How Companies Offer Credits

Part
01
of three
Part
01

How Companies Offer Credits: Booking.com and Doordash

Key Takeaways

  • Through the Genius program, Booking.com users can sometimes earn rewards in the form of wallet credits.
  • Doordash users can buy Gift Cards for others or themselves, which can be redeemed as credits through the website or the app.
  • Doordash credits can also be earned through the referral program that is available in the Doordash app.

Introduction

Neither Booking.com nor Doordash promote or offer credits directly on their homepages. Users find out about these credits in other parts of their websites or apps. An analysis of how these companies offer credits to their user base, as well as available screenshots of these experiences, is provided below.

Booking.com

  • Booking.com's wallet credits' information is not available on the homepage. All information regarding credits is available in the FAQ section.
  • According to the available information provided throughout the website, only when users are signed in to their Booking.com account, they can see their level progress in the company's loyalty program "Genius" on the upper right side corner of the homepage. Through this program, users can sometimes earn rewards in the form of wallet credits. However, most of the time, users are given direct discounts. Users can identify the products that offer Genius rewards on each search.
  • Wallet credits can only be seen by the user when credits have been awarded.
  • Depending on the reward, users will see a ribbon with the offer "at the top or bottom of the website and/or a message or active code on the left-hand side of the Final Details page" within the check-out process.
  • There is no publicly available information as to whether the process varies depending on how the user earned the credits.

Doordash

  • Credits are not discoverable from the homepage. Information regarding credits can be found in the Gift Card FAQ section. Users can buy Gift Cards for others or themselves, which can be redeemed as credits through the website or the app.
  • Users also discover credits through the referral program that is available through the Doordash app. This program allows users to refer friends and/or family as new customers and receive credits.
  • If the user, and the person they referred, meet all the requirements, "credits can take up to 24 hours" to reflect on their account.
  • Credits earned through Gift Cards or the Referral Program are "applied automatically at checkout" to the total order amount. A screenshot of this experience is not publicly available.

Research Strategy:

To provide the requested analysis, we leveraged the most reputable sources available in the public domain, such as the companies' official websites. Some screenshots were gathered from third-party websites, as the only way to obtain them was from real users with credits on their accounts.
Because the amount of information available on both companies' websites was limited, and user screenshots that showed their experiences with acquiring credits were scarce in the public domain, the depth of our analysis was restricted.
Part
02
of three
Part
02

How Companies Offer Credits: Etsy and Apple

Key Takeaways

  • Etsy is a global marketplace that connects sellers and buyers of "unique and creative goods." "Only sellers that have Etsy Payments in their shops can accept Etsy gift cards and Etsy credits." "Etsy credits are occasionally given by Etsy to members as part of a special offer, promotion, or as part of a refund or other payment from Etsy."
  • Only Etsy buyers having Etsy accounts can purchase Etsy gift cards and redeem the Etsy gift cards or Etsy credits from Etsy's website by navigating to the 'Gift Cards' option at the bottom of the home page.
  • Apple has introduced "Apple Card, a new kind of credit card" for giving credit to its customers. "Created by Apple and designed for iPhone, Apple Card brings together Apple’s hardware, software, and services to transform the entire credit card experience" for customers and provide them simplicity, privacy, and transparency in all their transactions with Apple.
  • Apple also offers credits to its customers through Apple Gift Cards. Customers can "redeem Apple Gift Cards or add money directly into" their Apple ID Balance to purchase Apple products, apps, accessories, games, movies, music, TV shows, iCloud, and other items from Apple's physical stores, online stores, or the App Store.

Introduction

An overview of how Etsy and Apple offer credits to their customers is presented below. The details include how the companies offer credits to their users, how the credits are used, and screenshots of the various processes involved. The primary credit mechanism of both these companies is Gift Cards that can be used by customers to purchase products, services, and content (as applicable) from the respective platforms.

Etsy

  • Etsy is a global marketplace that connects sellers and buyers of "unique and creative goods." Etsy provides low fees, user-friendly tools, education, and support to sellers on its platform to enable them to grow and scale their businesses. Sellers can become members on Etsy's platform for as low as $0.20.
  • "Only sellers that have Etsy Payments in their shops can accept Etsy gift cards and Etsy credits." In order for sellers in eligible countries to get paid, they need to get themselves enrolled in "Etsy Payments with integrated PayPal." The list of eligible countries can be viewed here.
  • "Etsy credits are occasionally given by Etsy to members as part of a special offer, promotion, or as part of a refund or other payment from Etsy."

Buying Etsy Gift Cards

  • A buyer having an Etsy account can purchase Etsy gift cards from Etsy's website by navigating to the 'Gift Cards' option at the bottom of the home page.
  • Then the buyer has to fill out the required information on the 'Give the gift of Etsy' webpage, such as their name, the name of the recipient, and the gift amount. "Gift cards are available for $25, $50, $100, and $250." Upon selection, they have to select either of the two delivery methods: emailed to the recipient or printable (emailed to the buyer). Upon selecting 'Add to basket,' the buyer can complete the purchase.
  • Upon purchase, the buyer or the recipient receives the electronic gift card and the gift card code in their email.

Redeeming Etsy Gift Cards or Etsy Credits

  • Only Etsy buyers having Etsy accounts can redeem the Etsy gift cards or Etsy credits. To redeem the same, an Etsy buyer has to click on the 'Gift Cards' option at the bottom of the Etsy website. Then they have to click on the option "'redeem a gift card?' under 'Giving the gift of Etsy'" (screenshot attached above).
  • The customer then has to enter the 16-character gift card code received by email and select 'Apply now.'
  • Once the customer redeems the Etsy gift card or Etsy credit and complete their purchase in the shops of applicable Etsy sellers that accept gift cards or credits. If the balance does not cover the entire order, the customer "can pay the remaining balance" using PayPal or credit card, "depending on the seller’s settings."
  • The use of Etsy credit does not depend on how they were earned. Gift Cards can only be redeemed by purchasing eligible goods and services on Etsy's platform.

Discount Coupons

  • Etsy does not offer sitewide coupons. "Instead, discounts come from specific sellers who run their businesses through the website. There are three basic types of coupons, good for qualifying merchandise or entire orders from a particular shop." These coupons may be used to avail free shipping, percent-off discounts, and fixed discounts.
  • Buyers can get discount coupons on their email (after subscribing to their favorite Etsy listings and shops with their email address), on the shop’s homepage, on social media, on reputable coupon sites such as Groupon and RetailMeNot, and by filtering through Etsy search. Buyers can purchase products on the shop's platform on Etsy using the discount coupons.

Apple

Apple Card

  • Apple has introduced "Apple Card, a new kind of credit card" for giving credit to its customers. "Created by Apple and designed for iPhone, Apple Card brings together Apple’s hardware, software, and services to transform the entire credit card experience" for customers and provide them simplicity, privacy, and transparency in all their transactions with Apple.
  • "Apple Card is built into the Apple Wallet app on iPhone" and customers can apply for the same from the home page on Apple's website. "Apple Card is issued by Goldman Sachs Bank USA, Salt Lake City Branch."
  • The Apple Card is made of titanium instead of plastic, incorporates advanced technologies like Touch ID, Face ID, and Apple Pay to provide privacy and security to customers. Apple Pay is a digital wallet service provided by Apple that seeks to replace cash and physical cards and make all transactions safer, easier, and more secure whether in-store or online. Apple Pay is accepted by "over 85% of retailers in the US."
  • The Apple Card provides customers benefits like no fees, no hidden fees, ease of paying less interest, cashback with every purchase, provision of interest-free monthly installments on purchase of new Apple products, and integration with Apple Pay and Apple Cash. Interested customers can apply for the Apple Card within minutes to check whether they "are approved with no impact to" their credit score
  • Since the Apple Card credits the cashback to the customer's Apple ID upon purchase of any Apple product, customers can check their Apple ID balance on the App Store app by logging onto their account on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac.

Apple Gift Card

  • Apple also offers credits to its customers through Apple Gift Cards. Customers can "redeem Apple Gift Cards or add money directly into" their Apple ID Balance to purchase Apple products, apps, accessories, games, movies, music, TV shows, iCloud, and other items from Apple's physical stores, online stores, or the App Store.
  • Customers can purchase Apple Gift Cards from Apple's website by navigating to the 'Gift Cards' option at the bottom of the home page. Upon clicking on this link, customers are redirected to the 'Apple Gift Card' webpage where they have to click on the 'Buy' button.
  • Then the customer has to fill out the required information on the 'Buy Apple Gift Card' webpage, such as mode of delivery (by email or physical mail), the gift amount, and delivery details. Gift cards are available for $25, $50, $100, and any other amount. Then the customer has to select the button 'Add to Bag' to complete the purchase.
  • Customers can redeem their purchased Apple Gift Cards for buying Apple products, services, apps, and content on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac by opening the App Store app, logging onto their account, entering the "16-digit code on the back of the" Gift card, tapping or clicking on the option 'Redeem Gift Card or Code' or 'Redeem Gift Card,' tapping or clicking on the option 'Use Camera,' and then following the instructions displayed on the screen.
  • Customers can redeem their purchased Apple Gift Cards on Windows PC by installing iTunes, choosing 'Account' on the "menu bar at the top of the iTunes window," then selecting 'Redeem,' signing in, and following the instructions displayed on the screen. Customers can also redeem the Apple Gift Cards on their Android devices by installing and opening the Apple Music app, tapping the menu button, tapping 'Account,' tapping "Redeem Gift Card or Code," and then entering the Gift Card's 16-digit code to complete the transaction.
  • The use of Apple credit does not depend on how they were earned. Apple Gift Cards can only be redeemed by purchasing content, apps, services, and products from Apple's physical stores, online stores, and the App Store app.

Research Strategy

For presenting an overview of how Etsy and Apple offer credits to their customer base, we have leveraged the most reputable sources of information available in the public domain, such as the websites of these companies and webpages of personal finance companies like NerdWallet that carry reviews of the entire credit process of these companies. The screenshots taken from the above sources provide a thorough overview of how Etsy and Apple offer credits to their customers.
Part
03
of three
Part
03

How Companies Offer Credits: American Airlines and Delta Airlines

Key Takeaways

  • American Airlines offers a loyalty program to its customers called the AAdvantage program. Customers can earn miles (credits) by flying or through partners, redeem miles, "buy, gift, or transfer miles," purchase upgrades, and earn elite status through the program. AAdvantage customers both in the US and other countries can earn even more miles (credits) through various AAdvantage credit cards. American Airlines has partnered with Citibank for the same.
  • American Airlines offers four types of travel credit to its U.S. customers: "Flight Credit, Trip Credit, travel vouchers, and gift cards." Customers can only use travel credit for booking flights, not for other amenities like booking special seats or luggage.
  • Delta Air Lines has a customer loyalty program called SkyMiles through which customers can earn miles (credits) through flying, everyday activities, and SkyMiles partners, and then redeem the miles on any Delta flight, Delta Vacations package, or "for rewards like upgrades and premium drinks at Delta Sky Club." The program is free to join and the earned miles do not expire.
  • Delta Air Lines offers the following types of credits to its customers: Certificates (including Companion Certificates), eCredits, and Gift Cards.

Introduction

An overview of how American Airlines and Delta Air Lines offer credits to their customers is presented below. The details include how the companies offer credits to their users, how the credits are used, and screenshots of the various processes involved. Both companies offer different types of credits to their customers that depend on how they are earned.

American Airlines

AAdvantage Program

  • American Airlines offers a loyalty program to its customers called the AAdvantage program. Customers can earn miles (credits) by flying or through partners, redeem miles, "buy, gift, or transfer miles," purchase upgrades, and earn elite status through the program.
  • AAdvantage customers both in the US and other countries can earn even more miles (credits) through various AAdvantage credit cards. American Airlines has partnered with Citibank for the same. AAdvantage customers can redeem the credits earned through the AAdvantage credit cards by logging into their account on the American Airlines website and making a purchase.

Different Types of Travel Credit Offered

  • American Airlines offers four types of travel credit to its U.S. customers: "Flight Credit, Trip Credit, travel vouchers, and gift cards." Customers can only use travel credit for booking flights, not for other amenities like booking special seats or luggage.

Flight Credit

  • Flight Credit is issued for "unused or canceled tickets." American Airlines allows only 1 Flight Credit per passenger for "travel wholly within or between the U.S., Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands." Only the passenger whose name is mentioned on the Flight Credit can avail of the same within one year of the date of its issue.
  • American Airlines sends the Flight Credit details (including the 13-digit ticket number starting with '001') to its customer by email upon cancellation of a flight. The customer can then use the Flight Credit details for rebooking another flight.
  • AAdvantage members that have their account number listed in their reservation before cancellation can log into their account on the American Airlines website and view the available Flight Credit in their wallet. They will need their 6-character confirmation code called "Record Locator and 13-digit ticket number" for booking another flight.
  • The AAdvantage member then chooses ‘Manage trips / Check-in’ on the American Airlines website, selects ‘View canceled trips’ and enters the above mentioned trip details (Record Locator and 13-digit ticket number).
  • Upon clicking on 'Find your trip' in the above webpage, the customer can see the Flight Credit details credited to their account.
  • The customer can then rebook their trip and find their new flight. On the payment screen, the customer chooses 'Flight Credit.'
  • The customer then enters the ticket number from the canceled trip and the credit is applied to the new ticket. The customer can pay the remaining balance using a credit card.

Trip Credit

  • Trip Credit is issued for the remaining value from refunds, Flight Credit exchanges, and compensation. American Airlines allows "up to 8 Trip Credits in a single passenger reservation" for "domestic or international travel originating in the U.S." The Trip Credit "can be used by the Trip Credit holder to book" flight tickets for anyone within one year of the date of its issue.
  • American Airlines sends the Trip Credit details (including the 13-digit Trip Credit number starting with '00115') to its customer by email upon cancellation of a flight. The customer can then use the Trip Credit details for rebooking another flight.
  • AAdvantage members that have their account number listed in their reservation before cancellation can log into their account on the American Airlines website and view the available Trip Credit in their wallet. They will need their 13-digit Trip Credit number for booking another flight.
  • The customer can then rebook their trip and find their new flight. On the payment screen, the customer chooses ‘Trip Credit.'
  • The customer then enters the 13-digit Trip Credit number and the credit is applied to the new ticket. The customer can pay the remaining balance using a credit card.

Travel Vouchers

  • Travel vouchers are issued in the form of electronic travel vouchers or paper vouchers for U.S. residents. American Airlines allows customers to redeem up to 8 travel vouchers per trip for anyone, including themselves. The travel vouchers have to be redeemed within one year from the date of issue.
  • American Airlines sends an email to an applicable customer with a link to the travel voucher. Upon clicking the link, the customer can view the value of the travel voucher, its expiration date, and PIN. These details will be required for rebooking another flight. Customers can also view the electronic travel voucher balance on this webpage of American Airlines.
  • For rebooking another flight, the customer has to visit the American Airlines website and select their suitable flight. On the payment page, they have to select ‘Other forms of payment,' and "enter the travel voucher number and PIN." The customer can "use up to 8 travel vouchers at a time. If the total price of the ticket exceeds the value" of all the vouchers used, the customer can pay the remaining balance using a credit card.
  • For booking a flight ticket with a paper voucher, customers have to call customer service on the numbers listed in American Airlines' Reservations webpage.

Gift Cards

  • Gift cards are issued in the form of virtual or plastic cards for US residents only. American Airlines allows customers to redeem up to 8 gift cards per trip for anyone, including themselves for "flights originating in the U.S., Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands." Unlike the other travel credits mentioned above, gift cards do not have any expiration date.
  • The denominations of the gift cards are between $50 and $1,500. Customers can redeem the gift cards on American Airlines website or by calling customer service on the numbers listed in American Airlines' Reservations webpage.

Delta Air Lines

Delta SkyMiles Loyalty Program

  • Delta Air Lines has a customer loyalty program called SkyMiles through which customers can earn miles (credits) through flying, everyday activities, and SkyMiles partners, and then redeem the miles on any Delta flight, Delta Vacations package, or "for rewards like upgrades and premium drinks at Delta Sky Club." The program is free to join and the earned miles do not expire.
  • SkyMiles customers can earn even more miles (credits) through various "Delta SkyMiles American Express" cards. Delta Air Lines has partnered with American Express for the same. The various benefits offered by these cards can be viewed here. The most loyal SkyMiles members can earn Medallion Status that offers them other exclusive benefits like waived flight fees, additional miles, and unlimited complementary upgrades, among others.

Different Types of Credits Offered

  • Delta Air Lines offers the following types of credits to its customers: Certificates (including Companion Certificates), eCredits, and Gift Cards.

Certificates

Companion Certificates

  • Companion Certificates are exclusively given to "Delta SkyMiles Platinum and Reserve American Express Card" members who "receive a Companion Certificate each year just for renewing" their card. Delta Air Lines automatically sends an email to eligible customers upon issue of the Companion Certificate.

eCredits

  • "Delta eCredits are a specific monetary value that can be applied as payment toward the cost of a Delta ticket and any government-imposed taxes and fees." eCredits are of the following examples: "transportation Credit Voucher received as compensation for a service issue," unused or partly used eTicket of previous date, "Delta Travel Voucher received when an eTicket exchange results in residual value," eGift certificates, and "Delta Dollars received for denied boarding compensation from an over sold flight."

Viewing Certificates, Companion Certificates, and eCredits.

  • Customers can look up their Delta Certificates, Companion Certificates, or eCredits in the following three ways:
    • By logging into Delta homepage, navigating to their profile, selecting the option "Certificates, eCredits & Vouchers," viewing the Delta Certificate, Companion Certificate, or eCredit, and then selecting the same and clicking on 'Continue.'
    • By logging into the webpage "delta.com/redeem," then logging into the customer's SkyMiles account, viewing the Delta Certificate, Companion Certificate, or eCredit, and then selecting the same and clicking on 'Continue.'
    • By logging into the webpage "delta.com/redeem," entering the 8-character Certificate Code or eCredit Code received in the email into the search field "Certificate or eCredit #," clicking "Look Up" to search, validating the account by adding the "SkyMiles Number and password," viewing the Delta Certificate, Companion Certificate, or eCredit, and then selecting the same and clicking on 'Continue.'

Redeeming Certificates and Companion Certificates

  • Customers can redeem their Companion Certificate by searching for eligible flights, reviewing their "selections on the Trip Summary page," and completing their purchase. The Companion Certificate code will be automatically applied upon checkout.

Redeeming eCredits

  • Customers can redeem Delta eCredits in the following two ways:
    • By logging into their SkyMiles account, going to their profile page, and clicking on "Certificates, eCredits & Vouchers," customers will be redirected to a webpage with all details of their "Delta eCredits, Unused eTickets, and Companion Certificates, including their monetary values and expiration dates." They can then select the eCredit they want to apply to their new booking and make their payment. Any additional amount of the flight fare not covered by the eCredit can be paid by credit cards.
    • The second option involves customers logging into their SkyMiles account, booking from the Delta Air Lines homepage, and clicking on "'Use eCredits' when selecting a payment method." Customers can then select the eCredit they want to apply to their new booking and make their payment. Any additional amount of the flight fare not covered by the eCredit can be paid by credit cards.

Gift Cards

  • Delta Gift Cards can be purchased online on Delta's website by clicking the lens icon on the top right-hand corner of Delta's homepage, selecting 'Gift Cards' from the menu, and then clicking on 'Buy a Gift Card' within the webpage. The customer is then redirected to the webpage of Delta Gift Cards where they can purchase 5 eGift Cards (online) or have one "physical gift card shipped via UPS" to the concerned address.
  • "Delta Gift Cards may only be redeemed for the cost of air transportation, including taxes, fees, and surcharges imposed on the air transportation. They may not be used for any additional fees (including baggage fees) or for any other products or services (including upgrades, in-flight purchases, premium seating, mileage booster, SkyMiles Cruises, cargo, hotel stays, or car rentals)."
  • Delta Gift Cards "can now be used toward Delta Vacations packages that include airfare by visiting delta.com/vacations. Gift Cards may not be redeemed within seventy-two (72) hours after the time of purchase."

Redeeming Delta Gift Cards

  • Customers can redeem Delta Gift Cards for shopping either by selecting them "prior to shopping or on the payment page." Then they have to enter the Gift Card details like Gift Card Number and 'PIN or Redemption Code' along with other needed information. "Delta Gift Cards will be applied as a form of payment at time of purchase."

Research Strategy

For presenting an overview of how American Airlines and Delta Air Lines offer credits to their customer base, we have leveraged the most reputable sources of information available in the public domain, such as the websites of these companies and webpages of personal finance companies like NerdWallet that carry reviews of the entire credit process of these companies. The screenshots taken from the above sources provide a thorough overview of how American Airlines and Delta Air Lines offer credits to their customers.
Sources
Sources