Miles & Points 201 – What Fees Do I Have to Pay When Making Award Bookings?

Now that most of you have already learned how to earn and manage lots of miles and points and how to get the best mileage out of your miles in major US-based global airlines’ programs, it is time to book your award tickets before any of your miles and points expire. This post provides an easy-to-use table comparing the various award fees (in additional to mandatory taxes and security fees) some of those major airlines may charge for award travel.

Fees listed are for each award ticket (unless noted otherwise) and generally for US-based customers. Active links within the table with take you to the respective airlines’ websites for more detailed award fee policies. Let me know if you spot any errors. I will try to keep this post up-to-date, so feel free to bookmark the page for easy future reference.

21-Day Close-in Fee
Change Fee
Cancel (Redeposit) Fee Other Fees
United MileagePlus
  • $75 non-elite
  • $50 Silver
  • $25 Gold
  • $0 Platinum, 1K, Global Services, or holders of United Club Card or Presidential Plus Card
  • Date/Time/Connection Change (21+ days in advance): $0
  • Origin/Destination/Cabin/Airline/Award Type Change: $75 (non-elite), $50 (Silver), $25 (Gold), $0 (Platinum & above)
  • $150 non-elite
  • $125 Silver
  • $100 Gold
  • $0 Platinum, 1K, Global Services
  • Phone Booking Fee: $25 (waived for Platinum, 1K, Global Services)
American AAdvantage
  • $75 non-elite
  • $0 for Gold, Platinum, Executive Platinum
  • Date/Time/Connection/Airline Change (21+ days in advance): $0
  • Origin/Destination Change: $150 for MileSAAver tickets (waived for Executive Platinum), $0 for AAnytime awards
  • $150 first ticket + $25 each additional award (from the same account)
  • Waived for Executive Platinum
  • Phone Booking Fee: $25 (waived for Executive Platinum)
  • Fuel Surcharge: flights operated by British Airways, Iberia
USAirways Dividend Miles
  • $75 non-elite & Silver
  • $0 for Gold, Platinum, Chairman
  • $150 (waived for Chairman)
  • No changes allowed once travel has begun on tickets involving partner airlines
  • $150 (waived for Chairman)
  • Award Processing Fee: $25 for Continental US/Alaska/Canada,$35 for Mexico/Caribbean, $50 for Hawaii/all other international destinations (waived for Gold, Platinum, Chairman, or holders of the $89-annual-fee version of the USAirways MasterCard with annual spend of $25,000+)
  • Call Center Fee: $30 for domestic/Canada, $40 for all other regions (waived for Chairman or any awards not bookable online)
Delta SkyMiles
  •  None
  • $150 (MUST be done 72 hours prior to original departure) – waived for Platinum, Diamond
  • Same Day Change Fee: $50 (waived for Gold, Platinum, Diamond)
  • $150 (MUST be done 72 hours prior to original departure) – waived for Platinum, Diamond
Southwest Rapid Rewards
  • None
  • None
  • None
  • None

British Airways Avios
  • None
  • $40 (online)
  • $40+$25 (phone)
  • $40 (online)
  • $40+$25 (phone)
  • Phone Booking Fee: $25
  • Fuel Surcharges: almost all flights (except US/Canada flights on partners American & Alaska, or flights on LAN)


One last note: Again, it NEVER hurts to ask for a fee waiver if you have a legitimate reason for one. Just be nice and patient.


Don’t want to miss any TravelByPoints tips? Get updates via daily email, RSS feed, Twitter, or Facebook.