I FINALLY Got My Welcome Bonus from Synchrony’s Dumpster Fire
I don’t know why it took so long or so much effort to get my welcome bonus from Synchrony. It was a dumpster fire, to be blunt. Let’s take a look at what happened, because I just simply can’t believe this was real. It’s also a “be prepared” for anyone else applying for this card.
Summary on Getting the Cathay Pacific Visa Card
Back in April, I applied for the Cathay Pacific Visa Card. This card is issued by Synchrony Bank. You might know them best as the bank that issues lots of department store credit cards. Anyway, my application was rejected. Why? “High risk source of application.” Basically, when I called to ask about this, they said my browser on my computer was suspicious.
In June, I finally managed to open this card after a successful application. That wasn’t without going through the weirdest application process of my life. It included recording a video of my eyes moving around.
What About Those Bonus Points?
You’d figure things should be normal after this. I managed to open the card, and I even had screen shots of my application–including the welcome offer publicly available.
After meeting the spending requirements, I waited for the statement to close. When it closed and didn’t award me any bonus points, I waited for a month. The next statement closed, and Synchrony still didn’t award the points from my welcome bonus. Time to inquire.
Synchrony is a bold-faced liar
After I called the number on the back of my card, the phone rep told me that there is no welcome bonus on this card–never has been, never will be. Say what? I went to their website during the call and pointed out that there is a welcome offer, though it’s lower than the one I applied for.
She urged me to send an email. I went to their secure message center and sent a message with all of the dates, facts, and proof of the publicly-available welcome offer at the time of my application. Hot tip: make sure you always get a picture of this when applying for a card, and it should show the date/time on your computer screen as proof.
Synchrony plays dumb
Synchrony replied saying my message was important, sent to the relevant department, blah blah blah. I got a letter in the mail 10 days later saying no such offer existed, and my Asia Miles balance is correct. The matter is closed, as far as they see it.
I replied via their website…again. I re-sent proof of the welcome offer, their response letter, and asked when they will resolve this or whether I should file complaints with relevant agencies. Taking some time to dole out the welcome bonus is one thing (it’s odd, but waiting is necessary sometimes), but Synchrony just lying and giving me the run-around was beyond tolerable.
I got part of the bonus
In early November, Synchrony gave me 25,000 miles–a little more than half of my welcome bonus. Where were the other 15,000 miles?
I sent an inquiry and got another “sent to the relevant department, expect a letter in the mail” response.
I never got that letter.
The rest of the points showed up
A full month later (without replying to the 2 messages I sent in that time), Synchrony sent me the missing miles. Finally.
Synchrony sends me an odd message
In this letter, they acknowledge the welcome offer but state that I wasn’t eligible for it. They cite the date I opened the account and the 90-day deadline. They point out that I had an item returned on Amazon during this period, bringing me below the spending requirement.
That’s strange, since it seems like they can’t do math. Even with that return, I spent more than $600 over the required spending threshold.
What’s even stranger is this part:
Please be advised, though your account did not qualify for the above-mentioned offer, due to being incorrectly informed by a customer service representative that you would receive the full incentive offer, Synchrony Bank gave you a courtesy adjustment of 25,000 Asia Miles instead. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience or frustration this matter may have caused you. At this time, we respectfully decline your request for additional credits as no further adjustments are warranted.
So, the 25,000 miles I got at the beginning was a “sorry our employees suck” bonus? OK, then what is the later 15,000 miles? And why are they declining to give me those remaining 15,000 miles…that they already gave me?
These people at Synchrony are a clear example of “the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing.”
Dealing with Synchrony has been ridiculous from start to finish. They lie. Employees contradict each other. It seems they can’t do math, either. And they don’t know how credit scores or banking systems work, given the idiocy I’ve encountered on the phone during my application process.
Glad I got my miles, finally. It really shouldn’t take all of this. If you decide to apply for the Cathay Pacific Visa Card from Synchrony, bring your patience and your grown-up pants. These people are unbelievable.