My dad has had his two Bank of America credit cards for over 13 years now. Both cards are part of the WorldPoints program, with one earning him 1 point and the other 1.25 points per $1. My dad didn’t really pay attention to his point balance, but every few years he’d call BofA and request a check. I once looked into it and the points didn’t appear to be worth much. At the time, I didn’t understand points redemptions that well and wasn’t aware of the option to transfer points, so we’d often let them go to waste.
A few weeks ago I remembered the “forgotten points” and decided to check the balance and redemption options again. To my horror, I discovered that over 2,000 points had expired that month. I called BofA and was told points had to be redeemed every 18 months or they’d expire. As hard as I tried, I could not get them to redeposit the points. I was also told another 800 points would expire the following month, so I took on the task of redeeming them as quickly as possible.
The redemption site is a bit deceiving. First, you’re taken to a page where you can select a rewards category. In this case, you would select “Travel.”
You’re taken to a booking site, making it seem that this is the only redemption option you have in the travel category. Click on “Rewards Home” instead.
You’re taken to a page offering completely different options. On the bottom right side of this page, click on “Partner Travel Options: Redeem points for miles.” On this page, you can transfer your points to Aeroplan in 1,000 point increments at a 1:1 ratio. It’s buried, but the transfer option does exist.
My dad had 37,000 expiring points and I transferred them all to his brand new Aeroplan account. While I realize Aeroplan has its drawbacks (including not being able to book one-way awards for half the cost of a round-trip), at least the points are safe for now and we can work on building up that balance to a respectable scale. We’ll probably just end up using the points for a domestic flight (perhaps Maui in December).
Have you considered a World Points credit card as part of your point-earning strategy? While there are no sign-up bonuses, the 1.25 points per $1 is pretty decent if you want to build up your Aeroplan balance. In my dad’s case, he got both cards over a decade ago as a means to build credit, and the point balance it accrued ended up being a great asset (and a nice surprise!) for us in our point-earning endeavors.
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