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Inflight purchases for rewards

Established Member

Inflight purchases for rewards

I was curious as to which categories airplane inflight purchases count toward for rewards.  For instance, if I wanted to purchase WiFi or a movie to watch, would I use a card which has rewards points/cashback for Entertainment purchase or maybe one for streaming?


Would a card that receives restaurant cashback or points rewards,  apply for when you purchase alcoholic beverages /food during the flight? 


Or do all these fall under the everything else (which is typically 1%). I haven't used my credit cards during a flight so I don't have a basis for comparison on the MCC's connected with these types of airplane purchases. 


Thanks for any info and insight as I'll be flying tomorrow. 



Message 1 of 4
Community Leader
Super Contributor

Re: Inflight purchases for rewards

I believe that these data/movies/internet charges aboard a plane are not considered entertainment and depending on the airline, will likely code them as some miscellaneous fee.  Along those same lines, alcohol purchased about is not categorized as dining.  If you have a credit card that provides rewards tied to the airline you're flying...that card would be your best bet.  


Typically the "rules" on your cards that say give you X points for this or X points for that typically call out the kinds of charges/vendors that are qualified as part of the program.  Whichever card you're considering using likely has a rule on what classifies for each category and will have specifics on say which charges related to food are categorized or considered "dining"

Message 2 of 4
Super Contributor

Re: Inflight purchases for rewards

These charges typically are handled through the airline merchant code, so the MCC shouldn't stray too far from airline tickets / incidentals / travel charges. 

Which cards are in your wallet? A CSR or AMEX Green would perform well here, but that presumes already carrying a Travel Card.  The best performing card is a co-brand specific to that airline, as it seems they often give 25% back, plus the miles.  

The exception is probably GoGo InFlight, which I think codes / pays separately from just about everything else.  

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Message 3 of 4
Not applicable

Re: Inflight purchases for rewards

Normally, these type of purchases will not count as streaming or anything like that. For instance, normally buying onboard food will not count towards towards "dinning" or "restaurant". You will probably be getting 1%/1x back no matter which card you use.

Message 4 of 4
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