I applied for the American Express Platinum card at the beginning of this year when there was a 100,000 bonus offer after meeting the minimum spend requirement. While the bonus offer is not currently as lucritive as it has been in the past, many people still find it worthwhile due to the airport lounge access, reimbursed global entry fee, and $200/year airline credit.
Both the personal and business version of the Platinum card come with the opportunity to get up to a $200 rebate PER YEAR with an airline of your choice. This rebate is supposed to be used for incendental charges, not the cost of purchasing a ticket. To get reimbursed for the charges, you must pay for it with your Amex Platinum card. There is no call needed as you’ll see a statement credit show up to your account within the week after the charge is made. Incidental charges include checked bags, in-flight refreshments, flight-change fees, oversize baggage fees, airport lounge day-passes, pet-kennel fees, and phone reservation fees.
While I know some might rack up quite a bit of these “incidental” fees, I personally do not come close to spending $200/year on these fees. Last week I went ahead and purchased two American Airline gift cards with my Amex and have already been reimbursed by these purchases. I followed the success others had via this FlyerTalk thread as gift card purchases have been going through the system as being counted towards the $200 airline rebate. If you decide to go the gift card route, make sure to look at the most recent success stories to ensure you will still be reimbursed with the airline of your choice.
Here is a quick recap of what has worked in the past (based on people’s personal success story on FlyerTalk as well as my personal success).
- AirTran: Does not sell gift certificates
- Alaska Airlines: Gift card purchases of $100 or less have been reimbursed
- American Airlines: Gift cards purchases of $100 or less have been reimbursed (can use up to 8 gift cards per reservation)
- Delta: eGift Certificate purchases of $50 have been reimbursed (can use 3 eGift Certificates per reservation)
- Frontier: Not sure
- JetBlue: No reimbursement for gift card purchases
- Southwest: Gift card purcahses of $200 or less have been reimbursed.
- Spirit: Not sure
- United: Gift card purchases of $200 or less have been reimbursed (expire 5 years after purchased; only one gift card can be used per reservation)
- US Airways: Gift card purchases of $200 or less have been reimbursed
Keep in mind that some airlines charge a shipping fee for gift purchases. American Airlines and Delta, for example, sell virtual gift cards so there is no additional fee tacked on. Also, make sure to check the terms for each gift card purchase as there are different policies per airline – expiration dates, the amount of certificates that can be used per reservation, some are only available for online reservations, etc.
Remember, unless you are a new cardmember, you must have designated your airline for reimbursement by last January 31. You can select your airline of choice here. New members can still select their airline of choice and you MUST do this prior to earning any credits back for your “incidental” purchases. You are entitled to up to $200 in airline reimbursements (for the same airline that has been designated) per account – NOT per card member. If you have additional authorized users on your card, the account can get up to $200 in reimbursed credit TOTAL.
While the $450 annual fee for the card is quite hefty, getting $200 towards future travel helps. Stay tuned for another post soon on all the other perks for the American Express Platinum card – this includes free global entry, airline lounge access, and Starwood Gold status.
What have you used your Amex Platinum airline credit for?
- The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN – 25,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months of Card membership
- The Platinum Card® from American Express - 25,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $2,000 in the first 3 months of Card membership