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How to use your Amex airline fee credit

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How to use your Amex airline fee credit

Meghan HunterHow to use your Amex airline fee creditMillion Mile Secrets Team

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One of the best American Express credit card perks is the annual credit for airline incidental fees. This is a valuable and easy-to-use benefit that comes with cards like The Platinum Card® from American Express and American Express® Gold Card.

With it, you can get up to $100, $200 or $250 toward incidentals on your airline of choice, and the credits renew each calendar year. You can choose which airline the credit will apply to when you open the card, but it has to be used by the end of the year — which is approaching quickly.

Here’s how to select your airline and a look at what types of fees do (and don’t) qualify for these credits.

Too many bags to haul through the airport? Use an Amex airline-fee credit to help cover the cost of checked-bag fees. (Photo by ULU_BIRD/Shutterstock.)

How to select your airline

You can change your selected airline by logging into your Amex account or calling the number on the back of your card. You can choose one of these airlines for your credit:

  • Alaska Airlines
  • American Airlines
  • Delta
  • Frontier Airlines
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • JetBlue
  • Southwest
  • Spirit
  • United Airlines

Step 1. Log into your Amex account

To begin, log into your Amex account and click on the card you want to access.  Select the “More” tab and then click “Benefits.”

Under the section titled “Airline Fee Credit,” click “Enroll Now.”

Step 2.  Pick your airline

Afterward, you’ll see a screen with a drop-down menu with all your airline options.

After you set your airline, the terms state that you can’t change it until the following January, so be certain you select the one you want most. (Some cardholders have been able to change it at other times by chatting with an Amex representative.)

Step 3. Confirm your selection

Once you’ve made your choice, click “Submit Selection.”

Step 4.  Remember your selection

You can start spending on your selected airline right away. Should you forget which airline you chose, you can always log in to find out.

Amex says qualifying fees will be reimbursed within two to four weeks, but in our experience it’s much faster – usually two to five business days.

If you made a qualifying charge and haven’t received a statement credit after a few weeks, call Amex at the number on the back of your card to see if they’ll manually apply the credit for you.

Amex cards that offer an airline-fee credit

These Amex cards come with airline-fee credits that reset each calendar year (terms apply):

If you have The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, choosing the right airline is even more important because you’ll get an extra benefit: Using the Amex Pay With Points feature to purchase airfare through the Amex travel portal, cardholders get a 35% points rebate on all business- and first-class tickets (up to 500,000 points back per calendar year). And you’ll get the same 35% points rebate on all coach flights booked with your selected airline through the Amex travel portal using the Pay With Points feature.

You can use the credit for fees including:

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

You cannot use fee credits for fees including:

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

In the past, it was possible to get these fee credits to work for things like gift cards and cheap flights on some airlines, but that is no longer true.

Once you charge a qualifying purchase to the card, you should see the fee credit within one billing cycle. If they don’t, you can always call an Amex representative and have the credits applied manually.

Bottom line

Amex cards with airline incidental credits include (terms apply):

These fee credits reset each calendar year and can be used for incidentals like checked bag fees, seat assignment fees, airport lounge day passes and more.

If you have experience with reimbursement for airline-fee credits, please share.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Platinum Card® from American Express

  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Enjoy VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status available to Basic Card Member only.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on
  • Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts® program at over 1,000 properties. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. That’s up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Terms Apply | Rates & Fees

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Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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bought $100 gift card 8 days ago, but no credit. yet family did same 2 wks ago & received credit within 4 days. Am I out of luck?

Could I use my Amex fee credit to renew my status on aa for next year? I’m not going to qualify for plat again but I can buy it. Wonder if this will qualify for the Amex fee credit

Have there been any data points on getting reimbursement for seat assignment (such as Main Cabin Extra for AA) for someone other than yourself?

If so, do they have to be on the same itinerary? I’ve been searching flyertalk and other blogs but haven’t seen anything about it.

I have also successfully used the credit to purchase an annual Discount Den membership, both for myself and for a friend. That is the loyalty program for Frontier Airlines which unlocks reduced fares and in some cases, tickets where kids fly free. Normally this costs $60 for one year. It is an especially good way to use a credit that is going to expire at the end of a calendar year as you do not have to have specific travel plans yet to purchase it, and then it will be good for a whole year rather than just letting it go to waste.

How come comments are showing from Feb 2019 and this article is having a date Nov 2019

It is a recycled article. Noticed that MMS blog rarely has anything new and exciting nowadays. It is owned by the same company that owns the The Points Guy, so not really a competing blog. Used to be better when Darius ran it.

Signed up Delta within Aspire and purchased gift cards in three transactions: $100×2, $50×1 in May 2019. The $50 reimbursement came the next day, the $100s didn’t. I waited near two weeks and called AE customer service line, they told me I had to wait at least two weeks before calling. I called them again after few more days waiting, they manually reimbursed me.

Hi, I still have my 200$ of annual airline incidental credit on my Platinum card (not business platinum). So you were able to get gift cards with that money?

If you don’t mind me asking do you know what those gift cards are elegance for being used for, if they expire, and do you have to have a airline picked out and a flight booked before you are able to receive/use the cards, and if the reimbursement goes back onto your Amex card?

I know that’s a lot but if you could help answer any of those questions in any way, even just quick short anser(s) I’d really appreciate it =)

The credit works for Delta taxes on award tickets.

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