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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – American Express® Gold Card
Admit it: You procrastinated booking your end-of-the-year trip and now, looking up options on Google Flights is making your head spin.
Fear not, young grasshopper — we have a workaround… and it comes in the form of a shinny little gold card.
We’re talking about the American Express® Gold Card, of course. While the buzzy benefits include the 4x points you’ll rack up at US restaurants, as well as up to in $120 yearly dining credits, you may have overlooked the airline fee credit. This is a perk of the credit card that gives you $100, every calendar year, with the airline of your choice toward things like baggage fees, inflight purchases, flight change fees and gift cards. Note how I said gift cards here, because that’s where things really start to get interesting.
By buying $100 worth of gift cards to your chosen airline, you can effectively trick the airline into knocking a significant chunk of change off of what’s likely an expensive last-minute flight. You can apply the $100 fee credit to most major US airlines, including Alaska, American, Delta, Frontier, Hawaiian, JetBlue, Spirit, Southwest and United, but options are a little more limited as far as the gift cards are concerned. Let’s take a closer look:
|Airline||Gift Cards for Sale?||Gift Cards Reimbursable With Amex Airline Fee Credit?|
|United||No (TravelBank Gift Registry unavailable since 9/2017)||N/A|
You’ll want to check flight prices for your intended destination first, and then select which airline you want the credit to apply to. You can do that by logging in to your account, clicking “Benefits” at the top of the screen, and the “Airline Fee Credit” box should appear. Then buy the gift card(s) on the airline’s website using your Amex Gold, book the flight using the info from said gift cards, and voilà! Off to Bubbie’s in Boca you go.
Note that if you do decide to buy a gift card eligible for reimbursement, you’ll have to purchase them in certain increments:
- American: The maximum gift card value that will be reimbursed is $100.
- Delta: The maximum gift card value that will be reimbursed is $50.
- Southwest: Gift cards of any value will be reimbursed.
Keep in mind that the credit is every calendar year, so if you just got the revamped Gold Card or are planning on getting it, now’s the time to do it — and yes, you’ll get another $100 credit once the clock strikes midnight on January 1. If you want, you’ll be able to change which airline you want the credit to apply to, as well. Better yet, if you have The Platinum Card® from American Express, you can up the ante even more with up to $200 in airline fee credits; the same rules apply.
You can thank us later.
Know before you go.
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