Everything You Need To Know About United Travel Credits

United Travel Credits

Last Updated on Dec 21st, 2023 by Renu Dahiya, 2 comments

United Airlines travel credits are an excellent way to cut costs on upcoming flights. But, do you know how to use it? Or, can you share them with someone else? This article delves into the various types of United travel credits and guides you on utilizing them for someone else. It also outlines the restrictions and limitations you need to be aware of. So, skim through this guide and save huge with United travel credits. 

What Are United Travel Credits?

United Airlines travel credit is offered to passengers as a form of compensation for flight cancellations, delays, or other travel issues. These credits can be used to book upcoming flights with United Airlines and its partner airlines, helping customers save money on their travel costs.

There are various kinds of United travel credits:

  • Electronic Travel Certificate (ETC): This credit is given when you cancel a non-refundable ticket that qualifies. It remains valid for one year from the date of the original ticket issuance.
  • Future Flight Credit: This credit, with a longer validity period, is provided for travel disruptions such as flight cancellations or changes. It stays valid for 2 years from the original ticket issue date.
  • Goodwill Flight Credit: United Airlines might issue this credit as a goodwill gesture in response to service issues. It usually has a shorter validity period of 90 days.

How To Use United Airlines Travel Credits?

If you have United Airlines travel credits, you can use them to purchase tickets for flights on United Airlines, United Express, and partner airlines through the United website or app. Here’s a simple guide on how to do it:

Step 1: Check Your Credit Balance

Sign in to your MileagePlus account to view your travel credit balance. Alternatively, you can call United customer service to inquire about your credit.

Step 2: Book Your Flight

Once you locate your travel credit, use it to book your United Airlines or United Express flight on the website or app.

Step 3: Apply Your Credits

When you’re at the payment stage during the booking process, apply your travel credit to your purchase. Enter the desired amount of travel credit and click ‘Apply.’

Step 4: Settle the Remaining Balance

If your travel credit doesn’t cover the full cost, you can pay the remaining balance using your credit card or another accepted form of payment.

How To Earn United Travel Credits?

  • Cancel Non-Refundable Tickets: If you cancel eligible non-refundable tickets at least 25 hours before departure, the remaining value will be provided as an Electronic Travel Certificate (ETC).
  • Experience Flight Changes by United: If United Airlines cancels or changes your flight, you’ll typically receive a future flight credit that stays valid for 2 years.
  • Encounter Service Issues: For significant delays, damaged luggage, and other service problems, the airline may compensate you with a goodwill credit.
  • Convert Unused Mileage: Use MileagePlus to convert your unused miles into United TravelBank credits.

To make the most of your United credits, it’s advisable to use them for your next trip within their validity period. You can redeem these credits online at the official website of United or through the United app.

Note – Remember, credits are tied to the individual who originally booked or cancelled the ticket.

United Airlines Travel Credit Policy

The policy for United Airlines travel credit allows customers to earn credits in various situations, including:

  • If United Airlines cancels your flight, you may qualify for travel credit. The amount depends on the circumstances of the cancellation.
  • If your flight is delayed, typically for two hours or more, you may be eligible for travel credit. The amount varies based on the length of the delay.
  • Opting to change your flight itinerary could make you eligible for travel credit. The amount you receive is determined by the fare rules of your original ticket.
  • United Airlines travel credit remains valid for 12 months from the date of issuance. It can be used to book flights for any passenger, not limited to the individual who earned the credit.

Suggested Read: United Airlines Unaccompanied Minor Policy

Can I Use My United Credit for Someone Else?

Yes, you can use your United credit for another traveller, but there are specific rules to follow. The key requirement is that the traveller must be an immediate family member or a registered companion.

Rules For Using United Credit For Someone Else

  • Eligible Travelers: You can only book travel for an immediate family member or a registered companion. This includes spouses, domestic partners, parents, children, siblings, grandparents, and grandchildren.
  • Account Listing: The family member must be listed in your United account profile to be eligible. You can add them by logging into your account.
  • Reservation Details: When booking, the reservation needs to include both your name and the traveller’s name. For instance: “John Doe and Jane Doe.”
  • ID Verification: At check-in, the travelling person must present a valid ID that matches the reservation.
  • Primary Cardholder Benefits: As the primary cardholder, you will still earn the miles and perks associated with the booking.
  • Prohibited Actions: It is against United’s policy to purchase tickets for an unrelated traveller using your credit. Such actions could lead to the forfeiture of your miles.

How To Use United Credit For Someone Else?

  • Ensure the family member is listed in your United account profile. You can add them by logging in online.
  • When booking the flight, include both your name and the traveller’s name, such as “John Doe and Jane Doe.”
  • Use your United credit card details to pay for the booking.
  • Advise the traveller to bring a valid photo ID to the airport, matching the reservation.
  • The traveller can check in and board the flight as usual by presenting their ID.

By booking the flight under both names, the reservation is linked to your United account. This allows the traveller to take the flight while enabling you to earn the miles and benefits associated with the booking.

Suggested Read: United Airlines Check-in Policy

Restrictions And Time Limits

Expiration Dates:

One significant limitation when utilizing United credit is the expiration date. Normally, unused credit expires 12 months after issuance. For instance, if you received travel credit in January 2023, you must use it by January 2024 to avoid it vanishing from your account.

Some exceptions apply – credit from cancelled flights might expire sooner, typically within 1 year of the original booking date. However, in most cases, anticipate that United credit won’t last indefinitely.

Change Fees:

When it comes to altering your United flight reservation using credit, you won’t incur a change fee. However, the only way to change a flight without a fee is to do so within the initial 24 hours of purchasing your ticket.

So, when using credit, be aware that you can’t easily switch to a different flight on a whim days or weeks after buying a ticket.

Additional Restrictions:

  • The credit is only applicable to the passenger whose name is on the ticket.
  • Generally, you can’t apply credit from one United account to a flight booked through a different account.
  • Credit cannot be combined – only one credit can be used for each passenger on a given flight.
  • Any amount exceeding the credit must be paid with cash, not another credit.
  • Credit cannot be transferred or sold – it is non-negotiable.

Tip – If you want to know about the United Airlines baggage allowance policy, skim through our guide and plan accordingly. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Where can I check my United travel credit details?

A: Mileage Plus members can find a summary of their travel credits in their accounts. If you’re not a member or can’t find the credit in your account, you can use the lookup tools on this page to find out the value and expiration date of your travel credit. 

Q: What can I use my United travel credits for?

A: You can use your travel credits for tickets on United, United Express, and partner airlines. Additionally, you can apply travel credits for non-ticket items like Economy Plus seats, preferred seating, and Basic Economy seat assignments. 

Q: Can I use multiple travel credits?

A: Yes, you can use multiple credits of the same type in one transaction. However, you cannot combine future flight credits with trip certificates. 

Q: Is it possible to sell your travel credit? 

A: Yes, it’s possible, but be aware that transferring your points may go against the rules of your rewards program. If the airline finds out you’ve made a profit through a third party, it could result in consequences, like being removed from the program.

That’s almost everything you need to know about using United Airlines travel credits. If you have any further doubts, do let us know in the comments below, Our team, at MyTicketsToIndia, will resolve all your queries at the earliest possible. 


Speaking of MyTicketsToIndia, we are a leading air-ticketing platform that offers incredible deals or offers on cheap flights from the USA to India (and back). You will get perfect solutions to all your travel-related queries from our experienced agents. So, stop wondering! Contact us now to enjoy bumper discounts & big savings!

About Renu Dahiya | View Posts

Renu Dahiya is a passionate writer who worships her profession. Her love for writing has encouraged her to pursue her career as a writer. Her friends call her a “travel worm” and always come to her to know some interesting traveling tips and destinations. Renu is a repository of knowledge about traveling who knows which place should be visited in which season. Oh yes, she is insanely in love with dancing too. Writer, traveler and dancer, a perfect combination! Without a doubt, she is a complete package.

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