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Paying Interest On My Hyatt Credit Card, aka Learn From My Mistakes

My goal from the start has always been to paint a realistic picture of this hobby. The truth is, it’s not always rainbows and unicorns. There are many pitfalls and hidden dangers to watch out for. If you are just starting out in the miles and points world, make sure to read  Is it best not to discuss credit card bonuses with family and friends?  Even though the post was written almost a year ago, the info is still completely relevant today.

This blog is here to record my triumphs and mistakes. As far as the last one is concerned, there are  aplenty. So, in this post I will tell you about my latest faux pas. Enjoy!

I’ve made no secret that I’m totally disorganized. This spills into many areas of my life, including blogging.  As you can imagine, it presents a problem when it comes to tracking my multitude of credit cards. I try to record information and payment details, but invariably forget to follow up. And so it goes with my new Hyatt credit card.

When I get a new offer, I make a point of setting up automatic payments right away, and of course, choose “Pay in full” option. That’s what I thought happened with my  Hyatt card. Except, when I got my first statement, there was an $18 interest charge. Huh? I went to my online profile, and sure enough, I selected “Minimum payment due” option by accident.

hyatt minimum

I have no clue how I would make  such a stupid mistake, but I did. Of course, the charge is pretty small, and I probably could call Chase and beg them to remove it. But I’m not going to do that. There are a couple of reasons:

  1. Chase has given me lots of bonuses over the years, and this one is totally my fault.
  2. I don’t want to draw attention to myself and my “churning” history. This may be paranoia on my part, but imo it’s better to be safe than sorry.

An update: My reader Erik has convinced me to call and ask for refund of $18 interest charge, and so I did. It took 5 minutes an now I’m $18 richer!

So, what can you learn from this? Obviously, you have to stay organized and “on top” when it comes to this hobby. It’s so easy to lose track of payments, but it’s crucial to always follow up on all of your accounts. That also includes checking statements to make sure there are no fraudulent charges.

You can create your own spreadsheet, but there are also free tools available to help you, like CardWatchDog (not an affiliate link). I finally went ahead and signed up for it because, clearly, I need all the help and watchdogs I can get. It is very easy to use, and I recommend you give it a shot.

cardwatchdog-2

When you click on the card, you can see more details on the sign-up bonus and payment due date. This is the perfect app for IT simpletons like myself. If you want to get all fancy, check out this tool on Milesfortrips blog.

The eternal debate on “free”

I know some people hate hearing this, but miles and points are not free. There is work and time involved and yes, there is risk. It’s important to make sure you are in control and understand the risks before you sign up for 10 credit cards at once.

That said, paying $18 isn’t going to kill me, and I’m still coming out ahead, all things considered. This bonus will give me $50 statement credit (well, $32) and 2 nights at a  beachfront property that goes for $400 per night (not that I would ever pay that much). I choose to look at this incident as “glass half full” kind of thing. I’ll just make sure to be more careful next time. Side note: According to Doctorofcredit, Hyatt card offer that comes with $50 incentive is now only available to those who stayed at a Hyatt property since May 1st 2015.  Check this post for more info and relevant links

Readers, what hobby flops can you share with me?

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Author: Leana

Leana is the owner and founder of Miles For Family. She enjoys beach vacations and visiting her family in Europe. Originally from Belarus, Leana resides in central Florida with her husband and two children.

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6 thoughts on “Paying Interest On My Hyatt Credit Card, aka Learn From My Mistakes

  1. I have purposefully left auto payments alone, as I want to set the personal expectation that I must proactively manage my balances, statements, and payments. It means I have to check in on about 15+ accounts almost daily, but it’s worth it.

    Having said that, my biggest money wasters are trip booking cancellations and modifications. For my wife’s graduation trip in December, I ended up cancelling a few things once I found significantly better options. I will have to add up what my cancellation costs ended up being, but I can comfortably say it was well into triple digits to get that trip absolutely right (Avios international cancellations are relatively cheap, but require forfeiture of the international taxes/fees). I love how things turned out, but I wish I had been a bit less nervous about waiting a bit to see my ideal itinerary become available, but it’s awful hard to do that when you are just looking for the lesser of evils to get 4 people from the upper Midwest to both coasts of Mexico, Miami, and Disneyworld, and all together.

    So yeah, your $18 mistake doesn’t sound that bad.

    • @Cheapblackdad I can completely relate to what you are saying. I’ve had to cancel a number of trips, and at times, the fees were significant. You probably have read my post about paying $400 to redeposit 60K United miles. Yikes!
      It is very hard when you have a family of four and are stuck with a certain date for your trip. It’s usually prudent to just go for that “bird in the hand,” so to speak. But if things change and a perfect scenario becomes available, it could make sense to just switch everything around. In the end, most of us still come out ahead because we’ve acquired our miles and points at very little cost. So, I try to focus on the big picture, but it can be tough because, well, I’m cheap!

  2. I think you’re a little paranoid. Mistakes happen, not only by users but also technology-related (who knows, maybe you did really save it as “Pay in Full” but something was changed in Chase’s systems that caused the preferences to revert to default. Or maybe they had a hiccup with their web site during the time you made the change that resulted in your request not being processed). Anybody who has worked in IT knows that lots of crazy stuff happens, even at banks which supposedly have secure, iron-clad processes to prevent them. The human factor cannot be completely removed. Bugs exist in code. Banks (despite their image) usually have some room for “goodwill” if you have a good relationship with them and you are not frequently making such requests. They want to keep your business. (Also they do not want a class action lawsuit if they made an error that affected 5000 accounts or whatever – which they would never tell you, BTW). Honestly I’ve never had a problem getting them to remove something like this and I think it is irrelevant whether you see yourself as a churner (or not). I would approach it something like this: “Hi Mr. Chase – I really like your Hyatt Visa card and just received my statement this month. I had configured Autopay to ‘Pay in full’ but for whatever reason it seems that your web site did not save my preferences and it remained at the default ‘Minimum Payment Due’. When i received the statement and noticed the error, I immediately logged into my account, made the full payment, and saved my preferences again to confirm ‘Pay in Full’. Can you please check on your side that Autopay is correctly set to ‘Pay in Full’? Also, can you please remove the $18 interest that I was charged? I don’t think this is fair that I should pay for this error because I did setup Autopay to pay in full. As you can probably see from my accounts, I have been a very good customer of Chase and always paid off my balances on time every month.”

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