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Why You Shouldn’t Book Your Ticket Using ThankYou Points

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When you have a card with flexible points like the Citi ThankYou card, Citi Premier® Card, Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card, The Platinum Card® from American Express, The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, and Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card you can use those points to book travel.

There are lots of great benefits to booking through a portal, but there’s also a downfall. Keep reading to find out why you shouldn’t book your ticket using Thankyou points or other travel portal.

Why You Shouldn’t Book Your Ticket Using ThankYou Points

When you book using a portal, it’s quick and easy. Just like booking on an airline website. Many of us book our flights this way because you save money, earn miles, are eligible for upgrades, and can earn elite status faster.

You save money because you can use your points instead of paying cash. You can even use a combination of points and miles.

Tickets booked through portals earn miles. Even if you pay for your flight with points.

Yep, tickets bought with points (or a combination of cash and points) through a booking portal like the ThankYou Portal or Amex Travel earn airline miles. Unlike tickets purchased with airline miles.

The difference is that you’re redeeming your points through a portal, and the issuer is paying cash for your airline ticket. It’s like using a Groupon or Living Social coupon.

You’ve paid an upfront price for your purchase and now you’re redeeming your points.

These tickets are treated just like booking on the airlines’ websites, except for one crucial difference.

Disadvantage

But there is a downfall if you book through a portal. If you need help changing your ticket because of a flight delay, the airline can’t help you. You have to contact your travel agent, or in this case, the booking portal.

I recently flew to Beijing and booked my ticket through the Citi ThankYou portal. Because my flight to Beijing was delayed four hours, I could have canceled my ticket for a full refund.

But because I had booked through the portal, they had to process the refund. Saturday morning at 6:30 am PST, I couldn’t reach them. 🙁

So I had to take my flight. But it turned out well because I got upgraded to Business Class and enjoyed a night at the Grand Hyatt Beijing.

Conclusion

There are lots of benefits to using points to buy airline tickets through a portal like Citi ThankYou.

You save money, earn airline miles, are eligible for upgrades, and earn elite status faster. But it’s not all rainbows and sunshine.

If you have to change or cancel your ticket, you have fewer options. Only the issuing agency can make changes to your ticket. When booking through a portal, they are the issuing agency.

This means that the airline can’t touch your ticket. You have to contact the travel portal. If they’re closed or you can’t reach them because you’re traveling, you’re out of luck.

Pin this to your travel, travel hacks, or travel tip board:

When you have a card with flexible points like the Citi ThankYou card or American Express Platinum card, you can use those points to book travel. There are lots of great benefits to booking through a portal, but there's also a downfall. Keep reading to find out why you shouldn't book your ticket using Thankyou points or other travel portal. | why you shouldn't book ticket using ThankYou points | traveltips | travelhacks | https://www.travelingwellforless.com #travelhack #traveltips #travel #milesandpoints

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The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is the best card to get started in the world of miles and points. It is the first card you should get to start traveling for free because the welcome offer is 75,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first three months.OFFER ENDS AT 1PM ET ON JUNE 13, 2024.
 
My favorite perks about this card are earning 5X points on travel when booked through the Chase portal (2X if direct purchase), 3X points on dining, $50 yearly credit on hotels booked through the Chase portal, no foreign transaction fees, and transferring points to 13 airline and hotel partners like Hyatt, United, and Southwest.
 

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The Chase Freedom Unlimited® is one of my favorite cards for earning cash back card and travel rewards. It offers a welcome offer of an additional 1.5% cash back on all your purchases up to $20,000 your first year.
 
My favorite perks about this card are earning 5% cash back on travel booked through the Chase Travel Portal, 3% cash back at drugstores and restaurants (including delivery and takeout), 1.5% cash back on all other purchases and no annual fee. When paired with cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card or Ink Business Cash® Credit Card, you can use your points to travel for free.
 

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caveman

Sunday 1st of April 2018

What about chase rewards. Is it the same deal with them or they are 24/7 open and for that matter Amex also

Debra Schroeder

Monday 2nd of April 2018

Hi caveman,

Yes, it's the same deal with Chase Ultimate Rewards and Amex Membership Rewards. If you need to cancel your flight, you need to contact them and have them cancel it.

Lee @ BaldThoughts

Saturday 31st of March 2018

Good points. I'm about to cancel a flight I made with Citi ThankYou points, so hopefully, there won't be any issues. <>

Debra Schroeder

Monday 2nd of April 2018

Hey Lee,

Good luck, hopefully, you don't have any issues. :)

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