Remember to Claim your $200 Airline Credit with the Platinum Card

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Every calendar year you are able to get a $200 statement credit with the American Express Platinum card. This is for both the business and personal version of the card and unfortunately authorized card holders do not get a separate $200 credit, it is limited to one per account. Since the end of the year is closing in on us, this is a reminder to make sure to claim your credit if you haven’t yet done so.

This statement credit is supposed to be used for incidental 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. Earlier this year, I was able to purchase two American Airlines gift cards totaling $200 with my Amex card and was reimbursed for these purchases. I followed the success others had via this FlyerTalk thread. Amex states that gift card purchases do not count towards incidental fees, so your success may vary. I suggest just taking a look at the most recent stories on the FlyerTalk thread.

If you just applied for the card, you are able to get the $200 credit now and again on January 1, 2015 as the calendar resets. So in theory, for the first year you are a cardmember you are able to get the $200 airline credit twice. The personal card comes with a $550 annual fee (card membership year, not calendar year), so while you are spending $550 the first year, you can earn up to $400 back in statement credits, the sign up bonus points, up to $200 in Uber credits, and get reimbursed for Global Entry that will give you access upon approval for 5 years. The business card comes with a $450 annual fee, and you’ll earn up to $400 in statement credits, the sign up bonus, and reimbursed for Global Entry (there are no Uber credits).

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).

  • 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). Unfortunately those that live in New Jersey are not able to purchase AA gift cards. 
  • Delta: eGift Certificate purchases of $50 have been reimbursed. Can use 3 eGift Certificates per reservation.
  • Frontier: There is only one report of it working, so I wouldn’t test it.
  • JetBlue: No reimbursement for gift card purchases.
  • Southwest: Gift card purchases of $200 or less have been reimbursed.
  • Spirit: Not sure.
  • United: Purchasing a gift card through a wedding registry has worked, but not through a regular gift card purchase. Gift cards expire 5 years after purchased; only one gift card can be used per reservation.
  • US Airways: No longer sell gift cards. Folks who have selected US Airways were able to call American Express and have American Airlines selected instead.

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, you must enroll and select your airline of choice before making your incidental purchase. You can select your airline of choice here. You are entitled to $200 in airline reimbursements (for the same airline that has been designated) per account.

What have you used your Amex Platinum airline credit for?

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  1. I almost never, ever pay for a plane ticket (thx cc churns & companion pass) so I’m sitting on maybe $800 AA gift cards and I’ll add another $200 in the next few days. Wished Etihad was a choice, it would pay for exit row seats for my unexpected Christmas gift.

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