Airline gift cards aren’t supposed to be reimbursable with the $200 American Express fee credit. In practice, and in my own experience is that they have been. This could always change of course.
Readers will reach out to me when they try this with concerns that they won’t get reimbursed. There are (4) questions I’ll go through that seem to explain why they haven’t seen a reimbursement.
I’ll share these here, as a reminder of key elements to qualifying for the reimbursement.
- When did you make the purchase? (The reimbursement can take about a week)
- Was it an e-gift card and not a physical gift card? (Physical gift cards don’t seem to work, as I’ve noted, at least with American)
- Had you registered your preference for American Airlines as your preferred airline for the fee reimbursement?
- Did you keep the amount to $100 or less? (Larger gift card amounts may not work.)
What you want are gift cards that are (a) combinable (use more than one on a single reservation) and (b) usable by anyone (and not just a person named on the card). These two elements, and the history of successful reimbursements, are why I like American Airlines gift cards.
There have been problems with United gift cards, which leads people to make the purchase through United’s gift registry, but in my view these cards are less desirable than the flexible American Airlines ones.
And know that if you take advantage of this, as I have, that there’s never a guarantee. It could stop working tomorrow.