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Update: the points populated a few hours after publication – roughly 30 hours post purchase
I just finished up an incredible trip to Saudi Arabia, and will have quite an extensive post coming up. Until then, I wanted to give a little heads up regarding purchased Alaska miles. Right now, they’re offering up to a 50% bonus on miles, and I wanted to take advantage of it to nab some first class Emirates seats for my return. I have an Etihad routing already booked with AA miles, but a direct from DXB to LAX opened up and we would have much preferred that routing.
And then a hiccup occurred.
In the past, for myself, friends, family, and clients, purchased Alaska miles, processed via Points.com, have instantaneously populated accounts. That has not been the case for my account or my fiancee’s account. To make matters worse, my account, which is MVP Gold, shouldn’t have any limitation to the number of miles I can purchase in a year, but annoyingly, my account is being capped at the non-elite maximum of 150k purchased, which needs to be rectified.
I should have been able to load up my account with enough miles for the two of us, but instead needed to split which also proved that it wasn’t just my account causing an issue, but both of them.
It’s been over 24 hours since the mileage purchase, receipts have been received, no fraud alerts issued, and both of our accounts are experiencing the same problem. No miles.
I reached out, and the only response/explanation given is that points.com mileage purchases can take up to 30 days to process. WHAT?!
My suspicion is that there is something going on IT wise either with points.com or Alaska airlines, but until the miles populate and I’m back stateside with better service to rectify my mileage cap, I’d recommend only purchasing points if you can wait that long to book.
30 days might as well be 100.
Many programs don’t instantaneously populate, but the annoying thing here is that most people buying points are doing so because they see availability and want to book it. If this becomes a recurring problem, it’s undoubtedly going to negatively affect the volume of points.com purchases as people will be fearful the of the points not populating in time to book the award space they want.
That was the case for us. We purchased within 12 hours of the flight we needed and the points didn’t populate. Lucky for us, we will use those points in the future, and also had solid back up options, but for most non-blogger purchasers, that is a game changer.
If you can’t instantly populate your account then I couldn’t honestly promote purchasing them. Programs devalue so often and in the cover of night, so if you’re not buying for an intended redemption ( that you see available ) I’d strongly advise doing so with the knowledge your “investment” could lose value in the interim between purchasing and redemption.
Anyone else experience my issue?
Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
60k Points after $4k spend in 3 months
Transferrable Chase Ultimate Rewards
- 3x on dining
- including eligible delivery services for takeout
- 3x on select streaming services
- 3x on online grocery purchases
- (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs)
- 5x on all travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards – Chase Travel Portal
- 2x on all other travel
- $50 Annual Credit on hotel stays purchased via Ultimate Rewards/Chase Travel
- The begins immediately for new cardmembers and after your account anniversary for existing cardmembers
- 10% Anniversary Bonus
- Every year you keep the card, your total spend will yield a 10% points bonus. If you spend $10k in a year, you’ll get 1k bonus points
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® continues to redeem at 1.25c in the Chase Travel Portal and the slew of other benefits remain in tact including primary rental car insurance, purchase protections, etc.
- Points are transferrable to 13 Ultimate Rewards partners
- Redeem in the Chase Travel center for 1.25 cents per point
- No foreign transaction fees
- Suite of Travel and Purchase Coverage
- Primary rental car coverage is my favorite
We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists the best ever offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.
Historically 80k is a very, very good offer and hit in both 2022 and 2023. In 2021, we saw the offer hit an all time high of 100k. Who knows if that will ever come back.
Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.
Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® is exceptional starter card and offers transferrable Ultimate Rewards, and pairs well with other Chase cards.
If you carry this card alongside Chase’s cashback cards like the Chase Freedom Flex℠and Chase Freedom Unlimited® or the business versions: Ink Business Cash® , Ink Business Unlimited® you can combine the points into Preferred account and transfer into hotel and airline partners
Annual fee is quite low at $95 a year + you get a 10% anniversary bonus on points + $50 hotel credit in Chase travel.