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Don’t let your pandemic travel credits go to waste

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Traveling by any means is crazy right now, so you might not be thinking of booking a trip any time soon. Or maybe you are revenge trip and reservation everything travel – anyway, if you have e-credits or travel vouchers that were canceled during the pandemic, you should probably use them soon or find out how to save them, extend them or get them before they expire.

As emphasizes the Washington Post, travel companies were quick to hand out vouchers, rather than issue refunds, even when required to do so, for cancellations assuming customers wouldn’t use them before they expired. And that is exactly what is happening.

If you can’t use your vouchers or credits in the near future, here are some ways to avoid losing them.

Check your voucher status and policies

First, gather all the information. Log in to your travel accounts and note the vouchers or credits you have, their value, expiration date, and any policies or limitations on use.

Ask for a refund instead

Customers and company representatives who spoke to the Post reported that vouchers can often be redeemed for a full refund, which airlines, cruise lines and other travel operators may be liable for. offer based on their terms and conditions if they cancel your trip with no alternative. . Of course, this may not apply if you canceled. But it doesn’t hurt to ask, firmly.

Use only part of your expiring credit

If you have an e-credit for a certain dollar amount that is about to expire, you may be able to keep it active by spending some of the money on a super cheap route (like a one-way flight ) and saving the rest for the future.

Another hack: book a trip using points or e-credits and cancel it within the 24-hour penalty-free window, which deposits the credit back into your account and resets the expiration date. Note that there may be fees or restrictions for this.

Prevent general travel points from expiring

Another thing to check is whether the frequent flyer miles or travel points (and other perks) you’ve accrued over time will expire soon. Many rewards programs have suspended mileage expiration and extended benefits for existing premium memberships, but those limitations are starting to kick in again.

For example, American Airlines AAdvantage miles expire after 24 months of inactivity, meaning you don’t earn or spend anything on your account. The American suspended the mileage expiration during the pandemic, but reinstated the rule on April 1. keep your account aliveyou only need to make one transaction, which may include a credit card charge, an exchange for a flight or other cheap travel, or a cash/miles donation to charity.

Plan this trip anyway

Depending on the type of voucher you have, you can get your money’s worth when booking right now. For example, a cruise line may charge less than your original credit total, so you can cover more of your costs. If you want to get away from it all, feel safe, and have some flexibility, it may be better than letting your money go to waste.

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