Deal Dead: Amex Incidental GC Credits Appear to be Gone for Good

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Amex Incidental GC Credits

Deal Dead: Amex Incidental GC Credits Appear to be Gone for Good

We mentioned back in February that some data points showed issues with receiving the American Express airline fee credit when purchasing gift cards. Ryan also covered the issue with Delta gift cards last month as the problems resurfaced again.

But since then, there hasn’t been any good news as far as gift cards triggering the American Express airline fee credits.

Gone for Good?

Doctor of Credit reports that there are a number of data points showing people that made non gift card purchases on the same day as a gift card purchase. Non gift card purchases have been reimbursed, but not the gift card.

That certainly looks like there’s no glitch and it’s more likely a calculated move by American Express to cut off this loophole.


This will make it harder to justify keeping premium American Express credit cards for people who don’t really have any fees that would trigger these credits. These airline fee credits could be double dipped, or even triple dipped, which helped offset huge annual fees.

Let us know if you have any recent data points and how this affects your decision on applying or keeping Amex cards?

Based in NYC. Points/miles enthusiast for years and actively writing about it for the last 6+ years at Danny the Deal Guru. I'm always looking out for deals. Making a few bucks is always nice, but the traveling is by far the best part of this business.

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  1. @john, I never said he was smart for calling…please tell me where I made that statement..I said people always blame the newbies for things getting shut down, I blame the pigs just as much like one who use the GC reimbursement 3x and then cancel.
    And NO NEED to make a pejorative comment about me “going back to the sidelines” A discussion/debate is where people bring up relevant data points to dispute a hypothesis that was put forth. There is no place for personal comments/attacks. I see so many people like yourself make personal comments as if that proves their intelligence and gives their argument more validity.
    This game has allowed me to visit over 100 countries and counting so if it’s ok with you, I’m staying in.

  2. @John…not smart…and that is putting it nicely. Before you go stepping in to something, look first. “I called and was told that gift cards no longer qualified.” Just not smart. And if you don’t get that, please go back to the sidelines. This stuff requires some amount of common sense.

    I’m not buying your story. If you’ve been in this ‘game’, you’d get the pre-school basics at play here.

  3. Lynn, I get annoyed when everyone blames the new guy but NOBODY blames the pigs. The people who got the GC credit 3 x then canceled, or on other cards put tens of thousands of dollars on MS, or GC to money orders.
    The pigs are most likely friends of many bloggers yet no one ever calls them out because they just want to go along to get along. However, let’s trash the new guy.
    I have only been in this game a short time about 9-10 years but that’s my story and I’m sticking to it..

  4. How else do I find out about a credit without calling? I did not offer information about the charge, they said that gift cards are not covered so obviously they have changed the coding to indicate that it was a gift card that I charged to my account.

    • Like I just said, you weren’t suppose to get it in the first place, so why call when you don’t get it? Only call when you know the credit should be covered. Then they’ll correct it.

    • If you read any blog and you see words such as “loophole” or “trick” this should jump out as a flag to never call, ask or complain to the bank about it. If you ever in doubt just ask on the blog and surely you will have seasoned members tell you yes or no.
      I almost think for newbie safety as many 1st timers continue to join (which is great) for loophole blogs they should start with a 1st line disclamer not to call the bank.

  5. Dumping Ameriprise Platinum for sure. Likely the Aspire too (Diamond status has not been impressive so far in my experience). Debating on the Gold. The $120 restaurant credit certainly helps since I can use the $10 each month for Cheesecake Factory gift cards in store.

    • If you use the Gold much at grocery and restaurants then I think it is a keep. If you don’t put a ton of spend on it then probably not.

  6. Really debated canceling my platinum and gold card. Was afraid the initial reports would hold true. I called and was given no incentive to keep either card, despite a good amount of spending on the gold. The rationale thing may be to cancel one or both next year. I’ll keep the Hilton Aspire for the diamond and free night. But my husband will definitely cancel the Aspire.

    • I would have him downgrade to the Surpass for the $15K free night or the fee free card for potential upgrade offers (assuming he has already carried both and won’t miss out on the welcome offers for them).

  7. Ouch!! I actually have 2 x plat cards. One card I already bought $100 worth of delta GC start of the year and received the credit. Still have $300 credit between both Plat cards. On my Aspire I actually have $227 remaining. I used miles for 2 x tickets pais $23 tax on the Aspire and that was reimbursed. Before delta I used to love buying United X store gift cards that used to be reimbursed, Delta GC’s was my phase 2 for now seams like a dead end. All my bags are free and im always upgraded for free to Comfort +. In addition I have 2 x companion tickets each year that I have to use (Delta Plat & Reserve). I also need to use those cards to purchase the companion tickets. Maybe when I use the Delta Plat tickets I can pay for a 1st class upgrade with the AMEX Plat but flying from Hawaii 1st upgrade is way expensive over the $200 credit.

    Last resort is to buy in-flight food or maybe in-flight shopping? Either was its all a waste when I have free food through lounge access. For sure a hard decision to keep the Plat cards without a way to liquidate the $200 credits. 🙁

  8. I called and was told that gift cards no longer qualified. Purchased a $50 card 7/2 and no credit. My card was up on July for renewal. They offered me $300 for $4000 spend in 3 months. Thinking about it since I have some pricey flights coming up.

    • John, calling is actually a bad idea. GC were never a benfit within the terms. It was just a loop hole trick that we were using to triggering $
      The $50 GC to be credited. AMEX will always tell you no eveb when its working. Just be careful calling AMEX to report any loop holes as it just lets them know there is a hole they need to patch and worst case they could even take away your credits that may have triggered in the past.

    • This is one of the reasons so many things go away. Never alert them or ask why something isn’t working when it was never supposed to work in the first place!!

  9. Oh no I did not liquidate all of my credits in the start of the year. I still have a total of $550 of airline credit remaining. I just bought a $50 Delta GC to see if mine will triger but if not whats the alternative to liquidate the Plat credits? I belive my $250 Hilton Aspire credit will work with the ticket cost? Just the Plat credits has to be non-ticket purchases.

    • Alas, you’re in the same trouble with the $250 Hilton Aspire airline credit as you are with what I assume to be the $200 Amex Platinum airline credit and the $100 Amex Gold airline credit. Which is to say that they are going to be tough to use unless (nothing personal) you’re a kettle and have no end of baggage fees and seats purchased to get you out of back middle seats and into middle aisle seats.

      I mean, because that is it: That’s their model. We’re not supposed to be able to even use them to upgrade from one class to another (although there are data points that show that that will still work, just as there are data points that show that many of these kettle-based purchases don’t automatically trigger a rebate–to add insult to injury, you may still have to call in!)

      Seriously, the list of “normal” expenses you can’t use these things for is incredible. For me, spending out the $250 annually on the Aspire is now going to be a sufficient challenge on a card that has plenty of other value, too. As for the Amex Platinum — and I never imagined I would see myself doing this — I’m about to chuck it, in spite of a $300 retention offer (for $4,000 spend: Thanks, Amex!)

      • I “chucked” my Plat card. I wasn’t really using it for much, and with that GC’s gone, why even have to card? Except for the occasional Centurian lounge lunch and a couple of other features which I won’t really miss. I do have the Aspire, but it has so many good things that even if I don’t use the airline credit, it’s no big deal.

        Personally, I think Amex is making a big mistake. I hardly used the Plat card for buying anything. Wasn’t that the whole point? I use my Amex Business Plat card more these days, on my Bonvoy or Hilton card.

        I never thought I’d toss the Plat; I had it for years and I used it in all the airline lounges… those were the days.

        • I botched that post up. I meant I use my AX Blue Business card for buying stuff these days because of the 2% points you get…. Plus the AX Aspire Hilton card is really great. Free night, some real good credits at Hiltons, Diamond status… and the airline credit which you may or may not use… actually the Aspire is better than the Platinum Amex card any day!

    • If you are able to change your airline (they usually will if you ask nicely and haven’t used any) then you will have a few options. But overall if you stick with Delta I think seat upgrades are in your future.

      • Mark, I could change the airline but which would you suggest? United is out ever since the MileagePlus X GCs were also blocked. Any hacks for Southwest or other airlines? I’m thinking as a last resort since 1st class upgrades are hardly avalible and if so are super expensive from Hawaii. My last ditch effort to use it for Delta would be to purchase the Mileage boosters and in flight Wi-Fi options. I have added a milgeage booster to my Delta flight in the past and that did trigger the credit.

        Could it possible to trigger the credit through Delta Skymall magazine and/or Back in the day Delta use to let you purchase item and/or sell items off the the in-fight carts but I have not seen that offered in a long time.


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