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Last chance: Use your Amex airline fee credit before 2019 ends

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American Express offers premium travel benefits on many credit cards, including annual airline fee credits. The catch is that these credits reset each calendar year, so time is ticking for you to take full advantage of these perks before we ring in the new year.

Eligible cardholders can benefit from annual airline fee credits up to $250 to cover incidentals, such as seat upgrades, checked bags and in-flight refreshments. The Amex cards that offer these credits often come with steep annual fees, so it's important to use the full benefit in order to offset those costs.

The good news: You can book future travel and use the credit now. For example, if you're planning a trip to Tokyo in 2020, you can purchase the flight and add any checked bags or seat upgrades to your reservation now, therefore using your annual airline fee credit to offset the cost of incidentals.

Amex cards that offer annual airline fee credits

How to check the status of your airline fee credit

Checking whether you have any credit left is simple and best done via americanexpress.com instead of the Amex app:

  1. Log in to your Amex account
  2. Navigate to "Benefits"
  3. Scroll below "All Benefits" or select "Travel" to find the airline fee credit, which will read something like "$100 Airline Fee Credit"
  4. Expect to see either the credit you have remaining or a statement saying you used the full credit

Note: Before you can take advantage of the credit, you have to select an airline to benefit from this perk. You should do this before you book your travel.

Check progress on other credits

While you're checking your airline fee credit balance, consider checking any other credits that expire at the end of the year. Enrollment may be required to take full advantage of the credits.

  • American Express® Gold Card: $10 credit toward eligible dining at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth's Chris Steak House, Boxed and participating Shake Shack locations
  • The Platinum Card® from American Express: $35 Uber credit and $50 toward Saks Fifth Avenue purchases (July to December benefit)
  • The Business Platinum® Card from American Express: $100 Dell credit (July to December benefit)

Terms apply for all benefits.

Don't miss: I saved $350 on my vacation by paying with the Amex Gold Card—here's how you can, too

For rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, click here.

For rates and fees of the Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.

For rates and fees of the Business Platinum® Card from American Express, click here.

For rates and fees of the Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express, click here.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the CNBC Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.

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