Amex $200 / $100 Airline Fee Credit Tips & Tricks – Overview
Friends and readers have asked about what they should do with their Amex $200 / $100 Airline Fee Credit benefit. I find it quite tough to spend $200 annually on airline incidental fees such as checked bags and in flight refreshments. I try not to check bags whenever possible and I don't take enough coach flights a year to rack up $200 worth of in flight food. I typically use miles for Business class or better and that always includes checked bags and food. So what's the trick? You can use it to purchase airline electronic gift cards. Buying Amazon.com gift cards no longer works.
Which Amex Cards Have An Airline Fee Credit?
American Express has 3 primary charge cards that offer either a $200 or $100 airline fee credit: Platinum, Business Platinum, and Premier Rewards Gold. The Amex Platinum card comes in a few variations such as the Ameriprise Platinum card, but for purposes of this post, these variations will be simply referred to as “Platinum” cards.
Amex Platinum cards come with a $200 airline fee credit while Premier Rewards Gold card comes with a $100 airline fee credit. These fee credits are per calendar year, which means cardholders can usually get the benefit 2x during the first card-member year and potentially 3x if timing works in your favor (read more below).
|Card||Airline Fee Credit|
|Premier Rewards Gold||$100|
Airline Fee Credit Terms & Conditions
The following are the terms and conditions of the airline fee credit benefit:
Select a qualifying airline and then receive up to $200 a year in statement credits when incidental fees, such as checked bags and in-flight refreshments, are charged by the airline to your Platinum Card Account. American Express relies on accurate airline transaction data to identify incidental fee purchases. If you do not see a credit for a qualifying incidental purchase on your eligible Card after 4 weeks, simply call the number on the back of your Card.
Tips & Tricks – Using Airline Fee Credit for Electronic Gift Cards
There are dedicated airline pages on FlyerTalk that provide step by step instructions on how to use the airline fee credit to purchase electronic gift cards. Rather than rehashing what's already been written, below are links for each airline. Follow the instructions carefully in the wiki which is at the top of each page.
How To Buy Airline Gift Cards With Your Credit
Just follow these simple 2 steps. DO NOT SKIP THE FIRST STEP! (I have forgotten to do it myself!)
- Select your airline for the current calendar year before purchasing!
- Go to the airline's website and purchase electronic gift cards in increments of $50 – $100. To find the link just google the airline's name and “gift card”. You want electronic cards, NOT physical ones. After you get them, you keep track of them with an AwardWallet (free upgraded account with this link). Here are some links to read more about which airlines have worked or not, but Flyertalk has been deleting many of these forums so they may disappear.
Tips & Tricks – Using Credit for Amazon.com Electronic Gift Cards
UPDATE: This no longer works! Just buy Airline gift cards instead as mentioned above.
Here is a detailed post, providing step by step details on how to use the Amex airline fee credit on Amazon.com gift cards. The short version is:
- Select United as your airline for the current calendar year
- Download United’s MileagePlus X (MPX) application (iOS) (Android)
- Purchase anything you want in MPX and it gets coded by Amex as an airline fee purchase
- Amazon gift cards work best because so many people shop there and you can buy almost anything
Getting Airline Fee Credit 2x-3x During First Cardmember Year
The annual fee for the Platinum card is $450 per card-member year. The annual airline fee credit is per calendar year, therefore you will be guaranteed to get the benefit 2x during your first card-member year. If this is not clear, here's an example:
- June 2015: Apply for the Amex Platinum card and pay the $450 annual fee for the first year
- $200 “airline fee” charge between June 2015 – December 31, 2015 will count towards your 2015 benefit
- $200 “airline fee” charge between January 1, 2016 – June 2016 will count towards your 2016 benefit
- You have now received $400 of benefits in your first cardmember year
- Then you can decide you want to keep the card another year and pay the annual fee of $450
How about 3x? Following the same logic as above, if you apply for the card mid-late December, you should be able to squeeze in a third time (2015, 2016, 2017). As an added tip, Amex will pro-rate the annual fee if you chose to cancel your account. If you decide to cancel your account 3 months into the new membership year, Amex will refund you ~$337 for the unused portion of the card-member year.
Amex Platinum 100K & Premier Rewards Gold 50K Signup Links
Here are the signup links for the Platinum and Premier Rewards Gold cards. Note that the Platinum 100K offer is targeted but the Premier Rewards Gold 50K offer is publicly available.