Airline Credits

American Express offers airline credits on a number of their membership rewards earning as well as co-branded Amex cards. The airline credit is triggered once you make a qualifying purchase with that particular airline. These credits are available per calendar year instead of cardmember year. I tested this benefit across different airlines in order to check whether the benefit still works fine when you select Delta Airlines.

Card Benefit


Log into your account and click on Benefits


Prior to making a purchase, you have to enroll and select that airline for the airline credit benefit. For the purpose of this blog post, we’ll focus on the airline credit with the Amex Hilton Aspire Card as one of the examples. The card comes with a $250 airline credit that’s available for use per calendar year. Currently, you can earn 150,000 Hilton Honors points after signing up and meeting the minimum spend.

This card is loaded with benefits. One of them is the $250 resort credit and the free weekend night after approval. The card gives you automatic diamond status, which is top tier for the Hilton portfolio.

The same airline credit benefit is also available on both the personal and business versions of the Amex Platinum Card. After the product underwent a refresh, the Amex Gold Card also now offers the $100 airline credit per calendar year.

Official T & Cs

As per the fine print, the following purchases should trigger the airline credit:

  1. Checked baggage fees
  2. Itinerary change fees
  3. Phone reservation fees
  4. Pet flight fees
  5. In-flight amenity fees (food and beverages, headphones, etc)
  6. In-flight entertainment fees (excluding wireless internet because it’s not charged by the airline)
  7. Airport lounge day passes/annual memberships
  8. Seat assignment fees

As per the same terms, the following do not qualify:

  1. Airline ticket purchases
  2. Seat Upgrades
  3. Miles/points purchases
  4. Miles/points transfer fees
  5. Gift cards
  6. Award tickets
  7. Duty Free Purchases

Delta Airlines


I selected Delta Airlines as my airline of choice


Earlier this year, multiple reports confirmed that we could no longer buy American Airlines gift cards in order to use the airline credit benefit. As usual, rumors started floating that the axe may fall on other airlines as well. Since I’d already used my credits on AA last year, I selected Delta as the airline of choice and decided to test out what’s working.

Good to Know

If you purchase a gift card through the Delta mobile app, it doesn’t trigger the credit. You must purchase the gift card through on the web in order to trigger the airline credit. Also, your safest bet is to purchase multiple gift cards of $50 each.


Log into your American Express account and head to the benefits section. In this case, I’ve selected Delta Airlines as my airline for choice.

Buying Gift Cards

Click on this link in order to buy the e-gift card on In my case, I decided to buy five $50 e-gift cards from Delta. For the purpose of the airline credit, I’d suggest that you buy five $50 e-gift cards instead of buying one single $250 e-gift card.


Buy e-gift cards on

Airline Credit – Hilton Aspire

After buying five $50 e-gift cards, the airline credit was triggered in two days and appeared on my statement.


Done! on to the next…


Airline Credit – Amex Platinum

In this case, I purchase four $50 Delta e-gift cards and it worked without any issues.


Working fine…


Airline Credit – Gold Delta Skymiles Card

The Gold Delta Skymiles Card from American Express also comes with a $50 credit for a purchase with Delta in the first three months after signing up.




I used the same link mentioned above to purchase one $50 e-gift card on Once again the credit was triggered without any issues.

The Pundit’s Mantra

While there were rumors and speculations about the gift card trick being shut down altogether, it’s good to see that the airline credits are still working for Delta. I can’t say the same about United and AA though. The world of miles and points is always changing. If you haven’t redeemed yet, then I’d highly recommend that you use your benefit while it’s still working in its current form.

Have you already used your airline fee credit this year? If yes, then did it work without any problems? Let us know in the comments section.

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