Advertiser Disclosure

Many of the credit card offers that appear on this site are from credit card companies from which we receive financial compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). However, the credit card information that we publish has been written and evaluated by experts who know these products inside out. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse. This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers that are on the market. See our advertising policy here where we list advertisers that we work with, and how we make money. You can also review our credit card rating methodology.

The Amex Platinum Card: How To Best Use Your $200 Airline Credit [Every Year]

Andrew Kunesh's image
Andrew Kunesh

Andrew Kunesh

Former Content Contributor

Countries Visited: 28U.S. States Visited: 22

Andrew’s a lifelong traveler who puts in over 100,000 miles a year, with over 25 countries, 10 business class products, and 2 airline statuses (United and Alaska) under his belt. Andrew’s worked at Th...
Edited by: Keri Stooksbury

Keri Stooksbury


Countries Visited: 39U.S. States Visited: 28

With years of experience in corporate marketing and as the Executive Director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Qatar, Keri is now Editor-in-Chief at UP, overseeing daily content operations and r...
& Kellie Jez

Kellie Jez

Director of Operations & Compliance

Countries Visited: 10U.S. States Visited: 20

Kellie’s professional experience has led her to a deep passion for compliance, data reporting, and process improvement. Kellie’s learned the ins and outs of the points and miles world and leads UP’s c...

We may be compensated when you click on product links, such as credit cards, from one or more of our advertising partners. Terms apply to the offers below. See our Advertising Policy for more about our partners, how we make money, and our rating methodology. Opinions and recommendations are ours alone.

The Platinum Card® from American Express is one of the top premium travel credit cards on the market, but also one of the most expensive. The card’s annual fee is substantially higher than other cards, but it also comes with an extensive list of benefits like airport lounge access, Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy hotel elite status, major bonus earning on flights booked with airlines, and more.

While the card’s fee may seem like a shocker at first, it’s actually not so bad when you take a look at the multiple statement credits offered, including an airline incidental credit of up to $200. Many travelers often aren’t sure how to take advantage of the airline incidental credit and what it can cover. After all, it doesn’t let you cover paid plane tickets but does let you cover other fees incurred from an airline — whether inflight or at the airport.

In this article, you’ll finally get clarity as to what exactly the Amex Platinum card’s airline incidental credit is and your best options for redeeming your card’s $200 annual credit. After all, what use is a benefit if you don’t know how to use it, right?

Amex Platinum Card – Snapshot

The Platinum Card® from American ExpressTerms Apply / Rates & Fees

The Platinum Card® from American Express

U.P. Rating
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industryexperts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as ratesand fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating.We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

This card is undoubtedly the #1 card for luxury travel benefits. From the best lounge access (of any card) to statement credits, to complimentary elite status, you can’t go wrong.

Learn More(at Amex's secure site)

The Platinum Card® from American Express

This card is undoubtedly the #1 card for luxury travel benefits. From the best lounge access (of any card) to statement credits, to complimentary elite status, you can’t go wrong.
Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $8,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
80,000 points
See Pay Over Time APR
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

When it comes to cards that offer top-notch benefits, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better card out there than The Platinum Card® from American Express.

Make no mistake — the Amex Platinum card is a premium card with a premium price tag. With amazing benefits like best-in-class airport lounge access, hotel elite status, and tremendous value in annual statement credits, it can easily prove to be one of the most lucrative cards in your wallet year after year.


  • The best airport lounge access out of any card (by far) — enjoy access to over 1,400 worldwide lounges, including the luxurious Amex Centurion Lounges, Priority Pass lounges, Plaza Premium Lounges, and many more!
  • 5x points per $1 spent on flights purchased directly with the airline or with American Express Travel (up to $500,000 per year)
  • 5x points per $1 spent on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel
  • Annual and monthly statement credits upon enrollment (airline credit, Uber Cash credit, Saks Fifth Avenue credit, streaming credit, prepaid hotel credit on eligible stays, Walmart+ credit, CLEAR credit, and Equinox credit)
  • TSA PreCheck or Global Entry credit
  • Access to American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts
  • Access to Amex International Airline Program
  • No foreign transaction fees (rates and fees)


  • $695 annual fee (rates and fees)
  • Airline credit does not cover airfare (only incidentals like checked bags)
  • Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $8,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum Card®, Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • $200 Hotel Credit: Get up to $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®. The Hotel Collection requires a minimum two-night stay.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 back in statement credits each month on eligible purchases made with your Platinum Card® on one or more of the following: Disney+, a Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, The New York Times, Peacock, SiriusXM, and The Wall Street Journal. Enrollment required.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership (subject to auto-renewal) with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card®. Cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax. Plus Up Benefits are excluded.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Select one qualifying airline and then receive up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year when incidental fees are charged by the airline to your Platinum Card®.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member only.
  • $300 Equinox Credit: Get up to $300 back in statement credits per calendar year on an Equinox membership, or an Equinox club membership (subject to auto-renewal) when you pay with your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required. Visit to enroll.
  • $189 CLEAR® Plus Credit: Breeze through security with CLEAR Plus at 100+ airports, stadiums, and entertainment venues nationwide and get up to $189 back per calendar year on your Membership (subject to auto-renewal) when you use your Platinum Card®. Learn more.
  • $100 Global Entry Credit: Receive either a $100 statement credit every 4 years for a Global Entry application fee or a statement credit up to $85 every 4.5 years for a TSA PreCheck® (through a TSA official enrollment provider) application fee, when charged to your Platinum Card®. Card Members approved for Global Entry will also receive access to TSA PreCheck at no additional cost.
  • Shop Saks with Platinum: Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases in Saks Fifth Avenue stores or at on your Platinum Card®. That's up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually. Enrollment required.
  • $300 SoulCycle At-Home Bike Credit: Get a $300 statement credit for the purchase of a SoulCycle at-home bike with your Platinum Card®. An Equinox+ subscription is required to purchase a SoulCycle at-home bike and access SoulCycle content. Must charge full price of bike in one transaction. Shipping available in the contiguous U.S. only. Enrollment Required.
  • Unlock access to exclusive reservations and special dining experiences with Global Dining Access by Resy when you add your Platinum Card® to your Resy profile.
  • $695 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.

Financial Snapshot

  • APR: See Pay Over Time APR
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None

Card Categories

Rewards Center

American Express Membership Rewards

Hot Tip: Check to see if you’re eligible for a welcome bonus offer of up to 125k (or 150k) points with the Amex Platinum. The current public offer is 80,000 points. (This targeted offer was independently researched and may not be available to all applicants.)

What Is the Amex Platinum Card’s Airline Incidental Credit?

Both the American Express Platinum card and  The Business Platinum Card® from American Express include an up to $200 airline incidental fee credit. This credit, according to American Express, is to be used to cover inflight expenses on your selected airline. Some of the items American Express lists as eligible for reimbursement include inflight refreshments and checked bag fees. Unfortunately, things like airline tickets, gift cards, and points or miles purchases aren’t eligible for reimbursement.

Here’s what the terms and conditions have to say:

“Incidental airline fees charged prior to selection of a qualifying airline are not eligible for statement credits. Airline tickets, upgrades, mileage points purchases, mileage points transfer fees, gift cards, duty free purchases, and award tickets are not deemed to be incidental fees. The airline must submit the charge under the appropriate merchant code, industry code, or required service or product identifier for the charge to be recognized as an incidental air travel fee.”

Once you’ve selected your airline, you can simply charge these expenses to your Amex Platinum card and you’ll automatically be reimbursed in the form of a statement credit within 4 weeks of the charge posting to your account.

Hot Tip: You receive the airline incidental once per calendar year. The credit is dispersed on January 1st of the year and doesn’t roll over.

Selecting an Airline for Your Airline Incidental Credit

Unlike the Chase Sapphire Reserve®‘s $300 travel credit, you’re limited to using your Amex Platinum card’s incidental fee credit on a single airline. You can select your airline when you receive your card and change it once per year thereafter. However, we at Upgraded Points have had luck changing the airline more than once when chatting (nicely) with an American Express representative.

You can pick from the following airlines:

  • Alaska Airlines
  • American Airlines
  • Delta Air Lines
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • JetBlue Airways
  • Spirit Airlines
  • Southwest Airlines
  • United Airlines

You must select an airline before you can use the airline incidental credit. Charges made to your account before selecting an airline are not eligible for reimbursement, so select your airline as soon as you receive your Amex Platinum card and have a trip booked.

Thankfully, selecting your Amex Platinum card airline choice is easy. Just head over to the American Express website, log in and select your Amex Platinum card (should you have more than 1 Amex card).

Click on the Rewards & Benefits tab on the bar at the top of the screen. And then click on the Benefits tab.

Image Credit: American Express

Here, you’ll see the balance of your Airline Fee Credit — how much you’ve used and how much you have left.

Image Credit: American Express

Scroll down the page and you’ll see a list of benefits included with your Amex Platinum card. There will be an option labeled $200 Airline Fee Credit. Click on the Learn More button and, from there, you can select your airline choice using the drop-down menu at the center of the screen.

Image Credit: American Express

The Best Ways To Use Your Airline Incidental Fee Credit

As mentioned earlier, the Amex Platinum card’s airline incidental fee credit cannot be used towards plane tickets, points purchases, or gift cards. There’s no doubt that this is frustrating, but thankfully, there are still plenty of great ways that you can spend the credit over the year.

Here are our favorite ways of utilizing the flight credit. We’ve split this section up into 2 parts: official and unofficial ways to redeem the incidental fee credit.

Official Ways To Redeem the Incidental Fee Credit

You can use your airline incidental fee credit to purchase day passes to the American Airlines Admirals Club. Image Credit: American Airlines

Airport Lounge Day Passes and Annual Memberships

While the Amex Platinum card includes extensive lounge access, it doesn’t include access to all of the U.S. carrier’s lounges. You can use your Amex Platinum card’s credit to buy day passes to:

Just remember that you have to select the applicable airline for the lounge charge to be covered. So if you select Delta as your selected airline, your charges to the Admirals Club won’t be covered by your incidental fees.

Hot Tip: If you purchase an annual lounge membership with your Amex Platinum card that costs more than $200, you’ll be credited the entirety of the incidental fee credit at once. So in this case, you can think of it as a $200 discount on your lounge membership of choice.

Further, note that Amex Platinum cardmembers do not receive complimentary guest access at Delta Sky Clubs. However, guest access can be purchased for $29 per person (versus $50 for a standard day pass). If you purchase Delta Sky Club guest access and Delta is selected as your Amex Platinum card’s airline, you will be reimbursed for their entry fee.

Change Fees

Changing a trip’s date can be expensive, but your Amex Platinum card’s incidental fee credit will cover the itinerary change fee. Note that the incidental fee will not likely cover the airfare difference as this is often charged like a plane ticket.

Hot Tip: Want more information on airline change fees? Learn how to avoid airline change fees in our dedicated article. 

Checked Baggage Fees

Plan on checking a bag but it isn’t included with your ticket? Just charge it to your Amex Platinum card. This is especially helpful if you’ve selected a low-cost carrier, like Spirit, as your airline choice as these carriers generally charge more for baggage. Just remember that the incidental fee credit will only cover baggage fees on your selected airline.

Inflight Entertainment Fees

The incidental fee credit will cover inflight entertainment fees like TV, movies, and tablet rentals charged directly by the airline. A good example of this is renting an Alaska Airlines entertainment tablet inflight. The airline charges a fee to rent these in economy class.

Unfortunately, this does not cover inflight internet as this is generally billed by a third party. However, we have heard of United inflight entertainment being reimbursed as it is generally charged by United directly. Proceed with caution though as there’s no guarantee it will be reimbursed.

Inflight Amenities (Food, Drink, Headphones, Etc.)

Most other inflight purchases are covered, too. Think amenities like headphones, blankets on budget carriers, food, and drink. These are almost always charged by the airline and will automatically be reimbursed by your Amex Platinum card’s incidental fee credit.

Seat Selection Fees

Seat selection fees are another great way to redeem your airline incidental fee credit. You can use this when flying low-cost carriers or are flying on a basic economy fare that doesn’t include free seat selection. Note that this does include things like Even More Space seating on JetBlue and Economy Plus on United Airlines.

Pet Flight Fees

If you’re taking a furry companion with you, use your Amex Platinum card’s incidental credit to cover the pet fee. This can take out a nice chunk of your reimbursement too — for example, JetBlue charges $125 per one-way flight.

Hot Tip: Some airlines are better than others when flying with Fido. Explore our data study on the best airlines for traveling with your pet

Phone Booking Fees

You can usually avoid these by booking online, but there may be instances where you need to call to book an award ticket or a flight with special routing. If you can’t get the agent to waive this fee, your Amex Platinum card’s incidental fee credit will cover it.

Priority Boarding

Priority boarding purchases will work on virtually all airlines. This can be especially valuable when flying Southwest Airlines as you’ll get first dibs on the best seats. Again, just remember that the incidental fees will only cover priority boarding fees on your selected airline.

Unofficial Ways To Redeem the Incidental Fee Credit

The methods below are ways that either our staff has tried or seen work for other travelers. Proceed with caution. There’s no guarantee that these will work for you. While we try and keep this section as up-to-date as possible, these things can change on a dime and we can’t be held liable for a charge not being reimbursed.

Admirals Club Food or Drink Purchases

A number of American Airlines Admirals Club locations have premium food and drink available for purchase. These purchases have been reimbursed from American Express as they’re billed directly from American Airlines.

Unfortunately, we don’t have data for purchases at other lounges at this time. Again, proceed with caution.

Delta Airfare Purchased Partially With a Gift Card

There are reports of Delta tickets purchased partially with a gift card being reimbursed by American Express. This is because when the purchase processes, it will add “additional collection” to the transaction instead of listing an airline route like most airfare purchases.

This means that American Express will see the transaction as if it was some sort of add-on or other inflight expense. However, this is not officially supported, and American Express may choose to not honor your incidental credit for this purchase.

Sub-$99 Airfare on Select Airlines

We’ve seen reports of sub-$99 fares on Delta, Southwest, and JetBlue being reimbursed by the incidental fee credit. But again, this is very much something you should try at your own risk as the purchase will code as airfare.

Spirit Saver$ Club Memberships

Spirit Airlines has a members-only discount club called Spirit Saver$ Club. It provides access to discounted tickets and include other perks, but has an annual fee.

We’ve seen reports of Spirit Saver$ Club memberships being reimbursed by American Express. Definitely keep this in mind if you’re a frequent ultra-low-cost carrier as it can save you a nice sum of money as you travel throughout the year.

$5.60 TSA Passenger Security Fee on Award Tickets

Our team has had the $5.60 TSA Passenger Security fee reimbursed on multiple award tickets in the past.

Purchases That Do Not Trigger the Airline Incidental Credit

Now that you have a full list of things that do (or might) trigger the airline incidental fee credit, here’s a quick look at the things that don’t trigger this credit.

Award Taxes and Fees

Aside from the $5.60 TSA Security Fee mentioned above, our team has not had luck having other award fees reimbursed. This is likely because of the fact that these purchases code as airfare when posted to your American Express card.

Airline Gift Card Purchases

Airline gift card purchases were a long-time favorite for redeeming the airline incidental fee credit. However, as of this summer, our team has had no luck getting these reimbursed.

Class of Service Upgrades

Unfortunately, cabin upgrades are not eligible for reimbursement.

Inflight Wi-Fi

As mentioned earlier, inflight Wi-Fi generally does not trigger the incidental fee credit as it’s billed by a third party like Gogo or Panasonic. However, we’ve seen reports of United Airlines Wi-Fi purchases being reimbursed as United does bill Wi-Fi purchases on its own, or if purchased through the airline application prior to your flight.

What if My Purchase Isn’t Automatically Reimbursed?

While American Express states that it will reimburse eligible charges within 4 weeks, some charges make it past American Express’ system. If you’re not reimbursed for an eligible charge, you can either call the number on the back of your card or use American Express’s live chat service to request reimbursement.

Final Thoughts

While the Amex Platinum card’s airline incidental fee credit is limited when compared to travel credits offered by other premium credit cards, it still offers a ton of value. When you use the methods listed above, you’ll not only save money, but also have a better travel experience with extra checked bags, lounge access, and more.

How do you spend your Amex Platinum card’s airline incidental fee credit? Let us know in the comments below!

Read our review to discover other Amex Platinum offers available.


For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

You can pick from the following U.S. airlines. Note that you can only redeem your credit on the airline you choose, and you can only change your selection once per calendar year.

  • Alaska Airlines
  • American Airlines
  • Delta Airlines
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • JetBlue Airways
  • Spirit Airlines
  • Southwest Airlines
  • United Airlines

The following American Express cards come with an airline incidental fee credit:

  • American Express Platinum Card® for Schwab — $200
  • Amex Platinum card — $200
  • Amex Business Platinum card — $200
  • Corporate Platinum Card® by American Express — $200
  • Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card — $250
  • The Platinum Card® from American Express Exclusively for Goldman Sachs — $200
  • The Platinum Card® from American Express Exclusively for Morgan Stanley — $200

Generally speaking, no. The terms and conditions prohibit this and it has not worked in practice for a majority of Amex Platinum cardholders. However, there are reports of sub-$100 airfare triggering the credit when booking on select airlines.

No, you must use the entirety of the incidental fee credit before the end of a calendar year. Otherwise, the credit will expire.

You will receive $200 per year in incidental fee credit. The credit renews on January 1st of the calendar year.

Yes, you will still earn points on reimbursed purchases.

About Andrew Kunesh

Andrew was born and raised in the Chicago suburbs and now splits his time between Chicago and New York City.

He’s a lifelong traveler and took his first solo trip to San Francisco at the age of 16. Fast forward a few years, and Andrew now travels just over 100,000 miles a year, with over 25 countries, 10 business class products, and 2 airline statuses (United and Alaska) under his belt. Andrew formerly worked for The Points Guy and is now Senior Money Editor at CNN Underscored.


Get the latest travel tips, crucial news, flight & hotel deal alerts...

Plus — expert strategies to maximize your points & miles by joining our (free) newsletter.

We respect your privacy. Please view our privacy policy here.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Disclaimer: Any comments listed below are not from the bank advertiser, nor have they been reviewed or approved by them. No responsibility will be taken by the bank advertiser for these comments.


Jeremiah Davis

October 19, 2019

Great article.
I have a follow-up question:
Does anyone know if the $200 can be used to cover Unaccompanied Minor Fees?

Stephen Au

October 21, 2019

Hi Jeremiah,

It’s difficult to tell in-advance. The only way to know for certain is to use it and see if you get it credited back. As it looks right now, it should qualify, as it is not specifically excluded from Amex’s terms and conditions. Thanks for reading.


December 16, 2019

Great article. Thanks for all of the details. It was a huge insight.
Spirit has a ton of fees that I’m sure will fit under the airline incidentals.
Like selecting seats, more leg room seats, baggage fees and the $9 fare club membership.
My question is the following.
With the promo ending/resetting on Jan. 1st, can I book now to travel during 2,020 before the year ends to qualify ?
Or must the flight be completed during the promo period ?

Stephen Au

December 19, 2019

Hi Leandro,

Thanks for your feedback. Spirit’s exact terms and conditions change all the time. We’d encourage you to seek advice from Spirit Airlines directly, since we aren’t making the rules here.


December 04, 2020

Yes, AmEx Aspire Card reimbursed in 2019 and 2020 for unaccompanied minor -American Air. (YMMV)


November 19, 2019

Amex Platinum data point.
$96 Southwest ticket purchased in mid-November 2019.
No credit posted after 4 days.

Augusto Novato

December 05, 2019

hi, did you have any luck with Delta?


November 20, 2019

Helpful article. However the below statement is incorrect. Amex Platinum card holders traveling on Delta receive complimentary access to Delta SkyClub along with 2 guests. I have used this benefit a number of times.

“Further, note that Amex Platinum cardmembers do not receive complimentary guest access at Delta SkyClubs. However, guest access can be purchased for $29 per person (versus $50 for a standard day pass). If Delta is selected as your Amex Platinum’s airline, you will be reimbursed for their entry fee.”

Christine Krzyszton

November 20, 2019

Hi Kia. The statement in the article is correct. This requirement is referenced both in the Amex Platinum card terms and conditions and on the Delta website. It is stated that: “Guests of Platinum and Centurion card members may enter the club with up to 2 guests for an additional fee”. It sounds like you’ve been fortunate in that you have not had to pay these fees.


September 29, 2020

I agree the article statement is correct. Please note also, if the Delta flyer has Diamond Elite status they can get two complimentary guests free as part of Choice Benefits and use the Amex Platinum as an entry for themselves to Delta SkyClubs. I have used it this way without paying the $29 fees.

Christine Krzyszton

September 29, 2020

Thanks for the additional info, Vibhu.


December 13, 2019

I know that DPs show that taxes and fees are normally not automatically reimbursed by Amex, however, would you have a strong case to argue for reimbursement if you call or use the chat to have them do it manually?

Jarrod West

December 13, 2019

Hi Ryan,

You can definitely call and try, but I wouldn’t expect them to do so. If you are able to get them waived let us know!


December 13, 2019

Thanks for the reply, do you know of anything that explicitly says no? I just want to make sure that I am not running into something that is in writing and B&W prohibits the credit.

Jarrod West

December 13, 2019

Hi Ryan,

You should have received a booklet that details the terms and conditions for each of the card’s benefits when you received the card. I’d give that a look and see if there is anything that explicitly says no.


December 23, 2019

I am planning to cancel my AMEX Platinum card soon after the first of the year to avoid the annual fee. However, I have a question:

If I make a purchase before Jan. 1 that would trigger the fee reimbursement but it hasn’t been credited yet before I call to cancel the card, will it still credit since the card was open at the time of the charge?


Jarrod West

December 23, 2019

Hi Kan,

If you cancel the card before the charge has been credited then no, you will not receive the reimbursement.

Thanks for reading!


January 17, 2020

HI, Great article! I have a question: if the flight ticket is booked on another (non-amex) card, can I receive credit if I pay for the additional incidental fee using Amex Platinum?

Jarrod West

January 17, 2020

Hi Sunny,

Yes, you should receive the incidental fee credit as long as you pay for the incidental with your Amex Platinum card.


January 20, 2020

Can you change to a different airline if you have already used partial credit to the existing chosen airline? Thanks!

Alex Miller

January 20, 2020

Hey Frank – Yes, you can change even if you’ve already used part of the credit on an airline. Just give AMEX a call, be friendly and they should change it for you without a problem!


February 01, 2020

I spoke to AMEX tonight. The agent said that they will not change airlines if you’ve already used partial credit on a different airline.


January 21, 2020


If you buy a ticket for example on Delta but the codeshare is for Delta Partner airlines, can you use the airline credit towards baggage fees on the partner airline, if the ticket was sold by Delta?

Stephen Au

January 22, 2020


Most likely not. The merchant collecting the baggage fee must be Delta. If you’re paying for baggage fees on partner airlines, you’ll need to make sure that the baggage fee is collected by Delta, as opposed to partner airlines.


January 23, 2020


I’m planning on flying delta with the family and I need to have assigned seating, but I also want to use my amex credits. Would it trigger the credit if I bought our tickets in basic economy and after the purchase when asked if I would like to switch to main cabin pay the difference using my amex a couple day after my purchase? Do you think that it would trigger the credit? It’s a 42 dollar difference.

Jarrod West

January 29, 2020

Hi Philip,

Yes, that should trigger the incidental credit.


September 26, 2020

I would like to use my Amex airline credit to upgrade to an exit row which is classified as preferred seating. It is $98. Will it trigger my AMEX credit?

Jarrod West

September 28, 2020

Hi Lindsey,

Yes, this should trigger your Amex credit assuming you’re upgrading with the airline you’ve previously selected.

Michael Cleveland

November 10, 2020

Southwest has a prioity boarding at the gate for about $30 (may differ depending on the length of flight). This gets your boarding pass # moved to A 1-15. Available as long as some 1-15 slots are available. Would this quailfy for the Amex credit? Thanks great article.

Jarrod West

November 11, 2020

Hi Michael,

Yes, this should qualify for the Amex incidental credit.


December 04, 2020

I got the Amex platinum last month. Can I select Spirit and apply for their $9 fare club membership now and change it to frontier to get their membership as well in January – since we are allowed to select our airlines once every year.

Jarrod West

December 04, 2020

Hi SP,

The Amex Platinum airline credit only works for airline incidentals like checked baggage fees, overweight/oversize baggage fees, change fees, etc. So the fee for the $9 fare club may not be covered.


December 08, 2020

Thank you! Although the above article says “We’ve seen reports of both $9 Fare Club and Discount Den memberships being reimbursed by American Express. “


December 07, 2020

Last week I used my American Express Platinum to upgrade our seats for an upcoming flight. When checking my activity on my account, I realized that I had not chose American Airlines as my airline choice, I thought I had. I tried to chat with a customer service rep but he said no, can’t help me. I think it’s ridiculous that they can make a manual adjustment. I’m going to try to call tomorrow. Has anyone else done this?


December 23, 2020

I can confirm food/beverage purchases in Delta lounges do not automatically trigger the credit. I had to call Amex and politely ask for a credit. They obliged, but it didn’t sound like they’d do it again for me.


February 17, 2021

if I purchased a ticket on United for someone else, can I use my Aspire card to pay for there seat selection and have that reimbursed?

Jarrod West

February 17, 2021

Hi Matt,

Yes, that should count towards the airline incidental fee on your Hilton Aspire card.


September 04, 2021

On 9/1/21 I received a $40 credit for a partial charge on my SW flight.


September 13, 2021

I selected United since I’m 1k and primarily fly them, but I’m wondering how I can maximize this credit. I already get a drink/food for free, checked bags are free, entertainment is now free on United flights, I rarely change my flights, and I already have United lounge access thru my United Business credit card. I guess purchasing wifi is my only option with United from what this article says. Let’s see if I can maximize $200 on wifi alone. Any other ideas out there? I know point purchases don’t count, but what about those “mile accelerator” options for reservations where you get more miles for that flight? Has anybody tried using those with your amex card?


October 07, 2021

check out the FlyerTalk thread….some good ideas in there.


October 06, 2021

I’m thinking of selecting United as my airline for my $200 credit and I have a question on timing of the incidental charges. If I purchase basic economy tickets and in the same transaction, as I’m checking out on, I pay extra to get assigned seats or I pay extra for a “bundle” that includes assigned seats and a bag, will those “extras” trigger the credit, even though they’re part of the same transaction in which I’m purchasing the actual airfare? Or do I have to buy the tickets alone first, and then go back and (in a new transaction) purchase assigned seats or checked bags, etc?

Thank you!

Jarrod West

October 08, 2021


You should not need to make a separate purchase for your seat selection. Usually, even if you book both at the same time, United will charge your card 2 separate times, one for the airfare and one for any extra, in which case, the second charge should be credited back to you. Safe travels!

Brian Jew

October 09, 2021

If I purchase airline tickets using my Chase United Explorer card (to get the free checked luggage), and then later use my AMEX Aspire Card to pay for changing seats to one with more legroom, will that work for the airline incidental credit? In short, will the credit still trigger even though a different card was used to make the airline ticket purchase from the incidental charge?

Jarrod West

October 22, 2021

Hi Brian,

Yes, you should still receive the incidental credit. Safe travels!


October 11, 2021

Do lounge passes expire? And are they specific to the purchaser or can I give to my daughter? Thanks

Jarrod West

October 20, 2021

Hi Abby,

Which lounge passes are you referring to?


October 13, 2021

Hi, what happens if you go over the limit?

Chris Hassan

October 13, 2021

Hi Jose,

Anything over the $200 will remain on your statement as a charge.

Toys Samurai

October 25, 2021

I got a question. Delta Sky Club membership can be paid monthly. Between my Platinum and my wife’s, does that mean we could fully utilize the $400 by paying monthly?

Jarrod West

October 25, 2021

Hi Toys,

You can already access Delta Sky Clubs for free when flying Delta with your Amex Platinum card. So there would be no need to pay for a Sky Club membership.

Ger Hanson

November 28, 2021

If at time of check-in you purchased mileage boost miles when is offered will that be reimbursed? It is not a stand alone purchase of miles but rather an add on to a ticket purchase??

Jarrod West

November 29, 2021

Hi Ger,

I haven’t seen any data points of this, but I anticipate that if it codes as an add-on purchase that it should count towards your $200 credit.

Nick G

January 27, 2023

I was able to upgrade to first class on American airlines flight going from Philadelphia to Phoenix it was $180 charge and it was reimbursed 2 weeks later.


December 16, 2021

I’ve had this work on AA. Bougie Miles also has some data points on this. I think it’s a slight gamble but I had it work on AA in October 2021.

Jose S

December 03, 2021

I would like to upgrade from Main to First class on a flight. Assuming this would qualify for the $200 statement credit since its a premium seat selection, correct?

Jarrod West

December 03, 2021

Hi Jose,

I’m anticipating that would code as a ticket purchase and thus not qualify for the statement credit. I’d love to be proven wrong though if it works for you!


December 16, 2021

The T&C’s list this as not included so it might work but likely wouldn’t. If it was a minor amount under $200 you’d have a better chance.


January 07, 2022

What’s the verdict on paying for seat changes (Main to Comfort+ or First)? Will this trigger the credit?

Jarrod West

January 11, 2022

Hi DJ,

Seat selection fees should credit, but paying for upgrade like moving to first likely will not credit.


April 05, 2022

I was wondering if the $200 can be used to cover the $150 pass to enter American’s Flagship Lounges. I’ve seen plenty of anecdotes of those who can buy $50 passes to Admiral’s Clubs, but nothing on Flagships. Thanks!

Jarrod West

April 06, 2022

Hi Ryan,

I’ve not heard any reports of anyone being able to do so successfully, but your mileage may vary.


November 21, 2022

Hi! I was wondering if a AMEX card from another country still have the same $200 benefit. Do you know? Thank you!

Jarrod West

November 21, 2022

Hi Jackie,

Amex Platinum cards from other countries don’t necessarily share the same benefits, or earn rates, as the U.S. version.


October 14, 2022

Would this work if I buy additional lounge passes for next year? I have $100 left in AMEX incidentals credits that I know I wont use by the end of the year because I selected Delta as my airline. Even though I have other trips booked, I don’t plan on flying with Delta until next year. Can I purchase 2 day passes and save them for next year? Would I get a reiembusrtment for this? Thanks!

Jarrod West

November 09, 2022

Hi Shelly,

Yes, purchasing lounge passes should trigger the credit.


November 15, 2022

Will a Clear membership bought using Delta SkyMiles membership discount be coded as incidental and trigger credit on Aspire?

Jarrod West

November 16, 2022

Hi Jerry,

That is unlikely as it will probably be billed from CLEAR directly – but I’d love to be proven wrong! Thanks for reading!


November 19, 2022

I’m wondering if I purchase a preferred seat on AA in 2022 for a trip I have bought for 2023, and then cancel the flight in 2023. I will have a trip credit with AA for the ticket value, but what happens to the money spent on the seats? I think usually you can request a refund with AA for unused ancillary charges, but if I was already credited by AMEX the previous year, would I actually get this money back? Could it be used again in the future?

Stephen Au

December 18, 2022

In general, preferred seat purchases are ancillary purchases, which are nonrefundable even in the event of cancellation. So you’ll lose the money you spent on the seats if you cancel your ticket.


Adam Cincinnati

December 21, 2022

FYI—I have both Amex Platinum and Delta Amex Platinum cards. The Amex Platinum DOES in fact grant comp access to Delta Sky Club for cardholder. So purchasing an annual membership is moot. This perk comes with the Delta Reserve Amex as well, but not the Delta Platinum Amex. FYI, all. Great article otherwise.

John M

December 22, 2022

If I purchased a seat selection and checked bag for my wife will these be reimbursed? The charge on AmEx shows up with her name as the passenger, so I’m a bit concerned they won’t reimburse me.

Katie Seemann

December 26, 2022

Hi John,
Those charges should be eligible to be reimbursed. I’ve purchased seat selections for my husband and daughter and had the charges refunded.

Sam Nan

December 26, 2022

Does purchasing a lounge pass online trigger the airline incidental credit or does it have to be purchased at the airport? I selected American Airlines and am trying to find a meaningful way to spend the $200 credit.

Katie Seemann

December 26, 2022

Hi Sam,
Yes the purchase of an airline lounge pass online should trigger the credit as long as you’re purchasing the pass for a lounge operated by the same airline you chose. So you could purchase an Admiral’s Club lounge pass but not one for Delta Sky Clubs since you chose American Airlines.


January 28, 2023

I have tried, and tried, and tried, and Alaska Airlines covered expenses are never automatically refunded. You have to go out of your way to contact Amex every time and beg to get the credit. I gave up and changed to another airline.


April 24, 2023

What about the cost of buying up to a gold status on American?

Jarrod West

April 24, 2023

Hi JJ,

That would not count toward the incidental credit.


June 05, 2023

I selected Southwest Airlines…. Bad move and then forgot to change it at the beginning of year and have flown Delta 3 times this year already. Anyone else have SWA as their airline choice? What have you purchased to be able to utilize your airline credit?

Eric R Gilbert

July 01, 2023

In the old days, I was able to use the $200.00 towards Delta Gift cards. Now Delta bills the gift cards using another vendor, so they don’t bill as Delta airlines. These are no longer reimbursable for the $200.00 credit.
This credit has no value as you are restricted to one airline. American Express needs to revamp the program so it is goods towards ANY airline. I bet 90% of the members don’t even utilize the full $200.00 per year.
I had a trip to Rhode Island, so I used the credit towards Jet Blue to cover my bag of $30.00. On the plane, the airline attendants were trying to have me sign up for a Jet Blue card as they get compensated.
On another note, I was ANGRY with American Airlines and reached out to an attorney. I flew from Miami to Las Vegas using American Airlines. I have the American Airlines credit card through Barclay’s and do not pay for a bag for American. On the return, American Airlines has an alliance with JetBlue, and I flew home on Jet Blue and had to pay $30.00 for my bag. That is when I designated Jet Blue as my airline of choice. When I was checking in via the American Airlines app, it brought me to the Jet Blue sight and was charging me for the bag. I then called American Airlines and the agent said I would not be charged but was also trying to sell me to cancel my American Airlines Barclay’s credit card and sign up for the Citi Bank American Airlines card.
Talk about an outrage! American has two branded credit cards! One from Barclay’s which the flight attendants are aggressively trying to sell you on the flight and one with Citi which the reservation agent told me was better! Both come with no annual fee for the first year. It makes sense to keep each one for a year, cancel, move to Barclay’s or Citi, and then reapply so you never pay a fee!


August 01, 2023

If you I use Amex travel’s website to buy an AA flight with a combination of points and $200 charged to my platinum card – will it trigger the $200 airline fee credit?


Jarrod West

August 01, 2023

Hi Yoss,

No, the $200 credit only applies to airline incidentals, not airfare.


August 16, 2023

I purchased a DL skymiles ticket to London and was reimbursed the $189 in taxes and fees. I now need to cancel the trip. Typically, as it is a mileage ticket, I would be refunded the $189 back to my card. So, what happens to the credit? Does Amex reverse the credit to be used again, do I lose the credit or do I just get to keep the refunded $189? TIA

Jarrod West

August 16, 2023

Hi Debbie,

You should still be refunded back to your card, in which case, Amex likely will clawback the credit it gave you.

Any thoughts or questions? Comment below!

Email needed if you'd like comment updates. It will NOT be published.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. Protection Status