Say you decide to book a plane ticket through American Express’s special travel booking website so you can earn double Membership Rewards points.
You’ll pay a hidden fee of $6.99 per domestic ticket.
But unless you’ve shopped at other travel websites and compared prices for identical flights against American Express’s prices, you’re unlikely to ever know that you’d paid this fee.
It’s rolled into your ticket price without being itemized; you won’t find out about it unless you read the fine print before you buy your ticket.
To get to the fine print, you'll have to click on the link to “Taxes + Airline/American Express Imposed Fees” under step 2, “Review the price,” after you’ve selected your flights.
You’ll get a pop-up window with a document titled “Information About Taxes, Governmental Fees, Tax Recovery Charges and Service Fees.”
The third item under “Air Transactions” says “Online Air Transaction Service Fee.A non-refundable fee of US$6.99 per domestic ticket and up to US$10.99 per international ticket is charged for each ticket purchased online for an airline that pays us a standard fee or commission.”
American Express doesn't just charge fees on air travel bookings, either.
Learn more about American Express's hidden travel booking fees and some better ways to earn rewards when booking travel online in my Interest.com article, American Express travel rewards bonus is truly bogus.