Q&A: Can I Cancel My Trip and Redeposit My Frequent Flyer Miles?

Question from Kristy:

I have purchased an airline ticket with miles. If I have to cancel the trip, can I redeposit the miles and, if so, is there a fee?

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Answer:

The good news is that yes, you may indeed redeposit your frequent flyer miles in the event that you cancel your award trip.

The bad news is that it will cost you to do so.

You didn't specify which program your miles are in, so I'll use American as a representative example.

The fees to cancel your trip and redeposit your American miles depend on your status in the AAdvantage program. Most program members will pay $150, but Executive Platinum members are exempt from the fees.

If you have an alternative travel plan, you might be able to save money by changing rather than canceling your trip.

If the original booking is for a trip that begins more than 21 days in the future, you can change the departure to a different date at no charge, provided the new date is also 21 or more days out.

If the new departure date falls within 21 days, there will be a $75 processing fee, waived for Gold, Platinum, and Executive Platinum elite members.

If you must change the origin or destination of the trip, you will still incur a $150 fee, unless you're an AAdvantage Executive Platinum member or you've redeemed your miles for a pricey, unrestricted AAnytime award ticket.

Other programs' policies and fees differ somewhat from American's, but that should give you a general idea of what to expect.

Bottom line: Cancellations or changes can cost you plenty and are best avoided.

This article originally appeared on FrequentFlier.com.

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