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If you booked travel in 2020, you likely canceled travel in 2020. It can still sting to think about all those trips left untaken, when you'd rather be exploring new places than sifting through airline vouchers. But here we are.
In light of the global travel halt, many airlines, including Delta Air Lines, issued change waivers, revamped their cancellation policies and made it easier to rebook a future trip without losing money.
Here’s what you need to know about these changes, including how to use your Delta eCredit refund.
What you need to know about Delta eCredits
How to get travel credits with Delta Air Lines
Delta eCredits are issued to those who booked a Delta flight and had to cancel it for one reason or another. Chances are, you had to abandon your travel plans because of the coronavirus pandemic.
In the past, voluntarily canceling a Delta flight meant having to pay a cancellation fee of at least $200. Now, the full value of a canceled trip is available for use without any fees.
Delta eCredit rules and expirations
An eCredit is valid until the original ticket expires. Usually, tickets are valid for one year from the date of purchase. However, to keep things simple and provide flyers with more flexibility, Delta currently has a special policy in place: All tickets set to expire in 2021 and all new tickets purchased in 2021 will expire on Dec. 31, 2022. This extends the validity of any eCredits during that time frame to Dec. 31, 2022, as well.
You can make changes, cancel your flight and complete new bookings online or over the phone. If you’re positive you want to cancel your flight, but can’t decide when you want to travel again, it’s best to make a cancellation first and rebook when your new travel plans solidify.
Where to find your eCredits
To locate your unused travel vouchers, create a Delta SkyMiles account, then head to www.delta.com/redeem. Enter your ticket number in the "Certificates or eCredit #" field and click "Look Up."
On the next page, you’ll have to validate your eCredit by entering the first and last names of the passenger. Once you click "Add," the page will reload, and your voucher value will show up under Manually Entered Certificates and eCredits.
Those who booked flights using their SkyMiles number shouldn’t need to hunt down their credits manually. They should already be listed under the Certificates, eCredits and Vouchers tab in your account.
Is your Delta ecredit not showing up?
In some cases, you have to call Delta customer service at 800-221-1212 to apply an unused eCredit to a new reservation. If you’re unable to locate your voucher or can’t select it when making a booking, an agent can help.
How to use your Delta eCredit to book a new flight
Before we start, it’s worth noting that any eCredit refund issued to a specific passenger must be used to book new travel for the same passenger. It can’t be used for someone else.
There are two ways to redeem a Delta eCredit for a flight:
1. Via your SkyMiles account
Log into your SkyMiles account, go to your profile and a page with your personal details will appear. On the left-hand side — under Profile — click on "Certificates, eCredits and Vouchers."
You’ll be taken to a page with all your Delta eCredits, Unused eTickets and Companion Certificates, including their monetary values and expiration dates.
Check the box of the voucher you want to apply to your new reservation and continue to book your flight. If the new flight is more expensive than what your credit is worth, you'll have to cover the difference.
2. Book as normal and pay with eCredits
The second option to redeem your Delta eCredit is by making a booking as you normally would from the homepage. Select your flight times, confirm passenger info and click on "Use eCredits" when selecting a payment method. Once your active credits appear, select the one(s) you want to redeem and finish your booking.
If you pick just one or two vouchers from a list of credits, use the ones that expire the earliest, even if they’re in a smaller amount. You don’t want them to expire before you get another chance to redeem them.
Remember that you must be signed into SkyMiles for the credits associated with your account to be available for use.
The bottom line
Thanks to a flyer-friendly policy announced during the pandemic, Delta passengers have a generous window to rebook their canceled flights through the new eCredit refund system. Although it requires a bit of legwork to locate all your unused Delta credits, the ability to put the money you already paid the airline toward a new ticket will be worth it. Make sure to keep a good record of all your canceled trips so you don’t lose any eCredits in the shuffle before they expire.
How to maximize your rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2021, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card