Fast Factors: Watch out together with your synced loyalty accounts

As a senior bank cards editor right here at TPG, I satisfaction myself on getting the most out of my credit cards and points and miles. A part of my routine is checking my card accounts each Monday.

One in every of my favourite playing cards is the American Express® Gold Card, which presents $10 in monthly dining credits with choose retailers, together with Grubhub. I ensure that to place in an order each month.

So you’ll be able to think about my shock and horror after I not too long ago checked my Amex account and noticed that I had someway by chance redeemed virtually 4,000 Membership Rewards factors for a Grubhub order.

My mistake

I positioned a $27 order for some bao on a lazy Sunday. My laziness prolonged to inadvertently deciding on the choice to cowl my buy with factors.


Given we value Amex points at 2 cents every, I might by no means — I repeat, by no means — use 3,979 factors to cowl a $27 buy. That values the factors at 0.68 cents every, roughly a 3rd of the worth I do know I can get.

Even reserving flights immediately by means of American Express Travel leads to a greater possibility at a 1 cent per level charge.

After I noticed the anomaly in my Amex account, I used to be very annoyed with myself. I contacted Amex and Grubhub, neither of which might refund my factors.


Associated: A complete guide to the Amex Gold dining credit

How one can keep away from making the identical mistake


There are benefits to linking your bank card factors to some retailers when testing. For starters, it makes the transaction course of a breeze, as you needn’t retrieve your card each time you make a purchase order.

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Moreover, Amazon sometimes offers product discounts when you redeem points from issuers like Chase, Citi and Amex. For those who’re focused for considered one of these promotions, the phrases might will let you redeem one level (for 1 cent of worth) to set off the low cost. Then, pay as you usually would for the remainder of your buy together with your bank card.


Nonetheless, when purchasing with Amazon or different retailers like Grubhub, you normally will not get excellent worth from utilizing your factors with no promotion.

Double-check that you’ve got deselected the choice to make use of your factors earlier than you try.

For future Grubhub orders, I am planning to go additional. You possibly can manually enter ‘0 factors’ after which click on ‘Apply’ to make sure you aren’t utilizing any of your factors.


Associated: 15 food delivery promo codes and offers to help you save money on your next meal

Backside line

It was irritating to see virtually 4,000 factors — value about $80 to me — go to such a foolish buy. The identical 4,000 factors might’ve been transferred to Delta SkyMiles, probably sufficient to cowl a whole award flight during a flash sale.

When you have linked loyalty accounts to any retailers that will let you pay with rewards, take a second to substantiate you will not use any of your factors to cowl a purchase order.

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