Handy Chart of Airline Fee Credits With Premium Cards

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I get a lot of questions about the airline fee credits that come with premium cards, like the Chase Sapphire Reserve, Citi Prestige Card, and AMEX Business Platinum card, for example.

These cards offer credits for baggage fees, in-flight purchases, seat assignments, and more, depending on which card you have.  But there’s often confusion about when you get the credit, what qualifies for the credit, and how to get the credit.

So I created a handy chart that shows you the annual travel credit policies for each premium credit card!

Annual Travel Credit Policies With Credit Cards

Airfare Purchases Qualify for the Annual Travel Credit From the Chase Sapphire Reserve, but NOT for AMEX Platinum Cards

Let’s take a look.

Annual Travel Credit Policies With Credit Cards

Many premium cards offer yearly statement credits from $100 to $300 for certain travel purchases, like tickets, baggage fees, in-flight purchases, and more.

But each card has different rules regarding what types of charges qualify for the credit, how to get the credit, and the timeframe for earning the credit.

Here’s a chart that shows the annual travel credit policies of each premium card:

Premium CardAnnual CreditTimeframe for CreditHow to Get CreditHow Long Does It Take?Do Paid and Award Tickets Count?Do Airline Gift Cards Count?Do Incidentals Like Lounge Passes, Seat Assignments, and In-Flight Purchases Count?Do Hotel, Car Rental, and Other Travel Expenses Count?
Chase Sapphire Reserve$300Qualifying charge MUST show by December statement Credit applied automaticallyInstantlyYesYes, but only if the purchase is processed by the airline, NOT points.comYesYes
Citi Prestige® Card$250Qualifying charge MUST show by December statement Credit applied automaticallyNext statement dateYesYes, but only if the purchase is processed by the airline, NOT points.comYesNo
The Platinum Card® from American Express $200The credit will count towards the year in which the qualifying charge was made, NOT the statement the charge appears on Automatically, but you MUST choose an airlineOfficially 2 to 4 weeks, but in my experience 2 to 5 business daysNoYes, but only if the purchase is processed by the airline, NOT points.comYesNo
The Enhanced Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN$200The credit will count towards the year in which the qualifying charge was made, NOT the statement the charge appears on Automatically, but you MUST choose an airlineOfficially 2 to 4 weeks, but in my experience 2 to 5 business daysNoYes, but only if the purchase is processed by the airline, NOT points.comYesNo
The Platinum Card® from American Express Exclusively for Mercedes-Benz$200The credit will count towards the year in which the qualifying charge was made, NOT the statement the charge appears on Automatically, but you MUST choose an airlineOfficially 2 to 4 weeks, but in my experience 2 to 5 business daysNoYes, but only if the purchase is processed by the airline, NOT points.comYes No
Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express$100The credit will count towards the year in which the qualifying charge was made, NOT the statement the charge appears on Automatically, but you MUST choose an airlineOfficially 2 to 4 weeks, but in my experience 2 to 5 business daysNobut only if the purchase is processed by the airline, NOT points.comYesNo
Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Credit Card$300The credit will count towards the year in which the qualifying charge was made, NOT the statement the charge appears on You must contact customer service within 4 billing cycles of the charge appearing on your statement to request the creditWithin a few days of requesting the creditMaybeMaybeYesNo

So, for the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Citi Prestige cards, it’s already too late to apply and get an airline fee credit for 2016.  Because if you applied now, your first statement would come out in January 2017.

But if you already have either of these cards and have NOT received your December statement yet, it might be possible to make a qualifying purchase and still get your 2016 credit.  But I wouldn’t wait any longer. 😉

With the AMEX Platinum cards on the list and the Ritz-Carlton card, the credit will count towards the year in which the qualifying purchase was made, NOT the statement the charge appears on.  So you still have time to apply for these cards and make a qualifying purchase.

That said, charges can sometimes take a few days to actually post (pending charges don’t count!), so I wouldn’t wait until December 31, 2016. 😉

And don’t forget, if you time your application right, you can get 2X the yearly travel credit and pay just one annual fee!

Bottom Line

Premium credit cards, like the AMEX Business Platinum, Chase Sapphire Reserve, Citi Prestige, and Ritz-Carlton card offer yearly statement credits for certain travel purchases, like tickets, baggage fees, seat assignments, and more.

Take a look at my handy chart that outlines the annual travel credit policies for each of these cards.  And details the types of charges that qualify for the credit, how to get the credit, and the timeframe for earning the credit.

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2 responses to “Handy Chart of Airline Fee Credits With Premium Cards

  1. Will buying a giftcard directly from the airline trigger the credit for Amex cards?