American Airlines Gift Cards Triggering Amex Travel Incidental Credit Returns

Jun 15, 2019

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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.

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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