The below is a question from a reader that many might be wondering during these turbulent times.
“Is it better to use miles or money when booking a flight during uncertain times? Is it good to use up some miles right now? Thanks for the input.”—JN
Right now, during uncertain times when you might need to cancel, money is less risky. Airlines are waiving future change fees, but they often still charge fees to redeposit miles.
Long-term, however, airlines will continue to devalue miles. So using them sooner, if you find a good rate, is better than sitting on them overall.
Here are some resources on canceling during COVID-19, for airfare and more:
- SmarterTravel’s guide to 14 OTA Booking Sites’ COVID-19 Cancellation Responses
- Airfarewatchdog’s COVID-19 Flight Waivers and Refund Policies by Airline
- Oyster’s COVID-19 Hotel Cancellation Policies and Closures
- Family Vacation Critic’s COVID-19 Refund Policies by Vacation Rental Website
- Cruise Critic’s COVID-19 Cruise Ship Policies and Cancellations
- 8 Major Travel Companies Offering Flexible Hotel and Air Bookings for COVID-19
More from SmarterTravel:
- Travel in the Time of COVID-19: What You Need to Know
- 6 Ways to Get Home Safely During an Emergency Abroad
- 7 Bad Travel Habits and How to Quit Them
Consumer advocate Ed Perkins has been writing about travel for more than three decades. The founding editor of the Consumer Reports Travel Letter, he continues to inform travelers and fight consumer abuse every day at SmarterTravel.