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American Airlines Gift Cards Triggering Amex Travel Incidental Credit Returns

June 15, 2019
2 min read
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American Airlines Gift Cards Triggering Amex Travel Incidental Credit Returns
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Update 6/19/19: Based on multiple tests conducted by TPG staffers in the past week, it appears that there were a few days where American Airlines gift card purchases coded as “Misc Fees/Taxes” and triggered Amex’s incidental airline fee credit, but many are now back to coding as “Gift Certificate” and no longer trigger it. Multiple reports are also suggesting that Southwest gift card now need to be purchased in denominations of $100 or less to trigger the credit. Feel free to share your experiences in the comments below!


It appears that American Express' incidental airline fee credit of up to $200 per year can again be used to buy American Airlines gift cards, according to Doctor of Credit.

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In February, the carrier changed its coding for gift cards from misc fees/taxes to Document Type: GIFT CERTIFICATE, meaning you could no longer trigger the incidental fee credit that gave you a statement credit on your card account.

This was important because the misc fees/taxes code allows you to bypass Amex’s terms and conditions that usually don’t allow you to buy airline gift cards and use them for airfare. The incidental airline fee statement credit is usually put toward things such as checked bags. But if you have elite status on a carrier, that perk is covered.

Cards that come with the annual airline fee credit include (terms apply; enrollment required):

  • Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express (up to $250)
  • The Business Platinum Card® from American Express (up to $200)
  • The Platinum Card® from American Express (up to $200)

The information for the Hilton Aspire Amex card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Being allowed to use the fee credit again to buy a gift card that can be put toward airfare is a welcome change.

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Featured image by An American Airlines jet awaits passengers in Honolulu (Photo by Darren Murph / The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
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Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
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3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
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  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

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  • Annual Fee

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  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

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Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases