How to Use United Airlines Travel Credits?

How to Use United Airlines Travel Credits?
By Elena Porter
Updated July 09, 2024 9:34 AM EST

Ever wondered how to make the most of your United Airlines travel credits? Whether it's due to a canceled flight or a generous goodwill gesture, these credits can save you both time and money. Let's explore how you can easily find, manage, and use your United Airlines travel credits to enhance your future travel plans.

Understanding United Airlines Travel Credits

When you cancel or change a ticket with United Airlines, you receive one of two types of United travel credits:

  • Future flight credits
  • Electronic travel certificates (ETCs)

These United Airlines credits have a specific monetary value, allowing you to apply the remaining value of your canceled or changed ticket toward a future booking. Both types of credits are easy to use for shopping flights and amenities, making it simple and flexible to reschedule your travel plans.

FeatureFuture Flight CreditTravel Certificates
Issued forCancelling a trip/changing to cheaper flightVolunteering seat/goodwill gesture
UsageBook travel on United, United Express, and partner flightsBook travel on most flights and for non-ticket items
Expiration"Travel by" date (trip must start before)"Book by" date (flight must be booked before)

Types of United Travel Credits

United Airlines provides two types of travel credits. While both can be used for booking a new flight, there are a few differences. Let's dive into these:

United Future Flight Credit

United Airlines flight credits are given when you cancel a trip or change a flight to a cheaper one.

  • Usage: These credits can be used to book travel on United, United Express, and partner-operated flights through United's website or app.
  • Extras: You can also use them for extras like Economy Plus seating. Apply the credits while booking your ticket, as they can't be used afterward.
  • Expiration: The expiration date for flight credits is listed as a "travel by" date on the credit. Your trip must start before this date.
  • Non-transferable: Future flight credits are non-transferable and can only be used by the person they were issued to.

United Travel Certificates

United Airlines issues United travel certificates when you volunteer to give up your seat on the flight or as a gesture of goodwill.

  • Usage: These credits can be used much like future flight credits, which allow you to book travel on most flights.
  • Extras: Travel certificates can also be used for non-ticket items like Economy Plus seating.
  • Expiration: The expiration date for travel certificates is listed on the credit as a "book by" date. This means you must book your flight before this date.
  • Transferable: Unlike future flight credits, these credits can be transferred and used by anyone.

FlyO Tip: Keep an eye on expiration dates! Future flight credits must be used before the expiration date, while travel certificates must be booked by their expiration date.

How to Find United Airlines Travel Credits?

Future Flight Credit

For United flight credits, use the confirmation number connected to the original ticket for which your future flight credit was issued.

You can also find this number in the ticket receipts within your MileagePlus account.

Travel Certificates

United Travel certificates use a PIN, which is emailed to you when you issue the travel certificate.

MileagePlus Members

If you are a MileagePlus member, you can track your travel credits in the wallet of your MileagePlus account. You'll find your wallet under the My United tab.

Non-MileagePlus Members

Go to United's site and enter your confirmation number or PIN to check your United travel credit.

If you don't have that, enter the email address associated with your United travel, and the system will pull up your travel credits.

How to Use United Airlines Travel Credits?

Using your travel credits is a straightforward process.

Just follow these simple steps:

  • Step 1: Sign in and view your United flight credits in your MileagePlus account or look them up using the options provided.
  • Step 2: Shop for flights through United's website or by calling reservations at+1-571-378-7016.
  • Step 3: When you're ready to pay, choose travel credits as your payment method.

FlyO Tip: You can use multiple future flight credits or travel certificates for a single purchase, but these two types cannot be combined.

How to Redeem Your United Travel Credit?

To redeem your United travel credit, shop for your flight on United's website or app as you normally would. At checkout, select "Travel Credits" as your payment option.

How to Redeem Your United Travel Credit?
  • MileagePlus Members: Unused travel credits automatically appear. Check the box next to the credit to apply it to your reservation.
  • Non-MileagePlus Members: Look up your credit at checkout using your confirmation number, PIN, or email address.
  • Remaining Credit: Any remainingcredit after applying for a travel certificate can be used for future bookings before expiration.

How to Use Travel Credits with PlusPoints

  • Use your United Airlines credits to book your ticket on United's website or by calling reservations at +1-571-378-7016.
  • After booking your ticket, request a PlusPoints upgrade.
  • You can request an upgrade until check-in is closed for your flight, which can be anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes before takeoff.


While understanding travel credits and policies can initially seem frustrating, having a little patience can save you a lot of money and hassle. Whether you're using future flight credits or travel certificates, follow the steps outlined to make the most of your United Airlines travel credits. If you need any help finding or using your credits, call FlyOFinder's friendly team at +1-571-378-7016.


Do you get a Travel Credit if you cancel a United flight?

If you cancel a United flight, you typically receive a future flight credit, which you can use for future bookings.

Can I transfer a United travel credit to someone else?

Travel certificates can generally be transferred. However, future flight credits are non-transferable and can only be used by the person to whom they were issued.

Can I use United travel credit for taxes and fees?

Yes, United Airlines travel credits can cover the cost of taxes and fees on your new flight.

Can I convert travel credit to cash?

No, United travel credits cannot be converted to cash. They can only be used for future travel.

Can I use United flight credit for a seat upgrade?

You can use United flight credits for upgrades like Economy Plus, Basic Economy, or your preferred seating.

Can you sell United travel credits?

No, selling United travel credits is not allowed. They are intended for use by the original recipient.

How do I redeem my United travel credits?

To redeem your United travel credits, select the travel credit option at checkout or call reservations at +1-571-378-7016 for assistance.

About the author
Elena Porter

Experiences life to the fullest through travel; Elena Porter has been a travel author at FlyOfinder since 2019. She has extensively explored the best of over ten countries, offering unique skills to guide readers in discovering the most remarkable places in each city. Ensuring to provide the best of each destination and make your travel unforgettable.

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