Two sides of Chase

I called the Chase Sapphire customer service desk twice this week.  The first call was a disaster.  The second was awesome.  Read on.

Background:

Recently I posted how to get huge savings at Kohl’s by buying discount gift cards, going through Ultimate Rewards Mall, and applying a 20% off coupon.  There was some speculation in the comments of that post that you won’t get Ultimate Rewards points unless you pay at least part of the transaction with your Chase card.  So, I made 4 Kohl’s purchases in March.  Two were exclusively paid for with gift cards and two were paid partially with my Chase Sapphire card.  3 out of 4 purchases posted to my UR account correctly, but the one that didn’t post was one in which I had used my Sapphire Preferred.  So I called Chase to inquire about the missing transaction.  The transaction was for about $150, but only 80 cents was on my credit card.

Call 1:

After I explained the situation 3 or 4 times, the Chase rep told me that there was nothing she could do.  I pointed out that she could see that I made a transaction, but she told me that I must not have gone through the Ultimate Rewards Mall to make that purchase.  I told her that I use the mall frequently and I was 100% sure I had done everything correctly.  She replied that she had never seen the mall lose a transaction.  What?!!  Now paraphrasing:

Me: Could you give me a courtesy adjustment?

Rep: No, there is no way I can do that.

Me: Can I talk to your manager?

Rep: He can’t help you either.

Me: Really, let me talk to your manager.

Rep: Sir, he can’t help you, I can do more than he can.  He just manages people.  I work with your account.

Me: Really, you won’t let me speak to your manager?

Rep: He can’t help you sir.

Argggg!!!!  I hung up.

Call 2:

Paraphrasing:

Rep: Oh, wow, you’ve earned a lot of points

Me: Yep, I love the Ultimate Rewards Mall.  This is the first time I haven’t received points when buying something.

Rep: This is strange.  I see more Kohl’s transactions from the mall than I see on your credit card.

Me: Yep, the mall gives points even when you pay with gift cards.  So some of those transactions were paid entirely with gift cards and don’t show up on my credit card

Rep: Wow, I didn’t know that, that’s great!  I like to shop at Kohl’s too!  Hey did you know that you can get a 10% off coupon at Kohl’s and get points too?  I discovered that recently and I like to tell everyone.

Me: You can do even better!  I’ve blogged about this.  Go to cardpool.com to buy Kohl’s gift cards for 15% off, then google for a 20% off Kohls coupon AND go through the UR mall.

Rep: But then you won’t get points for the part of the order you made with gift cards.

Me: No, actually you do.  That’s what’s going on with all of the transactions that did post to my account.

Rep: Wow, that’s great!  Cardpool.com?  I’m writing that down.  How much was the total for the missing transaction?

Me: $148.29, but we should subtract taxes…

Rep: No, that’s fine.  I’ll credit your account for $150 X 10.  1500 points.

Me: That’s great!  Thanks!

I know some readers have struggled with points not showing up when they should.  My only advice: keep calling until you get rep #2 🙂

 

About Greg The Frequent Miler

Greg is the owner, founder, and primary author of the Frequent Miler. He earns millions of points and miles each year, mostly without flying, and dedicates this blog to teaching others how to do the same.

More articles by Greg The Frequent Miler »

Comments

  1. I’ve had a couple problems with the UR Mall when purchasing Groupons. I’ve sent secure emails and each time they’ve quickly responded and given me an adjustment.

  2. This is good to know for the future.

    Hey Frequent Miler, I need to book a ticket for my gf to go to taiwan. What’s the best way to earn UR points? I saw that I could use expedia but it’s only 1pt/$1. that’s lame…any ideas? the ticket will cost around $2000.

  3. I’m certain someone at Chase knows that mall transactions paid with other means earn points when that probably isn’t intended. I also know one phone call to one low level customer service rep won’t change the way this works. But is it wise to draw attention to it in a recorded phone call anyway?

  4. I usually send a secure message through Chase.com, and get my missing points. The reps are still pretty clueless about the use of a Chase card for the purchase. They usually go by the total amount charged on the card.

  5. @Ryan, as a matter of fact all travel paid with Chase gives you 2x points, irrespective of where you book it. The only better deal I can think of is Amex PRG if you have it, which will give you 3x points.

    • Ryan from MA: I agree with Tom. I’d go through the UR mall to Travelocity to book the flights. You’ll get 2X from the UR mall and 2X from your Sapphire Preferred. If you have an Amex PRG as well, you could go through UR Mall to Travelocity but pay with the PRG. That way you’d get 2X from the mall and 3X from PRG.

      ArizonaGuy: That’s a good point. Ideally Chase would admit that this is the way it works and teach their reps that, but you’re right that it could go the other way. We definitely don’t want this shut down!

  6. I called Chase Sapphire Preferred people this week to ask why I didn’t get double miles for airline ticket purchase at Vayama.com. Turns out that Vamaya is a travel agent and travel agents are not in the travel category ( I know, weird). Anyway, without any prompting the rep gave me a points match! A very pleasant experience talking to him.

    Matt.

  7. I am pretty confused on whether you have to use your Chase card or not after trying to google about this.

    I just spent $1264 at Lowe’s & Homedepot (10points/$!!!) for a bathroom remodel and expect to spend another $500 there probably. 10 transactions from 3/10-3/20 so far and nothing has shown up yet. All of them I paid for with gift cards I bought through Kroger with Amex Blue to get 6% cashback. I have always used the AAEshopping mall before and you definitely do not have to use an AA card there and this is really concerning that I’m learning now that you should use Chase card for part of the transaction. I haven’t used it for part of ANY of these. So is this really true? Or am I just going to end up having to spend a lot of time trying to find a rep #2 like you to correct this and from now on I should put 80 cents or whatever of each on Chase sapphire? Definitely don’t want to lose the 11930 points I’m expecting!

  8. Curtis: usually it is fine to pay with something other than a Chase card. It is only when there is a problem that it helps to have a record of the purchase on your card for the Chase reps to see. That being said, some merchants will not give points when you use gift cards. I don’t think that Home Depot is like that, but I don’t yet have confirmation from experiments. Do you know how to check for UR mall rewards? When you log into ultimate rewards, click Activity… ultimate rewards mall and travel earnings. There you’ll see which purchases you have been credited for well before you actually get points in your account.

  9. Arizonaguy brings up a good point. Not sure about Chase but a lot of companies offer bonuses to employees who suggest ideas that prevent leakage. While a lot of the low level employees may not have to drive (based on interactions with some of the phone reps, not any type of knocks towards them) to report the possible cost savings opportunity, all it takes is 1.

  10. I actually just called because I was missing a couple of Groupon transactions from Feb. It was barely anything…about 250 points or so, but I did luck out and get the nicest rep ever. She apologized for the trouble and gave me a courtesy adjustment of 3000 points! Another plus for the Chase CS team….more and more im beginning to move away from AMEX. And really I didn’t even ask for the adjustment, I just wanted the points from my original transaction.

  11. I just played the Kohl’s game ($10 over gift card value on Sapphire for the math major) to get a cheap samsonite spinner & a few other items. How long after purchase should it take to show activity on-line? My call to Chase yielded a “hey, that’s a really good question, let me check with the Supervisor…” 5 minutes later, “Sometimes they don’t even show up until the statement closing date or later, Hmm – that’s a good suggestion for the IT team to make that more readily available…” I figure I’d get a more accurate response here than from Chase.

    • James: It usually takes 4 or 5 days for a transaction to show up, but I’ve seen it take as long as two weeks (that’s rare though). Points don’t post to your account until after your statement close

  12. Hi. I just got a letter from chase about my ink application, with a reference number. It says that they need to verify
    1. Name of your company
    2. Complete business address
    3. Federal tax ID

    I don’t really have a company, however during my application form, I put down my name as business and social as tax ID and home address as business address. And applied as a sole proprieter. Since I do sell few items on eBay.

    What should I do?? Please advise. Thanks.

    They want me to mail the item(s) with the noted reference number.

    Or should I call them? What must I say?

  13. And look, my points just posted 5 days later and she was right!

    “Note: New transactions may take up to eight weeks to appear on your activity page after the transaction has been billed to your Chase card account…”

  14. @MP – Yes, Home depot says only that it does not work for buying gift cards, so I should be safe in that aspect. AAEshopping used to allow you to buy AND USE gift cards on homedepot.com through their site, but both have since been cut off. It was only 3miles/$, so this UR 10points/$ is a much better deal anyway. Thanks for the renewed confidence that I should be able to get my 10points/$! With the Amex Blue cashback, Kroger fuel points, and UR points, I’m looking at a $61 per $200 gift card return in “rebates”. Not too shabby!

  15. haha! The best thing you can do is hang up! I had an issue with booking tickets once, hung up on the first 2 people because they were some of the worse customer reps I’ve ever talked to. The 3rd guy got everything done how I asked.. when in doubt.. just hang up!

    PS. Thanks for sharing your experience with UR.. I’m just getting acquainted with them. Have always used AMEX but now getting in on Chase.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *