Credit Cards

Don’t forget to select your American Express Airline fee credit for 2024

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You need to select your American Express Airlines Fee credit

It’s a new calendar year which means all of your Amex airline fee credits have refreshed. I have 4 cards that provide a total of $800 in incidental airline fee credits, and my wife has $850 ( good lord )  so we need to be very strategic in our selections. Amex Airline fee credits are limited to what Amex defines as incidental. Namely those include bag fees, pet fees, in flight refreshments, etc, but other things have triggered it in the past. Let’s take a closer look and identify where we intend to use ours, which airline we chose, and all those juicy details.

Don’t forget you can officially select until 1/31/24

*unofficially many people have had success changing the airline well past this date, but this is on a case by case basis and I would recommend selecting your airline by the due date to avoid confusion.

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Which American Express Cards Include an Airline Fee Credit?

We’ve used Amex Membership Rewards to accomplish many of our travel goals.

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Choosing an airline for your Amex Incidental Airline Fee Credit

If you’re unfamiliar, for each card that you hold with Amex that includes an Airline fee credit, you’ll need to choose which airline you want to apply it to. We have readers that are saying the United Travel bank is still triggering the credit and some people are even having $100 fares refunded with JetBlue. It all comes down to how Amex codes the purchases, but just an FYI.

  • You have until the end of January to choose an airline
    • Alaska Airlines
    • American Airlines
    • Delta Airlines
    • Frontier Airlines
    • Hawaiian Airlines
    • JetBlue Airways
    • Spirit Airlines
    • Southwest Airlines
    • United Airlines

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Which fees have been included in the past?

The following fees will only trigger the credit when you purchase them on your selected airline.

  • Airport Lounge membership and passes
  • Checked bag fees
    • Overweight or oversize fees
  • Inflight purchases like food and beverage – note that WIFI may not trigger it since it can be processed by 3rd parties
  • Pet flight fee
  • Phone reservation fees
  • Seat assignment fees
    • If you’re get a economy plus, etc
  • Ticket Change fees

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Amex changed how incidental fees are credited

In 2019, Amex eliminated the ability to purchase under $50 tickets on Alaska and get reimbursements, but also the ability to purchase gift cards for future travel on AA, Delta, and Southwest. Anecdotally, it seems some people are still getting reimbursement, but it can’t be counted on, and is few and far between. Throughout 2020, United’s Travel Bank still was triggering the incidental credit, but I added funds in 2022 and this wasn’t recognized by Amex as incidental.

Where we will use our fee credits

My wife and I have 5 Amex Business Platinum cards between us, 2 Amex Platinum,  and an Amex Aspire, and since we quite often travel with our dog, it hasn’t been an issue using up all of the incidental credits seeing as those pet fees can often be $95 to $150 each way. We have $1650 in airline fee credits, which is kind of hard to imagine, but for 2023, we suspect we’ll use them up again.

This year I will spread them across a few different airlines: Delta, Southwest, and AA are our choices.

Terms and Conditions from Amex

$200 Airline Fee Credit

Benefit is available to Consumer and Corporate Platinum Card Members only. To receive statement credits of up to $200 per calendar year for incidental airline fees charged to the eligible Card, Card Member must select one qualifying airline through their American Express Online Account or the link for their Card below:

 

• American Express Platinum Card®: https://global.americanexpress.com/card-benefits/enroll/airline-fee-credit/platinum

• Goldman Sachs Platinum Card®: https://global.americanexpress.com/card-benefits/enroll/airline-fee-credit/goldman-platinum-card

• Morgan Stanley Platinum Card®: https://global.americanexpress.com/card-benefits/enroll/airline-fee-credit/morgan-stanley-platinum-card

• American Express Platinum Card® for Schwab: https://global.americanexpress.com/card-benefits/enroll/airline-fee-credit/schwab-platinum-card

• American Express Corporate Platinum Card®: https://global.americanexpress.com/card-benefits/enroll/airline-fee-credit/corporate-platinum

 

Qualifying airlines include Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Spirit Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and United Airlines. Only the Basic Card Member or Authorized Account Manager(s) on the Card Account can select the qualifying airline. Card Members who have not chosen one qualifying airline will be able to do so at any time. Card Members who have already selected one qualifying airline will be able to change their choice one time each year in January through their American Express Online Account or by calling the number on the back of the Card. Card Members who do not change their airline selection will remain with their current airline. Statement Credits: Incidental airline fees must be charged to the Card Member on the eligible Card Account for the benefit to apply. Incidental airline fees charged by both the Basic and Additional Card Members on the eligible Card Account are eligible for statement credits. However, each Card Account is eligible for up to a total of $200 per calendar year in statement credits across all Cards on the Account. Incidental airline fees must be separate charges from airline ticket charges. Fees not charged by the Card Member’s selected airline (e.g. wireless internet and fees incurred with airline alliance partners) do not qualify for statement credits. Incidental airline fees charged prior to selection of a qualifying airline are not eligible for statement credits. Airline tickets, upgrades, mileage points purchases, mileage points transfer fees, gift cards, duty free purchases, and award tickets are not deemed to be incidental fees. The airline must submit the charge under the appropriate merchant code, industry code, or required service or product identifier for the charge to be recognized as an incidental air travel fee. Please allow 6-8 weeks after the qualifying incidental air travel fee is charged to your Card Account for statement credit(s) to be posted to the Account. We rely on airlines to submit the correct information on airline transactions, so please call the number on the back of the Card if statement credits have not posted after 8 weeks from the date of purchase. Card Members remain responsible for timely payment of all charges. To be eligible for this benefit, Card Account(s) must be not canceled and not past due at the time of statement credit fulfillment.

Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card


4.8
4.8/5
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® is a great starter card that earns Premium Ultimate Rewards that can be transferred into over a dozen partners many of which are US based including Hyatt, Southwest, United, IHG, and Marriott.

Welcome Offer

Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. 

*you may find an elevated offer walking into a branch – see below

Annual Fee

$95

Points Earned

Transferrable Chase Ultimate Rewards

  • Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
    • That’s $750 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠
    • Some people have seen Chase branches offering the following:
      • 75k Ultimate Rewards After $4k spend in 3 months + 10k Ultimate Rewards after $6k in 6 months 
  • 5x on all travel purchased through Chase Travel℠
  • 3x on dining, including eligible delivery services for takeout & dining out
  • 3x on select streaming services
  • 3x on online grocery purchases
    • (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs)
  • $50 Annual Chase Travel Hotel Credit via Chase Travel℠
    • The begins immediately for new cardmembers and after your account anniversary for existing cardmembers
  • 2x on all other travel
  • 10% Anniversary Bonus
    • Every year you keep the card, your total spend will yield a 10% points bonus. If you spend $10k in a year, you’ll get 1k bonus points
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred continues to redeem at 1.25c in the Chase Travel℠ and the slew of other benefits remain in tact including Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver ( primary ), purchase protections, etc.
  • Points are transferrable to 14 Ultimate Rewards partners
  • Redeem in Chase Travel℠ for 1.25 cents per point
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Suite of Travel and Purchase Coverage
    • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver is my favorite
  • Get complimentary access to DashPass which unlocks $0 delivery fees and lower service fees for a minimum of one year when you activate by December 31, 2024
  • $95 Annual Fee

We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists the best ever offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.

Historically 80k is a very, very good offer and hit in both 2022 and 2023. In 2021, we saw the offer hit an all time high of 100k. Who knows if that will ever come back.

Main Cast: 

Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.

Supporting Cast:

Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on. 

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® is exceptional starter card and offers transferrable Ultimate Rewards, and pairs well with other Chase cards.

If you carry this card alongside Chase’s cashback cards like the Chase Freedom Flex℠and Chase Freedom Unlimited® or the business versions: Ink Business Cash® , Ink Business Unlimited® you can combine the points into Preferred account and transfer into hotel and airline partners

Annual fee is quite low at $95 a year + you get a 10% anniversary bonus on points + $50 hotel credit in Chase travel.

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

15 Comments

  • Kenny February 29, 2024

    American Express Platinum: https://americanexpress.com/en-us/referral/KENNYBgDlW?XLINK=MYCP

    The Platinum is currently offering an 80,000 sign up bonus after $8,000 spend in 6 months.

    The numerous perks on the Platinum card make it worth it for me as I use so many of them whether at home or traveling. I like to accumulate additional Amex points by using shopping portals like Rakuten.

  • Riley February 9, 2023

    American Express Gold Card: Earn 60,000 points after spending $4,oo0 in the first 6 months.

    https://americanexpress.com/en-us/referral/RILEYHtJdd?xl=cp15

    Good luck, thank you!

  • […] easily make use of the card each and every year I hold the card. Read this for tips, but it’s a solid […]

  • James Mccune January 25, 2022

    I am try to reach my goal. Apply for an American Express Card with this link. We can both get rewarded if you’re approved! http://refer.amex.us/JAMESMCDVa?XLINK=MYCP

  • Adam January 14, 2022

    United Travel Bank is alive and well – this morning got credited the $200 for the AMEX PLAT Personal. Purchased 2x in $100 a couple of days ago and reports on Flyertalk also confirm reimbursement so keep checking.

  • Tony January 31, 2021

    This is pretty misleading. Chatting with Amex or calling them anytime during the year will allow them to change which airline u select as long as you dont use the credit. i picked southwest in dec 2020 and used it that same day.

    • Miles January 31, 2021

      The policy is it needs to be selected by 1/31 – if a rep decides to give an exception it’s on a case by case basis, especially concerning 2020 which you refer to, but it’s something I’ll add so readers know they may have a possible option in the future.

  • Johnsonflies January 31, 2021

    all the blogs are stating jan. 31 is last day to choose airline. Not tue. If you haven’t changed your designation from the previous year, call AmEx and they will make the change after 1/31. I’ve done this twice.

  • Angel January 19, 2021

    @Miles: For AA the 500-mile upgrades ($40) still trigger the benefit 🙂

    • MFK January 19, 2021

      Also, AA’s mileage multiplier triggered the credit late last year. Haven’t tried this year yet since I don’t have any other flights planned.

      • Miles January 19, 2021

        awesome thank you for the data point!

    • Miles January 19, 2021

      Great data point – thank you!

  • Maurizio January 13, 2020

    Hi,

    Southwest triggers reimbursements on at least tickets below $100. I got 4 tickets reimbursed in December and January. I also read most Spirit fees and other small purchases on JetBlue even should trigger.

  • Damian January 10, 2020

    On Jan 2nd, I purchased a $49 ticket on Alaska hoping it would trigger the reimbursement and was unsuccessful. Do you know what airlines still trigger the reimbursement for low priced tickets? thanks!

  • pmv January 10, 2020

    definitely an eroding benefit. I fly primarily Delta and am a diamond. so DON’T pay for bags, drinks, etc. And if I recall correctly this credit doesn’t apply to the fees / taxes on award bookings. argh….

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