When is the Latest I Can Use the Amex Airline Credits (Plat, Gold, Hilton Aspire)?

Overview – Amex Airline Credits

Amex has several cards that come with annual airline fee credits that work off of calendar year instead of card-member year.  As I have previously pointed out, the Amex Hilton Aspire card is hands down, the most valuable premium credit card in the American Express portfolio, which comes with $250 Amex Airline credits per calendar year.


Question from Reader

Reader Eric asked “Is Dec/15 the last date for us to get the card approved and use the airline credit by the end of the year?”

Initially, I suggested that 12/29/18 was a safe “last date” to make the charge since it typically took 2 calendar days for AA gift cards to go from pending to posting and offered plenty of cushion if Amex worked off of posting date.  Well, I stand corrected.  From what I can tell, Amex goes off of the actual transaction date instead of the posting date, at least for AA gift card purchases.


Test Case

A friend of mine was quite upset when Amex had delays in shipping out his Hilton Aspire card, despite being approved on 12/24/18.  Even given the holidays, he expected to receive the card by Friday, 12/28/18 at the very latest.  Instead, he finally received his card on Monday, 12/31/18, and decided to select AA as his airline and then purchase AA gift cards.

Hoping for the best but expecting the worst, he was pleasantly surprised first week of Jan 2019 when Amex issued a $250 statement credit and his 2019 airline fee credit balance still showed $0 of $250 used.  He then purchased another $250 worth of AA gift cards and was subsequently issued the $250 of statement credit from his 2019 balance.


So… When is the Latest I Can Use the Amex Airline Credits

While I do not recommend coming down to the wire, it seems like 12/31 is the very last date to make charges against the current year’s airline fee credit balance. This was tested using AA gift cards on the Hilton Amex Aspire but should apply to all Amex cards that offer this benefit.

If others have different experiences with other airline selections, please make note in the comments and I will update the post as necessary.


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