Bad news if you were loyal to buying from DJI. The dronemaker just nerfed its DJI Credit program. The program isn’t gone, but it’s a lot less likely you’ll be able to take advantage of it now.
DJI Credit is a program where — after you create a free account — you’ll earn 1% on every purchase made directly through DJI in the form of DJI Credits. Those credits are a type of virtual currency that can then be applied toward a future purchase.
But as of this week, new credits accrued now expire. The expiration date system is a little funky, but in general, credits expire anywhere between 12-24 months after they were accrued.
Here’s what you need to know about the new DJI Credit Program expiration dates:
The credits expire on the last day of the calendar year following the year in which they were accrued.
So, credits earned for a purchase in April 2020 would expired on Dec. 31, 2021, giving you 21 months to use them. Yet, credits earned for a purchase in December 2020 would also expire on Dec. 31, 2021, giving you just 12 months to use them.
If your DJI Credit balance is larger than your next purchase, older credits will be used first to fund your next purchase.
The good news: any existing credits in your account do not have an expiration date.
And as always, DJI Credits are automatically earned for purchases made when you are logged in to a registered account. And, DJI Credit is non-transferable, cannot be exchanged for cash, and cannot be used outside of the Official DJI Online Store.
Is the DJI Credit Program still worth it?
Since the DJI Credit program stacks with existing discounts plus free shipping on all DJI purchases over $159, I’ve always used it as a good reason to buy directly from DJI instead of big electronics retail giants like Amazon.
Even if the credits expire, there’s still nothing to “lose” here except the opportunity cost of buying from another merchant.
That said, it makes other discounts offered elsewhere look a little more appealing. For example, Amazon Prime members get free two-day shipping and — if paid for with an Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card — also get 5% back, with no expiration dates (plus you can put it toward anything, not just drones). Try a 30-day free Amazon Prime trial here.
But also consider how often you’re buying new drone gear. If you time it right and make your first purchase early in the year, you’ll have nearly 24 months to spend your DJI Credit.
You could always spend it on the kind of stuff you can “never have too much of” like batteries.
But if you’re waiting for a new drone, consider whether you’re really buying an all-new drone every one to two years. Many pros weren’t impressed with the lack of upgrades in the new DJI Mavic Mini, which was DJI’s latest product launch (it was announced in October 2019). I’m still flying — and loving — my DJI Mavic Pro that I got back in 2016.
If an expiring credit might make you feel bad for not being able to use it, or might compel you to buy a drone you otherwise don’t need, then skip the DJI Credit Program.
The news is also notable for customers participating in DJI’s Trade Up program. That program allows you to ship DJI your old, unused gear in exchange for a DJI Credit.
What do you think about the changes to the DJI Credit program? Still better than nothing? Or will you switch who you buy drones from?