This morning I blogged about points.com offering crazy good transfers of Priority Club points into Amtrak, so good you’d even potentially make money by buying Priority Club points and then transferring those points.
It seems that Points.com was offering about 10 times as many Amtrak points per Priority Club point as they had intended to, and they quickly pulled the option. They even cancelled several of the transfers that had already been made.
It’s hard to complain too much when they react within a matter of hours. Their cancellation emails could have been a little bit better, though:
Thank you for performing an exchange transaction on Points.com. Unfortunately, your exchange has been cancelled as we were unable to process it. If you would like to try again, please visit Points.com.
They ‘were unable to process’ the transfer? Really? They chose not to process the transfer. Which would be cool if they’d just own it.
And inviting people to try the exchange again?
In fact they started sending out these notes before they had even managed to pull the offer off of the website, so some folks would have had their transfers cancelled, gone back and entered new transfers, and probably had those transfers cancelled as well.
Meanwhile I never got a cancellation notice for my transfer, perhaps it had gone in too early and already been sent over to Amtrak?
This evening I got an email from Points.com:
I guess it wasn’t cancelled after all! I went over to my Amtrak account and found that the points were there (earlier concerns, even, about transferring in over 50,000 points at a time not being permitted notwithstanding):
So I decided to redeem these points right away. Hyatt gift cards supposedly ship within two business days, and indeed I got an estimated ship date of December 26th. We’ll see!
Points.com caught this one very quickly. They acted fast enough that I don’t begrudge their pulling the deal. And it had already been posted publicly on another blog.
One commenter chimed in that it had been on Flyertalk for a few days already. I’m not sure that’s right, I understand there was another glitch that showed up mentioned on Flyertalk after it was pulled about transfers of points into Cathay Pacific’s AsiaMiles. At least I didn’t see this on any online forums.
I don’t know what prompted Points.com to pull the deal. Maybe it was my post, maybe it was the post on the blog where I saw it earlier, maybe it was Lucky’s post at One Mile at a Time. Maybe it was the original Flyertalk post, if there was one, and the blog postings today were a coincidence. Or maybe it was the volume of transfers that they were seeing that flagged someone’s attention.
But I could have done the deal, gotten it for myself, and not posted it. And then there would have been others who are now in the same boat as me, with their transfers having been processed, but who wouldn’t have known to do it.
Ultimately some deals work out, others don’t. When they don’t we don’t always know why. All we know is that there will be another deal coming down the pike soon enough, and we’ll be ready when it does.