Keeping Credit Card Companies Accountable

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Credit Cards' started by rodeojones, Dec 13, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. rodeojones

    rodeojones Silver Member

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    This seems like a really basic concept yet I have yet to find the answer.

    Do you guys ever wonder if your getting the rewards you should be on your spending, especially for certain categories that give additional bonuses?

    How do I know the credit card companies are actually giving me the points I deserve? I see the balances change on Awardwallet but have yet to find a way to see if a specific item I purchased was actually awarded to me as promised. Chase for example, I have looked everywhere on my account and can't find the specific points awarded for the items purchased.

    Or do we just trust the cc companies!?!? :eek:
     
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  2. MX

    MX Gold Member

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    I don't verify the point awards on every statement, but do check that the number at least appear to be in the right order of magnitude. If the number should look grossly inadequate, then I'd calculate what I think the correct number should be. I've experienced such sizable discrepancies more than once. Sometimes the bank would have an explanation or a missed loophole to explain the difference. Other times they would agree with me and credit the missing points.

    So to answer your question - no, you can't blindly trust the cc companies. But you can reasonably expect the statements to be accurate most of the time.
     
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  3. HaveMilesWillTravel
    Original Member

    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    I only use cards that give me exactly ONE mile/point per dollar, to help me verify that everything's correct. To automate the monthly reconciliation, I have developed an iPhone app that you can download in the App Store for only $25. ;)
     
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  4. servo

    servo Silver Member

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    It's a fantastic question - one I encountered for the first time when beginning to shop through the Capital One shopping portal. It can be rather labor intensive, but I started keeping a spreadsheet for every purchase that I expected to receive a bonus for, whether that's a category bonus from Hilton @ drugstores, or a portal purchase, noting the expected bonus, the date of the purchase and the cutoff date when the max time expires to be credited to the account. And then how you track varies based on the program. AA sends me an email when bonuses from portal purchases have gone through. Hilton AmEx I pretty much just have to reconcile my total monthly points acquired against my spreadsheet. I haven't done a UR portal purchase yet, so I don't know how those post. Cap1 had a separate page for their portal bonuses earned, as well as a ledger showing all points earned from each transaction. It was the best I've encountered so far.

    I tell all my music friends who aren't well versed in money stuff, that running your personal finances really needs to be like how you would run a business. If you want to ensure you get what you deserve, you need to do your due diligence and then hold the company to their claims. For example, I noticed about 5-6 of my shopping portal purchases through Cap1 didn't go through in the 8 week time period they claim. I'm an analyst and former call center troubleshooter, so I began going through t-shooting steps, and while it wasn't confirmed, I think it came down to that I had installed a browser plugin that prevented the portal sites from tracking the purchases. Had I not kept the records and then waited the 8 week period for them to post and just trusted them, I would have been out around 20,000 points, because they never did post automatically. I had to send Cap1 my e-receipts and what the bonus at the time was for those stores in order to get the credit I expected, even though I had done everything right on their end, it still wasn't tracked. The purchases I made from work and my wife's computer did work though, which is what led me to believe it was something in my browser.

    They ended up manually crediting my account - so, I proved to myself the value of the record keeping I've done.

    Basically, most of the travel programs don't do a great job of documenting the detail of all the earned points in a way that makes much sense, but I can say that any legitimate bonus point/mile transaction that I've had to call in and dispute has been resolved to my satisfaction (so far), so at least if you are doing your part to keep them honest, they will uphold their end of the deal.
     
  5. HaveMilesWillTravel
    Original Member

    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Way too much effort for me and not cost effective.

    I generally only use my HHonors Amex for 6x purchases and Hilton stays, but there are lots of those from gas stations, grocery stores and drug stores. No way am I going to capture each and every one of them to reconcile. If what Amex posts to HHonors appears WAY off from the 6x factor, I might look at it, but usually I discover that I screwed up and used the card for some 3x purchase.

    (there were months towards the end of the year where I shifted more spend to the card no matter what the category to reach the 20k limit for Gold status).
     
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  6. harvson3

    harvson3 Silver Member

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  7. rodeojones

    rodeojones Silver Member

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  8. DTWBOB

    DTWBOB Silver Member

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    No --- all of my credit card statements give me a report on how I've done that month and it's easy to check.

    Amex Blue is probably the most complicated, but hey 5 percent back in plain old cash on certain purchases is a lot better return than I can get with my airline and hotel cards where the return is at best about 1 percent -- and yes I do optimize the use of my cards.

    DTWBOB
     
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  9. Jett Rink
    Original Member

    Jett Rink Silver Member

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    Ain't that the truth.
     
  10. KathInJax

    KathInJax Silver Member

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    This used to frustrate me on the AMEX green card years ago. they used to give category bonuses, but I never knew what category and the time frames involved. I called up at one point to try and decipher the number of points that I earned and even the CSR's could not tell me how the points were calculated.

    The new USAirways Mastercard does have this feature where it posts the number of points next to each charge. I do like that, but there aren't any special category bonuses to track with this card.
     
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