I guess I’m late to the party on this one.
Longtime Eye of the Flyer reader DLPTATL tipped me off to this information a couple of months ago:
Delta (gift cards) are really useful to use your ‘airline incidental’ annual credits, particularly with the AmEx Hilton Aspire $250 credit. If you pay a $500 ticket with a $250 GC and your Aspire you can tap the credit (Your mileage may vary).
For those unfamiliar, three premium American Express cards offer members a certain amount of statement credits to use with one airline they can select from a list provided by Amex:
- The Platinum Card® from American Express ($200 annual airline incidental credit)
- The Business Platinum Card® from American Express ($200 annual airline incidental credit)
- Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card ($250 annual airline incidental credit)
Manual enrollment/activation is required to take advantage of the benefit. Terms apply.
Cardholders may select one eligible airline each year. Eligible incidental purchases charged to their card (checked baggage fees, in-flight food and beverages, etc.) are credited back to the member’s account. (Terms apply.)
Recommended: Do you love cruises — or want to learn more about them? Check out our blog about cruising: Frequent Floaters!
I purchased a $500 Delta gift card during a recent Fluz gift card party. (There’s another coming up soon — I’ll let you know!) A few weeks later, I booked a Delta trip that totaled $587.10.
What a perfect opportunity to test DLPTATL’s data point!
I my $500 Delta gift card (which cost me only $450) and paid the $87.10 balance with my Platinum Card® from American Express.
Sure enough, an $87.10 credit showed up on my account a few days later!
I texted René this information. He was basically like, duh! In fact, he mentioned it in that day’s Frequent Floater weekly recap. (Well, excuse me!)
Thanks for bringing this to my attention, DLPTATL!
Using my Platinum card to pay the cash balance on a reservation partially paid with a Delta gift card triggered the airline incidental credit.
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I’m slow I guess but I’m not understanding. What is it you are getting? You had a gift card, and you used it. You had to chip in some of your personal non-gift money to pay the balance due. But then what? Even though you paid that balance, you got it back? So sorry, I like the tips here, but I’m not pro with frequent flier points.
This post might help explain the benefit more.
I used it to help pay the balance on a reservation mostly paid with a gift card.
Sorry to be a hassle but your hyperlink to Fliz points to a file. I’d like to enroll under your referral but needed you to correct that.
Would paying the bulk of the fare with an e-credit also trigger this, or does it only work with gift cards?
I don’t think I’ve tried that yet.
Yes, this works.
This is intentionally kept secret to avoid killing it.
Seems the secret was out a long time ago and I only just found out about it.
So if a ticket costs, lets say… $195. Is it possible to buy a gift card for $5 for that airline, use the gift card towards the ticket and the remaining $190 would go towards the credit?
@Carly – AFAIK the lowest Delta gift card is $50 (unless you have a partial one with $5 left over) – but in your example yes that is how this works (for now).
Does this work for all the airline options with AMEX? If we selected a different one for incidentals? Or is this confirmed only for Delta?
I only tried Delta. No data points that I know of for other airlines.
What if you bought the gift card itself with the Amex… Would that trigger the credit?
@Lisa noon – No. Back in the day buying a Delta gift card in the Sky Club would trigger the credit but that is long dead.
@Chris – Welcome to the club! Glad it’s still working. Thanks for the mention, though I probably learned the trick from René some years back! It’s come full-circle.