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Don’t Lose Your Loyalty Points

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If you have a credit-card that’s co-branded with an airline or hotel, watch out, or you may lose your loyalty points without realizing it.

Just when you thought you couldn’t be nickel and dimed any more, the credit-card companies have come up with one more trick—denying your awards points if you’re late paying the bill.

Starting January 1, American Express, which issues co-branded cards with Delta, JetBlue, Hilton Hotels, and Starwood Hotels, enforced a new policy that halts rewards transfers to your loyalty account with those partners if your payment is late.

The points forfeit only apply to the month that you were late paying your bill, not for all future months.

You can get those rewards back, but it will cost you.

In addition to the usual late fee, you’ll also have to pay an addition $29 reinstatement fee.

CitiBank, which is partnered with travel providers like American Airlines and Hilton, has a similar policy in place, and may charge a reinstatement fee as well.

JP Morgan Chase which co-brands with companies like United Airlines and Marriott, won’t necessarily forfeit your miles if you pay late, but they will hold onto those miles until you pay the account… in full.

This kind of “good behavior” incentive may not sound fair, but that’s the brave new world we’re living in.

And with stricter rules coming down on the credit-card companies, they’re doing what they can to turn a profit.

Learn more in our Mileage & Reward Programs.

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