Now that airline gift card purchases are dead for Amex airline incidental credit, people are searching for more out-of-the-box ways to redeem the perk.
Here’s one I can confirm does work: cash balances on Delta Air Lines Pay with Miles tickets.
Quick Primer: Delta Pay with Miles Tickets
Cardholders of any Delta American Express product (even the Delta Blue Amex!) can take advantage of Pay with Miles itineraries. This allows cardholders to apply SkyMiles toward the price of a qualifying airfare. Points are redeemed in chunks of 5000 SkyMiles and at a rate of 1 cent per point (except when entire fares are paid with miles. Please don’t do that. You’re better off paying a little cash.)
Pay with Miles tickets earn MQM and MQS. Plus, they accrue mileage and MQD for any remaining base fare and carrier-imposed surcharges paid in cash. And Medallions are eligible for upgrades!
An upcoming trip priced out at $496. This itinerary is Pay with Miles eligible.
I applied 45,000 SkyMiles against the balance. Because SkyMiles are valued at a penny each for PWM tickets, this knocked $450 off the price.
My outstanding balance was then $46.
I paid it with my Platinum Card from American Express. Sure enough, the $46 credited back a couple of days later.
Plus, I received 5X points — another benefit of the Amex Platinum Card.
So in addition to a free flight, I earned 230 Membership Rewards points. And MQM! (And maybe I’ll enjoy an upgrade, who knows?)
Things to Keep in Mind
I’ve heard that Pay with Miles cash balances will trigger the credit only when they’re below $200. Another person told me it must be under $100. Yet one more claims its $50.
I tried a PWM purchase last year for something like $150 cash balance and that didn’t credit. If anyone has data points about the $50-$100 range, please leave them in the Comments section.
Some people like the Pay with Miles option; others think they’re a waste of points. But at least there’s still a way (for now) we can enjoy free or discounted Delta travel with the Amex airline incidental credits.
✈️ American Express Cards with Annual Airline Incidental Credit 💵
Platinum Card from American Express ($200 annual airline incidental credit)
Business Platinum Card from American Express ($200 annual airline incidental credit)
Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card ($250 annual airline incidental credit)
Featured image: ©iStock.com/Boarding1Now
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