Getting $200 in United Credit Thanks to Amex Platinum

Jan 17, 2015

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One of the items on my to-do list for early 2015 was to take advantage of the annual $200 airline fee credit that comes with The Platinum Card® from American Express or The Business Platinum Card® from American Express cards.  Using the full $200 credit allowed per calendar year really helps offset a chunk of the annual fees on these cards for us, but it also takes some strategy to maximize the value of the credit.  We like to use this benefit a little bit “off label”, so I thought I would share the results of our experiment.  First, here are a few details on the perk if you aren’t familiar…

With the Amex Platinum $200 airline fee credit, you get the opportunity to change your airline of choice in January for the year, so don’t delay if you want to change your airline to a different one than you had in 2014.  Remember the best choice isn’t necessarily the airline that you fly the most and/or have elite status on.  The best choice may be less obvious.  For example, you may already have free checked bags and waived fees on your usual airline due to elite status or a co-branded credit card, but not on your secondary airline.

Here is a list of what is and is not reimbursable via a statement credit per the terms:

Eligible Charges:

– checked baggage fees
– overweight / oversize baggage fees
– change fees
– phone reservation fees
– pet flight fees
– airport lounge day passes & annual memberships
– seat assignment fees
– in-flight amenity fees (beverages, food, pillows/blankets, etc)
– in-flight entertainment fees (excluding wireless internet)

“Ineligible” Charges include:

– airline tickets
– charges processed by merchants other than the airline you are enrolled in (for example, inflight Internet services providers such as GoGo)
– charges made by airline partners (for example, you purchase tickets 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

If you are unsure about which airline to choose, or what to buy that will be reimbursed, I think you best information will come from the Flyertalk threads linked below.  You can see recent specific purchases and outcomes on these threads.  You may be surprised at some of the things that have been reimbursed with some airlines, as what happens in reality isn’t always 100% what is written in print.

American Airlines
Alaska Airlines
JetBlue
Delta
Frontier
United
US Airways
Southwest

My Experience Getting the $200 Fee Credit with United:

Last week we loaded my United Travel Bank with $200 and paid with the Amex Platinum by purchasing $200 via the Gift Registry option.  Note that this is different than the United Gift Certificates as those have had more mixed reports of success.  We bought the $200 gift registry load in one transaction, and a couple of days later here is what displayed in our Amex Platinum account.

The entire $200 gift registry purchase is being reimbursed by our Amex airline fee credit as shown above, and we will happily put that $200 to good use on future United tickets as it is now in my United Travel Bank.  This $200, along with perks like access to Amex Centurion Lounges, Boingo internet, and much more keep an Amex Platinum card in our wallet despite the annual fees.

Have you taken advantage of the $200 airline fee credit yet for 2015?  What did you get?

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