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Answers (3)

When to use vouchers or cash

When to use vouchers or cash

  1. trekwithme

    I’ve accumulated a fair number of vouchers on various airlines from cancelled flights during the pandemic, all good for Future travel. What I’m struggling with is when to use the vouchers instead of paying cash. If publicly available fares are low is it smarter to pay for those tickets with vouchers or am I better off holding the vouchers to pay for more expensive tickets? Where this gets tricky is related to maintaining elite status. For instance, I’ll be travelling from the US to Brazil soon. I can take Latam and pay with vouchers, so requires no cash out of pocket. With latam out of one world, I don’t really care about status on skyteam, as I’m a oneworld guy. If I fly American on the same route, I pay cash for historically low fares and because it’s business class travel, I’ll accumulate significant points in one world to help maintain my elite status in a year I’m doing less travel. So the choice is I can effectively fly without spending cash out of pocket on an airline that I don’t care about points accumulation, or use cash to pay for the same trip on another airline that I do care about points accumulation for elite purposes. Part of me feels I should spend the cash to maintain elite status while fares are low, and save the vouchers which I will use as currency when fares are higher on the routes I’m flying and airlines I want to accumulate points on. So I’m wrestling with what makes the most sense and any guidance would be greatly appreciated

  2. MidSouthSkier

    Those vouchers have an expiration date so personally I’d use them first. I think on some of the vouchers you have to use the whole thing at once so be sure to check the terms.

    As to whether to use it for a cheap or expensive flight, it doesn’t really matter. If you have a $100 voucher and your two flights are $200 and $500, you’re still paying $600 out of pocket regardless of which flight you apply the voucher to.

    And if you can use the voucher on a flight for this year it won’t impact your status because your status is being carried over to next year anyway.

  3. trekwithme

    [QUOTE=”MidSouth Skier, post: 70440, member: 184″]Those vouchers have an expiration date so personally I’d use them first. I think on some of the vouchers you have to use the whole thing at once so be sure to check the terms.

    As to whether to use it for a cheap or expensive flight, it doesn’t really matter. If you have a $100 voucher and your two flights are $200 and $500, you’re still paying $600 out of pocket regardless of which flight you apply the voucher to.

    And if you can use the voucher on a flight for this year it won’t impact your status because your status is being carried over to next year anyway.[/QUOTE]

    Many thanks Mid South Skier, I don’t disagree. At the end of the day the voucher is just currency, albeit with an expiration date. The voucher in question is on LATAM, whose fares today for MIA-GRU are almost double that of AA on the route. If fares are comparable, clearly using the voucher makes more sense, but at a double I feel like buying the AA ticket makes more sense. If LATAM fares come back into line with AA, I’ll opt for LATAM with voucher. I’ll have other opportunities to use LATAM before the vouchers expire, but in this environment you never know for sure. I appreciate the sanity check, and thanks for responding.

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