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Saving 20% on Delta Purchases Made Onboard During Flights with Delta American Express Cards

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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


A nice perk of Delta American Express cards  (even the Blue one)– is a 20% savings on in-flight purchases made during Delta flights.

But does everything you buy during a Delta flight qualify as an “in-flight purchase”? (Hint: no.)

Great Delta Amex welcome offers expire Wednesday — and new applicants can enjoy a year of current annual fees before they’re raised.

So let’s learn a little more about this perk — and if there are any better options to consider.

How Does the 20% Statement Credit for Delta In-Flight Purchases Work?

Use any Delta American Express card to pay for an eligible purchase onboard a Delta Air Lines or Delta Connection operated flight.

Your statement will soon reflect a 20% credit for that purchase. Delta says to allow 8-12 weeks for the credit to post. In my experience, it’s usually a few days.

Delta Amex Card statement credit for a purchase made during a Delta Air Lines flight.

So I Don’t Get a 20% Discount at the Time of Purchase?

No.

You pay full price at the time of purchase. The 20% is taken off your Delta Amex card’s statement.

What Purchases Are Eligible for the 20% Statement Credit?

  • Food (Premium snacks like Flight Fuel, the sandwich wraps, etc.)
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Audio headsets
  • Pre-purchased meals (Anyone know about this? Please share in the Comments section.)

Delta Air Lines onboard Crave Flight Fuel Box.

What Isn’t Eligible for Statement Credit?

  • In-flight wireless internet access (i.e. Gogo WiFi)
  • Charitable contributions
  • Pretty much anything other than food, beverage, or headsets

Do I Receive Statement Credit for In-Flight Purchases Made During on Partner Airlines if I Bought My Ticket Through Delta?

Sorry, no.

What If I’m Flying Delta — But Purchased My Ticket Through a Partner Airline?

Yes! That’ll work fine. Cheers!

What If I Purchase Something — Such as a Future Flight — with the Fly Delta App or Delta.com During a Flight? Shouldn’t That Count as an In-Flight Purchase?!

If only. I appreciate that line of thinking, though. 🙂

Do I Receive SkyMiles for In-Flight Delta Purchases?

Sure do! All seven Delta Amexes currently earn 2X SkyMiles per dollar spent on Delta purchases.

That gets kicked up to 3X SkyMiles for the below Delta Amexes, starting January 30, 2020:

Do Onboard Purchases Count Toward a Card’s Welcome Bonus Delta Purchase Statement Credit?

Yes.

Right now, the personal and business Delta Amex Platinum cards each offer a $100 statement credit when a new cardholder uses his/her card for an eligible Delta purchase. (The personal and business Delta Amex Gold cards offer $50 credits.)

You’ll receive 20% credit for the onboard purchase and the applicable welcome bonus statement credit, too.

 

Billboard-branded headphones distributed during Delta Air Lines flights. They are complimentary for first class and Comfort+ passengers. Main cabin / coach passengers may buy them for $2.

Are There Better Credit Cards to Use for Delta In-Flight Purchases?

Now that Delta gift cards are absolutely truly officially not eligible for the American Express Platinum and Gold cards’ annual airline incidental credits, I’ll probably opt for those instead — simply because I already hold one of each and want to get some value for my buck. (We’re testing some other purchases right now and will soon have a post detailing our findings.)

Call me crazy, but I think free is better than 20% off.

Keep in mind, too, that the personal American Express Platinum card earns 5X on purchases made directly with any airline.

Questions? Comments?

Ask or sound off in the Comments section!

–Chris

Other Delta Amex Topics We’ve Covered This Month

Now is a fantastic opportunity to apply for Delta Amexes because many have great welcome bonuses — and you can lock in a year at their current annual fees.

We’ve covered several related topics during the past several weeks including:

Big Welcome Bonuses Expire THIS WEDNESDAY!

The Delta Reserve Card from American ExpressDelta Reserve Card 

Delta Reserve Business Card from American Express.Delta Reserve Business Card 

The Platinum Delta SkyMiles Card from American Express.Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express

Platinum Delta SkyMiles Business Credit Card from American Express

Delta Gold American Express CardDelta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card

Delta SkyMiles Gold Business American Express Card 

 

 

 

Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

1 Comment

  1. Remember if you’re flying a small regional jet, CRJ-200s, purchases on those are cash-only so no 20% credit for you.

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