Just a small data point here —
One of the many benefits of the American Express Platinum Card is $200 in annual airline credit on the major airline of your choice. This benefit is for “incidental fees, such as checked bags and in-flight refreshments” and the fine print says that the credit cannot be used for airline gift certificates.
But that has not stopped me and many of you from using the credit for gift cards anyway — two years ago I purchased four United gift certificates in denominations of $50 and received statement credit two days later. Last year I purchased two $100 credits — and received statement credit two days later. The consensus is that you do not spend the $200 in one chunk or else you will not get the credit, but this year I thought I would try it and see what happened, since United only lets you apply one gift certificate per ticket and $200 is a lot more convenient than four $50 certs.
Well, the gamble did not pay off — I did not receive a refund for the purchase of a $200 gift certificate.
That is really no skin off my back, since I will easily spend $200 this year on United’s in-flight internet service (I’ve already recouped two wi-fi purchases), but let this serve as a warning to break up your gift certificate purchase into smaller increments if you want a fee reimbursement for that.