Travel on Point(s)

Here is something people have learned the hard way, don't test transfer points. It can lead to issues & cost you that hard found award space.

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Here is something people have learned the hard way, don't test transfer points. It can lead to issues & cost you that hard found award space.
Travel on Point(s) is an independent, advertising-supported website. This site is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites like Cardratings.com. This compensation does not impact how or where products appear on this site. Travel on Point(s) has not reviewed all available credit card offers on this site. Reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone and have not been reviewed, endorsed, or approved by any partner entities.

Don't Test Transfer Points

Earning transferable currency points is the backbone of Travel on Point(s). Transferable points offer supreme value for a number of reasons. Transferable currencies allow you to be extremely flexible with your award travel, and you can take advantage of many different partner airlines availability, which allows you to have more options. More options is almost always better in award travel. Beyond that, transferable points often are able to generate a higher value redemption. When it comes time to book that actual travel though, there is one common mistake we see. That mistake is sending a test transfer to the loyalty partner of your choosing. In this article, we will break down some of the reasons why we tell people, don't test transfer points. It can lead to all kinds of headaches and problems.

Don't Test Transfer Points

Getting Ready to Transfer

So you have done the hard work to earn your points. You are getting ready to start booking your award travel, you have opened your loyalty accounts and are raring to go. For some reason, this next part seems to trip people up. When you are ready to transfer your points, you should send them all in one go. That's right, we recommend sending the transfer for the total amount of points you need all in one fell-swoop. In other words, don't do a test transfer!

Perhaps there is some anxiety involved with your first transfer, and folks can be worried about sending their points off into the abyss. For this reason, you may think to send a test transfer of a nominal amount of points, to verify the transfer is working. We highly encourage against these transfers, as they are in our opinion, unnecessary. And, as we will discuss shortly, they can cause you quite a few headaches.

Why We Say, Don't Test Transfer Points

Herein lies the issue with sending test transfers. Test transfers trigger fraud alerts. For whatever reason, the banks and loyalty partners alike seem to think that these rapid succession of transfers are suspicious. This is very similar to someone making a small purchase (to test that the card works at a store) and then a large purchase. This is how most credit card fraud is caught.

In a similar vein, what often happens with these test transfers is that the first transfer of 1,000 points (the ‘test' transfer) goes through. Then, when you send the second ‘real' transfer, it gets held for multiple days due to potential fraud. If this happens, there is not much you can do. If you call the bank, they will state that you need to wait until the full amount of time in their terms has passed in order to investigate the missing transfer. This could mean potentially a week of waiting without help from the bank. While most partner transfers are instant, it would be quite painful to have to wait multiple days while that transfer is in limbo. Especially if you had specific award space you were trying to book, which could vanish before you get your points.

Don't Test Transfer Points

What To Do If A Transfer is Held

If you are reading this article too late, and your transfer is already being held, unfortunately there is little that you can do. While calling the bank that initiated the transfer seems like it would resolve it quickly, you may be wrong. The bank representatives will often not be able to help you until the full week has passed. Unfortunately, I have never seen a data point of a representative being able to expedite anything in these cases.

Instead, you will be at the mercy of waiting until the transfer has finally been released. While your transfer is being held, you may lose the valuable award space you have found. Basically, don't ever test transfer points so that you avoid a transfer being held in limbo.

Quick Tip on Speculative Transfers

Another related ToPic as it relates to transferring points is speculative transfers. From time to time, banks offer lucrative transfer bonuses which may entice you to transfer your points without a plan to use them. We highly recommend against this, as without a plan it can often be not worth it. There is nothing worse than having stranded points because you thought a deal was “too good to pass up”. If it is a currency you use regularly, then that may be the exception to the rule.

Don't Test Transfer Points: ToP Thoughts

Transferring points can be exciting and nerve-wracking. It's not over until the fat lady sings, as you walk through the steps to complete your booking. It may seem logical to want to send a test transfer of your points to test the waters. But hopefully, we have done enough convincing to steer you clear of that trap. Sometimes, fewer steps is better, and that is clearly the case here. Have you successfully transferred your points for an award booking? Let us know over in the ToP Facebook group!

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