Posted by William Charles on September 3, 2015
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Published on September 3rd, 2015 | by William Charles

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American Express Platinum $200 Airline Incidental Reimbursement – No Longer Being Triggered By Gift Cards?

One of the benefits of the American Express Platinum card (which currently has a 100,000 MR points after $3,000 in spend offer) is that it comes with an annual $200 reimbursement for airline incidentals (e.g baggage, inflight entertainment/food). You’ve been able to purchase gift cards (even though they are specifically excluded in the fine print) with varying levels of success in the past and the reimbursement usually posted within 2-4 days.

 

There are a lot of data points on Flyertalk threads that this is no longer the case, each airline has it’s own Flyertalk thread with this information which can be viewed below:

It seems like gift card purchases made after (or even slightly before) August 20th are not being reimbursed, whereas other charges from that same time period have been reimbursed which makes me think it’s a policy/IT change rather than it just taking longer for the reimbursements to post.

This is pretty big news if it’s a true policy change as it was one way people were able to extract a lot more value out of their Platinum cards (especially because the credit is per calendar year rather than card member year – meaning you can pay the annual fee once and get it at least twice). I certainly value airline gift cards a lot more than being reimbursed for fees that I usually don’t pay anyway.

Please share your data points below. I’d also recommend holding off on purchase gift cards if your intent was to be reimbursed until we know more.

This should go without saying, but I’ll say it anyway: DO NOT CALL AMERICAN EXPRESS IF YOUR CREDITS HAVEN’T POSTED. Gift cards are specifically excluded from the fine print, all you’re doing is drawing attention to the fact you’re trying to get credited when you shouldn’t, if this is just a delay in posting the reimbursement you risk having your transaction flagged as not qualifying.

If you’re looking for an alternative, then keep in mind the Citi Prestige offers a $250 Air Travel credit which specifically allows stuff like airfare and will trigger on any airline purchase from my experience (including gift cards).



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Mike
Mike

I wonder if this will also apply to the WF Propel World (since its an amex with a similar credit)

Matt
Matt

I saw a report somewhere (can’t remember where now) that WF Propel World was still reimbursing very recently. So it appears not affected.

CB
CB

I was a little late to this party, but I bought amazon GCs using the MPX app as stated previously on 8/25. I used PRG and bought another using the WF Propel. The PRG has still not been reimbursed and by now I don’t expect it to be, however, I’m not dumb enough to call Amex and complain.

However, the Propel was reimbursed within 2 days, so looks like you may still be in luck with it.

sunny morris
sunny morris

Can you explain what WF Propel is?

Doug
Doug
kak
kak

oops.. I purchase sw gift card on 8/27 and still don’t see a credit

Rich
Rich

Awesome:( I just purchased United gift certificates and the transaction posted on August 28th. I hope this is just a false rumor.

Anon
Anon

I used my PRG card to buy a $100 AA gift card on 8/23 and haven’t been reimbursed yet. I also used my SPG card to buy a $300 AA gift card on the same day and got the $50 rebate a day or so later, so that was evidently allowed under the terms of the Amex offer but not the Platinum/Gold card benefits.

Alan
Alan

Are there any data points about buying GCs in person at the airport or a lounge, etc? This way the charge is still with the company but unlike online charges it may not have data regarding what the item was.

Larry
Larry

Boo hoo. This stinks if true (though it wouldn’t surprise me at all). Gotta wonder though what difference it makes to Amex how cardmembers are using the reimbursement as it costs them the same either way. I guess there must be a higher chance of members not utilizing the whole $200 when it is strictly fees. Well I will make darn sure to use it but I echo those on Flyertalk who say this lowers the value of the card to offset the hefty fee in the future. I’m sure Amex was aware of the practice as it has been posted for years.and I don’t see the business reason for changing it now and making the card less attractive to many.

Matt
Matt

Citi is eating Amex’s lunch in the premium travel card category.

The Prestige has a more generous $250 credit that can be applied directly to airfare. It also has a superior version of Priority Pass. If you get the $350 AF version, the card is a no brainer compared to the Platinum Card ($450 with a hard-to-redeem $200 credit).

HORACE
HORACE

Haven’t though much of AMEX MR program for quite some time as Chase stole all the good players and this further convinces me that MR points and the AMEX Plat card are not as good as has been advertised by many — looks like you will have to choke on your points now, and get the “value” back from the card as AMEX had intended — via on board purchases or lounge membership. Not crying for many of you.

Although I don’t deem Citi’s TY points roster of participants really any better than AMEX’s, with the Prestige card, the value of that point is worth 1.6 cents if spent towards AA tix (which will earn miles, by the way and are not subject to any black out dates) and given that Citi’s Prestige card has multiplier categories that are far better than AMEX Plat’s 1 point per $1.00, it is a far better program in — at least for now — and am mostly in agreement with Matt.

jediwho
jediwho

Could not agree more on Prestige. The TY program is almost as good as the MR, with $350 version, you are only paying $100, travel insurance is way better than Platinum, 3 rounds of golf and more points per $ spent on travel and dinning than Platinum. I guess, a couple of things Amex does offer is SPG Gold status, Boingo and GoGo (for business Platinium).

lisa

I bought the Amazon Card with United App after you last posted and it did not trigger the refund. I did call and they put it through as a curtesy for long time good standing but said it would not happen again.

Jay
Jay

Ouch… Hopefully your account isn’t flagged.

Aureliano
Aureliano

Are you stupid?

Fuerza
Fuerza

She must be…

Matt
Matt

You know that this wasn’t an official card benefit, right? It was a loophole in how Amex categorized a transaction.

You don’t call about loopholes.

SE
SE

FML – used Amex Plat to buy AA GC that posted on Aug 28 as “misc sale / tax”. No reimbursement as of today (Thurs Sept 3) …

Dan
Dan

So MPX no longer works??

Lana
Lana

My eCerts posted to my account on Sep 1. Still waiting for the credits.

Steve
Steve

Do taxes on award flights trigger reimbursement?

Brian
Brian

They’re not supposed to but some say they are.

JA
JA

Not on AA. Award taxes code as a ticket sale.

Bikeguy
Bikeguy

They did on my Delta flight last month.

Ben
Ben

Figures, I finally have a need for a paid AA flight (literally just popped up yesterday), and now I can’t use AA gift cards obtained from the Plat card. FML

Is there a resource I could check out that would list all the uses for this credit that are reimbursed? Award taxes, upgrade fees etc?

Mark O
Mark O

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

Read more: http://thepointsguy.com/2015/04/how-do-i-use-the-amex-platinum-airline-credit/#ixzz3khktrhyx

sunny morris
sunny morris

Also upgrading fees, correct? Also, doesn’t it apply to actual airfare purchased with the card?

sunny morris
sunny morris

Never mind. I just read the post you linked 🙁 This really puts a damper on how I was planning to use this card (upgrades and airfare purchases).

sunny morris
sunny morris

But upgrading fees? I will get reimbursed for those?

Mark O
Mark O

You should – seat fees are on the list

credit
credit

Just applied for plat Amex for 100k points. If this is true, I am thinking of canceling it. How soon before the fee hits?

farsighted99
farsighted99

In your case, I’d take the 100K points. That’s worth minimum $1K in travel. However, I’d get out when the end of the year comes up, unless they reconsider. It’s not worth $450 (except in your case).

credit
credit

Not sure why it is surprising. Even company insiders post on flyer talk in official capacity. I am sure they knew about loopholes long time ago

Steve
Steve

I think you are mistaking upset for surprise. People have been doing this for a while, and having it taken away is not so much a surprise as it is a loss.

Mike
Mike

I agree people should hold off on calling but if the credits haven’t posted in 14 business days I’d call them. This past January I had a brain fart and ordered one $200 gift card instead of two $100s. I waited 14 business days and called them and claimed the $200 charge was from me paying the checked baggage fees for my whole family on a trip and the guy posted a credit to my account immediately.

Steve
Steve

Interesting that they can’t tell the difference when it posts.

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