American Airlines Gift Cards Triggering Amex Travel Incidental Credit Returns
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: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here.
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!
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.
For the latest travel news, deals and points and miles tips please subscribe to The Points Guy daily email newsletter.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,600
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3X points on dining and 2x points on travel, 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.
- 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®.
- Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
- 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
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.