FAQ about ships, upgrades and insurance for IAE and general fleet planning


Vice Admiral
Mar 4, 2020
RSI Handle
Figured i would write this guide since big sale events are always the time you are thinking about your fleet building and don't want to make any mistake.
RSI has already some wonderful FAQs, but sometime you need to dig through them all to get the info you are looking for. Please refer to those FAQ first as they will be updated when needed.

If you see something important not mentionned here let me know. Please excuse my many English mistakes ;)

Melt value, real money, store credit

What is store credit?
Store credit is the currency used by the RSI shop to reflect the real money spent on an item.

What is melting / reclaiming?
Melting is the action of reclaiming a pledge, thus getting back the amount paid for it equivalent in store credit.

What is melt value?
This is the value corresponding to an item in RSI shop currency : store credit.
For example, a real money purchased Warbond Nomad has a melt value of 70$ store credit, while a store credit purchased Nomad has a melt value of 80$ store credit.
When you melt an item, you will have the equivalent in store credit of all what was spent EFFECTIVELY on it (cash and/ or store credit) added to your store credit account.

So what is the difference between real money and store credit purchase for melt value?
There is no difference.
If you bought that item with real money it will match the money spent on it.
If you bought it with store credit, it will match the store credit spent on it.

What are those Warbond items?
Warbond are items offered for real money only, you can not purchase them using store credit.
Warbond items are cheaper than their store credit counterparts.

Can you explain the difference between store credit and cash for account bound items?
As soon as you spent any store credit on an item it is account bound and you can not gift it.
For example, an item cost 10$, and you spend 9.99$ with real cash and 0.01$ with store credit, the item is then account bound.
To prevent account bound item you need to buy an item with 100% real money.
You can still melt an item bought with store credit and buy it back with 100% real cash if you want it to be gift-able again.

If i buy with store credit, will the item be account bound?

And if i buy with a mix of store credit and cash?
Still the same, account bound.

Gifting and limitation

What is gifting?
You can gift any item purchased with real money, or received through subscription.
Note that as soon as the total melt value of an item (ship, package/pack...) and its upgrades reach 1000$, it is then not giftable anymore without RSI support (but don't count on that).
Item and packages more expensive than 1000$ are not giftable without RSI support (more likely through concierge support).
Gifting is the core mechanics allowing the existence of the grey market. You can gift to a maximum of 1000$ total gifts melt value per day.
Note that gifted items are always account bound.

If I have a ship/vehicle bought with real money and I upgraded it with some CCU bought with store credit, does it become account bound?
Applying a store credit CCU (Cross Chassis Upgrade) or multiple store credit CCU to a giftable item does not remove the ability to gift it.
It is actually one of the way to spend your leftover store credits and don't end with account bound items in your hangar.

Special items, concierge and subscribers

If i am not a concierge or subscriber, can i get one of the items made for those people?
Yes if you buy it from grey market (basically this is a gift in exchange for money).
Concierge regular and LTI packs under 1000$ are giftable and anyone can use them.
The same goes for subscribers items and special Subscribers Exclusive Cross Chasis Upgrades. Subscribers have access to an exclusive CCU each month for a ship, with 3 special flairs from past subscribers monthly rewards, and with extended 12 months insurance.

About tax and VAT

I have to pay for VAT in my country, does it add to the concierge level progression?
Yes. Any money spent on RSI, VAT included, adds to your concierge progression to next level.

Is VAT returned as store credit when melting an item?

Is VAT added when purchasing an item with store credit only?

Insurance and upgrades

What is insurance?
It is not yet an active mechanism in game. Insurance will start at game launch only.
It covers your ship hull and the default component loadout for that ship. It will not cover upgraded components or cargo, this will be a separate insurance later ingame.
Insurance allows you, while still active, to re-spawn a destroyed or lost ship.
Basic ships and vehicles insurance start generally at 6 months, sometime less (some special promotional items), sometime more. Anniversary sales offer longer insurance, here 10 years for IAE2950, for ships labelled with the event name.

What is LTI?
LTI is Life Time Insurance, pretty self-explanatory.

I have a LTI ship (standalone or pack) i want to upgrade. Will the upgrade retain the LTI insurance?
For example you buy the Warbond LTI Nomad and upgrade it to something else, the resulting upgraded ship will still be LTI.

I dont have a LTI ship but i would like to turn it into a LTI ship, is it possible?
Most of the time it is not, unless you use special upgrades.
This IAE2950 is offering a Warbond CCU (Cross Chasis Upgrade) for the Nomad which has LTI insurance.
So yes, you could turn any standalone ship or ship from a pack/package that has lower melt value compared to the ship from the special CCU, into a LTI upgraded ship.
The upgrade system is calculating upgrade possibilities based on store credit value difference between ships. If difference is 0 it is not possible to upgrade.
For example you have an Aurora starter pack, 6 months insurance. Aurora store credit melt value is lower than Nomad melt value so you can do the upgrade. You would upgrade the Aurora to the Nomad using that Warbond LTI CCU, and then upgrade from the Nomad to the desired ship, providing the melt value of the target ship is higher than the melt value of a store credit Nomad (80$). The upgraded item will show both insurance (LTI and 6 months) but the highest insurance will always prevail.
This also applies to the case for special Warbond CCU with longer insurance but not LTI (like 10 years insurance). You will get the longest insurance between the base ship and the special Warbond CCU.

So can i apply multiple CCU upgrades on a same ship on top of another to build an upgrade path?

Does this also mean I can plan my upgrade path and save more money in the end?
Yes that is the objective!
If you buy and store a CCU of some not released ship in your hangar (or in your buybacks and buy it back before that ship release) and when the ship is released, that ship store credit value gets a price raise. This also means the CCU value of that ship is now higher, since the upgrade system will offer further available possible upgrades from that ship based on the ship store credit value.
Also you can end with much cheaper ship at the end of an upgrade path, if you apply many CCUs of not released ships in that path. Because all the not released ships will jump in price when flight ready and the CCU associated to each of them will reflect that.
Note that it DOES NOT add more melt value to the CCUs or the final upgraded ship. Its melt value will still be the sum of all that what effectively spent, on token and upgrades.
Purchasing Store credit/Warbond CCU of not released ship(s) will allow you to maximize the cost saving of an upgrade path for any ship at the end of the path.

I want a Redeemer but I can't pay for that kind of ship, what should I do?
When released, the Redeemer will get a price jump making it even less affordable.
Buy the cheapest token you can get. You can even start with a token of a ship not yet relased to gain additional cost saving in the end.
If you want LTI, either get an LTI Warbond token during concept sale of new ships, or a special LTI Warbond LTI CCU when offered. Or get a token from grey market (and melt it and buy it back with 100% real money after if you dont want the upgraded ship to be account bound).
Let's say you start with an Aurora LN. You don't want to buy an Aurora to Redeemer CCU obviously. You will try to buy as many CCUs of ships not yet released between the Aurora melt value and the Redeemer melt value.
You don't want also to buy all the CCUs needed but just those for the ships not yet released in your upgrade path, from the nearest cheaper ship always available in store.
In picture : you buy an Aurora, it is your token (I won't mention insurance in that example). You buy a Gladius to Talon CCU. Gladius is always available, Talon is not yet released. You buy a Freelancer DUR to Vulture. DUR is always available, Vulture not released. You buy an Andromeda to Redeemer. Andromeda always available, Redeemer not released.
Keep all those CCU in your hangar (or buy them back before each ship release).
Once Talon and Vulture and Redeemer are flight ready and released, all those CCUs will have save you money compared to those new ships value.
You can buy the missing CCUs when you can afford them to complete the upgrade path (assuming the Talon did not get as expensive or more than the DUR, and same for the Vulture and the Andromeda) : Aurora to Gladius, Talon to DUR, Vulture to Andromeda. Those CCUs will always be available at RSI store. Then you can assemble your cheap Redeemer with all those CCUs!

Upgrading packages and packs
Packages generally consist of at least one ship, coming with Star Citizen or both SC and Squadron42. You can upgrade them as you want.
Packs generally consist of ships without SC and SQ42. You can upgrade them as you want.

So is it more interesting to use Warbond Ship token / Warbond CCU to upgrade a ship?
If you can, yes.
Warbond item vs store credit item offers the possibility to upgrade that item and save some money in the final item price, thanks to the difference in cost, since the upgrade is calculated using the store credit item melt price as base price.
You can also use Warbond/regular Concierge LTI packs if you can have access to them, you will often save a lot.

Reclaiming (melting) a pledge

What is the buyback section of my hangar?
It is where you will see all past pledges that have been reclaimed by yourself. You can repurchase them with store credit and buyback token and/or real money.
Token is only used for buyback with 100% store credit or a mix of store credit+cash.
You can always repurchase any item with real money any time you want, you do not need a buyback token for that.

Will buybacks be active forever?
This is important actually.
CIG stated that once Beta launch they will remove the ability to use the buyback system.
Also note that some items, like CCU in hangar MUST then be used before Beta launch.

Can I reclaim and buyback anything safely?
Please refer to official FAQ for the full list of items concerned.
You CAN NOT buy back certain items, like all original backers pledge above Rear Admiral LTI that contain physical goods, any pledge in general with physical items, discounted combo package, or promotional items (Intel Sabre Raven, AMD Mustang Omega)...

What happens when i reclaim a standalone ship?
By melting a standalone ship (whatever the insurance is, LTI or not), you get the melt value in store credit, and the ship is in your buybacks, it retains its original insurance.
There is a cooldown on Warbond Concept buyback if you want to get it back with storecredit (and use a buyback token for that), it is 1 month after initial concept sale.

What happens when i reclaim an upgraded (CCUed) ship?
By melting a CCUed ship (ship made from an upgrade applied on a token ship, LTI token ship or not), you get the token ship back in your buybacks and the equivalent of what was spent on the upgraded ship (token melt value + CCUs melt value) in store credits.
You can NOT get back the upgraded ship from your buybacks or the CCU(s) used, they are lost, you get just the token. The token retains its original insurance (eg token LTI in buyback always stays LTI), not the one from its CCU upgrade if upgrade insurance was higher.

What happens when i reclaim an upgraded (CCUed) pack?
The original pack, without upgrade and applied CCU(s), will return to your buybacks, and all money/credit spent on the pack and its upgrades will be returned in store credit.
You can NOT reclaim ships separately within a pack.

What happens when i reclaim an upgrade (CCU)?
If the ship from that CCU is not flight ready and released (flyable), the CCU purchase cost will get a price raise when ship is released and you will have to pay more to buy it back.
It is a good practice to buy some CCU of ships not yet released and stock them in your hangar, so when a ship is released, the upgrade benefit from the price raise.
For example, a ship not flyable costs 225$ now and will be 260$ for its store credit version when released (MSR^^). this means a CCU upgrade to MSR kept in hangar will save you at least 35$ (60$ for Warbond MSR CCU).
The opposite might also be true.
Sometime it happens that after the ship matrix is updated, the CCU you bought back from your buybacks is still more expensive than the actual difference between the base ship and the target ship.
CIG is stating that it can not lower the price in real money that was spent on an item. So for example, a Carrack used to be 350$. New Carrack price is 600$. A Hull-E new price is 650$, so logically a CCU Carrack to Hull-E should be 50$, but the cheapest one are still at 150$ when you buy them back, because of the history of the price raise for the Carrack and the Hull-E.

If i reclaim an upgraded ship (CCUed ship), will i loose my LTI insurance?
This depends.
If the ship was upgraded from an LTI "token" - aka the ship used as base for the upgrade(s) already had LTI - you will get that token in your buybacks, and the equivalent of what was spent on the upgraded ship in store credit. The reclaimed ship token will retain its LTI insurance and is available for repurchase anytime. You will only be able to repurchase the token, not the full upgraded ship !
If the ship was upgraded from a "token" that did not have LTI, but you then used a special warbond CCU that had LTI, you will loose LTI, get the base token in your buybacks, and the equivalent of what was spent on the upgraded ship in store credit.

If i melt a Warbond item, do i need to repurchase it with real cash only?
No. You can repurchase it with store credit using a buyback token. It will then become account bound. Note that if that Warbond item was a concept item, you will need to wait after some time has passed after the sale to be able to repurchase it (from my experience it is a month).

But if i want to repurchase right away an item i melted by mistake?
You can always repurchase any item with real money any time you want, you do not need a buyback token for that.
If you do not have a buyback token, you will then need to repurchase it with 100% real money.
If you have a buyback token, you can repurchase it with store credit, or a mix of store credit and real money.

When can i have more buyback token?
1 is given every quarter. They do not stack.

How much time do i need to wait to melt an item i have purchased and want to store in my buybacks?
You will need to wait for 24 hours.

I have an item that was obtained thanks to a coupon code (like subscribers' coupons) that i want to melt, what will i get?
If you bought that item with a coupon code, the melt value of the item will reflect the coupon code rebate BUT if you melt it and want to buy it back after, you will have to pay full original price of that item at the time of purchase, without rebate from coupon.

Can I reclaim a gift?
Yes, and like any other items you will get in store credit what was originally spent for it by the gifter. The item will be in your buybacks for you to repurchase at a later date if need.
Last edited:


Vice Admiral
Mar 4, 2020
RSI Handle
i made a lot of edits, corrected confused or wrong stuff (being not english native is sometime difficult to make clear sentence hehe and writing that FAQ on mobile doesnt help with my big fingers^^).

So i am reaching out to the veterans here with deep knowledge of that system. Is something not clear? Shall i add more examples? Did i miss something important?

I still see that some vets here are asking questions covered by this FAQ, like for the LTI CCU, so i guess it can still help a lot of people.

Thanks !
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