You can see by the screen grab above from Delta.com that American Express took points away from my Skymiles account. Clearly 4 Skymiles is not something to be all too worried about. Unlike the generation before me who will stop and pick up a penny on the ground, I come from the generation that thinks that a penny saved is a waste of time (unless there are a lot of pennies involved that is)!
It is always good to keep in mind, no wait, to know that we do not own “our” points. Any of these programs can kick us out whenever they want and even cancel booked award tickets. There is a reason we are not taxed for our points, one is because they are not our points.
I want to be clear about the focus of this post and the Skymiles point deduction I was hit with. For us as Delta flyers, either AMEX or Delta can deduct points however they wish from our accounts and there is very little we can do about this.
So what are the big picture implications? There are many but let me start with the big ones. The first is about canceling a credit card too fast (if you want to that is) . I get emails all the time from readers who ask if they should cancel a card after say 4 or 6 months since they know they have to wait at least 365+ days to get a new AMEX card. I always say:
“sure do that if you want to risk having your points taken back from you”?
Also the fact that doing this can have a very negative impact on going forward on collecting more points from cards. Personally I like the slow and steady approach. There are so many good offers we just don’t need to rush and take big risks.
There is more to this. Like what? As I talked about yesterday I get a ton of points each year by just calling and asking for them. I reap the biggest rewards from the cards that I HOLD long term and use often. Those cards I have not used much offer me little or no points. Now if I were to use a card very little and cancel quickly I am sure I would also get no offer to persuade me to remain a card member.
Then there is the next time you ask for credit from the same institution. Banks are using all sorts of new and creative ways to gauge if you are a good value to them as a member. If a bank sees both in your credit report and in their internal documents that you tend to sign up, cancel quickly, and then ask for another card, how likely are they to keep saying YES to you long term? You need to show you are giving value back to the bank.
Those of us who are in a position to enjoy the perks of the points game should always remember we are walking a fine line and never want to wake up one day to find the points we have worked so hard to amass are gone. – René
▲Delta▲ SkyMiles® Credit Card
from American Express®
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