Guide Amex Airline Credit: How to Choose Your Airline


Guide Amex Airline Credit

Since the American Express Airline Incidental Fee credit can be quite restrictive, it's important to choose the correct airline to maximize your credit.  In this post I covered how you can use the credit without traveling: How to Use Amex Airline Credits Without Travel During Quarantine (2020). The American Express Airline Incidental Fee Credit is available on the following credit cards in the specified amounts.

  • American Express Platinum Card $200
  • American Express Business Platinum Card $200 
  • American Express Gold Card $100
  • American Express Hilton Aspire Card $250

You can check out the video version of this post on my new YouTube Channel

amex airline credit

How to Choose the Right Airline For You

Most people assume the best airline to select is the one they fly most frequently, but for regular travelers, that may not be the best choice. Since we're more likely to have airline status and/or co-branded airline credit cards for our preferred airline, a lot of the fees covered by the airline credit are waived, like checked bags for example or free upgrades to extra leg room seats. If you're an economy flier, Spirit and Frontier are fee fiends so it's really easy to rack up your credits with those airlines. 

You might assume that the airline you most frequently fly with is the one to choose. It seems counter intuitive but you should consider an airline that you don't have status or co-branded credit cards with because they're where you're more likely to end up incurring incidental fees.  Last year I chose AA as my airline because at the time, I was a top tier elite. I made it work as I detailed in this post but wish I would have diversified my airline selections because many eligible fees are waived for elite status holders.

Related: Should You Upgrade Amex Gold Card to Amex Platinum? 2020

One last thing to consider for Business Platinum Card members is that choosing the right airline is more important because your selected airline must be the same airline with which the 35% pay with points rebate benefit applies to. Using the Amex Pay With Points feature to purchase airfare through the Amex travel portal, cardholders get a 35% points rebate on all flights booked with your selected airline through the Amex travel portal in addition to all business- and first-class tickets (up to 500,000 points back per calendar year).

Which Airlines Can You Choose for your “Selected Airline” for the American Express Airfare Credit?

GUIDE: Amex Business Platinum 35% Pay with Points Airfare Rebate

American Express Airline Incidental Fee credit

How does Amex airline credit work?

  1. Select one qualifying airline from the list above;
  2. Use your Amex Card to pay for eligible incidental travel fees on that airline.
  3. Get a statement credit within 2-4 weeks.

What can I use Amex airline credit for?

You can use the American Express Airline Incidental Fee credit for fees charged by your selected airline including:

Checked baggage fees (including overweight/oversize)
Itinerary change fees
Phone reservation fees
Pet flight fees
Seat assignment fees
Inflight amenity fees (beverages, food, pillows/blankets, headphones)
Inflight entertainment fees (excluding wireless internet because it’s not charged by the airline)
Airport lounge day passes and annual memberships.

Also Read: Combine Sale & Marriott Best Rate Guarantee for Amazing Deal

Final Thoughts

Amex allows you to downgrade premium credit cards to receive a prorated annual fee. Here's a detailed guide on how to downgrade for each bank, the rules and best options for each premium card. It could very well make sense for people to downgrade Amex Platinum to Amex Gold Cards or Green since you’re probably spending way more money on groceries and food delivery. Although of course sometimes it makes sense to upgrade even if the credits are hard to use. As far as the incidental fees, to check whether certain expenses will qualify for a credit check out the specific airlines’ thread on Flyertalk.





Complete Guide: Delta Mileage Run [2021]

Complete Guide: Delta Mileage Run [2021]

Delta Mileage Run Guide In this "Delta Mileage Run Guide" we'll cover the components of elite mileage runs for Delta medallion status and how you can do it yourself. Back in the good old days when most airline loyalty programs awarded miles based on distance flown,...


  1. marrywalker

    I am using American Express card and i was finding the coupons and rewards for traveling using this card. then after searching your blog, i got all the information about Choose the Right Airline For You and all. Thanks for posting!

    • Bethany Walsh

      My pleasure:)


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

BougieMiles New YouTube Channel

Bougie Miles

Luxury travel brought to you by miles and points.