Happy new year!
One of the few good things about the new year in our part of the world (given that most elite counters are reset) is that those of us with American Express Platinum cards get a new $200 airline fee credit.
Here are the American Express cards with annual airline fee credits:
- Platinum Card® from American Express Exclusively for Mercedes-Benz — 50,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $1,000 within three months; access to American, Delta, US Airways, and Priority Pass lounges; $475 annual fee
- The Platinum Card® from American Expres — 25,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $2,000 within three months; access to American, Delta, US Airways, and Priority Pass lounges, $450 annual fee
- The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN Application — Access to American, Delta, US Airways, and Priority Pass lounges; $450 annual fee
You have to designate an airline for your annual fee credit, which can be done at americanexpress.com/airlinechoice. Once you log in it will give you the option to change your preferred airline. If you want to keep the same airline as last year, then you don’t need to do anything.
What’s awesome about these airline fee credits is that in most cases they can be used to purchase airline gift cards, which to me are good as cash. The American Express forum on FlyerTalk has individual threads dedicated to reimbursement reports for each airline, including Alaska, American, Delta, Southwest, United, and US Airways. As you can see, these credits can be used for a wide variety of things, from lounge memberships, to cancellation fees, to status challenge fees, to (in many cases) gift cards.
Last year I purchased four $50 American Airlines gift cards.
And within a few days those amounts were reimbursed.
And I’m off to do the same right now! This is why the $450 annual fee on the Platinum card is no big deal to me for the first year — the airline fee credit is based on a calendar year, while the annual fee is based on the card member year, so it’s easy to squeeze two airline fee credits out of a single annual fee.
(In the interest of full disclosure I earn a referral bonus on some of the above links — thanks for your support!)