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How I Found (and saved) 37,000 Miles from Expiration

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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Ariana Arghandewal

3 Comments

  1. I closed our WorldPoints card when the Aeroplan devaluations happened. That card and that partnership is what got me into CC rewards.

    • I wish we’d gotten into the miles game when my dad got this card 13 years ago. Had I realized how lucrative these points were back then, I would have done this a long time ago.

  2. I did the same thing a couple months ago with my 5000 remaining WorldPoints. WorldPoints was my first CC ever – at the time I thought the rewards were great! I’ve learned a lot since then…

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