What Is the Airline Fee Credit for Amex Platinum and How To Use It?

The American Express Platinum card is seriously a massive bundle of joy when it comes to travel benefits. Loaded with multiple unique features, one is that of getting back a $200 airline fee credit, per calendar year, for incidental charges.

How the Amex Platinum $200 Yearly Airline Fee Credit Works

First, to receive this credit, you would need to select which airline you’d like to get the credit from. This can be done by calling a customer service representative or logging into your Amex account.

The airline selection needs to be made in January of the new year, so in other words, by January 31st. And yes, you can choose different airlines every annual occurrence, but once decided, it’s locked for that specific year. As of writing this post, the following nine airlines are eligible for the Amex Platinum $200 Airline fee credit:

  1. Alaska Airlines
  2. American Airlines
  3. Delta Airlines
  4. Frontier Airlines
  5. Hawaiian Airlines
  6. JetBlue Airways
  7. Spirit Airlines
  8. Southwest Airlines
  9. United Airlines

How To Use the $200 Amex Platinum Airline Fee Credit

How To Use the $200 Amex Platinum Airline Credit
Guide to using the $200 Amex Platinum Airline fee credit.

The most maximizing method of leveraging the $200 airline fee credit is picking an airline you don’t frequently fly, if you already hold some elite status with the one you regularly fly.

Here’s why: Having an elevated level with an airline means you earn privileges such as complimentary lounge access, possibly free in-flight food, or perhaps no-charge extra baggage. So when you use these services with this airline, chances are, almost all of it would be comped or at discounted prices.

Now, if you favor an airline where you don’t hold any upgraded status, then for the same activities described above, you’ll be charged for it. However, if it’s an airline that’s part of the Amex benefit, you’ll get that money back (up to $200) as a statement credit.

To get an idea of which kinds of charges are eligible to be covered as “incidental” and for which Amex will give you credit, jump to that section by clicking/tapping here.

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Other Interesting Things To Know Of — With Respect to the Amex $200 Annual Airline Fee Credit

What Happens if I Don’t Select an Airline by January 31st?

Nothing. You can still pick one later in the year. Although mathematically speaking, you’d have fewer days/weeks/months to take advantage of this benefit for that applicable year fully.

Is Enrolling in This Benefit Mandatory Every Year?

It’s not mandatory in the sense of things being legal. If you don’t, you simply won’t be able to use the benefit. That’s all.

Can I Change Airlines After I Have Selected One?

Technically, you cannot. But online threads, forums, and other bloggers suggest that Amex may give you a pass if you call customer service. It’s not a guarantee, but you can try.

How Long Does It Take To Get the $200 Annual Airline Fee Credit Back?

The official word from American Express is 2-4 weeks after you pay for that charge. That said, given to their nature, it could come back a lot quicker than that.

Can I Make More Than One Transaction To Be Eligible for This Credit?

Yes, you can. The credit is on an “up to” $200 basis. It does not matter if it’s one transaction or multiple throughout the year.

Types of Charges That Are Eligible for the Amex Platinum $200 Annual Fee Credit

To begin with, Amex, in their terms and conditions, says it outright that these incidental charges need to be a separate transaction from ticket purchases. Check out a snapshot image below for a visual reference.

a snapshot of Amex terms and conditions regarding their $200 annual credit
As shown, ensure your incidental charges are distinguishable from airline ticket charges.

With that said, below is the list of a few valuable charges eligible for this benefit.

  • Pet fees.
  • Inflight food and beverage purchases.
  • Entertainment purchases — excluding Wi-Fi.
  • Airline-specific lounge purchase as a one-off or annual membership.
  • Fees applied towards checked bags or overweight or oversized ones.
  • Etc.

If in doubt, call customer service first before incurring such a charge.

How the Amex Platinum Airline Fee Credit Appears/Looks Like Inside the Credit Card Transactions

When an eligible incidental charge is processed and is no longer pending, Amex will give you the equivalent amount back as a credit, as a new line item on your credit card. To see what that looks like, below is an example of Airline fee credit reimbursement after an Amex Platinum card was used to purchase for United Airlines’ lounge Access worth $118.

How the Amex Platinum Airline Fee Credit Appears - Looks Like Inside the Credit Card Transactions
As described here, the charge may appear as “AMEX Airline Fee Reimbursement.”