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American Airlines delays by a month the introduction of a new fee structure for award tickets

May 31, 2020
4 min read
American Airlines delays by a month the introduction of a new fee structure for award tickets
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American Airlines has changed the timeline on its new rules for fees on award bookings. The terms on the AA site have been quietly updated, showing that the airline has delayed the implementation of its new award-fee structure by a month.

Previously, American had announced that travelers could make free award-ticket changes and redeposits of their miles at least 60 days in advance, for award travel booked after June 1. That date now shifts forward by a month. For award travel ticketed on or after July 1, 2020, "we’ll waive change and reinstatement fees when the change is made at least 60 days before travel," the AA site says.

The delay of the new award-fee structure corresponds to the airline’s temporary waiver of change and cancellation fees because of the coronavirus. This waiver was recently extended to June 30, and includes award tickets. So American has now delayed the new award-fee structure by a month.

For changes made within 60 days of departure, the change and cancellation-fee chart announced previously will go into effect on July 1, as detailed below. Fees still vary according to the elite status of the AAdvantage account holder whose miles are being used for the booking.

Elite status tier60 days or moreBetween 7 and 59 daysLess than 7 days
Executive Platinum$0$0$0
Platinum Pro$0$50$75
Platinum$0$75$100
Gold$0$100$125
Regular member$0$125$150

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We have covered previously how the changes to award-booking fees would be positive for some flyers, but amount to a stealthy devaluation of the value of AAdvantage miles for others.

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For most people, the changes going into effect on July 1 are a net positive. The fee to change an award ticket or redeposit miles was previously $150, regardless of status, except for Executive Platinum members who could always make free changes and cancellations. Beginning July 1, no one will be charged a fee as long as any changes or cancellation of award itineraries happen at least 60 days before departure. This applies to all awards, including Web Special tickets which previously couldn’t be changed at all.

But the new structure introduces change and redeposit fees for award-ticket types that previously would not have any and were, therefore, extremely flexible.

American previously allowed MileSAAver awards to be changed without fee, as long as the origin, destination and airline(s) remained the same. Change fees were also waived for AAnytime (standard) awards, even when making a change to the origin and destination. These fee-free changes could be made anytime before scheduled departure. When it comes to reinstating miles for a canceled award, the fee was previously $150 for the first ticket and $25 for any other redeposits done at the same time into the same account.

But now, all AAdvantage award tickets booked on or after July 1 will be subject to the new fee structure, both for changes that would currently be allowed for free and for redeposits of two or more tickets that would currently be processed at a discount.

Featured image by Alberto Riva

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  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
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Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees