How to use Amex Platinum $200 airline fee credit in 2023

Editor’s Note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information.

no wonder Platinum Card® from American Express packed with premium benefits. One of the most generous perks of the premium card is an annual statement credit of up to $200 in airline incidentals. When fully maximized, this perk can reduce the card’s power $695 annual fee (to watch rates and fees). Enrollment is required.

This credit works on a calendar year basis, which means you have between January 1 and December 31 to use the credit. Also, you usually need to select your airline in the year before January 31, however anecdotally, we’ve heard Amex has been somewhat flexible with this if you call or chat with a representative.

It’s usually pretty easy for travelers to fully max out the $200 annual airline fee credit for 12 months. However, for the last few years everything has been normal. With some travel patterns not quite returning to normal, some may be wondering how to use the Amex Platinum Card’s $200 airline fee credit in 2023.

To stay on top of all your credit card perks and rewards in 2023, make sure download free TPG app.

Today, we’ll walk you through some typical rules and some timely use cases. First things first: Note that you must pre-register to receive credit for this benefit.


5 tips for using this year’s airline fee credits

Here are some ideas for using your Amex Platinum airline random credits throughout 2023:

Pre-registration is required for selected benefits.

Choose the right airline

If you have a Platinum Amexyou can click this to select or change your airline selection every January (you’ll need to sign in to access your Amex account). You can also access the airline selection screen by scrolling to the “Benefits” section of your online account. Either way, you’ll find that you can choose from the following airlines:

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  • Alaska Airlines.
  • American Airlines.
  • Delta Airlines.
  • Border Airlines.
  • Hawaiian Airlines.
  • JetBlue Airlines.
  • Southwest Airlines.
  • Spirit Airlines.
  • unified airline

Amex has been quite lenient in allowing airline selection changes beyond the usual January 31 deadline for those who call or use live chat to inquire. There’s no guarantee it’ll work for you, but it’s worth a shot if you want to change your airline at the end of the year and haven’t used any credits yet.

In general, you can assume that the airline you fly most often is the one to choose. However, automatically choosing your primary airline is not always the best option. That’s because many fees are waived if you have elite status or one credit card co-branded with that airlineso having credits to reimburse you for checked baggage or seat selection fees with that airline may not be helpful.

Instead, consider an airline where you are likely to pay at least $200 in fees per year.

For example, imagine that you fly United most often and also hold elite status with that airline, but you also fly American a few times per year. In this situation, you may be better served choosing American for your airline fee credit. You can use that credit for things like seat assignment, extra legroom, baggage fees, drinks or in-flight food. Remember that you must pre-register to use this benefit.


Don’t forget low-cost airlines like border or Moraleone in two.

Designating one of those airlines as your airline of choice can be a smart strategy as they charge extra for the automated amenities that come with some other airlines. This includes testing and luggage, assign seats and snacks and drinks on board. Maximize Platinum Amex airline fee credits are really easy if you specify and fly on a carrier that charges a high additional fee.

What does the airline fee credit cover?

In general, the following incidental fees will be refunded using Platinum Amex credits, as long as you make these purchases separate from the flight ticket itself (so the purchase will show up as a different transaction):

  • Checked baggage fee.
  • Overweight/oversized baggage fees.
  • Change fees.
  • Reservation fee by phone.
  • Pet flight fee.
  • Airport lounge day pass and annual membership card.
  • Seat assignment fee.
  • In-flight amenities fee (drinks, food, pillows/blankets, etc.).
  • In-flight entertainment fee (wireless internet not included).

As you can imagine, it’s not hard for many travelers to use the airline fee credit in a typical year.

For example, you can choose Spirit Airlines as your airline and then use credit to buy Big Front Seat or snacks and to check bags. Also, if you fly with your pet, based on pet fee almost – but not all — airlines, you can use up your airline fee credit with just one or two flights with your pet.

If American Airlines is your airline of choice, check out this post on Which American Airlines cost activates the Amex airline fee credit. And here’s a real look at what activate fee credits on more airlines.

Use the credit for seat assignment fees on low-cost airlines. SUMMER HULL/THE POINTS

According to the terms, the Platinum Amex the airline fee credit is Not applies to the following cases:

  • Fees charged to other card accounts (other than authorized user account).
  • Fees are not separate from airfare payments (for example, you may pay to select your seat when you purchase a ticket, but that may not trigger a credit).
  • Fees not charged by the airline of the cardholder’s choice (e.g. wireless internet and fees incurred with airline alliance partners).
  • Random air travel fees are charged prior to selection of an eligible airline.
  • Flight tickets.
  • Upgrade.
  • Mileage point of purchase.
  • Mileage transfer fee.
  • Gift card.
  • Purchase duty free.
  • award ticket.

The airline must submit the charge under the appropriate merchant code and the required product or service identifier for the charge to be recognized as a random air travel fee. Terms allow six to eight weeks after each charge to credit your statement to your account (however, in our experience, it’s usually faster). If the credit hasn’t been posted after that time, you can call the number on the back of your card to get a credit approved manually for eligible charges.

Related: How long does it take to receive statement credit from Amex?

It’s also worth highlighting the bullet point for “fees not charged by the cardholder’s chosen airline.” If you book through your preferred airline but will be flying on a partner airline, you will not be able to use your random credits. Here is an example. Let’s say your preferred airline is United, you book your flight through United’s website, but you’ll actually be flying on Air Canada. When you check in at the airport with Air Canada, Air Canada charges for checked baggage — not United — so you won’t be able to use your Amex Platinum random credit here.

As with most things, there are obvious instances when creditworthiness works and doesn’t work while there are also some gray areas. For example, we’ve heard reports that airline ticket credits begin when you pay for part of your Delta ticket with a gift card and then charge the rest to your Amex Platinum. This happens because the remaining airfare becomes one “additional collection” and activate reimbursable credit.

Sometimes, other small airline ticket purchases and even taxes/fees on award tickets trigger credits, as there are some purchases with smaller amounts ($50-ish) future air travel credit. For example, we’ve seen this work with smaller United TravelBank purchases.

However, those are off-label uses that may change at any time. Also, keep in mind that only purchases with your chosen airline will activate the credit.


Other Amex cards with airline fee credits

The Platinum Amex It’s not the only Amex card that offers an annual airline fee credit (up to a certain amount). The following Amex cards also offer credit (pre-registration required):

Information about the Hilton Aspire Amex card has been independently collected by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Details of the airline fee credits on these cards and Platinum Amex the same. But there is an important wrinkle for Business Platinum Card. Business Platinum cardholders receive one 35% cashback on any points redeemed for business or first class travel on eligible airlines when booked through Amex Tourism (refunds up to 1 million points per calendar year) or when using Pay with Points to book travel on their preferred airline — the same airline associated with a random airline credit worth $200 annually.

Related: Why I Love Amex Business Platinum’s Pay with Points privilege


As a result, Business Platinum cardholders may want to choose an airline where they use their points to purchase economy class tickets for their annual airline credit, rather than an airline for which they will be charged a fee. that credit can cover.

bottom line

The $200 Amex Airline Fee Credit is one of those use-or-lose benefits just worth what you earn from it.

Usually, it’s pretty easy to maximize this airline fee credit if you understand how it works and have a plan for next year. At this point, you should have a clear understanding of what works and doesn’t work for your Amex Platinum card’s airline random credits and how you can use these credits even if you don’t. you don’t travel right away.

Official app link: Platinum Amex

Official app link: Amex trading platinum

Additional reporting by Stella Shon, Madison Blancaflor and Ryan Smith.

For Amex Platinum rates and fees, click this.
For Amex Business Platinum rates and fees, click this.


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