How Long Does It Take Miles to Be Credited Back to Your Frequent Flyer Account When Redepositing Them for a Cancelled Award? This is critical for those who don't have a surplus of miles in a given program, and will need the miles from their award cancellation to book new travel. If you're used to instant or nearly instant redeposit with U.S. frequent flyer programs such as American AAdvantage or United MileagePlus, don't assume international frequent flyer programs will be just as fast–they can take several days or even a couple weeks, unless you're able to get an agent to expedite the redeposit for you, which not all programs will do.
Keep in mind that the taxes and fees paid for your award ticket can take longer to return to your credit card, say 7-10 days.
Aeroplan: Mileage redeposits are usually instant, but can take a few days. Note that you must cancel/redeposit miles at least 22 days before departure, otherwise you can change your ticket by paying the CAD $100 change fee per direction of travel (so CAD $200 on a roundtrip), but won't get the miles refunded. If you're 21 days or fewer prior to departure and want your miles back, you'll first have to change your award ticket to be further in the future, paying the change fee for that, then CAD $150 to redeposit your Aeroplan miles.
Alaska Mileage Plan: Mileage redeposits are usually instant. As with all redeposits, be sure to log out and log back in to see if the miles have been refunded back to your account. Note that for tickets issued prior to June 5, 2018, there is no fee to cancel and redeposit a Mileage Plan award if done at least 60 days prior to departure, but for all tickets issued June 5, 2018 and later, the $125 fee applies no matter when you cancel and redeposit. See Alaska Airlines Adds $125 Change Fee for Paid and Award Tickets.
American AAdvantage: Mileage redeposits are usually processed within a few minutes or at least the same day. If not, and you need miles for a new award, call and ask to ticket with the miles from the cancelled reservation. AAdvantage queues awards for ticketing anyway, so there's always a delay of some kind while the award is “On Request” before it actually tickets.
British Airways Avios: Avios are usually redeposited within minutes. There is a $55 fee, although usually if you've booked an award flight where the taxes and fees are less than the $55 fee, you'll just be out those taxes/fees, and won't have to pay an additional $55 fee because of the way British Airways deducts the $55 fee from the taxes already paid.
Delta SkyMiles: Miles are usually deposited within a few minutes or at least within 24 hours. Note that you *must* cancel and redeposit Delta SkyMiles awards at least 72 hours before the departure time, otherwise you forfeit the miles used for the award and will not receive a refund.
Emirates Skywards: You'll need to complete a Refund Request, and after that, it can take up to 10 business for the miles to be redeposited.
Korean SkyPass: Mileage redeposits usually take no more than 48 hours. Cancelling and redepositing an award ticket will cost 3000 SkyPass miles.
Singapore KrisFlyer: Singapore advises allowing up to two weeks for KrisFlyer miles to be redeposited to your account. If you need the miles faster, a helpful agent can intervene and expedite, but this FlyerTalker notes that fewer and fewer agents are willing to do this. Singapore KrisFlyer charges $75 per ticket as a mileage redeposit fee for awards issued May 1, 2018 or later, but if your reason for cancelling is due to a medical condition preventing travel and your doctor writes a note to this effect, the redeposit fee is waived. I recently had Award Booking clients who had to cancel their Singapore Suites A380 award tickets for a medical reason, and the redeposit fee was waived.
United MileagePlus: Mileage redeposits are usually instant or just take a few minutes.
What's been your experience with cancelling and redepositing award tickets–how long has it taken for miles to reappear in your account?
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