flight for $90 with AMEX Gold. I have not used any of my $100 for the year yet. Will update when reimbursement kicks in.

UPDATE: reimbursed today for $90. Took five days!

Commander22
Guest
Commander22

FYI, passenger name and ticket # will always appear on your AMEX transactions. Also, lets say you a buy a ticket and cancel it as I did. You are issued a credit, BUT it can only be used for you to a book a ticket. You cannot use the credit to buy a ticket for anyone but yourself.

Innovative
Guest
Innovative

Amex once again has pulled something funky.

I was reimbursed $100 for SW flight in Jan. Last week they charged me for it on the lines of “it wasn’t a flight”…

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[…] post Amex Airline Fee Reimbursements. What still works? shows reader’s experiences of the types of things that Amex has rebated even though they are […]

Mark
Guest
Mark

Amex Gold Airline Credit. Full $100 at the time of purchase. Southwest ticket = $99. Fully Reimbursed 2 days later at the end of May 2020

trackback

[…] With the third card, I selected Southwest as my preferred airline.  I posted details about how I earned $200 in airline fee credits here. […]

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[…] calendar to utilize your new travel credit, it might make sense to go with another airline. You can read about some of the options that still work for the Amex travel credit here. Make sure you pay attention to the specific differences in the types of purchases, as there can be a […]

PeterSFO
Guest
PeterSFO

Data points for Alaska for 6/22/20:
$49 plane ticket – didn’t get credit
$15 seat upgrade – got credit

Guest
Guest
Guest

Hawaiian Airlines. Extra comfort upgrades totaling $180 purchased several days after purchasing tickets. Charged on 6/24/20, Transaction details on card says “Hawaiian Airlines Online Reservations/Ticketing”. Credit posted 6/26. Success!