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Admit it: You procrastinated booking your summer 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 shiny little gold card. And, if you act fast, it might even be a shiny little *rose* 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 on dining, 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 up to $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 knock a significant chunk of change off of what’s likely an expensive last-minute flight. You can apply the $100 fee credit to incidental fees at most major US airlines, including Alaska, American, Delta, Frontier, Hawaiian, JetBlue, Spirit, Southwest and United, but options are significantly 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?|
|Delta||Yes||Yes ($50 per card maximum to trigger reimbursement)|
|United||No (gift registry permanently closed)||N/A|
** After going away earlier this year, we’ve heard rumors that American Airlines gift cards might be triggering the Amex credit again. We’re testing it to confirm and will update this story if it’s working.
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 you go.
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, you can use it now and you’ll get another $100 credit once the clock strikes midnight on January 1. And if you want, you’ll be able to change which airline you want the credit to apply to then 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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With some great bonus categories, the American Express Gold Card has a lot going for it. The card offers 4x points at restaurants worldwide, at US supermarkets (up to $25,000; then 1x), and 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines or through amextravel.com. It is currently offering a welcome bonus of 35,000 bonus points after you spend $2,000 in the first three months.
- Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $2,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months.
- Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points when you dine at restaurants worldwide. Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X). Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
- Earn up to a total of $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Boxed, and participating Shake Shack locations. This can be an annual savings of up to $120. Enrollment required.
- $100 Airline Fee Credit: up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year for incidental fees at one selected qualifying airline.
- Choose to carry a balance with interest on eligible charges of $100 or more.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- Annual Fee is $250.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees