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I've really been struggling with planning this trip because of the many "Terms and Conditions" that Wells Fargo applies to redeeming credit card points for air travel.  For weeks now I've done research, visited the reward site, tried to figure out the limitations and how to book from the site, etc.  Only recently did I just give up and look for a phone number to call.

I called, worked with the agent at Wells' contractor (Quality Rewards Travel), and was almost entirely through booking it, I was even given a confirmation number.  But then the agent noticed I was booking less than 21 days ahead.  So now instead of my 40,000 points being worth $800, they were worth $613.  I was really upset.  Particularly because Wells charges you $24 for the privilege of redeeming your points (and it says that nowhere on the website that I could see). Now instead of paying $157.30 out of pocket for a trip to London, I would have to pay $344.30. I decided to hold off so I could check out my options and decide whether I was going to have to give up on this trip entirely.

I was completely awash in anger and depression.  I tried to see alternatives that would still allow me to take the trip on the dates I needed without going further in the hole.  I couldn't.  I very seriously considered calling it all off.  But I realized my depression would get worse and worse (and we're going into winter anyway) if I had to wait 'til spring at the earliest to go on my trip.  Plus I couldn't guarantee I'd have the $ or the ability to leave.

I called them back.  But that's not all.  I had the option of using some of my points to pay the $24 fee to Wells so I did.  When we backed out of the first transaction, I didn't get those points back. They're in limbo until the "billing dept." could review them and give them back to me.  End of Monday at earliest.  So when I finally caved and decided to get the flight at the crappier point rate, I had to pay $24 in cash/credit because I didn't have another 1,600 points leftover to double for the ones in limbo.

I just finished writing a letter to a Wells Fargo executive though I doubt it will do much good.  I'm pretty depressed right now.  I tried so hard to follow their rules and I was careful about what I did because the tickets aren't changeable without stiff penalties.  Yet another example of where my rules-awareness holds me up.  If I were more reckless and had gotten the tickets when I first starting looking nearly a month ago, I'd have been better off.


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September 2014

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