Southwest Gift Cards Working, For Now…

One of the O-4 specialists here at Great Lakes is having some serious regrets in taking his time on the AA gift card buying for the $200 reimbursement. He was slowly buying only $100 AA gift cards over all of his AmEx Personal and Business Platinum cards just in case it did not work. This plan has backfired since all gift cards in any denomination are being coded like this:

It will hard to justify a $200 gift card purchase on AA if it is clearly labeled as “GIFT CERTIFICATE”. This is because gift cards are specifically excluded as one of the fees not reimbursed. In the past the AA gift card charge was labeled as “MISC fee”, and got 5x MR points. This fee was coded as valid being one of the following items:

  • Checked baggage fees (including overweight/oversize)
  • Itinerary change fees
  • Phone reservation fees
  • Pet flight fees
  • Seat assignment fees
  • In-flight amenity fees (beverages, food, pillows/blankets, headphones)
  • In-flight entertainment fees
    • (excluding wireless internet)
  • Airport lounge day passes & annual memberships

The best part is it was reimbursed in just a few days:

What makes matters worse is since he already spent a segment of the $200 credit, he will not be able to switch airlines to SW or Delta. Usually you can switch airlines only in the month of January, but only if you DON’T spend your credit, a simple chat online with the AmEx Customer service was all this is needed to switch airlines at any time:

I would say my “Travel Patterns Have Changed” (which they will) and then switch without any question. I did just this with my Aspire card, and swapped from AA to Southwest and bought a $250 gift card:

I got the airline switched and gift card bought on 14 Feb and got the credit on 16 Feb. The fee showed up as “SPD/AIR FREIGHT” and was considered a covered fee. These most recent events should show that if you have a datapoint like this, time to hit it hard! For this is just the next loophole to close. Keep in mind the Southwest Airlines gift card policy:

Southwest gift cards – A maximum of three Southwest gift cards can be applied per passenger on each reservation.  If your purchase exceeds the amount available on the three Southwest gift cards, you will only be allowed to use two Southwest gift cards and another form of payment will be required for the difference. 

If you have not spent your credit, time to fly the Greyhound of the sky, Southwest Airlines! Also note that you need to reserve two or three seats if you spill over one:

Customers who encroach upon any part of the neighboring seat(s) may proactively purchase the needed number of seats prior to travel in order to ensure the additional seat(s) is available. The armrest is considered to be the definitive boundary between seats; width between the armrests measures 17 inches. The purchase of additional seats serves as a notification to Southwest of a special seating need, and allows us to adequately plan for the number of seats that will be occupied on the aircraft.  In turn, this helps to ensure we can accommodate all Customers on the flight/aircraft for which they purchased a ticket and avoid asking Customers to relinquish their seats for an unplanned accommodation. Most importantly, it ensures that all Customers onboard have access to safe and comfortable seating. You may contact us for a refund of the cost of additional seating after travel. Customers of size who prefer not to purchase an additional seat in advance have the option of purchasing just one seat and then discussing their seating needs with the Customer Service Agent at their departure gate. If it is determined that a second (or third) seat is needed, they will be accommodated with a complimentary additional seat(s).

For those that are stuck with AA since you only spent part of it, then get your Mini-Bar ready for hundreds of tiny bottles.


7 thoughts on “Southwest Gift Cards Working, For Now…

  1. Steve says:

    Interesting. I’m wondering if it is effecting CNB Crystal too. I never got reimbursed for my wife’s card

  2. el_georgie says:

    Changed airlines via chat yesterday from AA to SW for my 2 remaining plats (1x business, 1x personal), successful with one request. Then purchased SW $200 GC..waiting transactions to post and credit applied..Will report back.

  3. Matt W says:

    For those of us stuck in the AA realm for the year, I can confirm that 500 mile upgrades do trigger the credit for those with status… Or those aspiring. If nothing else you can blow the credit there just to get 1,000 MR.

    (O3 – San Antonio)

  4. […] is, and how it’s a perpetual free vacation machine. Now that we know each card can generate a $250 Southwest gift card, as well as give $250 for a resort credit for room rate & […]

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