Credit Cards

How To Use Amex Airline Credit

By David Krug David Krug is the CEO & President of Bankovia. He's a lifelong expat who has lived in the Philippines, Mexico, Thailand, and Colombia. When he's not reading about cryptocurrencies, he's researching the latest personal finance software. 5 minute read

You should be aware of the limitations of this highly sought-after travel credit.
Among the most sought-after travel advantages offered by American Express are the finest travel credit cards. The yearly Amex airline credit, which gives savings to regular travelers, is one of its many exclusive perks.

Amex’s reputation for hefty yearly fees may be justified by this credit, which has an annual worth of $200 to $250 on airline transactions. How to get the most out of your Amex airline charge credit is covered in this guide.

Amex airline credit: What is it and how does it work?

All American Express credit cards with an annual charge are eligible for the airline fee credit, which is provided on a limited number of American Express credit cards. Cardholders of the following cards, or those planning to do so, will be able to take advantage of this beneficial benefit.

However, you’ll need to activate this perk by selecting an eligible airline before arranging your next trip. To select a favorite airline, the principal cardholder or an authorized account manager can only do so once per year.

Call the number on the back of your American Express card or go into your online American Express account to make your choice. The following airlines have agreed to participate:

  • Airlines such as Alaska Airlines
  • Aegean Airways
  • Flights by Delta
  • Flights operated by Frontier Airlines are referred as
  • The airline company that operates out of Hawaii is Hawaiian Airlines
  • Airlines operated by JetBlue
  • A low-cost airline
  • The airline of Southwest
  • United Airways

The Amex airline credit covers incidentals.

Following your selection of an airline, the process of claiming the airline charge credit is simple enough. The Amex airline fee credit only applies to costs that are qualified for reimbursement from the airline of your choice. When you use your card to make qualified purchases, you’ll earn a statement credit up to the benefit value of your card.

4 Caveats to be aware of

You need to know a few things to ensure that you’re not wasting your time and money. It’s important to read the fine print on this card advantage because it might be a terrific perk for travelers.

Airline codes matter

Due to the identifying code used by the merchant, Amex instantly credits your account with airline credit. If you pay with a credit or debit card, airlines assign a merchant code or an industry code to each transaction.

Products and services may have different merchant codes depending on which airlines you fly with. This might happen if the airline codes your transaction differently than you intended.

When it comes to “incidental fees,” there is a wide range of interpretation.

However, since the Amex airline credit is applied to specific transactions based on merchant codes rather than an absolute list of incidental fees, what constitutes a qualifying fee may differ from airline to airline.

For example, Amex does not allow the purchase of gift cards. There have been instances where airline gift cards purchased using a card were unexpectedly repaid to cardholders. Just a heads-up: since this sort of purchase isn’t supposed to be eligible for the credit, you shouldn’t count on it working.

Keep an eye on your Amex card statement to check if a certain transaction type is eligible for a rebate. In order to get credit for unapproved uses, don’t spend money you wouldn’t otherwise have. It might put your account on a fast road to getting shut down if you do this.

Use it or lose it

Yearly renewal of the Amex airline credit is available. Your remaining credit on your card will be forfeited if you don’t spend it all by December 31st. Because the credit isn’t carried over to the next year, be sure to include it while planning your next trip. When you can, plan your purchases in advance so that you may use up your annual airline charge credit before your bill ends.

You’re stuck with one airline

Additionally, Amex mandates that you stick with a single airline each year in order to qualify for the credit. If this is your first time booking a flight, you have complete freedom to change your mind. However, once you’ve made a decision, you can’t change it until January of the following year. There is a good chance that you will have difficulty reaching your credit limit if you fly with your preferred airline only once or twice this year.

To check whether Amex will make an exception if you have an extenuating condition, you can call the phone number on the back of your card. However, this is a one-off consideration.

How to maximize your Amex airline charge credit benefit

If you know how to make good use of this airline credit, you can save money on your next trip. Here are a few things to keep in mind before signing up for classes.

  • See if you can receive the same advantages with another airline if you already have elite status with that one. Consider using a different airline to maximize your American Express travel advantages.
  • Select a date that works best for you. Keep in mind that the credit is applied once a year when creating a new account. In other words, if you receive a new credit card in November, you’ll need to spend it up quickly before your statement closes on December 31. On the other hand, in January of the following year, you’ll get another $100 in airline credit.
  • Pay close attention to the things you buy. The airline credit will appear on your credit card statement, so be sure to keep an eye out for it. Also take note of how you purchased the item (for example, online vs. in-person). Using this information, you’ll be able to make more informed purchases with your Amex credit card.
  • Keep an eye on what you’ve got left to sell. Keep track of the remaining benefit value throughout the year so that unused airline credit isn’t wasted. In your online Amex account, you can check how much credit you have remaining.

If you have an Amex card, you’ll have access to a variety of travel benefits, including a credit for airline fees. Make sure you take advantage of this useful feature. In addition, given the high yearly fees of these cards, any chance to recuperate travel expenses is welcome.

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