Miles Earn and Burn points to reports on Reddit (and we’ve heard of others) of Chase shutdowns over Pay Yourself Back on the Aeroplan card. That’s a huge bummer given that Pay Yourself Back was advertised as being “unlimited” on the Aeroplan card this year. We urged caution when we first reported it and it seems that some caution was / is in fact necessary as a complete Chase shutdown could be a big time headache.
Again, when Chase and Aeroplan announced the ability to use points for Pay Yourself Back, I had written that we had gotten the sense that it wouldn’t be a good idea to do this in large quantity:
Since Aeroplan partners with Amex, Capital One, and Bilt, I could imagine some members considering applying for the Chase Aeroplan card with plans to also transfer points to Aeroplan from partners like Amex and then use their combined total of points toward Pay Yourself Back. However, I don’t think this is going to be tolerated to a useful extent.
We were pointed to Aeroplan’s Terms & Conditions regarding Conversion Programs, which mentions that inbound conversions are meant for redemptions with the Aeroplan program and Aeroplan reserves the right to impose limitations:
Under the Aeroplan Program, the intention of permitting conversions from a Conversion Program into Aeroplan Points is so that the resulting Aeroplan Points under any such conversion arrangement are thereafter used by the Member for redemptions within the Aeroplan Program and Aeroplan reserves the right, at any time, to impose limitations on the ability of a Member to engage in conversions from a Conversion Program into Aeroplan Points and on the use of such Aeroplan Points upon conversion.
It is clear that Aeroplan and/or Chase does not want people converting points from other bank programs for the purpose of using them with this Pay Yourself Back redemption. I recommend proceeding with caution if you saw this announcement and thought that you’d transfer large quantities of points from Aeroplan’s other partners to take advantage of it. That’s not to say that you can’t redeem all of your Aeroplan points from various sources for Pay Yourself Back, but I don’t advise going crazy with that.
However, I don’t re-share those sentiments to rub salt in the wound but rather to point out what I went on to say in the conclusion, bold is added now for emphasis:
Oddly, I find myself wishing that there were a clearer limit on this promotion.
At the end of the day, I didn’t love this promotion from the beginning because of the fact that there was no stated limit and yet we got the sense that it wouldn’t be truly unlimited. I wish Chase and/or Aeroplan would have just stated a limit to the number of points that could be redeemed. While that singular data point from Reddit is fairly extreme, we have heard of other shut downs that had redeemed perhaps around 10-15% as many points. Some of those shutdowns don’t seem very reasonable to me given the fact that this Pay Yourself Back feature was communicated to members as “unlimited” for a limited time (2023). I don’t know how many other bloggers urged caution with this redemption option, but it doesn’t seem reasonable to me that a member would have needed to have read a specific blog post(s) to know that they might be shut down.
The headache of a Chase shutdown is not small. Reports have been that Chase has been shutting down all credit card accounts of those affected. The report on reddit indicates that Chase was also closing the customer’s checking and investment accounts (which doesn’t surprise me much).
If you were thinking about redeeming a large quantity of Aeroplan points for Pay Yourself Back, you may want to give it a second thought. I haven’t heard shutdown reports of anyone who only redeemed an amount in the low hundreds of thousands. My guess all long was that 100,000 was probably a safe number, but I’m just not sure where the limit lies or if anyone can know where it would be.
The moral of the story is that not all “unlimited” promotions are created equally. It sounds like this one certainly isn’t truly unlimited, so proceed with caution and at the risk of your other Chase accounts. While my mantra is usually that if it sounds too good to be true, you should consider jumping on it right away before it’s gone, in this case it seems that the old saying might carry more wisdom.