Chase shutdowns over Aeroplan Pay Yourself Back


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.

Chase Shutdown

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.

Want to learn more about miles and points? Subscribe to email updates or check out our podcast on your favorite podcast platform.
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

I think I am blacklisted by Chase…as soon as I open a second card, it triggers a human review within 2-3 months of opening, then all accounts get shutdown for no good reason. However, having just one Chase card (bus or personal) is fine. I am wondering if it will be fine to have one personal and one business card…given these are different Chase departments ? Any data points ? Thanks!


Recently redeem about 250k points from amex for PYB. Booked travel then refunded on card, got warning letter from Aeroplan, not chase. Threshold is definitely much lower than expected.

James Bond

Have a question a little off topic. I probably put too much spending too quickly on my new Chase Ink Unlimited Card. Chase froze my Ink Unlimited Card 3 weeks ago and said it is under review. Still frozen and still open. All my other Chase Cards are not frozen and still open. Should I call Chase to unfreeze or just wait? Anyone with similar history on a Chase Card?

[…] don’t know a good thing when they see it and push things too far. The most recent example is people abusing the Pay Yourself Back feature of the Aeroplan Credit Card. While it was promoted as “unlimited,” some people tested how unlimited the offer […]

Nathan Weber

I just got the Aeroplan card because of this new feature and will quickly earn the 100K sign up bonus.

I was thinking of using PYB for around $3K in hotel, Viator activities, and ground transportation this summer. Not planning on refunding anything. Is that too much to be safe? I won’t do it if this will endanger my other valuable Chase cards.

My Aeroplan balance is mostly from Amex and Cap1.

I spend around 100K a year on my other Chase cards.


Nick, you seem more confident that converting Chase points to Aeroplan and using them this is safer. That makes logical sense, but unless I’m missing it, the terms don’t come out and say that. Even that could be viewed as against the rules.


Pigs get fed. Hogs get slaughtered.


Is there also a shutdown danger for Ink Cash pay yourself back? I’ve been using that to cash out lots of points, mostly charity donations to International Rescue Committee and World Central Kitchen. At 1.25 cents its a great deal, especially given I don’t need these points for years, if ever (have plenty of Amex and Cap1 points which I like better and now I don’t have a Sapphire for UR either). I give a few thousand $ a year anyway and it’s better to save that cash now than save it for many years for travel. Let me know if I’m running a risk.

Last edited 1 year ago by Jeff

UR PYB is fine. The issue is that Chase doesn’t want to burn money so people can cash out Amex MR at 1.25 cpp


Jeez, what’s wrong with people? One normal sized cookie isn’t enough? They have to grab the largest, and/or grab a handful, because they think they can get away with it? I’ve an idea. When offered something, take a normal amount, say thank you, and enjoy your gift. Pigs get fat, hogs slaughtered.


I like how you blame the victim and not the problem. “Normal” is a relative term, just cause your spending seems “normal” doesn’t necessarily mean someone else’s is “large”. Technically yes, they spend more so they’ve got more points but the key you’re missing is that if no limit was communicated and people are told it’s a limited time offer, you would jump to make the most of it.


Rob, Respectfully disagree. I’ve been at this game a long time. Back when Rick Ingersoll was the only one shouting from the mountain top that cc SUBs were the ticket to travel freedom, there were always people who couldn’t be happy with scaling offers up within reason. They had to hit offers so hard that it drew eyes on it. They’d boast about their gaming abilities, then complain when they got busted. I’ve been wrong before, but I’d say there is zero chance Mr. Max-out-PYB has a history w/ Chase of the kind of spend cashing out 5+ mil Aeroplan requires. Yeah, someone might offer you something by saying “help yourself” but it’s a reach to assume they mean take as much as you can shove in every pocket you have. (Oh, and my business spend in ’23 Q1 was $1.32 mil so I’m familiar with scale.)


We will see if shutdowns are due to doing PYB on fake travel transactions that are refunded in large scale, or due to doing PYB using transferred in points from MR. My bet is on the former. I don’t think MR transfers have anything to do with it.

Andrew C

I entirely agree. All these articles are missing the biggest part of the equation. Yes amount cashed out matter, but the problem is how they were initiated. Most if not all DPs i’ve seen point to people booking refundable travel. For Chase, that’s the best way to notice the abuse. It’s a combination of both i think. Large amounts triggered a review, and then all the refundable transactions gave the excuse they needed to terminate said accounts.


Disagree. I redeemed 250k points from amex on chase aeroplan card. Refunded travel after statement credit posting. Nothing from Chase but a warning letter via email from Aeroplan. Definitely something on their end, although $50k+ usd of refunded transactions might trigger both of them.


If someone redeemed 5 million miles, which my quick math says is $62,500, shouldn’t this post be asking how that person accumulated $62,500 in legitimate travel expenses? Perhaps the legitimacy of the travel expenses is the issue.


at 3x for travel thats only 20k. a normal week of travel business travel expense is 2k-2.5k. adds up quick!


OP is talking about redeeming 5M miles @ 1.25cpp to offset $62.5k of travel expenses. It has nothing to do with with earning rate on spend for the card, which would require $1.67M in spend at 3x to earn those points…so no, it doesn’t add up that quick.

I agree with OP, it’s 99.99% likely that posting fake travel expenses, issuing a PYB, then cancelling the charges and somehow cashing out the balance, is the real culprit. Chase has no visibility on source of miles without an investigation with Aeroplan, so doubtful that’s what triggered it.

Andrew C

Every single DP i’ve seen had as a common denominator the use of refundable tickets. Amounts cashed out vary wildly, but the use of transactions that was later canceled seems to be the main reasoning behind the shutdowns.

I have personally cashed out close to $10k, but i haven’t used a single refundable transaction. My account is fine (for now at least).


To your point, the method you mention is exactly what some people do with the US Bank Altitude Reserve. Book a fully refundable ticket. Use the instant offset for 1.5 cpp. Then, cancel the fully refundable ticket. The instant offset is not reversed and remains a statement credit (cash out) at 1.5 cpp.


Absolutely no sympathy. Too (stinkin’) bad. Let’s be honest. Let’s not try to rationalize this. The intent was to afford PYB on the points earned via the card or flights. Not a million points transfer from Amex to then monetize at 1.25cpp. When it was introduced, Chase reaffirmed its anti-abuse language. Warnings were issued in blog articles and in the comments. But, there’s always the (stinkin’) moron who is going to do it anyway. If someone cast fate to the wind and got shut down, they got what was coming to them.

Parts Unknown

They also got $62k. And an internet rando apparently white knighting for the country’s largest bank.


That is the incorrect way to look at it. If the person cashed out 6M Amex points via Schwab, the person would receive $66k. If the person cashed out 6M Amex points via this method, the person would receive $75k. So, the person was actually after $9k in incremental cash back. Was getting shut down worth the $9k? And, whose to say that Chase doesn’t claw back all $75k and deems the person’s 6M points to be forfeited? This guy wasn’t thinking. And, while you might praise this guy for being clever, consider that he has shut down the strategy for everyone else who might have used it in moderation.

Parts Unknown

You assume the person was eligible for a Schwab brokerage account or had not had it already shut down. I would not recommend anyone cash out 5m MR in one go.
I don’t praise this guy at all, I just don’t care. PYB continues to work, no functionality has been removed. If you were planning on cashing out a few million MR then now you know not to bother.


What do you feed your manta?


Missed opportunity here to name your kids Manta Reyes.


Or a daughter named Sunny Reyes . . . who is brilliant. (Sorry)


How crazy is that. If you put it out there, honor it until changed!! Simple as that. Chase has a habit of that, though


Chase reaffirmed its anti-abuse language with the introduction of this feature. Chase is absolutely in the right on this one.

Andrew C

Were the T&Cs updated?


No. Same old anti-abuse language. Same with Air Canada. And, not that Amex was involved in this per se, but Amex and every other card issuer have anti-abuse language. This guy was asking for trouble.