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Amex has eliminated the $100 Airline Fee Credit as a benefit for the American Express® Gold Card. For many, the new Uber Cash credits that have been added to the card will be just as valuable—and perhaps easier to use.
To be clear, the Airline Fee Credit is not available now (or in the future) if you opened your Amex Gold on or after February 4, 2021. However, if you opened your card on or before February 3, 2021, you have until December 31, 2021, to use your final $100 airline fee credit.
If you're thinking about getting this card, check out our Amex Gold review for a full rundown of its excellent benefits. If you're an existing Amex Gold cardholder, here's what you need to know about the airline fee credit.
Amex Airline Fee Credit
One of the benefits of several American Express cards—but one we most love to hate—is the Airline Fee Credit. This credit reimburses cardmembers for amounts spent on incidental charges (checked baggage fees, seat upgrades, lounge memberships, etc.). Currently, American Express offers these credits on several products, including:
- The Platinum Card® from American Express
- The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
- Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card
- Amex Gold cardholders who opened their account on or before 2/3/2021 can use their $100 credit until 12/31/2021.
- Starting on January 1, 2022, Amex will no longer provide this benefit for any Amex Gold cardholders.
We reached out to an Amex spokesperson to confirm this significant change in benefits and received this response:
As we are always looking to evolve our Card benefits and services to best support our Card Members’ needs, the Airline Fee Credit on the American Express® Gold Card will no longer be available at the end of 2021. Current Gold Card Members will be able to continue to use the Airline Fee Credit through December 31, 2021. We will continue to evolve and enhance our Card benefits and services to provide relevant and rich value to our Card Members in the areas they care about most, so stay tuned!
How big of a loss is this?
Like I said before, Amex's Airline Fee Credits are a benefit we love to hate. That's because unlike flexible travel credits offered on other popular travel cards (like the Chase Sapphire Reserve® or Citi Prestige® Card), Amex's credit restricts you to a much narrower window of purchases. To receive the credit, you have to:
- choose an airline you know you'll fly, and
- make a purchase that qualifies
If you regularly travel with a specific airline and often make eligible purchases, that may not be a problem. However, if you find yourself unable to travel (like many of us currently), this credit easily incurs breakage—or lost value. Consequently, it's not surprising that this credit has its fair share of critics.
For Amex Gold cardholders with an account open as of February 3, 2021, 2021 is the last year you'll receive the $100 Airline Fee Credit. If you really liked this benefit, it's worth considering the Amex Platinum, which still offers a $200 Airline Fee Credit.
Historically, Amex has done a good job of making sure cardmembers continue receiving meaningful value from its products. While those who found it easy to use the Airline Fee Credit may still be disappointed, we think the new Uber Cash credits—worth up to $120 per year—are a pretty good replacement.
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