Question Of The Week: Do I Lose My Booking If I Cancel My Credit Card?
This week’s question: Do I lose my booking if I cancel my credit card? Specifically, if I booked a flight using the rewards points from this card, and then I close the card, what happens? There are many questions around the theme of “what happens if I cancel my credit card?” so let’s look at this one in particular.
Our question comes from Mona in our Facebook group:
Mona’s question involves 2 key elements:
- A confirmed flight that has been bought and ticketed using points from a credit card
- Canceling that credit AFTER the booking but BEFORE the flight occurs
Bookings Made With Your Points / Miles
Let’s tackle these 2 elements in order.
First, Mona is asking about a confirmed, ticketed reservation. Whether you’re using points from City National Rewards or shopping through the Chase travel portal, once you pay for that ticket, it’s yours. You’ve paid for it just the same as if you had paid cash by going to the airline’s website. The same applies to a ticket booked with miles. You’ve paid for the ticket. Unless you or the airline cancels it, the ticket is still valid.
Second, because you have a valid, bought-and-paid-for ticket, closing the credit card will not affect this. If you close the card attached to your rewards, you may lose the points you still had in your account, but this ticket isn’t affected. As far as the airline is concerned, you bought it. You used the points as a cash-like currency to buy something. The only way you could have an issue is if the bank would notify the airline and ask them to cancel the ticket. If they did (and I’ve not seen a bank do this), they’d need to refund you.
Here’s an illustration to make this clearer:
When booking through a portal to use your points from Chase, Amex, City National, etc. you are using your points as if they are cash. That’s why you would still earn miles from your flights. If you buy a flight with your credit card paying cash, then close that credit card, would the bank call your airline to tell them to cancel your flight? No. The same applies here when using points & miles. You have “paid” for the ticket.
The discussion of what happens to my points & miles after closing a credit card can lead people to the question we are addressing today. However, these are very distinct issues. If I cancel my credit card after booking a ticket, that ticket should not be affected.