American Airlines Gift Cards Triggering Amex Travel Incidental Credit Returns

Jun 15, 2019

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

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.

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 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 airline fee credit include (terms apply):

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.

For the latest travel news, deals and points and miles tips please subscribe to The Points Guy daily email newsletter.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
  • Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.