How to Use Airline Fee Credits

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Nobody likes the trend of increased airline fees, except those who run the airlines. The rest of us have to suffer through endless fees for things that used to be free – like seat selection, checked bags, and even meals. But with the right credit card, you can receive statement credits that can cover many of these costly and annoying airline fees.

How Airline Fee Credits Work

Several credit cards now offer statement credits towards airline fees, but the terms of these offers differ depending on the credit card issuer. For example, some card issuers will reimburse cardholders for any airline charge, including tickets, while others will only offer reimbursments for ancilliary fees, not ticket purchases and seat upgrades. In addition, some banks will issue these fee credits automatically while others will require customers to make a special request.

Here are four credit cards that offer airline fee credits and how you can use them:

Citi Prestige®

The Citi Prestige® card offers $250 in annual airline fee credits, and it has a very generous policy on which feees are eligible. Citi's fee credit applies not just to any airline fee, but also to airline tickets and upgrade charges. When making any airline charge, Citi will automatically add a statement credit to your account, up to the $250 annual limit. However, certain fees for Wifi and in-flight entertainment that are not processed by airlines are not eligible for reimbursement. There is a $450 annual fee for this card.

American Express Platinum Card® and Premier Rewards Gold

American Express offers two cards that feature statement credits towards airline fees. The American Express Platinum Card® features a $200 annual airline fee credit while the Premier Rewards Gold card holders can receive up to $100 in annual airline fee credits. With American Express, cardholders must select a single airline each year to be eligible for statement credits towards certain airline fees. The eligible fees include those for ticket changes, baggage, selection fees, and lounge access, as well as in-flight food, beverage, and entertainment. Charges for ticket purchases s as well as fees for upgrades to a different class of service are not eligible for reimbursement. However, the statement credits are issued automatically to cardholders when eligible fees are incurred. There is a $450 annual fee for the Platinum Card® and a $195 annual fee for the Premier Rewards Gold card.

The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Card from Chase

This card offers a $300 annual travel credit that can be used for airline fees, seat upgrade charges, and even the $100 Global Entry application fee, but not for the purchase of airline tickets. To receive this credit, you must call the number on the back of your card to request the credit within four billing cycles of the charge, and the credit will be issued within five business days. There is a $395 annual fee for this card.

The Luxury Card MasterCard® Black Card™ and MasterCard® Gold Card™

Barclaycard offers The Luxury card in Titanium, Black, and Gold Card varieties. The MasterCard® Black Card™ offers a $100 annual airline fee credit while the MasterCard® Gold Card™ offers $200 in annual airline fee credits. The statement credits are generated automatically when customers charge airline expenses. The MasterCard® Black Card™ has a $495 annual fee while the MasterCard® Gold Card™ has a $995 annual fee.

Find The Right Credit Card.