Double refund from Chase Travel. How to fix?

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Apr 23, 2021
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Thanks to COVID, I cancelled flights on Air Tahiti Nui (scheduled for May, cancelled on April 8th) through Chase Travel. The flights had been paid for with a substantial number of Chase Ultimate Reward points for a value of just over $4000. The points were immediately credited back to my Chase account. Flash forward a few weeks. I'm checking my Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card balance, and I'm finding that I was also given a $4000 credit there, so I've essentially been doubl-refunded.

I called the Chase credit card division, and they can see the refund, but have no visibility to the points side of the transaction. I called the Ultimate Rewards department, and they see the points refund, but have no visibility to the credit card side of the transaction. As far as either team is concerned, I've been properly refunded, but the fact is they've refunded $8000 in points and credit for a $4000 purchase. I've escalated to their offline investigation team, but it's now well past the 24-48 hours they promised for a response.

There's no paper trail, as this has been handled by (lengthy) phone calls, and the promised email confirmations never arrive. Does anyone have any ideas how this can be corrected? My fear is that I use the points (which is the correct refund method) to re-book in the future, and find that Chase eventually corrects the error by clawing them back.
 
Apr 23, 2021
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Well, unbelievably, Chase coincidentally called right after I posted this. They are allowing me to keep both the points and the refund, due to an error in the way the refund was processed by the agent. I don't quite believe it, as this would be a $4000 giveaway on their part, so I'll wait until I see it in writing, but I'm quite surprised at this outcome.
 
Feb 3, 2020
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Sorry JoeM, but I don't quite believe it either. I suggest you get that in writing from someone with authority before you spend the extra $4000.

Our family recently had an issue with a bank with respect to interest charges on a deceased family member's line of credit. We were informed that interest would not be charged after the date of the person's death. But lo and behold, a year later, we just got a bill!
 

Alexander Pahany

Staff Member
Forum Moderator
Jan 6, 2021
498
1,719
Houston, TX
Well, unbelievably, Chase coincidentally called right after I posted this. They are allowing me to keep both the points and the refund, due to an error in the way the refund was processed by the agent. I don't quite believe it, as this would be a $4000 giveaway on their part, so I'll wait until I see it in writing, but I'm quite surprised at this outcome.
I wish everyone who posted here had the same luck!
 
Apr 23, 2021
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Sorry JoeM, but I don't quite believe it either. I suggest you get that in writing from someone with authority before you spend the extra $4000.

Our family recently had an issue with a bank with respect to interest charges on a deceased family member's line of credit. We were informed that interest would not be charged after the date of the person's death. But lo and behold, a year later, we just got a bill!
It is certainly strange, but I just received written confirmation of this very unexpected outcome. From what I gather, the points were refunded by Chase and the flight was directly refunded by Air Tahiti Nui due to an error by the agent who processed the request. Since the points, travel, and credit card divisions all seem to be independent of each other, I suspect it was easier to let the refunds stand than to unravel the thread across three divisions plus the airline. I can't say I didn't try to give the money back. A very unusual outcome, to be sure.
 

Neil Maley

Staff Member
Forum Moderator
Dec 27, 2014
25,883
29,033
New York
www.promalvacations.com
It is certainly strange, but I just received written confirmation of this very unexpected outcome. From what I gather, the points were refunded by Chase and the flight was directly refunded by Air Tahiti Nui due to an error by the agent who processed the request. Since the points, travel, and credit card divisions all seem to be independent of each other, I suspect it was easier to let the refunds stand than to unravel the thread across three divisions plus the airline. I can't say I didn't try to give the money back. A very unusual outcome, to be sure.
Make sure you have it in writing. That is I believe CanuckMom's point.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
11,040
13,231
San Francisco
I do a lot of biz with Chase Sapphire and Ultimate Rewards. I'd spend the $4K and leave the points alone. If Chase comes looking for them, they'll just be sitting in your UR account and you won't suffer any nasty surprises. Expedia now does the UR bookings, so they may never figure it out. But if they do, "having it in writing" won't affect anything. If they want the points, they'll take them. Normally I'd agree with CanuckMom, but in this case I suspect that you'll get to keep it all.
 
Feb 3, 2020
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I do a lot of biz with Chase Sapphire and Ultimate Rewards. I'd spend the $4K and leave the points alone. If Chase comes looking for them, they'll just be sitting in your UR account and you won't suffer any nasty surprises. Expedia now does the UR bookings, so they may never figure it out. But if they do, "having it in writing" won't affect anything. If they want the points, they'll take them. Normally I'd agree with CanuckMom, but in this case I suspect that you'll get to keep it all.
Hoping you're right! Good luck with this, JoeM!
 
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Aug 29, 2018
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Sorry JoeM, but I don't quite believe it either. I suggest you get that in writing from someone with authority before you spend the extra $4000.

Our family recently had an issue with a bank with respect to interest charges on a deceased family member's line of credit. We were informed that interest would not be charged after the date of the person's death. But lo and behold, a year later, we just got a bill!
I assume you are in Canada so the rules there may be different, but in the US, normally when someone dies with debt, the debt gets paid out of the estate and if there is not enough money in the estate, the creditors are out of luck. (Unless there is a cosigner, who then assumes the debt.). I've heard one think creditors will do is try to take advantage of some's grief and convince the survivors to assume responsibility for the debt. I don't know if they are still doing that, but when my mother died in 2014 one of her credit cards tried that with me (her eldest son.) I told them to file a claim with the estate.
 
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kenish

Sep 1, 2015
1,176
2,239
KSNA
@JoeM - Your case of money/point discrepancies is totally opposite the usual, where the customer is shortchanged!

I agree with @jsn55 and @CanuckMom8518 - Spend the $4000 credit as quickly as possible (focus all your expenses on the Chase card). You made a good-faith effort to resolve the problem and it sounds like Chase provided written confirmation that it's yours! If Chase ever tries to claw back the credit, I assume you'd rather return points instead of $$. Also, the unexpected windfall is better as points instead of money since points are not taxable income.
 
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smd

Mar 14, 2018
893
1,954
Also, the unexpected windfall is better as points instead of money since points are not taxable income.
Miles/points certainly are taxable in a similar way to cash.

It's the reason for the payment as opposed to the form that matters. Spending rebates (eg. spend $100, get $1 back or spend $100, get 1 point back) are not taxable for either cash or points. On the other hand, payments/bonuses unrelated to spending (e.g. open this account and get $500 or open this account and get 50,000 points) are taxable for both cash and points. In many cases, you'll even receive a1099-MISC from the company for the fair market value of the points they issued.
 
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Jun 24, 2019
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This article from Forbes explains some of the issues:

 
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kenish

Sep 1, 2015
1,176
2,239
KSNA
Thanks for the comments and article. It sounds like @JoeM won't be taxed for the points if they were based on his consumer spend....but Chase could issue a 1099 depending on their perspective.