A reader contacted me about a problem they were having with Points.com that I thought was worth sharing as a cautionary tale because I didn’t realize the power that Points.com has over your frequent flyer accounts. Here’s the short version:
The reader purchased points for an airline frequent flyer program using Points.com. A few weeks later the reader goes to log in to his frequent flyer account and it has been closed. He contacts the airline and they tell him to contact Points.com. Points.com will only tell him that his Points.com account is closed.
At this point he reached out to me, and I happened to know someone at the airline. I contacted them and was told that Points.com requested that the airline shut down the frequent flyer account, and the airline complied.
After the reader repeatedly contacted Points.com he was finally told that the frequent flyer account was shut down because he had initiated a dispute through his credit card company. Except that he had never done this.
The moral of the story is this: Points.com has the power to shut down your frequent flyer accounts with, apparently, no recourse. This is a scary prospect (and similar to the reason why people are wary of using Paypal — they have access to your bank account and will take back money if they decide that you owe somebody). You can decide for yourself whether you should use Points.com, but just remember — they have more power than you’d expect.