American Airlines Gift Cards No Longer Work for Airline Incidental Fees

A handful of premium credit cards like the Amex Platinum, Amex Gold Card, and the CNB Visa Infinite card offer an airline incidental fee benefit. The credit can be a pain to use, especially if you don’t typically opt for extra airline incidentals like checked bags or paid in-flight meals.

In the past, one way to use the credit was to buy $50-$100 increments of American Airlines gift cards that would get reimbursed by the credit card.

American Airlines recently updated the merchant coding on their end to reflect gift card purchases; these purchases no longer generate the airline incidental fee credit.

How to Change Airlines

If your American Express airline selection of choice was American Airlines and this put a dent in your plans, you can contact customer service via online chat to switch your preferred airline.

As of writing this post, gift card purchases for Delta Airlines and Southwest Airlines still work.

Delta Airlines

For Delta, the gift card purchases need to be in $50 increments to generate the credit. Be sure to make the gift card purchase on a desktop, and NOT on mobile. When you buy gift cards via mobile, CashStar is the merchant and not Delta.

h/t FlyerTalk

Southwest Airlines

For Southwest, you can purchase gift cards in $100, $200, or $250 increments to generate the credit.

h/t FlyerTalk

How Long Does It Take to Generate the Airline Credit?

If you don’t see the statement credit in a few days, the credit can take up to 4 weeks to be reimbursed. Whatever you do, DO NOT contact American Express about the gift card credit since it’s against the terms. Be patient.



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