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Amex Platinum Cardholders Update Your $200 Airline Credit Choice By January 31

by on January 14, 2013 · 19 comments

in American Express, Credit Cards

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Update: The offer mentioned below for the Platinum Card from American Express has expired. View the current offer here.

Update: The offer mentioned below for the Business Platinum Card from American Express has expired. View the current offer here.

The Mercedes-Benz Platinum, American Express Platinum Card, and Business Platinum all have many valuable benefits, which I’ve outlined before, including the $200 annual airline fee credit, that all help make that $450 annual fee worth it in my opinion. Hopefully a lot of you got in on the recent one-day 100,000-point sign-up bonus offer (when you spend $3,000 in 3 months) on the card because I don’t think anything like it is coming back soon, but everyone should keep an eye out for targeted offers. Even at 25,000 points for a sign-up bonus, though, the benefits of this card can really pay off, especially since I value 25,000 Amex points at $450 off the bat (1.8 cents a piece), but you get way more than just points with this card.

To take advantage of the $200 airline credit, you have to designate which airline you want to use it on, and if you would like to choose a different airline for 2013 than in previous years, you only have from now through January 31st to do so. If you do not make any changes during the period in which Amex will allow cardholders to change their airline from last year, your credit will automatically be for the same airline.

You get a $200 airline credit every calendar year for having the card.

You get a $200 airline credit every calendar year for having the card.

What can you use the $200 for? Technically, you’re not supposed to get credit for airline vouchers, but a lot of cardholders report getting statement credits for them when they buy in small increments like $100 or $50 each. I decided to test this out for myself and since American Airlines is my designated airline, I purchased both a $100 flight voucher and a $50 flight voucher to see if either or both would trigger an automatic statement credit.

Both AA airline vouchers I bought were reimbursed.

Both AA airline vouchers I bought were reimbursed.

I checked my Amex Platinum statement a couple days later, and sure enough both vouchers were reimbursed – so this could be a good way for folks to put that credit towards airfare as long as you don’t mind dealing with the extra layer of having to use a voucher.

There are multiple reports on Flyertalk that gift cards purchased for Alaska Airlines and United Airlines have been reimbursed by Amex. There are also reports that with Delta, if you apply any sort of travel voucher to a reservation, then pay for the rest of your ticket, it shows up as an additional collection rather than a ticket charge, resulting in the remaining balance of the ticket being reimbursed as well.

Read through the 70+ comments on my post last year to see examples of TPG readers who have had success doing the same. Flyertalk is also a great resource and has a thread for AlaskaAmericanDeltaSouthwestUnited, and US Airways on specific examples and if they have been credited. Please also share your experience getting refunded in the comments section to help people think about different ways they can maximize the value of this benefit.

Apart from that, officially the approved items are:

  • Checked baggage fees
  • Overweight/oversize baggage fees
  • Change fees
  • Phone reservation fees
  • Pet flight fees
  • Airport lounge day passes and annual memberships
  • Seat assignment fees
  • In-flight amenity fees (beverages, food, pillows/blankets, etc)
  • In-flight entertainment fees (excluding wireless internet)

This credit is officially not applicable for the following charges:

  • Airline tickets
  • Charges processed by merchants other than the airline the Cardmember is enrolled in (for example, inflight Internet services providers such as GoGo)
  • Charges made by airline partners (for example, Cardmember purchase ticket on enrolled airline Delta, but purchases food on an Air France flight)
  • Trip insurance / baggage insurance
  • Ticket upgrades (Including American Airlines Upgrade Stickers)
  • Travel agent fees
  • Point transfer fees
  • Duty free purchase
  • Award ticket fees

Allow 2-4 weeks after the qualifying incidental air travel fee is charged to your card account for statement credit to be posted to the account (but typically in my experience it has been less than that). American Express relies on airlines to submit the correct information on airline transactions, so call the number on the back of the card if statement credits have not posted after 4 weeks from the date of purchase, and they will manually adjust it.

Update: Beginning March 22, 2014, American Express Card Members will no longer have access to American Airlines Admiral Club and US Airways Club airport lounges through Airport Club Access / Airport Lounge Program. This means that Card Members will no longer be able to gain complimentary access to the American Airlines airport lounges (known as Admirals Club lounges) or the US Airways Club airport lounges as a benefit of their Platinum Card Membership. Cardmembers will continue to receive access to participating Delta Sky Club lounges, Priority Pass Select (enrollment is required), and Airspace lounges in JFK, CLE and BWI airports.

Even if you’re not planning to use the card for airline vouchers, that credit really takes a big chunk out of expenses like lounge membership (although you get access to American, Delta and US Airways clubs just for carrying the card) or checked baggage fees, and it includes a host of other value-added perks like a $100 reimbursement for Global Entry as well as great purchase protections. It also doesn’t carry any foreign transaction fees, and now that you can get it with a SmartChip it makes it an even better choice to carry abroad.

Disclaimer: 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.

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  • http://profiles.google.com/digitick Adam Porter

    Having flown out on 1/2, I made sure to set mine on 1/1. Happy New Year, Amex Platinum!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=17500005 Russ Hearn

    Does the waiver only apply to primary card? I have a secondary card on my folks’ account and didn’t readily see where to set this on their website.

  • RakSiam

    I’m a new Amex Plat holder thanks to all of the buzz last week. What happens if I don’t select an airline by 1/31? Do I miss out on the benefit?

  • Eurokelly

    I had the same question.

  • FlavCity

    “airline voucher”? are we talking about the AA gift cards?

  • OC_Matt

    No. 1/31 is the deadline to change airlines. If you have never designated an airline, you can do so at any time.

  • Eurokelly

    Great, thank you.

  • Messi

    I have been reimbursed Award Ticket fees with Delta many times. However, all of them were less than $100.

  • Jerry

    just curious
    you have many credit cards, how do you manage to use the best one for each situation so that you get the best benefits of them ?

  • Adam

    What about upgrades that are offered at the kiosk when you check in for a flight at the airport (for an extra $50.00 you can fly first domestically, etc) is that considered an upgrade as per Amex rules or would it be labeled as a purchased to the airline?

  • Scott

    Is the $100 Global Entry credit also per-year? I’ve seen conflicting reports to that effect. I’ve made my application and would also like to apply for my wife if reimbursable.

  • ZackDCA

    where can I buy the vouchers at?

  • Debi

    only 1 Global Entry credit per AMEX Platinum card – if your spouse also has her own AMEX Platinum she can also apply and receive the credit. Global Entry is good for 5 years

  • Andrew F.

    200 is only for the first card, but you can get Priority Pass Select and Global Entry fee waiver on additional cards. I know I’ve done it.

  • Aeizaz Sheikh

    I signed my dad up for the Platinum card. I was wondering if I could use it to apply for my Global Entry. I have a few trips coming up in the next few years.

  • Aeizaz Sheikh

    Yes! It worked. I received credit for the application of Global Entry for me on my dad’s card. Now just need to see if I can get approved.

  • Pingback: Travel News: Week of January 23rd, 2013 - Johnny Jet()

  • Nick

    Hey TPG – my gf got the Platinum card and bought 4 $50 American Airlines gift cards, and didn’t get reimbursed right away. It turns out she forgot to register the airline and only just selected it today. Do you have any idea if Amex will apply these credits retroactively after you have selected the airline? I don’t want to call and ask as at worst she can just buy some another gift card to test it out.

  • Colorado

    Let’s say you designate United in 2013 on your Am Ex. You then fly with United on 1/5/14 and use $100 in flight for meals and drinks. You then change your designation to American on 1/6 and take a return flight a few days later using another $100 for meals and drinks. Will Am Ex platinum reimburse both charges?

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