Good morning everyone, I hope your week is going well. I was checking my American Express online account and I saw a credit balance of $1.80 on my American Express Everyday Credit Card. I never use this card, so I was surprised to see that the credit was a Membership Rewards Airline Tax Offset Fee Credit. I did some digging and learned that this refund is related to a $1.80 charge from February that I paid to transfer 3,000 American Express Membership Rewards Points to my Delta account to book an award ticket. I also learned that American Express is waiving the excise tax fee for domestic airlines through December 31, 2020 (including Delta, JetBlue, and Hawaiian).
As mentioned above, I paid American Express a fee of $1.80 on February 9 to transfer 3,000 American Express Membership Rewards Points to my Delta account. The transaction posted as Membership Rewards Airline Tax Offset Fee.
As you can see, I transferred 3,000 American Express Membership Rewards Points to my Delta account on February 9, 2020.
This morning, I went through the process of transferring American Express Membership Rewards Points to Delta and saw this note stating: As a result of COVID-19 and the subsequent CARES Act passed in the United States on March 28, 2020, we are temporarily waiving all excise tax offset fees on point transfers to Delta through December 31, 2020. Previously, the fee was $0.0006 ($6 per 10,000 points) per American Express Membership Rewards Points transferred to domestic airlines, up to a $60 cap. Here is the math on my transfer: 3,000 x $0.0006 = $1.80.
I wanted to see if this was just a Delta change, but the same language is also shown on the JetBlue transfer page.
And to be totally sure, I checked the Hawaiian Airlines transfer page and saw the same language there as well.
Personally, the excise tax was always really annoying and American Express is the only company that charges customers a fee to transfer points to domestic airlines. Neither Chase nor Citi charge this fee to customers. I’m glad the fee is being waived through 2020 and it is nice to see that some charges paid prior to March 28 are getting refunded. If you paid any excise fees in 2020, you should see a refund from American Express. If you have any questions about this change, please leave a comment below. Have a great day everyone!