I hold two American Express-branded Platinum cards: The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Business Platinum Card® from American Express. Both entitle cardholders to up to $200 in airline incidental statement credits each year. Enrollment is required and members can pick from a list of eligible airlines.
(Delta Air Lines is one of the said participating carriers. Also worth mentioning: the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card offers a $250 statement credit toward eligible airline purchases; enrollment required.)
An Amex rep told me the below charges should credit back:
- Airline fee charge billed after airline selection
- Airport lounge day passes and annual memberships
- Change fees
- Checked baggage fees
- Early check-in fees
- In-flight amenity fees (beverages, food, pillows/blankets, and so on)
- In-flight entertainment fees (excluding wireless Internet)
- Overweight/oversize baggage fees
- Pet flight fees
- Phone reservation fees
- Seat assignment fees
- Unaccompanied minor fees
Here’s what is explicitly prohibited:
- Airline tickets
- Award tickets
- Duty–free purchases
- Gift cards
- Mileage points purchases
- Mileage points transfer fees
Many of our readers hold Delta co-branded American Express cards and/or Medallion status. So checked bag fees rarely are a concern. Many fly Comfort+ or First Class — where adult beverages are free.
So what’s a person to do with that $200 in airline credit?! (Such a #FirstWorldProblem, I know!)
Here’s what purchases triggered the credit (as well as ones that didn’t) across my two Platinum cards this year. (For reference, these were my 2019 results.)
YES: Onboard Beverage Purchases
My wife and I took one for the team. We sat in Main Cabin and purchased a couple of Old Fashioneds to ensure the $10 drinks would work toward the airline statement credit. (No need to thank us. And I know the picture above was taken in first class. It’s all I had.)
I can confirm those purchases credited back!
YES: Pay With Miles Cash Balances
You might want to consider this option if you’re not flying the rest of the year and want to enjoy your airline incidental credit. Though it could be a YMMV situation.
Delta’s Pay With Miles feature is available to Delta American Express cardholders. It allows you to apply SkyMiles (at a rate of one cent per point) toward the cost of an eligible Delta fare and still earn MQM — and MQD and SkyMiles for any remaining cash balance.
And that’s where the “cash balance” part gets interesting.
I bought a couple of Pay With Miles tickets this year and made sure the cash balances were under $200. Sure enough, those purchases worked toward statement credit.
This is not necessarily anything new — but I wanted to remind you about it.
NO: Delta Sky Club Premium Beverage Purchases
Mrs. Carley fell on the sword and let me buy her a Flower District Margarita at the Austin Sky Club. And the Atlanta F Concourse Sky Club. (Side note: the drinks differed between locations. The ATL club’s had a heavier mescal pour — which Mrs. C did not enjoy.)
As we expected, those did not earn statement credit.
Interestingly, I used my Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card to buy a drink at a Sky Club and that earned bonus SkyMiles and counted as a Delta purchase.
What Worked for You? What Purchases Didn’t Credit?
Please share your experiences using the $200 airline credit perk! We’d love to hear about it in the Comments section below. (I’m especially curious about award ticket taxes and fees and Sky Club guest admission fees.)
To See Rates and Fees for…
- The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, please visit this link. Terms apply.
- The Platinum Card® from American Express, please visit this link. Terms apply.
- Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card, please visit this link. Terms apply.
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