PSA: Make Sure Your Miles/Points are Actually Re-deposited After You Cancel an Award

I’ll say upfront that this post won’t break any new ground. As I’ve stressed many times before, attention to detail in the miles and points hobby is a crucial trait. But not all of us have it, unfortunately. If that describes you, I strongly recommend against getting involved in manufactured spending or any other multi-step tasks. Focus on the basics and ignore the rest.

One of the things most of us points addicts deal with on a regular basis is making speculative reservations. And why not if there is no penalty to cancel, right? The problem is forgetting you’ve made a reservation in the first place, as I’ve learned a few times in the past. Fortunately, thanks to groveling and some friendly reps, I got a refund anyway.

I did learn a lesson, and try to keep track of my award redemptions better these days. Unfortunately, even then you are not guaranteed a smooth sailing. Let me give you two recent examples.

Not too long ago, I had to cancel an AA Web Special award. I thought everything was taken care of since I got a confirmation of the cancellation. But days later, I still didn’t have my miles back in the account.

Another example: not getting my Hyatt points re-deposited immediately after canceling an award stay. What’s weird is that I used points from two different accounts to make this multi-day reservation. For some reason, my points were re-deposited immediately, but not my husband’s. In general, Hyatt is a fairly reliable program, and 99% of the time things go smoothly. But not in this case.

Use Twitter or Chat instead of calling 

Personally, I don’t enjoy making phone calls for stuff like that. And my husband absolutely hates it. Fortunately, in our modern age there are alternatives. In b0th cases, I used Chat option available via respective websites. It took about 10 minutes to resolve each case, but the experience was relatively painless.

The Hyatt rep admitted that it was a website glitch. In the case with an AA Web Special award, however, I was told that even though it’s possible to cancel online with no penalty, you still have to call to get your miles back. What kind of nonsense is that? Does anyone not want their miles back after canceling an award? This is a silly and burdensome policy towards consumers.

Nevertheless, those are the rules. And if you don’t keep track of your miles, you may forget about it altogether. Which would obviously be a win for AAdvantage program. People are busy and have a million things to keep track of besides their miles and points.

If you don’t like Chat option, I recommend sending a direct message on Twitter. I’ve had very good success going this route. Obviously, this will only work if your issue is not time-sensitive.

For the most part, this hobby is still fun for me. I love to travel, and miles/points allow me to indulge in this passion of mine at a relatively low cost. But there is no denying that this hobby adds a degree of nuisance to my life as well. So far, it’s been worth it.

How does my family travel so much? We use miles and points from credit card bonuses. See my Travel Hacking 101 post as well as current credit card offers here.

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