I’ve been traveling for the past week, and the following are the developments in the points and miles world in Canada that I noticed while on sojourn.
AMEX Ending Referral Program?
The AMEX referral program is an excellent source of points, where applicants generally get a better sign-up bonus, and the referrer gets a healthy amount in return for an approved application. Canada’s iteration of the referral program has always been vastly better than the US version. Recently the program was devalued by instituting a cap on referrals, and then by imposed the “once per lifetime” rule (which doesn’t seem to be enforced yet).
When referring from the Personal Platinum AMEX, you get 75,000 MR points, and the referrer currently gets 25,000. However, recently, the referral terms and conditions have been updated to include the following:
To be eligible for this referral bonus, your friend must apply for the Card by June 29th 2016. We can still accept applications after this date but you may or may not be eligible for a bonus. See Referral Program Terms for details.
We’ve never seen a date limitation written into the referral terms and conditions, so this is certainly worrying. Fortunately the term isn’t written into the referral terms for any other AMEX card, just the Personal Platinum.
Of course I can’t exactly predict what the limitation means. It could spell the end of the referral program. It could also mean that the program will be changed on June 30, my guess being into a more American and less fruitful version.
What does this mean for you? Well, right now the sign-up bonus for the Personal Platinum and Business Platinum are at 75,000 MR points, the highest bonus we’ve ever seen in Canada. I suspect that with the date limitation, these bonuses will change. If you’ve been thinking about grabbing either of these cards, do so ASAP. Finally, if you currently hold one of these cards, I’d convince as many people as possible to use your referral before June 29, as after that date, you may no longer have the opportunity to do so.
Transunion Report Online
Per RedFlagDeals, Transunion, one of Canada’s two credit bureaus, now allows you to get your credit report (not a score) online once a year for free. Previously you had to either call or mail them to get the report, so this online edition is much appreciated.
To access your Transunion report, visit: https://ocs.transunion.ca/ocs/home.html. Follow the prompts, providing them with your information so they can locate your report.
The online consumer disclosure is still in beta, and I wasn’t able to pull my report online. However, there are numerous reports of people who have been able to, so it definitely works.
AA DOT Complaint Update
A couple weeks ago I wrote about my complaint with AAdvantage over charging me an award redeposit fee after a downgrade in class of service. I submitted a DOT complaint, and received the following positive response from AA:
The Department of Transportation Aviation Consumer Protection Division has forwarded your correspondence to us regarding the loss of your Business Class seat on the flight you had booked for July. We appreciate this opportunity to respond.
We do everything we can to avoid reseating our First or Business Class customers. However, sometimes security reasons or a change in aircraft due to operational issues may require us to adjust your seat assignment. I’ve shared your thoughts on this issue with our Executive Management team. Your comments matter to us and can often drive change.
Our personnel should handle these difficult situations with the utmost professionalism. That is why I’m especially sorry to learn that our agents weren’t more helpful on this occasion. We have made your feedback available to our General Manager to share with their staff so they can be reminded just how important it is to demonstrate courtesy in situations that have disappointed a good customer.
I have confirmed a refund of the redeposit fee you paid was processed today. Have questions about the status of your refund? Visit www.refunds.aa.com to track the status. Please allow two business days for the information to be available.
So that’s a great outcome!