I was looking at our business credit card statements today, to make sure that everything was in order after our fraud incident last month. They had cancelled my husband’s card and issued a new one, which was done as soon as we reported the problem. We paid all the legit charges on the card, and that’s reflected on the new card statement. The new statement also shows a reversal of the $3600 charge that someone made on the card, so all is well as far as the balance goes. But then I noticed that our rewards points balance was negative 3200. Hmmm. It had been 10,081 last month, and I had cashed in 10,000 points to get $100 in gas cards. So we should have been left with 81 points, plus what we earned this month.
So I called them today, and after spending about 15 minutes on the phone talking with two very helpful reps, we figured out the problem. Balance transfers don’t accumulate rewards points (only purchases do that). So when the fraudulent balance transfer went through, it didn’t affect our rewards points at all. But when the bank reversed the charges, it showed up on our statement as a credit, and the rewards system saw that as a return. It basically treated it as if we had bought something for $3600 and then sent it back. So the system subtracted 3600 points from our total. Hence the negative points currently showing on our statement.
The second person I talked to said that it was a mistake, and that since the balance transfer hadn’t increased our points balance, a reversal of the transfer should not have decreased our rewards balance either. She submitted an order to get it fixed, and said I would be notified within 30 days of the outcome of all this, and hopefully we’ll see the rewards points fixed on our next statement. We only spend about $500/month on our business card, so it would have taken half of 2008 to just get back to zero if I hadn’t noticed the problem. Now we can get back on track towards earning another $50 gas card much sooner than we would have if I hadn’t noticed the error. Another reminder to double check financial statements carefully!