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Upon logging into my US Bank online account, I noticed something weird.
I have a decent amount of points from using mobile pay at Costco for 3X points (a 4.5% return because each point is worth 1.5 cents toward travel). And I have my Real-time Rewards threshold set to $10.
So when I make a travel charge over $10, I get a text asking if I’d like to redeem points to “erase” it.
I used this for a few Uber rides recently. Great, great, love it.
But then… I noticed my $325 annual travel credit had recently reset – and doubly covered the charges.
Not only did I redeem points for those charges, but somehow it ate up ~$82 worth of my travel credits, too. If I’d known this would happen, I would’ve saved my points.
So when your travel credits reset, DO NOT use Real-time Rewards to erase your charges. You’ll end up paying double!
Oh, and US Bank was beyond lame when I alerted them to what happened. So lame that I’m thinking of dumping this card altogether – after I drain the remaining credits and points, of course.
US Bank Altitude Reserve travel credits don’t play well with Real-time Rewards redemptions
I called to explain what happened. The phone agent didn’t pick up what I was layin’ down. I was like… basically, I used points AND my travel credits on a single purchase. I “paid” twice.
“Can you either put the points back in my account, or reverse the travel credit?”
Either would’ve been fine. Instead, they submitted a request to “research” it. And said they’d send a letter within 5 to 7 business days. Why should I wait a week to correct an obvious error? Whatever. Sure, that’s fine.
A week later, I got the letter. (Yes, a paper letter in the mailbox.)
It said they could not put the points back because I authorized the redemption, and there was no way to reverse the automatic travel credits. I should’ve kept it, but I was so miffed, I threw it in the dumpster next to the mail area.
I don’t understand why I had to wait a week, or why it wasn’t obvious to them I was double-credited.
While it’s only ~$82, it got me thinking about my overall card strategy. And something’s gotta give.
Because I recently pondered if I had too many ultra-premium rewards cards with big annual fees. And also:
- I just upgraded to the Amex Hilton Aspire with 150,000 Hilton points and I’m so freaking excited because
- My Chase 5/24 status gives me a new Chase slot to play with next month
- I’m thinking about downgrading my Chase Sapphire Reserve and getting a new Ink Business Preferred
- And maybe one more personal card
Sayonara, it was real
I could probably push US Bank a little harder. But you know what? Nah.
I recently paid the annual fee on May 24, so I have time to use the remaining credits and points.
Then I’m gonna close it.
While I firmly believe:
- This is the best card for Costco shopping (and mobile payments)
- Its perks completely cover the annual fee
- Real-time Rewards are revolutionary
I don’t use it much beyond Costco. And if I have a Chase Freedom Unlimited, well, I can just use that to earn 1.5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points when I shop there.
Plus, yeah, I just got that Amex Hilton Aspire (click here), so that’ll keep me occupied in ultra-premium card land. Thanks to Frequent Miler for spelling out the upgrade deets (no hard pull, same account information, and won’t affect 5/24!).
Also, what a lame response from US Bank. I was an early adopter of this card and never had an issue with it until now. This was the first time I asked for help – and they told me to scram. So I’m walking out on my lil feets… and shifting my overall points strategy to:
- Citi ThankYou points and Amex Membership Rewards points for award flights
- Hilton points for hotel stays
- Chase Ultimate Rewards points for Hyatt stays here and there – I find myself moving away from UR points these daze (!), but that’s another post…
Def not happy that ~$82 bucks worth of my travel credit were wasted for nothing. If you have this card, be careful to avoid using Real-time Rewards until your travel credit is used up – otherwise you’ll use your travel credit AND your points for a single purchase.
I’ll prolly get Uber gift cards via MIleagePlus X to quickly eat up my remaining travel credit and points balance, and call it a day on this card.
I’m about to fall under 5/24 and can get new Chase cards, plus I just got an Amex Hilton Aspire card. If US Bank is gonna make it hard for me to use my rewards, I’ll take my business elsewhere.
Just a heads up so the same thing doesn’t happen to you!
I am also entertaining any thoughts about the “state of the game,” random travel observations, and bank customer service in general (😡) – hit me up with a comment!* If you liked this post, consider signing up to receive free blog posts in an RSS reader and you’ll never miss an update! And thanks for using my links to apply for new card offers!
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- Chase Ink Business Preferred - Earn 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points and 3X bonus points for travel, internet, cable, and phone service
- Capital One Venture Rewards - Earn 100,000 bonus miles and 2X miles on every purchase with no bonus categories to think about
- Amex Blue Business Plus - Earn 10,000 Amex Membership Rewards points and 2X bonus points on up to $50,000 in spending per year with NO annual fee
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