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If you plan to change your Amex airline of choice but haven’t done so for the annual airline credits, you have one week left to act.
Change Amex airline of choice in January for annual credit
Each calendar year you can receive $100 or $200 in statement credits for airline incidental fees, such as checked bags, seat selection, in-flight wifi and refreshments, charged to eligible American Express cards:
- $100 for Amex Premier Rewards Gold Card;
- $200 for all versions of Amex Personal Platinum Cards;
- $200 for Amex Business Platinum Card.
The reimbursement is usually automatic, but you have to designate the airline of choice during the month of January. You can only change it once a year during this period. To change your Amex airline of choice, start here. You don’t need to do anything if you don’t want to change your airline of choice.
Make Amex airline of choice wisely for the Business Platinum Card
One advice related only to the Amex Business Platinum Card. Choose your airline choice wisely so that you can take advantage of the card’s 50% point rebate benefit. For coach tickets, the rebate benefit only applies to the designated airline. I wrote previously about why I love the new 50% rebate benefit of this card. I have used this benefit twice more since then, it is absolutely awesome!
My husband and I both have this card. Last year I chose Delta while he chose Alaska as the designated airline. This month I have been debating if I should change our airline choices. But I wanted to wait until Christmas flight schedule is open, because we need to get to Florida for a wedding the day after my kids are out of school for holiday break. Schedule for my outbound flights finally opened last week. To make it there in time for the wedding, we have to take a redeye flight on Friday. Not surprisingly, there aren’t any saver-level award seats available with American, United, Delta or Alaska. AA’s $258 cash fare via Cleveland was the cheapest option I could find. Better yet, Amex Travel has “insider fares” for the same flight at $13 cheaper per ticket. Four tickets would cost a total of 98,196 points. But with 50% rebate, the net total cost is only 49,098 points. That is an average of 12,275 points per ticket, even less than the usual saver-award level of 12,500 per ticket!
After doing my math, I switched my airline of choice to American and booked the tickets using my Business Platinum card. the points were deducted from my account immediately, but 50% rebate posted back to my account the very next day!
My husband switched his airline of choice from Alaska to Delta for his Delta flights next month. Between American and Delta Airlines, I should be able to find return flight from Florida and pay with points using either Business Platinum Card.
Buying airline gift cards using the Amex airline credit
Since I basically have a credit card with all major domestic airlines, I don’t get charged on luggage fees. I also rarely pay for seat selections either. So to claim the annual Amex airline fee credit, I normally buy electronic gift cards. You must first designate your Amex airline of choice before purchasing airline gift cards.
Before I make the purchases, I usually check the Flyertalk forum for my airline to make sure that the credit still works on gift cards. You can check the forum for United Airlines here, American Airlines here, Delta Airlines here, Alaska Airlines here, Jetblue Airlines here, Southwest Airlines here, and Hawaiian Airlines here. Be sure to go straight to the LAST page for the most recent posts.