How AmEx Platinum® and Centurion® Members Can Use Their $200 Airline Credit
|October 31, 2011||Filled under Credit Cards, Travel|
And we’re continuing the list of travel perks for American Express® Platinum® and Centurion® members!
Remember when passengers got breakfast, lunch and dinner — all free of charge? Not anymore. Luckily, American Express® is offering a $200 airline credit for additional, miscellaneous or “offsetting” fees charged onto their card. Sounds great, right? Believe it or not, blowing your free cash isn’t as easy as it sounds.
Rules and restrictions:
*48-hour notice (must apply for the $200 credit at least 2 days before making the charges)
*Must specify ONLY ONE airline upon program enrollment (locked in for ONE YEAR)
The latter restriction is the one that really holds you back. Unless you’re traveling with a huge family or you tend to fly multiple times per year, you’re going to have to get used to extra luxuries. This reward is designed for AmEx’s high-end cardholders, most of whom are business associates and frequent flyers who can appreciate — not to mention exercise — the extra charges.
Credit applies to:
*Food and drink
*Fees for transporting pets
*Headsets for in-flight entertainment
*Blankets and pillows
Credit does NOT apply to:
*Upgrades (including legroom and emergency room fees)
To redeem, members pay up front for their charges, and — assuming that the charges are made by the member’s specified airline of choice — American Express® will credit those charges up to $200 back into their account. The amount of $200 is available for each account, regardless of how many people use the card — another good thing for those traveling together (i.e. a family) under one card.
There are obvious drawbacks to this promotion. What if you could have bought a cheaper ticket with another airline? Does it not make more sense just to wait a couple hours, to pack your own snack or just to refuse the in-flight sandwich?
But it is free money, after all…
Whatever you choose, here are some strategies to help you cash out on AmEx’s generous reward:
*Choose your primary airline if you’re unsure. You’re not allowed to change your mind if cheaper tickets pop up. Most likely, the airline you usually choose will offer you a desirable ticket price come travel time.
*Some members have found a way to sneak past their companies’ policies by using personal Platinum® or Centurion® credit cards to charge for baggage fees, etc. on business trips and then getting reimbursed by their companies later. The logic ends up looking like your boss gets to pay a portion of your pretty lofty Annual Fee. (The ethics of this practice have been debated — we’re not here to judge. Our advice would simply be to be careful — not all companies promise to reimburse their employees and not many would continue after catching you, at which point more than just a couple hundred bucks would be on the line.)
*Use your $200 airline credit buying drinks and snacks for your neighbors — now everyone’s happy!