If you hold an American Express card that comes with an airline incidental statement credit perk, only a few days remain for you to make any changes.
The final day to change your preferred carrier is January 31.
Which Amex Cards Have the Airline Incidental Credit?
Four American Express cards give members a certain amount of statement credits to use with one airline they can select from a list provided by Amex:
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)
Because each card is a separate product, you can select a different airline for each. For example, Delta is my choice for my Platinum Card from American Express and Business Platinum Card from American Express. Meanwhile, I chose Southwest for my American Express Gold Card.
Which Airlines are Eligible?
You can choose from:
- Alaska Airlines
- American Airlines
- Delta Air Lines
- Frontier Airlines
- Hawaiian Airlines
- JetBlue Airways
- Spirit Airlines
- Southwest Airlines
- United Airlines
What Purchases are Eligible?
An Amex rep told me the below charges should credit back:
- Airline fee charge billed after airline selection
- Airport lounge day passes and annual memberships
- Change fees
- Checked baggage fees
- Early check-in fees
- In-flight amenity fees (beverages, food, pillows/blankets, and so on)
- In-flight entertainment fees (excluding wireless Internet)
- Overweight/oversize baggage fees
- Pet flight fees
- Phone reservation fees
- Seat assignment fees
- Unaccompanied minor fees
Here’s what explicitly prohibited:
- Airline tickets
- Award tickets
- Duty–free purchases
- Gift cards
- Mileage points purchases
- Mileage points transfer fees
That being said, your mileage may vary. Something might code incorrectly and you could be pleasantly surprised.
Where Can You Change (or Confirm) Your Selected Airline?
Simply visit AmericanExpress.com/airlinechoice and go from there. Easy peasy.
Which Airline Should You Choose?
Think about how you may use this credit(s) this year.
For example, if you’re a regular Delta flyer who holds a Delta Amex (or two or three or four), have elite status, and rarely pay for checked baggage or onboard beverages — but know you’ll be on an American Airlines trip or two in 2021, consider switching to AA. This way you can buy a day pass to their lounges, enjoy onboard beverages, no worry about checked baggage fees, etc.
One of my clients flies me on Southwest rather frequently (at least, did before COVID). So my American Express Gold Card (which, as I mentioned is paired with Southwest) comes in handy for onboard beverages my clients and associates can enjoy. (And you look like a rockstar when you say, “Hey, these rounds are on me, guys!”)
My three-year-old is now considered an adult (in the eyes of airlines — and herself 🙂 ), so we selected Delta for two of our cards. This helps pay for her guest admission into Sky Clubs. Plus, friends and family sometimes travel with us, so we’re able to pick up their Sky Club fees, too.
The Amex airline incidental credit is a great perk — if you’re able to use it. Last year certainly was difficult for many people to take advantage of the benefit — but 2021 will hopefully make things easier.
Just remember to select an airline (or confirm your choice) for this year.
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