American Express Platinum cards offer up to $200 per year in airline fee reimbursements.  These reimbursements can go a long way towards easing the sting of the high annual fees charged by personal Amex Platinum and Business Platinum cards and the Hilton Aspire offers up to $250 per year in airline fee reimbursements. Readers often wonder which types of charges will trigger these credits and/or which methods still work. This post has been updated to reflect 2022 data points. It’s worth noting that Alaska charges in general do not seem to be crediting automatically as of mid-2022. In many cases in this post, we have cleaned up by removing older data points and replacing with some newer ones. If something is listed as working, it very likely still works; we’ll be sure to change it as soon as we have verified negative datapoints. On that note, reader input is always appreciated. Share your data points in the comments.

Amex airline fee credits are offered by calendar year.  For example, Platinum cardholders can get up to $200 in fee credits for charges made up until December of this year, and $200 more for charges made next calendar year.

Step 1 is to make sure that you’ve selected a preferred airline, here: www.americanexpress.com/airlinecreditchoice.  You can change this selection once per year in January (if you don’t change it, your previous selection remains in place).

Step 2 is to make qualifying purchases with your airline of choice in order to get reimbursed.

What purchases count… officially?

Eligible incidental fees include:

  • Checked baggage fees (including overweight/oversize)
  • Itinerary change fees
  • Phone reservation fees
  • Pet flight fees
  • Seat assignment fees
  • In-flight amenity fees (beverages, food, pillows/blankets, headphones)
  • In-flight entertainment fees (excluding wireless internet because it’s not charged by the airline)
  • Airport lounge day passes & annual memberships

And, officially, the following purchases are not deemed to be incidental fees:

  • Airline tickets
  • Upgrades
  • Mileage points purchases
  • Mileage points transfer fees
  • Gift cards
  • Duty free purchases
  • Award tickets

What purchases count… unofficially?

Sometimes purchases of gift cards (update: As of July 2019, gift cards appear to be mostly dead with an occasional exception when the purchase does not code as a gift card), award fees, or even low-cost airfare are reimbursed even though they shouldn’t be.  In some cases there seem to be maximum dollar limits.  The things that work or don’t work vary by airline and over time.  Something that worked in the past won’t necessarily work today.

The following table shows the unofficial stuff that works or doesn’t work with each airline that can be chosen as your preferred airline:

Alaska

**Note** In 2022, there have been many reports of Alaska charges not being reimbursed automatically. It seems that many have had success getting charges for premium seat selection and things that ordinarily should be included (like lounge access, onboard purchases, etc) manually credited via the chat function. Historical Alaska data included below, but beware that you may need to chat and hope for a friendly agent. See more data in this Flyertalk thread.
What Works? Recent Reports
Award redeposit fee $125 (x 2 passengers) 6/19. Had to call as it did not post automatically (via Flyertalk)
Fare difference Price increase if $9 and $50. 12/20 (ykz1991)
Seat selection $65 PC seat selection (automatic) 12/20 (safari ari)
$45 & $49 seat upgrade 12/20 (Grant)
$149 PC seat selection (via chat). 12/20 (bbmatt)
$99 PC seat selection (via chat) 12/20 (EddyRoad)
Club Membership 7/19. Had to call to get it to post (Randy)
Split Airfare Purchase $149 ticket paid with $50 gift card and $99 charged to card (Camilla)
Airfare purchase $58.10 & $78.10 saver fares (note previous failure reports below; YMMV) 12/20 (Grant)
What Fails? Recent Reports
Airfare under $100
Via BK250:
8/3/19: $63.30, reimbursed 8/7
8/9/19: $54.30, not reimbursed
8/19/19: $63.30, not reimbursed
9/12/19: $68.80, not reimbursed
6/22/20: $49, not reimbursed (PeterSFO)
E-gift card Gift card purchases stopped working summer 2017
$50 10/28/17

$25 8/6/17
Split Airfare

$138 two tickets for $69 each on card + $25 Alasksa gift card not reimbursed 1/22 (Lrdx)

1/22 (Victor)

In-flight snacks 1/22 (Victor)
 

American

What Works? Recent Reports
Split airfare purchase $107.60 ticket purchased with $60 flight credit + $47.60 on Platinum card 7/22 (redtop43 on flyertalk) but see negative data point in “What fails” section below also
In-flight food & beverage $18 in drinks 8/22 (FallenPlat on flyertalk)
Seat selection Main Cabin Extra purchased online ($138). 8/22 (Nick)
Main Cabin Extra purchased at kiosk. 12/20 (durial)
First Class upgrade purchased at kiosk 12/20 (durial)
Admirals Club Day pass 12/20 (durial)
Food / bar tab 12/20 (durial)
Physical Gift card $50 or less 12/9/17: Note that we are doubtful this still works, but did not uncover a direct data point.
5 Star Service $325 3/21/17
Mileage Multiplier 7/4/19
Upgrade sticker $0 500 mile sticker 12/20 (Travelfitforaking)
$40 500 mile stickers. 12/20 (festriaqua)
$40.00 500 mile upgrade purchased online 7/26/19 (Will). Also reported by cliburn.
What Fails? Recent Reports
Split airfare $200 ticket using $140 trip credit and $60 on Platinum card 9/22 (lowkeyflyer on flyertalk)
E-gift card Gift card purchases stopped working for many around February / March 2019. It just depends on how AA codes the purchase (coded as a gift certificate will not trigger the credit) and we have not been able to determine a way to predict how it will code. We had some positive reports in February, but most data points from mid-February onward have been negative. 
$75 close-in fee
7/15/19 (Dan P)
Award taxes Reports here are inconsistent. Most fail, but there are some reports of fees being reimbursed (see this 5/22 report from merlin90 on flyertalk)
$5.60 did not credit 6/22 (Mark)
$64 did not credit 8/22 (Nick)
 

Delta

What Works? Recent Reports
Award fees under $200 Still working as of 2022 (Greg)
$124.70 8/22/22 (omxfl on flyertalk)
$167 12/20 (JDK)
$54.76 12/9/17
Lounge guest pass $39 May 2022 (Jeff)
Companion Ticket Taxes 8/9/20: $20.20 (Greg)
Mileage Booster $59 on 10/19 (Patrick)
Split Airfare Purchase $733 ticket split between $500 gift card + $233 on Platinum card 2/22 (Satellite)
$248.40 ticket using 5,000 miles for a $50 discount + $198.40 charged to Platinum card 12/28/22 (danfl44 at flyertlak)
$297.20 ticket split between $50 gift card and $247.20 on Platinum card triggered $200 incidental credit 8/3/22 (SoloDolo on flyertalk)
$357 ticket split between 15K miles ($150) and $207 charged to Business Platinum triggered $200 credit 8/3/22 (woodcmfr on flyertalk)
$91.84 charged to card combined with previous flight credit 11/28/21 (Anon)
$198 ticket split between $50 gift card + $148 on Platinum card (Bethany) 7/12/21
$162 ticket split between $50 gift card + $112 on Platinum card triggered remaining $52 of airline fee credit (Bethany) 7/12/21
$260 ticket split between $50 gift card + $210 on Aspire + $25 seat selection (Veteran Traveler) 12/20
$230 ticket split between $50 gift card + $180 on Platinum (Veteran Traveler) 12/20
$240 ticket split between miles + $190 on card. 12/20 (Dynastar)
5K miles + $98.10 using card. 11/20 (Kelly)
In-flight WiFi** Viasat charge triggered the credit 8/22 (fold on flyertalk), but reports are that GoGo Internet charges will not trigger credit
Airfare $120 1/20 (Mel)
Upgrade to Comfort Plus (YMMV) $200 Used the “change flight” function to switch to Comfort Plus 8/22 (hereitgoes)
$169 (Patrick) YMMV: Not automatic, reimbursed via chat 1/21
What Fails? Recent Reports
Gift cards over $50
Award fees over $200
eGift cards As per many reports at Flyertalk, this likely died around 6/22/19
Companion Ticket Taxes 7/7/19: $46
6/28/19: $28.60
Economy Plus Upgrade
7/12/19 (Arlington Traveler)
 

Frontier

What Works? Recent Reports
Discount Den membership 3/20 (Hsn)
Airfare $38.98 1/20 (pragmaticpoints)
$18.31 on 8/10/19 (Rex)
Split Airfare $108.17 combined with $59 Frontier credit 10/20/21 (Holly)
$119 paid as a mix of vouchers and money 6/20 (wed100105)
Seat selection $17 1/20 (pragmaticpoints)
Fee for kids free with vouchers Total under $30 (Usernamechuck)
 

Hawaiian

What Works? Recent Reports
 Airfare under $50 $39.10 x 4 1/31/22 (swdcflyer on flyertalk)
$29.83 10/17 (via Flyertalk). Used gift card to reduce airfare
Fare under $50 (Michael) 1/21
Extra comfort upgrade $99 x 2 12/31/21 (sullim4 on flyertalk)
$89 6/19 (benjinito)
$180 6/20 (Guest)
Food & beverage on board Success reported 10/18 (via Flyertalk)
Seat upgrade $10 (Michael) 1/21
Split payment for airfare w/ less than $50 charged to the card $29.80 & $44 11/18 (via Flyertalk)
What Fails? Recent Reports
Gift cards $50 7/19/17 (via Flyertalk)
Airfare over $50 $53 10/17 (via Flyertalk)
 

JetBlue

What Works? Recent Reports
Airfare under $150? $97 9/22 (Michael Spellman on flyertalk)
$116.60 & $83.40 4/22 (LAST EXIT on flyertalk)
$145.60 1/22 (Jason)
$140 11/20 (Bill)
$100 11/20 (christvs)
$108.10 11/20 (earthisdoomed)
Award taxes / fees $5.60-$85 7/19 (via Flyertalk)
$130 (1/19) (via Flyertalk)
Cancellation fees $75 7/19 (via Flyertalk)
Seat selection $5 11/20 (financialhippie)
Upgrade from Mint to Mint Studio $199 6/22 (fishccy on flyertalk)
Even More upgrade $35, $50 1/19 (via Flyertalk)
What Fails? Recent Reports
Airfare over $150 $151.10 9/20 (Earthgoeshard)
$250 1/11/17 (via Flyertalk)
Gift cards They don’t sell them
 

Spirit

 What works? Recent Reports
$9 Fare Club Membership $59.92 (1/20) (optimilez2016)
$69 11/18 (Joe)
Big Front Seat

Confirmed Big Front Seat package works 5/11/22. (Vincent)

$41 x2 1/20 (optimilez2016)

Partial Airfare $6 (Rest using airline credit) 12/20 (Joe Y)
What Fails? Recent Reports
Ticket purchase $52.80 1/20 (optimilez2016)
Bags bundled with ticket purchase 1/20 (and a couple previous DPs) (s.k.d)
 

Southwest

What Works? Recent Reports
Airfare under $100 $98 4/1/22 (Harsh B)
$94 (Scott) 1/21
$71.99 & $48.99 (KKM) 1/21
$49.98 12/20 (John)
$99 5/20 (Mark and Greg)
$54 1/20 (Chia) – I don’t recommend doing this
We had a negative report in November (Tab), but then had a positive report on a $68 fare in mid-December 2019 (Commander22) and three others under $100 (Dylan and Jeremy) as well as several in late November, so the negative report was likely an anomaly.
$59 7/19 (via Flyertalk)
$90 2/18
$62.50 8/18 (Two tix under same record locator for $62.50 each – Lia)
Airfare over $100 -$104.98 12/20 (Jed)
-100.50 ($200 rebated out of $201 in charges), so we now know that $100 isn’t the exact limit. 12/20/19 (David G)
Early bird check-in $20 1/22 (Chris)
$50 9/11/19 (Norm)
$20 5/20 (Greg)
Award Fees $97.76 1/22 (Dee)
$11.20 12/20 (Beth)
$70.34 11/20 (Greg)
$5.60 2/20 (Matthew)
A1-A15 boarding $40 12/19 (Sdin123)
Split payment for airfare w/ under $100 charged to card $96 (10/19) Used a gift card to pay part of the airfare ($42) and paid $96 remainder on Amex Gold. Got $96 credit. (Marshall Davis)
Jason reported success too.
In-flight beverage 11/19 (veeRobb)
Itinerary change $66.50 5/20 (Greg)
What Fails? Recent Reports
Airfare under $100
$68.99 and $78.98 (Tab). Note: We have had many other success reports, so this appears to have been an anomaly.
On-board Wi-Fi $8 charge posted, but was not credited (2/18)
$185 e-Gift card Charge posted 6/22/18, no reimbursement as of 7/9/18 (Katie)
All e-Gift cards Stopped working in June 2019 (via Flyertalk)
Split payment for airfare w/ $100 or more charged to card $155 (7/19) via Flyertalk
 

United

**Note that you may need to wait until the next business day after selecting United as your qualifying airline. Since TravelBank works as of 9/22, most of the other uses are less interesting.
What Works? Recent Reports
Standard stuff Economy Plus, United Club, Pet Fee, Same Day Flight Change (Note: A charge for United Club one-time passes on December 31st posted with a date of January 1st and missed using the annual credit – Nick)
Seat upgrade Made through kiosk 11/18 (Ambrosio)
Economy+ seat $132 12/23/21 (Elizabeth)
6/22/19 from Flyertalk and also $175 for transatlantic Economy+ seat in 2/19 (SKJL).$84 each (x 2) 2/20 (Matthew)
United TravelBank

5/15/22: TravelBank is working.

1/2/22: TravelBank isn’t currently working.

Working again! Multiple members of Frequent Miler Insiders have reported receiving credit for United Travel Bank purchases as of February 20th.

NOTE: It seems that United Travel Bank may no longer be working for charges as of 1/14/21.

In-flight WiFi $8 11/20 (atat)
What Fails? Recent Reports
Upgrade from economy to first class
$175 charge on 12/27/2018 may have been too large to look like a fee
Split payment with GC and airfare under $100 $50.19 partial ticket payment did not trigger credit 3/26/22 (Captain Greg)
MileagePlus X App Purchases
United Gift Registry This doesn’t really fail — it’s just no longer available
Award Fees This appears to have stopped working according to a DP from JB in San Diego from October 2019.
Gift Card
$99 Upgrade Fee 2016

Please report your results!

If you try any unofficial options, please let us know via the comments whether it worked. Tell us the date of purchase, what you purchased, the dollar amount, and whether or not you were reimbursed.  Please do not report purchases that are officially reimbursed unless you do not get the credit.

What to do if you’re not reimbursed?

First, double check that you picked the airline in question as your preferred airline.  If you did not, then Amex won’t reimburse you (but they have been known to make an exception if you call and say that you forgot to set your preferred airline).

If you do not get reimbursed for things that are officially allowed (checked bags, change fees, lounge fees, etc.), then contact Amex for help.  If you do not get reimbursed for things that are not officially allowed (gift cards, award fees, airfare, etc.) do not contact Amex.  You weren’t really supposed to get reimbursed for those anyway.

Other cards that offer fee reimbursements

Quite a few other cards offer airline fee reimbursements.  We’d like to setup pages like this for each of them.  For example, see: Chase Ritz-Carlton Visa airline fee credits: What works?

If you have experience earning or not earning airline fee credits with other cards, we’d like to hear that too!  Please comment below with your experience, but please make sure to include the card name and airline in your comment. Here are some that have been reported:

CNB Crystal Visa Infinite 7/30/17 $54.86 Delta award fee reimbursed 8/3/17 (Greg)
CNB Crystal Visa Infinite 6/1/18 $56.02 Southwest fee to change from anytime to Business Select (Justice Jen)
CNB Crystal Visa Infinite 2019-Feb-14 $50 AA eGC — reimbursed 2019-Feb-20 (Jeph36)
CNB Crystal Visa Infinite 2019-Feb-20 $200 AA eGC — reimbursed 2019-Feb-27 (Jeph36)
CNB Crystal Visa Infinite (P2) 2019-Mar-03 $250 AA eGC — reimbursed 2019-Mar-13 (Jeph36)
PenFed Pathfinder 2019-Mar-04 $100 AA eGC — reimbursed 2019-Jun-06 (Jeph36)

Previous Post Updates

Update 1/18/21: Reports indicate that United Travel Bank purchases are once again dead. Click to skip to the rest of the “Amex Airline Fee Reimbursements” post.

Update 12/15/20: Recent data points added for most airlines. As a general piece of advice, don’t panic if a few days pass and you aren’t yet reimbursed. If there are positive data points in the chart, there is a good chance that it still works. Sometimes reimbursement happens in 2 or 3 days, sometimes 2 or 3 weeks. Report your data points in the comments. Thanks!

Update 7/22/19: Added many data points. eGift cards no longer consistently work with any airline, though a number of other options remain or have since been found. Added a table of contents below for convenience so you can find your chosen airline. Please add your data points in the comments (but wait a few weeks to be sure your credit posts or doesn’t post before reporting it as alive/dead).

By AKDSEO