Three American Express credit cards offer airline fee credit, which can help you cover a variety of airline fees such as checked bags or itinerary change fees. To activate it, you must select an eligible airline once every calendar year.
Keep in mind, airline fee credit is not the same as travel credit. The latter covers a variety of travel charges, including flights, not just airline fees.
How to use the Amex airline fee credit
Using the Amex airline fee credit is simple. But you have to set it up first. Here’s how:
Log in to your online account. Select the The Platinum Card® from American Express or another eligible card. Select the Benefits section.
Enroll in the airline fee credit. Find the airline fee credit and select Enroll Now.
Select airline. Choose an eligible airline from the dropdown list and click Submit Selection.
Note: If you chose an airline, it will be your default selection every year until you change it. You can change it once per calendar year, but only in January.
Can authorized users use the airline fee credit?
Yes, authorized users have access to the card’s airline fee credit. But this is not an additional fee credit per cardholder. If the card comes with a $200 airline fee credit, the main cardholder and the authorized users use the same $200.
What can you use it for?
You can use your Amex airline credit toward the following fees:
In-flight entertainment (excluding wireless internet)
Airport lounge day pass and annual membership
What can you not use it for?
Fees with airline alliance partners
Mileage points purchases
Mileage points transfer fees
List of eligible airlines
You can use your airline fee credit once you select one of these eligible airlines:
Can you use the Amex airline fee credit without traveling?
During COVID-10, some card providers adjusted their travel credits and allowed them to be used toward everyday purchases, like groceries. But not Amex. You can only use the airline fee credit to cover airline fees.
American Express cards that offer airline fee credit
American Express offers three cards that come with an airline fee credit:
The Platinum Card® from American Express
Hilton Honors™ Aspire Card
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
Our pick for lounge access The Platinum Card® from American Express
Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
Plus, earn 10x points on eligible purchases on the Card at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the U.S., on up to $25,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of Card Membership.
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.
Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
$200 Hotel Credit: Get $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®.
$240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 in statement credits each month when you pay for eligible purchases with the Platinum Card® at your choice of one or more of the following providers: Peacock, Audible, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required.
New! American Express has expanded The Centurion® Network to include 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations worldwide. Now there are even more places your Platinum Card® can get you complimentary entry and exclusive perks.
$200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
$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 available to Basic Card Member only. •$300 Equinox Credit: Get up to $25 back each month on select Equinox memberships. Enrollment required.
$179 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $179 back per year on your CLEAR® membership.
What is the difference between airline fee credit and travel credit?
The The Platinum Card® from American Express comes with airline fee credit, while the Chase Sapphire Reserve® comes with travel credit. Here are a few notable differences between these two types of credits:
You can use travel credit to cover airfare, seat upgrades, airline fees, in-flight Wi-Fi, hotels, cruises and more. During the COVID pandemic, some card providers allowed grocery store purchases and gas to be covered by the card’s travel credit.
Airline fee credit
Available only toward one qualifying airline to cover incidental charges. Eligible charges include airport lounge day passes and annual memberships, booking fees, checked baggage fees, in-flight purchases and entertainment.
American Express credit cards with airline fee credits give you a chance to balance out the annual fee of a premium travel card, while enjoying top-tier benefits and rewards. Just make sure you keep the terms and conditions in mind to get as much value as possible from this perk.
Kliment Dukovski is a credit cards and investments writer. He's written over 600 articles to help readers find and compare the best credit cards. Kliment has also written on money transfers, home loans and more. Previously, he ghostwrote guides and articles on foreign exchange, stock market trading and cryptocurrencies.
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