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Rewards Pro: Maximizing The American Express Platinum $200 Airline Fee Credit

amex-logoThe American Express Platinum card is an awesome product, but it has one huge shortcoming: It has an annual fee of $450. But as bad as that sounds, it can almost pay for itself, if you know how.

$100 Global Entry application fee credit

There are two extremely valuable credits you can use that are worth a total of $300. The first is the reimbursement for Global Entry, a program run by the United States Customs and Border Patrol. Once part of the Global Entry program, travelers can avoid the lines at immigration when returning to the United States. In addition, members can utilize the TSA Pre-Check lines that allow travelers to pass through airport security without removing shoes, belts, jackets, computers, and liquids.

The application fee for this program is $100, but American Express will reimburse Platinum card holders for this expense.

$200 annual airline fee credit

In addition, American Express offers credit card holders a $200 statement credit each year towards airline fees, but not tickets or upgrades to a new class of service. Cardholders need to contact American Express and designate a single airline for which the fee credits will apply.

Then, you will automatically receive a statement credit when you charge an eligible fee.

Eligible fees include:

  • Seat selection fees
  • Change fees
  • Baggage fees
  • In-flight food and beverage
  • Lounge passes and memberships

What is not eligible:

  • Fees for a first class upgrade
  • Ticket purchases
  • In flight Wifi and entertainment charges processed by a third party.

A workaround

Even though you can’t be reimbursed for ticket purchases, you can buy gift cards from several airlines including American, Alaska, United, Southwest, and Delta. Then, you can use the gift cards for just about any charge.

Finally, you will always want to utilize this credit before then end of the year, because the $200 credit is valid per calendar year. That means that if you apply for a Platinum card before the end of the year, you can charge a $200 airline gift card in December, and another in January. So with a total of $500 in fee credits in your first year, there is essentially no cost to trying the Platinum card for one year.

So what are you waiting for?

Editor's Note: This content is not provided by Citi. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed here are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the Citi or any of the other companies whose products are featured in this content.

About the author

Jason Steele

Jason Steele is a freelance journalist specializing in personal finance and travel and is recognized as an expert in credit cards. He is a regular contributor to many of the top personal finance sites such as Wise Bread and Money Talks News. His work has been frequently carried on mainstream news outlets such as MSN Money, Yahoo, Finance, and Business insider.

Jason lives in Denver Colorado with his wife and two daughters.

– has written 336 posts.

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