A Simple Guide To American Airlines Trip Credits, Flight Credits, Vouchers And Gift Cards

American Airlines recently introduced ‘trip credits’ which are electronic and have different rules from the ‘flight credits’ they’re replacing. Both forms of payment you can use towards a new ticket, but the rules are different. And they work differently than a payment voucher – and a gift card.

Fortunately American Airlines has created a comparison chart for their own employees to use. This was published internally for employees on September 26.

If you cancelled several tickets because of the pandemic, your received flight credits. Unfortunately you cannot combine more than one flight credit towards the purchase of a new ticket. The good news is that those can be used for travel through the end of 2021.

The good news is if you have a travel voucher or a trip credit, those can be combined – and you can book travel for anyone you wish using them. For instance if you exchanged a ticket for a less expensive ticket, and were given a trip credit for the difference that isn’t restricted to being used for travel by the original passenger. I’d bet many readers didn’t realize this!

This is a handy chart, and it would be nice if American Airlines posted it to their website, but you may want to bookmark this post as a reference since they do not.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Wow, didn’t realize that flight credit (the ones in the wallet) are only one per trip. That seems like an unfair restriction designed to maximize breakage. That’s gonna hurt.

  2. Perhaps I’m overreacting, was it this way before they got put in the wallet (Ie., you couldn’t use two cancelled tickets towards one new one?).

    In any case Gary, very useful post, thanks!

  3. Another useful information would be to know whether a flight credit can be used to purchase more than one ticket, e.g., some of us may have a flight credit (or voucher) of, say USD 2,000, and can that flight credit be used against the purchase of a single itinerary, in which case the value of that new itinerary would obviously have to be higher than USD 2,000, or can that flight credit (or voucher) of USD 2,000 be used to purchase two itineraries of USD 1,000 each. Thanks.

  4. I have an AA trip credit and a voucher but was told I can’t combine them to purchase a flight.

  5. What do you suggest we do when we are supposed to get an email with a link to an evoucher and the email never arrived?

  6. American is trying to charge us $50 per ticket – so 2 x $50 per round trip ticket, totalling $200 – to use our trip credit!!! Seriously!!??!!

  7. I’ve been dealing with AA all weekend on related issues. Was told I would receive email with voucher info for remaining balance on a previous ticket I used to pay for new trip. 48 hours later, still no email. Called them and they said they would process within next 24 hours (we shall see). While I am supposed to receive a voucher, my son used an old ticket in his “wallet” for a new flight and he received an immediate email with trip credit info. Not sure how they are deciding on gets voucher and who gets trip credit. Called EXP desk and they could not clarify for me. A voucher and trip credit cannot be combined to pay for a new ticket but they can be used to book for other people. Fairly confusing at best.

  8. I have a trip credit from individual ticket. Tried to use it purchasing 4 tickets and pay different with AA Exec credit card to get first bag benefits for all. No go.

    Was told that you can’t use individual credit on a group itinerary even if you on itinerary. To use individual travel credit you have to buy individual ticket.

  9. If I have value on an e-voucher for say $500 and use it to buy a ticket for $400, what happens to the remaining $100? Does it sit on the e-voucher, go away forever, or something else?

  10. I have 3 different ticket numbers to use as travel credits. Can I rebook for all 3 at the same time and in the payment section be able to enter all 3 ticket numbers or do I have to rebook each person separate? Thanks

  11. I have two “flight credits”. They are good for travel through December 31, 2021, and only I can use them. Any chance that the expiration date will be extended? I’m already flying overseas on American in October (and used one flight credit for that trip) and won’t be able to travel again until early 2022. American should have issued vouchers instead, as United Airlines did!

  12. David G, your best bet to use those flight credits to book a cheaper flight than what you have credit for. Say for example you have $500 flight credit – book a $35 flight (find anything!) – you will then receive a voucher for the remainder good for one year from that date which can be used much more freely. Once you receive the voucher, you can cancel the cheap flight. Hope this helps

  13. This might be out of date now. I’m adding this comment as this is the first google search result for “can you combine trip credits”. The website now says “You may redeem a single Trip Credit on aa.com or up to 8 by calling Reservations.”

  14. AA is the WORST company and has a terrible company culture. Always been this way but now it’s even worse. They make it almost impossible to use travel credit. I hate this airline so much.

  15. Not sure if anyone will see this, but I have a question. My honeymoon was canceled in 2020 due to covid, and we ended up with about $900 each in AA credits through Expedia that are due to expire 3/31/22. We figured we could just go on a few small trips instead, since our original destination still has covid policies in place that would keep us from being able to vacation there, but as soon as we booked a trip for $400 each, we were told that the rest of our credits had been forfeited because you can only book ONE flight with your total balance. Is this correct? I never would’ve booked a cheap flight for half our credits if I’d known we’d lose the rest. Any insight or advice would be very much appreciated.

  16. Just applied my travel credit from a cancelled Vegas trip last year to another trip my wife and I will be taking later this month. I had the trip on hold and called AA reservations to pay with the credit. Took a while, but ended up working, plus they confirmed that I can use the balance of the travel credit towards a future trip if used before the expiration.

    A couple of caveats- they could not apply the travel credit to multiple travelers under one itinerary ie. they had to split me and my wife into 2 separate record locators. Also, for some reason the balance of the travel credit ended up being transferred over to my wife’s AAdvantage account instead of remaining on mine.

    Nothing major but some points to consider.

  17. I just called AA, and they were able to combine 2 flight credits to use for a new reservation. FYI

  18. I have an AA flight credit for over $1200 but they are not letting me apply the value of the $900 taxes. How do I get that back?

  19. I have a number of TRIP CREDITS in AA parlance. Does the expiration date mean the TRIP CREDIT must be exchanged for a ticket by the expiration date, or must travel using that TRIP CREDIT commence by the expiration date, or must travel using that TRIP CREDIT be complete by the expiration date?

  20. I received a trip credit for AA lack of service leading to a fall..
    I do not plan to fly AA again
    How to convert trip credit to cash?

  21. Question: is a flight that is booked via flight credit or trip credit (I have both) be refunded BACK to flight credit or trip credit if cancelled?


  22. Very useful post, thanks.

    Note AA Gift cards have a weird limitation and IMHO ridiculously annoying limitation that they cannot be used for itineraries originating outside the US, (and Puerto Rico etc).

  23. I have been dealing with American Airlines for over a week trying to use a flight credit issued April 25, 2022. My wife needed to cancel because she was needed by her 100 year old step father who was diagnosed with a heart problem on the 21st of that month. Her step father passed away on January 25, 2023 at 101 as a result of the heart issue. We have been trying to book he a trip to use the credit after the celebration of life and finishing some legal matters for him yet American will not allow use to book any flight after March 24th. do i have any other options other than to watch them keep our funds and force us to purchase another ticket with new funds?

  24. AA will not allow me to use a flight credit because it is not for the original route (LIB to DFW). When I cancelled the flight, I asked what the limitations of use on the credit would be. Was told non-transferable for initial trip but any leftover would be transferable and that I had to use within a year. Never was it mentioned that it would have to be for the original route. Today they are telling me that it’s a special provision for international flights. I cannot find this caveat listed on their website or other sources. Any suggestions?

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