Published on September 3rd, 2015 | by William Charles152
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).