No Excise Tax Until 01/01/2021 – Cheaper Flights, Miles (No AmEx Transfer Fee).

Update 6/17/20: American Express is now waiving the excise tax fee for domestic airlines through December 31st, 2020 and also providing refunds for those who paid this fee. Hat tip to Travel With Grant

Original post 3/30/20: As part of H.R.748 – CARES Act there is no airline tax on domestic airline tickets until 01/01/2021 (7.5%). This doesn’t apply to tickets that have already been purchased but even if your travel is after 01/01/2021 then this fee will not be charged as long as the purchase is made before that date. Interestingly this has also meant that:

  • American Express is no longer charging the excise tax offset fee for domestic airline transfers This is still showing, but should disappear at some stage
  • American Airlines normally charges this tax on airline miles purchased, this is no longer being charged

Personally I won’t be doing any transfers or purchasing miles until we have a bit more clarity on what is going on, but we still have until 01/01/2021 until this excise tax kicks in so I’m hopeful by that stage we have that clarity.

Hat tip to US Credit Cards 101

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...and it’s gone
...and it’s gone

Woohoo! Just got my credit… now to use those SkyMi… BANKRUPT

Cole
Cole

Excise Tax Offset Fee still showing on website when trying to transfer points to Delta.

Called Amex Membership Rewards Line (800-297-3276).

Got to customer reps right away. Went through three layers of customer service and still got same result. Amex’s primary answer was that they “have not received any federal guidance regards to excise taxes.” Don’t really understand why I’m still being charged offset fee when airline’s excises taxes started being waived on 3/27.

CM

Sorry, but this is the opposite of what’s supposed to be happening.

Short-notice tickets used to cost 1k between Southwest and NYC and Seattle. Now it’s only $200, and the feds want to make it even more affordable, so that people who don’t need to fly will be tempted to fly to places they don’t need even more?! So much for staying home!

MickeyMouse
MickeyMouse

I think no matter how cheap people won’t fly anywhere until the end of April or May.

David
David

The prices for short notice flights cratered before this happened – that’s just because there is so little demand, so prices fell. No more short notice business trips to pay the high prices for example.

The more likely outcome from this is that the airlines charge the same final after-tax price for a ticket and just end up keeping what would have been paid as taxes for themselves

Jan B
Jan B

Wow, this posted info is interesting.

When I purchased a ticket recently at the ticket counter using my paper bump voucher, my tax mysteriously disappeared during the transaction, leaving me “paying” less.

Without disclosing specific trip info, my one way fare was approximately $53 for a trip of 648 air miles. I also got a free bag with no elite status.

Worth it to me not to drive and I needed to start using my $350 voucher before exp. date.

Gary
Gary

The title should be changed. Removal of taxes does NOT mean cheaper flights.

Mike
Mike

This is exactly why southwest flights all went up in the points cost over the weekend.. not a devaluation.

qmc
qmc

I’m not following … if the excise tax is gone, shouldn’t the cash price go down and so also the points cost?

Gary
Gary

that is a big assumption. It assumes the price was right in the first place. A $240 ticket with fees built in does mean it really should be a $230 ticket now. Maybe it really should have been a $270, but they lowered it to meet market demands. If airline tickets were a fixed price item, you would see savings. but they are not.

lenin1991
lenin1991

Cash prices did go down, but amount of points required remained the same.

MickeyMouse
MickeyMouse

Here’s my situation –

I booked several trips from 6/1 to 10/10.

Before this weekend I was getting 1.57 cents per point. Now I’m getting 1.3 which to me is a devaluation. Some of my trips have now changed drastically in price.

For example –

A ticket I bought last week for a trip was 3,918 points, the current price of that trip is 9,786 points which is 2.5x the rate I paid a week ago.

Most other trips I booked for 3,120 points are now 4,644 points which is a 50% increase.

Another trip went from 2,128 points to 4,644 which I wasn’t happy about because I was considering changing dates oh well.

As far as cash rates the ones I booked are still exactly the same they haven’t gone up or down.

I recheck my rates with Southwest about 3-4x a week in case the rates lower and I get refunded points or get Travel Credits.

JB SanDiego
JB SanDiego

Are you referring to the Amx transfer ‘excise tax offset fee of $0.0006’? When I try the Amx transfer, it still shows the charging fee for Delta.

Jay
Jay

At this time, I am seeing the same. The excise fee total will only be calculated after inputting a transfer amount (min. 1,000).

William Charles The screenshot on USCC101’s article shows $0.00 because they did not input any transfer amount.

USam
USam

There goes my excuse for not working out more… (Since when is there a tax to exercise?)

K Johnson
K Johnson

Missing the gym? Exercise or excise taxes?

Vinny
Vinny

Think you mean excise