Weird transfer bonus: Don’t click it unless you’re ready to use it…

Update: At least one member of our Frequent Miler Insiders Facebook group reports taking advantage of the transfer bonus and still seeing it present later, so it’s possible that it is only disappearing for some folks after clicking on it? Tough to say for sure…

Lucky at One Mile at a Time reports a weird transfer bonus from American Express Membership Rewards to Aeroplan that might explain a similarly-weird transfer bonus we saw to Cathay Pacific a while back. Some users are targeted for a 10-20% transfer bonus to Aeroplan — but if you click on the bonus, it will disappear whether or not you transfer. Again, if you click the “Aeroplan” box to get to the page where you enter the number of points you’d like to transfer, the bonus apparently will not show again, whether or not you ultimately complete the transfer. I’m not a fan of this kind of flash one-and-done transfer bonus and I can’t imagine casual American Express customers would be, either. It just doesn’t make sense.

The Deal

  • Some members are reporting a targeted 10-20% transfer bonus from American Express Membership Rewards to Air Canada’s Aeroplan — but note that it has no end date and once you click on it, the bonus will disappear whether you transfer or not

Quick Thoughts

A few months ago, there was a similar targeted transfer bonus for Cathay Pacific’s Asia Miles with no stated end date. I initially entered it into our Current point transfer bonuses page with an end date in 2019 since we didn’t know when it would end — but only a few days later people reported it was gone. I logged in and it was gone from my account, too. It seemed strange to see a transfer bonus end so quickly since most transfer bonuses last for a month or two. However, assuming that Lucky is correct on this one, that now makes sense — I surely clicked on the bonus to take screen shots and it sounds like that might have triggered its disappearance from my account.

guess this is Amex’s way of seeing if they can influence you into an impulse transfer, but what a terrible way to do it. I imagine that a casual customer who does not read blogs every day might see the bonus and click on it, intend to think on it (or get distracted for long enough for the Amex log in to time out), and then be pretty frustrated later when the bonus is gone. That frustration would likely only compound when calling and speaking with a rep who would surely say that no such offer ever existed, wasn’t targeted to this account, should have only been 5%, that Aeroplan isn’t a partner but Amazon is, or whatever the agent happens to come up with that time (See: 6 phone calls, 6 different answers: customer service doesn’t always know best).

At any rate, the moral of the story is not to click the box that takes you through to the transfer page for Aeroplan (the place where you’d type in that you want to transfer 20,000 points or whatever) unless you know you want to transfer. Aeroplan is a good program with a useful award chart, so it could definitely make sense to take advantage if targeted, you’ll just want to do your homework before you get click-happy.

Unfortunately, none of us on Team FM or FM Family got targeted for this bonus, so I haven’t seen it….or maybe I clicked something I didn’t mean to…..guess we’ll never know.

H/T: One Mile at a Time

About Nick Reyes

Nick Reyes is a (fairly) regular guy with an animalistic passion for maximizing the value of miles and money to travel the world in comfort and style. There is little in life that he loves more than finding a fantastic deal and helping you shop smarter & harder to achieve your travel dreams.

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Hope this is a mistake/glitch. If it turns out to be a regular thing, not only will it be annoying when it IS the case for an offer, it will also be annoying even when it’s NOT the case, because I’ll feel compelled to do an internet search to find out which it is first.

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Before seeing this yesterday, I saw the offer and clicked on it to see the expiration date (and of course there wasn’t one). I saw this and thought I had blown the opportunity, but I logged back in two hours later, and the offer was still there. I transferred 110k. Today, I log back in, and the offer is still there.