Deception or outright fraud

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bonobojean
 
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Deception or outright fraud

Postby bonobojean » Sat Aug 23, 2014 5:26 pm

Recently I went to use my Chase Ultimate Rewards for a flight. I wanted to maximize my purchasing power by taking advantage of the 20% point discount when booking online with Ultimate Rewards. Taking advantage is correct but instead, it was I who was taken advantage of. :money:

I did a flight search on UR and found two round trip tickets on Philippine Airlines for all my points (176,000) plus $1350 OR $3505 Cash.

I then went to Kayak and found the very same identical in all ways but price for $2526.

PA listed the same identical in all ways ticket for $2756.

I called Chase who sent me to UR and I spoke with a 'supervisor' who told me that I did indeed realize a 20% discount on points; that UR receives no compensation at all and that they base their rates on the (highest) published rate of the day. That their search does not look for the lowest rate. That is the same smoke as saying a shirt that was $140 is now reduced to $25 clearance price (which still turns a profit). Aren't I lucky???


He explained that by using my points I received a 20% discount. However, he had nothing to say when I asked him how paying a $1000+ more for booking with UR was a discount. He said I didnt understand. Tried another approach of deception but failed miserably again.

So, I called Chase back again. Spoke with a supervisor. Said I wanted to file a complaint. Said they would elevate my complaint but I might never hear anything back since they normally do not followup even if requested.

Is this just Chase or is this par for all the credit card reward programs????

Isn't there a law about this sort of thing.


yfan
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Postby yfan » Sat Aug 23, 2014 9:50 pm

Another reason I don't like points. Cash (back) is king for me. Yes, points, used in certain ways can be more valuable, but often they are less valuable, and finding and waiting for the opportune time when they are more valuable takes jumping through too many hoops.

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CarefulBuilder14
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Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Sat Aug 23, 2014 10:11 pm

I compared Kayak to the UR Travel site and the prices were the same. I'm not sure about how the 20% discount was applied or not. Chase doesn't list every flight for certain domestic travel, but the four airlines in my sample search were the same between Chase and Kayak. I used ANC (Anchorage) and MNL (Manila).

Maybe you had the 'multiple airlines' feature on Kayak on? Chase doesn't show those 'hybrid' options as far as I know.

It definitely requires a lot of hassle to make good use of points when you travel, at least when it comes to transferring points at the last minute to whichever program offers the best deal.
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supercoolman
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Postby supercoolman » Sun Aug 24, 2014 12:08 am

sounds like rewards to statement credit for travel expenses can net you the best point redemption?

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CarefulBuilder14
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Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Sun Aug 24, 2014 4:55 pm

supercoolman wrote:sounds like rewards to statement credit for travel expenses can net you the best point redemption?


I don't think there is a special rate for applying points as statement credits against recent travel expenses. I think the Barclay Arrival cards work that way, but not Chase UR.

I think the value comes from using 1 point to get 1.25 cents of purchasing power when buying travel through the Chase UR site with points (if you have a CSP). You can pay for part or all of the travel expenses with your credit card's available credit, but the extra spending power (I think) only comes from the points you've actually earned through spending.
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supercoolman
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Postby supercoolman » Sun Aug 24, 2014 5:23 pm

CarefulBuilder14 wrote:I don't think there is a special rate for applying points as statement credits against recent travel expenses. I think the Barclay Arrival cards work that way, but not Chase UR.

I think the value comes from using 1 point to get 1.25 cents of purchasing power when buying travel through the Chase UR site with points (if you have a CSP). You can pay for part or all of the travel expenses with your credit card's available credit, but the extra spending power (I think) only comes from the points you've actually earned through spending.



as the guy pointed out, UR ticket isn't the cheapest, so with statement credit, you can get bonus on the cheapest ticket you can find. how do you beat that with $1000 difference in ticket price?

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CarefulBuilder14
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Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Sun Aug 24, 2014 5:56 pm

If you can get a much cheaper ticket on Kayak than on Chase UR, then Kayak is the way to go. But if Chase UR quotes the same cash price as Kayak (as is usually the case, just not for the the OP's chosen flight) then paying with UR points is better than paying cash.
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Postby takeshi » Mon Aug 25, 2014 8:00 am

bonobojean wrote:Is this just Chase or is this par for all the credit card reward programs????

It's not unusual for any sort of discount offer -- not just credit card companies but retailers that offer "sale pricing" as well. You can certainly complain but you probably won't get the discount you're looking for. Transfers are generally better value as indicated on many credit card sites.

As stated above, the UR travel portal doesn't list every possibility for airfare out there so it's not always going to have the lowest price just from that standpoint.

bonobojean wrote:Isn't there a law about this sort of thing.

Nope. Due diligence is every consumer's responsibility. The law doesn't force every portal to offer the same pricing. Stop relying on advertising.

rockyrock
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Postby rockyrock » Mon Aug 25, 2014 8:25 am

This is really a YMMV as I've not encountered these issues with the customer service or pricing. I have noticed UR doesn't always have the least expensive flights or all flights available; I've noticed the same with Platinum Travel as well. I liken it to Expedia having different prices than Orbitz--which often have different pricing than booking with the airline, hotel, etc. direct.

I have taken to booking much of my travel directly as you can no longer get miles/points by using sites like TO, Expedia, et al. UR isn't always the best option just like MR isn't always the best option. Shopping around will always be the best option. This is when diversifying your rewards is valuable so the time you check UR and the cash price is the same as Kayak, you can use UR points and get your 20% discount.

There is no one solution in this game--it's ALWAYS YMMV, and results not typical :-)
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CarefulBuilder14
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Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Mon Aug 25, 2014 10:02 am

rockyrock wrote:This is when diversifying your rewards is valuable so the time you check UR and the cash price is the same as Kayak, you can use UR points and get your 20% discount.

There is no one solution in this game--it's ALWAYS YMMV, and results not typical :-)


And as a further point of how YMMV, diversifying your rewards isn't always a good idea.

It is good to check websites like expedia, travelocity, etc, as those come with no cost. But if you get several travel-oriented cards and don't travel a lot, the annual fees you pay might make any travel savings vanish. Even if you get a few no-AF travel cards, unless you put a lot of spending on each one, you might find your point balances too small to make practical use of some of them.
Wallet: Prestige CSP SchwabPlat Freedom It Hyatt SallieMae AAPlat
SD: Arrival BrooksBros BCE ED IHG
Letting new accounts cool off since May
Really not sure what I'll add next or when



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