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.]

Hat tip to Flyertalk members and TPG

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tinytavosa (@guest_754665)
May 1, 2019 15:41

Any updates on Southwest GC still working for Amex Gold? I am going to purchase one soon and see if it works still, but thought I’d ask. Thanks.

Sparky (@guest_754664)
May 1, 2019 15:40

Purchased Qty 2 of $100 southwest gift card and received credit–both near end of April 2019 on ameriprise platinum.

We be churning
We be churning (@guest_734736)
March 14, 2019 10:40

Southwest DP with AmEx Platinum (Personal):

10 Mar 2019 – Purchased 2 $100 Southwest e-Gift Cards and emailed them to my Dad
13 Mar 2019 – AmEx Airline Fee Reimbursement ($200) credited to account.

The transaction showed up as Southwest Airlines Dallas TX and was coded as Spd/Air Freight on my PC. In the mobile app, it showed up as Travel – Airline. I created a SW Rapid Rewards account for Southwest immediately prior to the two GC purchases. The transaction qualified with the 5x multiplier and returned 1000 MR Points.

Let me know if you have any questions or need more info.

Sam (@guest_732278)
March 8, 2019 14:21

Any new data points on Delta airlines Gift cards? I have AMEX Gold and wanted to pull the trigger.

Dheeraj (@guest_755738)
May 4, 2019 02:27

Can confirm that purchasing two Delta $50 gift cards on the same day triggered the full $100 credit on Amex Gold!

im (@guest_731769)
March 7, 2019 14:31

credit posted after about a week, for CNB.

Damien (@guest_731738)
March 7, 2019 13:11

Thankfully I read this post before buying AA gift cards like I usually do. So I decided to throw the dice and pay for a seat upgrade to first class on a domestic AA flight since I wasn’t going to have another opportunity to use up the $200 before I cancel the card. And it triggered the credit! I paid online during the checking process on Feb 26th.

David (@guest_725872)
February 22, 2019 13:16

Any recent DP on AA GC purchase via BOA premium card?(purchase made after 2/16)?


Rey (@guest_727875)
February 27, 2019 05:18

BofA premium rewards card is working: $100 AA e-gift card purchased 2/18/2019, received credit 2/26/2019.

Scot Skidmore
Scot Skidmore (@guest_730990)
March 5, 2019 16:43

Did it take you 3 days to receive your AA egift card? I know they don’t work for 3 days, but they won’t send the egift card for 3 days? That is what happened to me today. Using my BOA Premium.

Tp (@guest_731763)
March 7, 2019 14:16

Boa credit for American Airlines gift card confirmed March 6

ra (@guest_756596)
May 7, 2019 02:14

Southwest GC did not trigger on BOA — however they eventually credited me manually.

gary (@guest_725865)
February 22, 2019 13:10


Kumar (@guest_725574)
February 22, 2019 00:36

DP for CNB : Bought AA GC on 02/14/19 and got credit on 02/20/19.

NY (@guest_725798)
February 22, 2019 11:57

Really?? And was the purchase coded as a Gift Certificate?

Kumar (@guest_726211)
February 23, 2019 00:47

Last year GYFT was mentioned in statement for AA GC purchase and yet to get statements for this cycle. In transaction detail, transaction is shown as

AD (@guest_725315)
February 21, 2019 17:10

Purchased $100 Southwest egc on 2/17 with AMEX Gold. Credit posted 2/20.