Top Amex travel cards including The Platinum Card® from American Express and the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card come with up to $250 a year in Amex airline credits. On paper, these credits are for ancillary fees like bags and seats – not actual airfare.
But in reality, that's not quite true: There are a handful of creative ways you can put these credits to use to cover the cost of flights … especially with Delta. Whether you've got a Delta eCredit sitting around from canceling a flight over the last several years or merely rebooked a recent ticket for a voucher after prices dropped, there's an excellent way you can pair those travel credits with any leftover airline fee credits to book a Delta flight in 2023.
And the clock is ticking, as these airline credits will reset with the New Year. Don't use them up your remaining balance in time? You'll lose them.
Here's arguably the best way to put these credits to use before the year comes to a close.
Pairing a Delta eCredit with Amex Airline Credits
Top American Express credit cards come with up to $250 a year in airline fee credits. The credit on The Platinum Card® from American Express clocks in at up to $200 a year. The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card annual credit is even bigger, at $250. The American Express® Gold Card lost a
And they seem straightforward … until they're not. Workarounds to use these credits to buy airfare or airline gift cards have slowly disappeared over the years. That leaves fees like seat assignment, baggage, and additional taxes and fees on award tickets booked with miles as the easiest ways to put them to use.
Not following? Read our complete guide to using Amex airline fee credits.
But our team has repeatedly confirmed a creative way way that you can get these fee credits to kick in when purchasing a new Delta flight. You can do it by applying a Delta eCredit or voucher, then putting the remaining balance on your American Express card to trigger any outstanding credits. This crafty workaround first cropped up in 2020, and we've confirmed it's still working.
First things first: You have to pick just one airline each year to use these credits through your American Express account. If you haven't already, make sure you've chosen Delta.
Thrifty Tip: Already pick another airline? Start an online chat with Amex and see if they'll allow you to switch to Delta.
Find a new flight for any time in the next 11 months you'd like to book and put your Delta eCredit(s) toward the cost. You'll see the option to apply your Delta eCredits during the final stages of checkout.
I've used this method several times in 2022, including just a few weeks ago. Most recently, it involved a $261.60 flight to Denver (DEN). After applying a $90 Delta eCredit, I charged the remaining $171.60 balance to my Hilton Honors Aspire card with the full $250 in unused credits. Voila – those credits kicked in a few days later.
Our testing suggests that the final charge to your card (after applying a voucher or eCredit) should be under $250 for this method to work. That's the same threshold for other ways to trigger these credits, like using Delta's Pay with Miles. And that's true whether you've got under $100 left, $200, or the full $250 in Amex airline credits.
We've tested this method repeatedly and confirmed it works. That said, there's no guarantee it won't get shut down or clawed back by American Express, which is constantly rooting out unintended workarounds to put these credits to use.
But it's perhaps the best way we've found to use up your Amex airline credits this year – or put them to use again in 2023. Pairing those credits with Delta vouchers is a great way to save on rebooking a trip for 2023.
Other Ways to Use Up Your Amex Airline Credits
With vouchers still burning a hole in plenty of travelers' pockets after Delta extended them through at least the end of 2023, we think this is a great way to maximize any leftover Amex airline credits this year. That said, there are plenty of other ways to put those credits to use:
- Charge the taxes and fees when booking an award ticket using your Delta SkyMiles to your Amex card and they'll kick in.
- Cover seat selection fees if you're flying basic economy with United, American, or Delta – or even upgrade to the Big Front Seat with Spirit
- Buy a lounge pass with American or United – or get a buddy into the Delta Sky Club by paying the $39 guest fee with your Amex Platinum or Hilton Aspire card
- Buy a cheap Southwest flight, as most airfare under $100 should trigger the credit
This is a great way to put your Amex airline credits and any unused Delta vouchers to use. And given how many travelers have both, that's no small matter.