How the American Express $200 Airline Fee Credit Works

3 minute read | 9/21/18Sept. 21, 2018

One of the most valuable benefits offered by any credit card in the world is undoubtedly the "annual travel credit."

Also referred to as an airline fee credit, it's usually somewhere between $100-$300 and gets credited to your account as a statement credit automatically and resets each year.

The perk can vary by issuer but American Express (a.k.a. Amex), Chase, and Citi all have credit cards offering a version of this benefit and all of them employ a “use it or lose it” policy – meaning your benefits won’t roll over to the next calendar year.

💡 'Amex' is the common abbreviation for 'American Express'

Of all the issuers in today’s market, Amex currently has the most cards with this benefit, with annual travel credits ranging between $100-$200.

Amex Cards With $200 Annual Airline Fee Credit

Amex Cards With $100 Annual Airline Fee Credit

How to Use It

For each of these cards, the annual travel credit can be used for:

  • Checked bag fees
  • Overweight/oversize bag fees
  • Change fees
  • Phone reservation fees
  • Pet flight fees
  • Airport lounge fees (both day passes and annual memberships)
  • Seat assignment fees
  • In-flight amenity fees (Food, drinks, comfort items, etc.)
  • In-flight entertainment fees - excluding wireless internet

The following purchases are excluded from the annual travel credit:

  • Airline tickets
  • Upgrades
  • Mileage points purchases
  • Mileage points transfer fees
  • Gift cards
  • Duty-free purchases
  • Award tickets
  • In-flight wireless internet

Although there are some restrictions, this is a great perk since these Platinum cards carry annual fees of $450 (business) and $550 (personal).

Your $200 will be credited to your billing statement, helping to reduce the out of pocket expense to own one of these cards.

What's the difference between the annual travel credit benefits for Amex Business Platinum Card and the personal Platinum Card?

Both cards offer a $200 credit that can be used on any one of the nine airlines American Express allows you to choose.

How Can I Change My Designated Airline on my Amex Platinum?

For both the personal and business cards, you can change your designated airline every year from January 1st - January 31st by logging into your account. If you do nothing, you’re designated airline will remain the same.

Is it difficult to change my designated airline with Amex?

Changing your airline is quick and easy, and although you can’t make these changes from the Amex mobile app, the steps for the mobile website and the desktop website are exactly the same (mobile website defaults to the desktop website).

First: Head to Amex’s website and log into your account.

Step 1: Log into your Amex account

Next: Click on the drop-down menu and select one of the nine participating airlines.

Step 2: Choose your designated airline from the drop-down menu, then click 'submit'

Finish: Hit submit and you’re done! Pretty easy!

Once you have designated your airline, you are ready to use this amazing benefit. Just be aware that this perk does have some exclusions, as discussed above, and it’s intended for specific “incidental air travel fees.”

Are Amex’s transfer partners the same as their annual travel credit partners?

Yes and no. It’s also important to note that even though there are nine airlines to choose from when selecting your annual credit, Amex also partners with many airlines that allow you to transfer your Membership Rewards Points to those airline frequent flyer programs. Only Delta, Hawaiian, and Jetblue appear on both lists.

Those airlines are:

  • Aeromexico
  • Air Canada
  • Altialia
  • Asia Miles
  • British
  • Delta*
  • El Al
  • Emirates
  • Etihad
  • Flying Blue (Air France/KLM)
  • Hawaiian*
  • Iberia Plus
  • JetBlue*
  • Singapore
  • Virgin America (Alaska)
  • Virgin Atlantic

*Indicates the partner airline is both a transfer partner and an annual credit partner.

FBZ Insider Tip: 35% Airline Bonus with the Amex Business Platinum

Business Platinum cardmembers can use Membership Rewards Pay with Points and get 35% of those points back!

The airline bonus is eligible for any flight on your designated airline (same designated airline as the $200 annual travel credit) as well as any First and Business Class tickets booked directly through the Amex travel portal.

Unfortunately, the personal Platinum Card doesn’t offer this perk.

Bottom Line

Don’t forget to use your credit card’s annual travel credit! It's easy to take advantage of while you're traveling and doesn't roll over to the next year.

Disclaimer: This content and the opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and have not been provided, commissioned, or endorsed by the credit card issuer. All information was accurate at the time of this post but card terms and conditions may change at any time.


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