Published on February 13th, 2019 | by Chuck202
Will American Airlines Gift Cards Trigger the Amex Airline Credit now that they Show as ‘Gift Certificates’?
Numerous reports are coming out that American Airlines changed the way gift card purchases are showing up in the description details. Further, while it’s too early to tell for certain, these newly coded purchases have not been triggering the Amex airline incidental credit.
Previously, the American Airlines gift card and e-gift card purchases showed ‘Misc Fees/Taxes’. Recently, they’ve been showing as ‘Gift Certificate’. The change happened on either February 8th, apparently (a reader emailed me that their 7th purchase was reimbursed). You can also check your purchase and see if it codes as ‘Gift Certificate’ or as ‘Misc Fees/Taxes’ to see whether you are included in the new coding.
If true, the change would affect all Amex airline credits and it would affect all denomination gift cards purchased.
My personal guess is that this is the end of American Airlines gift cards triggering the airline credit and that Amex may be taking steps with a few of the major airlines to have them code their gift card sales differently so that they can exclude them from getting the airline credit. More optimistically, this was just AA acting on their own, and it won’t affect other airlines. Most optimistically, this change won’t affect anything, and the airline credits will post shorting.
For now, other airlines seem to be working fine. For example, data points suggest Delta and Southwest are still triggering the credit. Check all data points in Payments Workshop. Some people have had success in the past with asking Amex via chat to allow them to change their airline in mid-year as a courtesy, that might be helpful to some people now.
Unknown if this change is only an Amex coding change or also Visa/Mastercard; hopefully BofA Premium Rewards and CNB will still work with AA gift cards.
Update: Multiple data points (1, 2) indicate that the change did not affect BofA Premium Rewards purchase on February 8th. And a reader sent in a screenshot which shows AA gift cards still working for CNB on February 11th; this report confirms the same.)
[Update 3/14/19: It appears that the speculation is indeed correct, and American Airlines gift cards no longer trigger the Amex incidental airline credit.]