I Almost Let My Travel Card Statement Credits Go To Waste

by joeheg

As the end of 2020 approached, I noticed something was not right when I checked my accounts on Awardwallet.

Over the course of the year, I forgot to spend $1.80 of my $300 annual travel credit from the Chase Sapphire Reserve card.

I couldn’t believe it. Even with Chase making it easier to use the credit by adding grocery stores and gas stations to the categories eligible for reimbursement, I still messed up.

In the grand scheme of things, leaving $1.80 on the table is a small error but I still wanted to see if I could use it up. I looked again at our flights to Japan and noticed that availability was starting to dry up. That lit a fire under me to book the ticket I’d been looking at. For 60,000 AAdvantage miles and $5.60, we’re (hopefully) flying in Business Class on JAL to Tokyo. I paid the taxes with my Sapphire Reserve card.

While some of the reason to use this card was to use up my travel credit, I would generally use the Sapphire Reserve to pay for airline tickets. It earns 3x Ultimate Rewards points on travel expenses and provides trip delay coverage, even if you only pay a small amount of taxes due on an award ticket with the card.

So what’s the twist at the end of the story? I totally forgot that I didn’t need to rush and use my credit. That’s because the Chase Sapphire Reserve travel credit is based on the account anniversary date and not a calendar year.  Deep down in my brain, I knew this. Under usual circumstances, I spend the $300 credit within a month of it hitting the statement. I’m not the type of person who waits until the last minute to use free money. That is unless the year is 2020 and I hadn’t booked a flight in over a year.

Chalk up this one to yet another example of how 2020 was a year like no other.

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

Cover Photo by Jimmy Chan from Pexels

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