2020 Amex Airline Credit
So How did I manage to use $2000 in Amex Airline Fee Credits in a few weeks? First a little about the situation, I had to use $2000 in Amex Airline Incidental Fee credits in 2020 and I also happen to be a “wait till the last minute” kind of girl (no joke I just filed my taxes this week) so I've spent the last 4-5 days in a bit of a panic getting all of my ducks in a row and strategizing so that no dollar was left behind. In case you're wondering why on gods green earth I have that many credits you can read this post :How Reserve, Platinum and Aspire Credits Derailed My Plans and Cost Me $$$. I also upgraded a few Membership Rewards Cards to Platinum Cards because of all the temporary credits.
Also don't forget that if you haven't used any of your credit yet this year, Amex will let you change the selected airline, I changed from AA to Delta just a few days ago on a newer Platinum card via the online chat function.
Check out my Video Guide to Using Airline Credits on my Youtube Channel
So first, I followed my own advice from last year and diversified a bit by selecting Jetblue, Delta and American Airlines for my various travel credits. Then I set out to do the damn thing! As if using the airline incidental benefit isn't hard enough in normal years with Amex, try doing it while you are stuck at home on your couch because of Covid. At first the whole not being able to travel thing seemed like it would make using my credits a nightmare, but then I realized it was actually a huge blessing in disguise (only for airline credit purposes, for everything else not so much.)
The major factor that came into play was the travel flexibility for flights booked prior to the end of the year (or specified dates that vary by airline). Prior to the announcements by each airline that they were eliminating change fees for most travel, they had very generous policies for new travel. Here's an example: AA, Delta and Jetblue offered free cancellations or flight changes for new travel booked. If you voluntarily changed your flight, you could simply rebook for any date that worked for you later on. If the new flight was more expensive you'd owe the difference and if it were less you would receive the difference in a travel credit (remember this for our discussion later). For flight cancellations, you would receive a straight up credit in the amount you paid for the ticket. The current policies for most airlines are similar to this but there's no separate rules for flights based on when they were booked- instead the policies are uniform.
Surprisingly these new policies made it incredibly easy for me to use ALL of those credits. Let's go through each one and I'll explain.
Since you can change or reschedule any ticket, you can pretty much always count on using your credits for the mileage multiplier since it will never get refunded. (definitely go to my Amex Airline Incidental Credit Guide if you need more info on this one.)
$150 Mileage Multiplier- Coded as Misc Taxes and Fees.
$75 Mileage Multiplier- Coded as Additional Collection.
$5.60- Taxes on an award ticket (this didn't have a category listed- instead it said Passenger Ticket).
Mileage Booster doesn't seem to be available at the moment but I did the upgrade as well as the fare difference over the last few weeks and both worked- just make sure you reschedule the flight rather than cancel it to avoid clawbacks.
$59 Mileage Booster- Coded as Misc Taxes and Fees
$188 Seat Upgrade from Main to First- Coded as Upgrade Charge
- This was manually adjusted and credited – you can see the full process in the chat below.
$88 Fare Difference on a rescheduled flight
JetBlue Airline Credits
I was actually really happy with the Jetblue results because there were so many avenues to use my credits for actual airfare without risking a claw back if I had to cancel my flights.
$98.10 Fare Difference After I applied Travel Bank Credits
$141.10 Cash portion of a Ticket Purchase (the remainder of the ticket was paid with points)
$18 Difference in fare on a ticket I rescheduled
$79 Even More Space Seat Upgrade (Coded as Additional Collection)
$5.60- Taxes on an award ticket (this didn't have a category listed- instead it had the passenger ticket info)