Monday, February 09, 2009

The case of the disappearing In NYC points

When Amex discontinued my beloved In NYC card (*insert sniffling noises here*), all the mail they sent about the switchover to their Blue card emphasized that there would be minimal disruption. Similar terms, same card number, and the seamless transfer of my balance and my accumulated rewards points.

Oops. In practise, not so much.

I procrastinated as long as I could, but at the start of January I finally activated my Blue card and retired my old card. When I got the first statement, though, I noticed something a bit odd. My rewards points balance was 0. It should have been somewhere north of 30,000, since I'd had a whole bunch of unused points lingering.

At first, I figured it was probably a transfer glitch that would work itself out. But when weeks passed with no sign of my points reappearing, I finally bit the bullet and called American Express. The customer service rep had no idea what was up, but opened a dispute.

That was on Jan. 19. On Jan. 31, I got an email from Amex saying the dispute was being investigated: "You should expect to hear from us further once this investigation has been resolved. We try to resolve investigations in less than one month, but complex cases may require additional time."

The email also came with a link to Amex's inquiry center, where I can "check the status of your inquiry and learn more about our billing disputes process at any time." Oddly, when I log on, it shows no active inquiries on my account, and no closed ones within the past 12 months.

I casually mentioned my disappearing points to another friend who had an In NYC card -- and she said hers had gone poof, too. Has this happened to anyone else? I assumed this was a glitch unique to me, but if all the In NYC points have vanished, that's worth a phone call to Amex's PR department for comment on when they'll be resolving this ...