Happy 2018! The new year also means you can receive your $200 AMEX Platinum airline fee credit and $300 Chase Sapphire Reserve travel credits. For AMEX, which limits you to a single airline that you specify, January is also the time when you can change your airline, if you choose to.
Here's a recap of what works for each:
AMEX $200 Airline Fee Credit
The AMEX airline incidental fee credit is far more limited than the Chase Sapphire Reserve travel credit, and is meant to only cover incidental air travel fees, such as in-flight purchases or airline lounge day passes, all of which must be billed by the airline (so airline ticket charges and 3rd party charges such as Gogo WiFi aren't reimbursed).
The credit is also limited to the following U.S. airlines:
- Alaska Airlines
- American Airlines
- Delta Airlines
- Frontier Airlines
- Hawaiian Airlines
- JetBlue Airways
- Spirit Airlines
- Southwest Airlines
- United Airlines
That said, what has worked to date is buying small denomination airline e-gift cards for certain airlines, such as American Airlines and Delta Airlines, which can then be used toward paid ticket purchases. If you are not reimbursed you have no recourse, since AMEX terms explicitly exclude gift cards, so you are taking a risk, but it's been a way to get more value from the airline credit benefit.
Note that United is no longer a good option as gift cards aren't sold, MPX transactions aren't reimbursed, and the Gift Registry isn't accepting contributions currently. So if your selected airline is United, you may want to change it to American or Delta during January.
$300 Chase Sapphire Reserve Travel Credit
The Chase Sapphire Reserve travel credit is thankfully much easier to get reimbursed for, since you don't have to pre-select an airline, and can get reimbursed on other travel spend, such as hotels, car rentals, taxis, train tickets, cruises, and even subway fare. In fact, in contrast to the AMEX airline credit, it's hard to NOT get reimbursed the $300 travel credit over the course of a year, or in our case, over the course of just a couple months.
Just don't forget to make sure you get your anticipated reimbursements. For us, with two Chase Sapphire Reserves and one AMEX Business Platinum, we're looking at $800 in statement credit.
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