Expiring Airline Credit? Here’s How To Extend It!

Last Updated on March 7, 2024 by CreditFred

Airline credits are often provided to passengers as compensation for flight cancellations, delays, or as part of travel vouchers. They serve as a form of currency that can be used towards the purchase of future flights.

However, one important aspect to be aware of when it comes to airline credits is their expiration date. Just like many other forms of travel rewards or promotional offers, airline credits often come with a time limit. This means that if they are not utilized within a specified timeframe, the credits will expire, and their value will be lost.

So what happens if you fail to use your credits before they expire? Can you extend the expiration date? Read on to find out!

Some Context

In early 2022, I flew Delta One Suites (review) with my parents from New York JFK to San Francisco SFO. However, I noticed that the storage compartment was not fully cleaned and we were not provided amenity kits as advertised. After bringing this up with Delta, we were each issued $300 in Delta eCredits for future travel.

Delta One Suites

There were two problems:

  1. The credit can only be used by the same passenger it was issued for, and only for Delta-operated flights, and not Delta’s alliance/codeshare partners. This meant it was pretty useless for my parents unless they visit the US again, and meant I cannot “pool” together the 3 credits (totalling $900!). I was able to use part of my credit on my trip to NY last year, but still had some remaining.
  2. The credit must be used by 12/31/2023.

The Hack

It turns out there is a super easy way to extend the validity period of the credit. In the screenshot below, the original expiration is set at 12/31/2023.

I decided to book a fully refundable flight (which in the US includes ANY flight cancelled within 24 hours of booking) that cost around the same as my remaining credit, this meant no additional out-of-pocket cost.

Right after booking, I went ahead and cancelled the reservation. And look – the new eCredit expiration is now reset to expire one-year from the cancellation date!

Theoretically, as long as there is no policy change on this, I can keep repeating this to extend my credit indefinitely until I have a use for them!

Other Notes

Since my flight cost slightly less than my remaining credit ($108.90 vs. $112.40), I ended up booking a second dummy flight, which will default to using the remaining 2023 expiration credit and resetting that too.

However, be careful of special Delta “gotchas”. Due to my booking of a basic economy fare with the original credit, cancelling and then booking another basic economy fare to cancel, part of the second credit became “worthless” due to the system applying automatic $99 cancellation fee to this ticket.

eCredit error due to basic econ credit applying to new basic econ ticket

I was eventually able to get this reversed as a “one-time exception” through iMessage chat (can get the link by DM Delta on Twitter). However, it was quite an ordeal and would not recommend others do this.

You could potentially avoid this by buying a more expensive flight that exceeds the remaining credit, and pay the small difference with credit card. This way, your existing eCredit will not be split into two and can avoid the drama I experienced. Another option is to just book a more flexible fare (e.g. avoid basic economy). I have not yet tried this though, so am not sure it works.

Additionally, the hack in this article worked for me on Delta Airlines, but I’ve also heard it works with other similar programs such as United TravelBank.

Comment down below if you tried this and have similar success, including for other airlines!


If you have expiring airline credits that you do not have immediate use for, you may not need to forfeit it. Depending on airline, you may be able to book a refundable flight using the credit, then cancelling immediately to have the expiration date “reset”!

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