Delta Selling eGift Certificates
Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here.
Delta announced that it is now selling eGift Certificates in amounts from $50 to $1,000. The certificates are available in $5 increments, and can bought for either yourself or to give to others.
Once you buy the certificate, Delta will email it to any designated recipient within 72 hours from when you purchase it. There is a limit of five eGifts per transaction. They may only be redeemed for Delta-operated or Delta codeshare flights that have a Delta flight number. In even better news, these do not expire, so you don't have to worry about not using them in time. The terms do not state anything that these are not transferable so I would assume that anyone can redeem these as long as you give them the number.
The terms do state, however, that certificates may only be used for the total purchase price of air transportation, including taxes, fees, and surcharges imposed on the air transportation and can only be used for the Delta air transportation portion of a Delta Vacations package. They may not be used for any additional fees (including baggage fees) or for any other products or services (including class upgrades, in-flight purchases, SkyMiles Cruises, cargo, hotel stays, or car rentals), so they are limited somewhat.
Certificates, including those that are lost, stolen, or destroyed, will not be replaced by Delta for any reason. Certificates are not refundable and cannot be redeemed or exchanged for cash, check or credit except where refund or redemption is required by law. If you use them for a ticket but do not end up traveling, you'll be issued a refund minus any fees Delta would impose on a normally purchased ticket in accordance with the airline's rules. See full terms and conditions here.
Recipients are able to redeem the certificates through delta.com, reservations agents or at airport locations by including the redemption code and certificate number from the eGift Certificate when they place their reservation.
Aside from the fact that these should be much easier to redeem than some other travel vouchers issued in the past by Delta as well as those by some of its competitors such as American, which you have to call in to book travel and redeem and then mail in, as well as the fact that these don't expire, these might really come in handy as a way to maximize your annual $200 airline rebate if you have The Platinum® Card from American Express or The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, though this might take some trial and error.
The Platinum credit is issued automatically as a statement credit and offers reimbursement for the following items:
Checked baggage fees
Overweight/oversize baggage 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 not applicable for the following charges:
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
Gift cards issued by Airlines
Although there are many "not applicable" charges on that list including "gift cards issued by airlines" and airline tickets, there is a lot of anecdotal evidence on Flyertalk that people have in fact been able to use their $200 reimbursement to purchase both cheap airline tickets (under $200) as well as airline vouchers, upgrades, and even elite status through a variety of methods that have to do with the amount a ticket or airline voucher costs in addition to the way it is coded on their credit card bill.
If the charge is quoted as "Travel – Airline" on your statement, you won't get reimbursed, but they key factors seem to be the way a ticket is charged and the amount of money spent on a fare, as well as a variety of purchase methods that include buying airline vouchers (usually at the $100 mark or under) that can then be used pretty much for any expense on the airline, including tickets.
Flyertalkers have reported getting reimbursed for various expenses including upgrades using miles and cash where they paid for the charge with their Platinum card and an elite status challenge, among other things, so depending on how these e-Gift certificates are coded and how much you charge (I'd suggest starting with a small amount like $50), you might be able to get reimbursed for these. Has anyone bought them with an Amex Platinum card yet? If you do, fill us all in on your experience!