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Redeem Gift Cards With eCredit On Delta

I have been planning a quick summer getaway with my son for a little bit now. It is something we try to do every year, especially since the love of travel and exploration is one of the things we have in common and connect on. I'll dive into more details in a future post though. Part of the trip required a Delta Airlines flight, mainly because I had Amex airline incidental credits left to burn. Using the credits gets a little tricky when booking with a minor though. Adding fuel to the fire, I would need to book our flights using e-credits and gift cards. The problem is you can't redeem gift cards with eCredit on Delta when using the website.

That led to a maddening experience with Delta message us, their chat feature. I'll share the details of my booking, my Delta chat experience and how I was finally able to pull this off.

RELATED: How To Change Your Selected Airline For Amex Airline Credits

Update 2/29/24:

I promised I would update everyone with my data point once the dust settled. The Amex airline incidental credit did post 7 days after the charge posted. So it is possible to use it while booking over the phone and paying a part of the booking with a gift card. Additional point of emphasis, that includes even if one person is being paid for completely with flight credits.

Flight Booking

I needed to find a flight home from Los Angeles (LAX) for our trip and Delta had our preferred times, even if not the best prices. I was willing to pay a bit of a premium because of the Amex airline incidental credits I still needed to use. If you have checked out our guide, then you know it is possible to use them on Delta airfare. The trick is that you need to pay a portion of the ticket with a gift card or eCredit. The total charge that you put on your Amex card needs to be $250 or under as well.

This would be easy enough for me. I could book a couple of flights and cancel them to get enough credit to offset my ticket cost. If I was traveling with my wife I would do the same thing for her. Then I could book both with our respective eCredit balances. It is a bit trickier with a minor though. That is because you can't book solo flights for minors under the age of 15 online.

All of that meant I would need to get enough Delta eCredit to cover my flight and then use gift cards and my Amex Business Platinum card to cover his ticket and trigger the incidental credit. The key was to get the remaining balance to under $250 before paying with my Amex card. I lined up 2 x $100 Delta gift cards, which would drop the remaining price to $214, and went to book our flights. There was still that one problem, I couldn't redeem gift cards with eCredit on Delta. A Delta Airlines agent should be able to make it work though.

Firing Up Delta Message Us Chat

I was left with two options, call Delta or try to get this booked via Delta Message Us. I went with the chat option because I hate dictating names and stuff over the phone. In a perfect world chat should be easiest too. This is an imperfect world though. Based on my previous run ins with Delta chat, I expected this to take a while. My guess was that it would take somewhere in the 45 minute range. No worries though, I could do some work while awaiting responses from the agent. Side note, I find it amusing how slow their chat can be since they try to push it every chance they get when you call in etc.

I started this chat at 8:44PM ET and it took about 10 minutes to get to an agent, not the best start. Once the agent entered the chat I explained everything I was looking to do, and they seemed willing to help. The problem was the agent would take 8-10 minutes between responses. This was exacerbated by him continuing to make mistakes. Such as quoting the total for both as per person and sending me the same form twice versus two unique forms. Each time he made a mistake it would add another 10 minutes or so for me to ask for clarification and for him to respond.

Redeem Gift Cards With eCredit On Delta

Delta Agent Has Had Enough

We finally got to the point of me entering the passenger info for both of us and we were at the 50 minute mark. Yes, it took 50 minutes for me to feed him the one way flight info and for him to facilitate the passenger info forms. At this point I asked if there was any way to speed up the process since we were now at 50 minutes and hadn't really gotten anywhere. That is when he dropped me back into the agent pool…

Enter Delta Chat Agent Number Two

Yup, you heard that right, he basically gave me the middle finger because I kindly asked him to speed it the hell up. Agent two was noticeably more responsive, so I was okay with the switcheroo. The problem was that we needed to go through most of the stuff again. She was able to pull up the flight info, and quoted the proper price, but we needed to redo the passenger info forms. I guess they are unable to access forms from other agents. It was now around 10PM ET and we were getting closer to the actual payments. Yes, almost 90 minutes just to redeem gift cards with eCredit on Delta. All of this for something we should be able to do online ourselves. That is if airlines had competent IT at least.

Next up, I fed her my gift card numbers and my Delta eCredit information. That is when the agent came back and said she was getting an error inputting the gift cards with the eCredit. No duh! She said she would have to dump me back in the queue to get ticketing support. I asked how long it would take to get an agent since I had been at this 90 minutes already and gotten nowhere. I figured she would just reach out to them on my behalf, but nope. She informed me that they had a high level of people on chat right now, a Sunday at 10:45PM, and it could be a bit. She said her goodbyes and disconnected. That is when the Delta chat bot came back to tell me the wait for an agent would be 71 minutes.

Redeem Gift Cards With eCredit On Delta

Finally Picking Up The Phone

The one good thing the second Delta Message Us agent did was create a booking and gave me the reference number. This is why I was motivated to call in to complete the booking, even though it was around 11PM now. This meant I wouldn't have to feed the phone agent all of the booking info, which was the main reason I didn't call them in the first place.

After about 10 minutes I received the call back and was connected to an agent out of Dallas (DFW). He seemed a bit short and testy, but I told him I wanted to redeem gift cards with eCredit on Delta. I fed him the booking reference code and he said he knew he would need to get assistance on this “difficult” booking. I laughed a bit to myself calling it difficult, but I knew he was at least experienced in this situation.

After that I had to dictate the gift card info to him a few times since some of it got lost in translation each time. The main reason I wanted to avoid doing the entire booking this way. It is a reminder that I need to have a ICAO phonetic alphabet guide up in front of me to help with this. I know some of them, but I always end up making up things for a lot of them. I am sure that drives the agents bonkers!

The Sweet Taste Of Victory

Once we finally got the gift cards info input properly I gave him my credit card info too. He had some issues sending it on to the proper ticketing desk, but was finally able to get through. He put me on a hold for 10 -15 minutes while he did his thing with the ticketing support desk. After that he came back and told me I was booked and all set. He had me pick some seats and told me to have a great night.

Victory! I was able to use the Delta ecredit and a gift card to make the booking. Hopefully this triggers the Amex airline incidental credit as well, but I'll update you all on that in a few weeks.

Redeem Gift Cards With eCredit On Delta: ToP Thoughts

I can now personally confirm that it is possible to redeem gift cards with eCredit on Delta Airlines. It just may take you a couple of hours is all. Was it worth it? Probably not in a time versus value sense. I do like getting these credits wrapped up early though, and that is now one less thing I need to worry about. It was also good to experience the process myself so I could share it with all of you.

One thing is clear, avoid Delta chat as much as possible. Unless it is the simplest of things you will want to call in. Even saying that gives me pause, because using the chat feature has always been painful. I used it a few weeks ago to have them open up blocked seats and that took forever too. Part of that is probably because the agent was looking at the wrong leg of the flight the first ten minutes. Oy vey!

Have you ever used eCredit and gift cards on a Delta flight booking? Share your experience in the ToP Facebook Group.


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