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CONFIRMED: Delta Pay with Miles Cash Balances Trigger Amex Airline Incidental Credit!

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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.


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!

My Experience

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.

Delta Air Lines Pay with Miles flight receipt.

My outstanding balance was then $46.

Cash balance receipt for a Delta Air Lines Pay with Miles ticket.

I paid it with my Platinum Card from American ExpressSure enough, the $46 credited back a couple of days later.

American Express statement credit for a Delta Air Lines Pay with Miles ticket's cash balance payment.

Plus, I received 5X points — another benefit of the Amex Platinum Card.

5X Membership Rewards American Express earned on a Delta Air Lines Pay with Miles ticket's cash balance payment.

So in addition to a free flight, I earned 230 Membership Rewards points. And MQM! (And maybe I’ll enjoy an upgrade, who knows?)

For me personally, this provides better value than buying Mileage Boosters and SkyMiles Select in order to drain my $200 credit.

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.

— Chris

 

✈️ American Express Cards with Annual Airline Incidental Credit 💵

The Platinum Card from American Express.Platinum Card from American Express ($200 annual airline incidental credit)

American Express Business Platinum card

Business Platinum Card from American Express ($200 annual airline incidental credit)

The American Express Gold CardAmerican Express Gold Card ($100 annual airline incidental credit)

Hilton Honors Aspire American Express card

Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card ($250 annual airline incidental credit)

 

 

Featured image: ©iStock.com/Boarding1Now

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.

12 Comments

  1. I purchased a $900 fare on delta. I used a $500 costco GC that I paid $450 for. The remaining $400 of residual fare was charged on my amex plat and it triggered the $200 incidental credit.

  2. I have attempted and gotten $110 reimbursed on the amex platinum card doing it this way.

  3. Augh! This really irks me. I just switched my airline to United just because I thought there was no way to get any credit through Delta anymore.

  4. Hi Chris-I can confirm that this does work as well. Made changes to my trip for late March in which I used PWMs to cut down the cost. After I booked the initial trip, I added a segment before going home to DCA and used AMEX Platinum to pay for the change on Jan. 13. Few days later, I received two credits back on the AMEX to cover the fee but wasn’t sure what triggered it until your post. Also, my authorized user bag fee credited back to me as well. So in a month, I have used my $200 incidental fee on Delta.

  5. Adam Sanders Reply

    This month I have received my full $250 reimbursement (Hilton Aspire Amex) by

    1) Paying ~$100 in taxes/fees for tickets I bought with “Pay With Miles”
    2) Paying ~$100 balance after applying a $150 eCertificate voucher to a ticket purchase price
    3) Paying ~$50 balance after applying five Delta gift cards to a ticket purchase price

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