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Answered What happens if you cancel an Amex with negative points balance?

Jack3193

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Due to various refunds coming in, I now have a negative points balance on my Altitude Black Qantas Amex. I was already planning to cancel it, and I still am. Does anyone know what happens in this situation? Is Amex able to claw back the relevant number of points from Qantas? I can't see any other way that I can square things up, without spending a few thousand $ on the card, which I don't plan to do.
 
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hossein_au

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The same way I expect to get my points when I close an account, I feel obliged to give the points back when closing an account (if negative points balance).

I don’t care what anyone might tell you, I view closing an account with negative point balance, and keeping the points, not quite ethical.

Whatever reason you might have, and regardless of whether they will try to claw the points back or not, it is likely the bank will have an extremely dim view of this.
 

Jack3193

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The same way I expect to get my points when I close an account, I feel obliged to give the points back when closing an account (if negative points balance).

I don’t care what anyone might tell you, I view closing an account with negative point balance, and keeping the points, not quite ethical.

Whatever reason you might have, and regardless of whether they will try to claw the points back or not, it is likely the bank will have an extremely dim view of this.
I'm not trying to keep the points. The refunds are for bookings that I made last year, which were cancelled due to COVID-19. Needless to say, I didn't plan any of this! I would quite happily return the Qantas points if there was a way for me to do so, but there isn't (as far as I know). If Amex has the ability to claw the points back from Qantas, I'm quite happy for that to happen. My question is if that is indeed possible, or if not, what happens?

Either way, It's a bit bizarre for you to suggest I'm acting unethically, and I'm very interested to know what course of action you think I should take?
 
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glasszon

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Due to various refunds coming in, I now have a negative points balance on my Altitude Black Qantas Amex. I was already planning to cancel it, and I still am. Does anyone know what happens in this situation? Is Amex able to claw back the relevant number of points from Qantas? I can't see any other way that I can square things up, without spending a few thousand $ on the card, which I don't plan to do.
I would talk with Amex first, I know for Amex Membership Reward points, they will bill you at a very high rate if you close the account with a negative points balance (something like 3 cents per point), not sure how it works with Qantas points given in theory they can ask Qantas to deduct the points from your account.
 

muppet

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The same way I expect to get my points when I close an account, I feel obliged to give the points back when closing an account (if negative points balance).

I don’t care what anyone might tell you, I view closing an account with negative point balance, and keeping the points, not quite ethical.

Whatever reason you might have, and regardless of whether they will try to claw the points back or not, it is likely the bank will have an extremely dim view of this.
Wow. Given how banks behave, i’m amazed at this statement.

@Jack3193 I wouldn’t worry about it. Close the account, if they claw them back then you’re square.

@glasszon The charging of 3 cents per Amex point is very curious/concerning, did this happen to you personally or did you read it in the T&Cs?
 
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The same way I expect to get my points when I close an account, I feel obliged to give the points back when closing an account (if negative points balance).

I don’t care what anyone might tell you, I view closing an account with negative point balance, and keeping the points, not quite ethical.
Given your second sentence, would your first statement change if you were to cancel a NAB credit card? (i.e. if you expect to not get any points when you close a NAB account, would you then not feel obliged to give points back when closing the account with a negative points balance)

The T&Cs for those cards specify that any points earned but not yet credited at the time of the closure request are forfeited (and yes, I have been burned by this previously - luckily only a couple of hundred points).
 

hossein_au

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Given your second sentence, would your first statement change if you were to cancel a NAB credit card? (i.e. if you expect to not get any points when you close a NAB account, would you then not feel obliged to give points back when closing the account with a negative points balance)

The T&Cs for those cards specify that any points earned but not yet credited at the time of the closure request are forfeited (and yes, I have been burned by this previously - luckily only a couple of hundred points).
If a bank does something unethical, I am not obliged to reciprocate; I try to be the best *I* can be. Having said that, I think most (all?) banks have more or less the same policy (i.e. points forfeited if not transferred out before or within a set period after closing the account). I have always closed my accounts after transferring my points out. Again, their policy seems unethical to me; but that does not mean I should behave unethically towards them.
 

andye

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I'm sure there are plenty of people who leave points behind when they cancel a card. My feeling is that as long as you haven't constructed the situation, your conscience should be clear as.
 

NoName

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Can’t see any issue with just closing the account. If they want to claw back the points let them but I suspect they will just write off what is in reality a very small loss. You haven’t done it deliberately so in no way could it possibly be interpreted as unethical or sneaky or any other word with a negative connotation.
 

morfergus

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Just cancelled my ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures Card and was advised I have 90 days to redeem the points. Will have to do so over the phone because login access to internet banking and the ANZ Rewards website was immediately revoked.
 

Matt_01

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I had a discussion with AMEX a couple of years ago about a similar subject, at the time I was advised that if you owe AMEX points they are written off to certain level from memory around 10K MR points. If you have a high balance they just remain dormant in a negative balance and if you ever open up another AMEX account they start to claw them back. Not sure if this is still the case.
 

lonewolf

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Despite having quite a few friends working for Banks, I have no sympathy for Banks whatsoever. They have never treated people fairly, I wouldnt think twice about this. I know when my dad passed away unexpectedly, My mum was unable to retrieve or use any of his points and lost several hundred thousand.
 

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