Signing up for credit cards through partner links earns us a commission. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.
When your travel plans change, most airlines will make you pay to cancel your ticket. But what happens when you cancel a flight that was paid for with bank points?
Million Mile Secrets Agent Paula asked:
Is it possible to cancel a reward ticket and get your Chase Ultimate Rewards points back?
Once you transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to a partner, you can NOT get them back into your Chase Ultimate Rewards account. And if you paid with points through the Chase travel portal, you’ll only get your Chase Ultimate Rewards points refunded if you cancel within 24 hours of booking. After that, your refund will be subject to the rules of the airline you booked with!
What Happens When You Cancel a Ticket You Paid for With Points?
If you pay with Chase Ultimate Rewards points through the Chase travel portal, you have 24 hours to cancel your flight and receive a full refund of your Chase Ultimate Rewards points. If you wait longer than that to cancel, you will NOT get your points back.
And any refund or cancellation fees will depend on which airline you booked with and the type of fare you booked (refundable or non-refundable).
Remember, flights bought with points are treated like a cash purchase. So you will pay the fees associated with purchased tickets, NOT the fees charged for award flights.
If you paid the 22,688 Chase Ultimate Rewards points for the ~$283 ticket shown above, you would only get ~$83 back if you canceled. Because American Airlines charges a $200 change or cancellation fee. 🙁
What About Paying With Other Miles or Points?
If you cancel flights booked with these points within 24 hours, you’ll get:
- AMEX Membership Rewards: A full refund as a statement credit – NOT points
- Citi ThankYou: A full redeposit of your points
Folks love using bank points to pay for flights. Because you still earn frequent flyer miles and elite status on your free flight!
But when you cancel a flight paid with transferable points, you must cancel within 24 hours of booking or you will NOT get your points back. And after that, your refund will be subject to the rules of the airline you booked with.
I hope this helps, Paula!