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Can I Use the Amex Platinum Airline Credit for Gift Cards?

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Many people have reported being targeted for the 100,000 point offer for The Platinum Card from American Express through the CardMatch Tool. Be sure to check for yourself to see what offers are available to you (there is no credit check)!

TPG reader Stan tweeted me to ask:

@thepointsguy– “What is the current 2014 success rate of getting an Amex Platinum reimbursement for purchasing airline gift cards?”

One of my favorite perks of the American Express Platinum card is the annual $200 airline fee credit. Every year you get to select a different airline of your choice, and throughout the year you can get a rebate of up to $200 for incidentals like baggage fees or in-flight purchases.

The rules state that airline gift card purchases are ineligible for the credit. However, I know a lot of people (myself included) have gotten the reimbursement anyway.

Earlier this year I canceled my Mercedes-Benz card and opened an Amex Business Platinum card through a targeted 100,000 point offer. I’d actually forgotten to get my reimbursement–so thanks for reminding me! Here’s a section of the email I was sent regarding the benefit.

“Thank you for selecting American Airlines for your $200 Airline Fee Credit benefit. You will now receive up to $200 in statement credits each calendar year when incidental fees are charged by the airline to your selected Business Platinum Card Account.

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

Please allow 2-4 weeks after you charge the incidental fee(s) for the statement credits to appear on your Account. We rely on airline transaction data to identify incidental fee purchases, so if you do not see a credit after 4 weeks, simply call the number on the back of your Card.”

As you can see, gift card purchases are not listed among the incidental fees covered by this benefit. However, shortly after receiving the email I bought four $50 airline gift cards, and lo and behold, just a day or so after they were each credited back to my account!

Officially you can't get a credit for airline gift cards...except it usually works!
Officially you can’t get a credit for airline gift cards, but it usually works! Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

So, if you have an Amex Platinum card and you haven’t yet used your benefits, you should definitely do so. Almost everyone I know who has used the benefit on airline gift cards has had success, so hopefully you will too.

Note that it seems to work better if you buy several gift cards in smaller increments, like four $50 gift cards (as I did) instead of one $200 card. I’ve even had friends get reimbursed for taxes and fees used to pay for an award ticket on their selected airline.

Make sure to utilize this benefit before December 31, 2014. Come January, we’ll all have another $200 reimbursement coming to us!

If you’re considering getting the card, now would be the best time to do so in order to maximize the $200 credit in both 2014 and 2015–that’s $400 total you can get reimbursed!

If you have any other questions, please tweet me @thepointsguy, message me on Facebook, or send me an email at info@thepointsguy.com.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

Apply Now
  • Earn 40,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • 5X points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 a year for baggage fees and more at one airline. Terms Apply.
  • As a Platinum Card Member, you can enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations worldwide. Terms Apply.
  • Enroll to enjoy the benefits of complimentary Hilton HHonors™ Gold Status with your Platinum Card.®
  • No interest charges because you pay your balance in full each month.
  • Terms and Conditions apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR Regular APR Annual Fee Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Rating
N/A N/A $450 0% Excellent Credit