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One American Express benefit is a $200 annual airline fee credit that will reimburse you for incidental fees on a single airline of your choice. If you can make use of the credit, this goes a long way toward offsetting the card’s $550 annual fee.
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One of the key perks of The Platinum Card® from American Express is an annual airline fee credit up to $200 that will reimburse you for incidental fees on a single airline of your choice. If you can make use of the credit, this goes a long way toward offsetting the card’s $550 annual fee. Rates & fees.
The $200 credit runs on a calendar year cycle, so you’ll get up to $200 to use before the end of the current year when you sign up for the card, and up to $200 every year in January. The airline fee credit requires enrollment before using, so be sure to enroll sooner rather than later.
Checked baggage fees, change fees, seat selection fees, airline lounge passes, and inflight food and drink purchases should all count for the credit.
What Expenses Are Eligible For Reimbursement?
American Express isn’t terribly clear on this, but checked baggage fees, change fees, seat selection fees, airline lounge passes, and inflight food and drink purchases should all count for the credit.
In all cases, make sure that you’ve selected your airline (more on this in a moment), and that you are paying fees on the airline you selected. For baggage and seat selection fees you’ll also increase your chances of success if you pay the additional fees after your ticket is booked, rather than during the booking process.
What Isn’t Eligible For Reimbursement?
While American Express doesn’t offer an official definition of what expenses are eligible, they do explicitly exclude the following: “Airline tickets, upgrades, mileage points purchases, mileage points transfer fees, gift cards, duty free purchases, and award tickets.”
In-flight wifi also doesn’t work to get the credit in most cases, since you’re making a payment to the internet service provider rather than the airline. United is an exception to this – they charge you directly, so if United is your selected airline you should get reimbursed for in-flight wifi on United flights.
Who Can Use the Credit?
The primary cardmember and any authorized users. Note that you’ll only get up to $200 per account per year, regardless of how many authorized users you have.
What Airlines Does the Credit Work On?
The following U.S. airlines can be selected for the airline fee credit:
- Alaska Airlines
- American Airlines
- Delta Airlines
- Frontier Airlines
- Hawaiian Airlines
- JetBlue Airways
- Spirit Airlines
- Southwest Airlines
- United Airlines
Fees paid for travel on regional partners operating for these airlines, like SkyWest or Horizon Air, should also count since they’re processed by the larger carrier. But you generally won’t be able to get reimbursed for charges paid to partner airlines – if you’re traveling on a Delta flight operated by Aeromexico, for example, you’ll generally be paying fees to Aeromexico which won’t count for reimbursement.
Selecting Your Airline and Checking Your Remaining Credit Balance
The airline fee credit only works on purchases from a single airline, so it’s important to make sure you’ve selected the right one before you use your card to pay for an airline fee! You can choose your airline at any time after you open the card, and every January Amex gives you the opportunity to change your selected airline.
Pro tip: Although Amex officially only allows you to change your selected airline once per calendar year, in January, in practice you can usually get an Amex representative to change the airline for you later in the year if you haven’t used any of the credit yet. Amex’s live chat feature is a great way to do this.
To select or change your airline, or to see how much credit you have remaining, navigate to the Card Benefits section of the American Express website. Look for the Benefits option in the top menu bar (it may be hidden under a “More” button, depending on your browser/computer settings).
In the Amex mobile app, choose the Membership button and scroll down to “Explore All Card Benefits.”
If you haven’t selected an airline yet, or it’s January and you haven’t changed your airline, you’ll see a “Select An Airline” button.
Clicking that button will bring you to a new page where you can choose the airline you want to select for the year from a dropdown menu.
If you’ve already selected your airline, instead of the “Select an Airline” button, you’ll see your selected airline listed with a meter showing how much airline fee credit you have left for the year.
What if You Didn’t Get Reimbursed?
Reimbursements for airline incidental fees are handled by an automated system that is looking for transactions from your selected airline that are categorized a certain way by the airline’s technology and finance departments. However, these categorizations can change frequently and without notice, so it’s entirely possible for a legitimate airline fee to not trigger an automatic reimbursement.
If it’s been more than four weeks since your eligible purchase and a statement credit hasn’t shown up on your card, reach out to Amex by calling the number on the back of your card or using the live chat feature through the Amex website, and a customer service agent may be able to help get the reimbursement processed manually.
American Express’ airline fee credit is without question the most restrictive and difficult to use travel credit offered on any card. But if you’re able to jump through the hoops, it goes a long way toward offsetting the Platinum Card’s $550 annual fee.
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