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Long points to miles transfer times: what actually happens?

Long points to miles transfer times: what actually happens?

Old Nov 4, 19, 8:21 am
  #1  
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Long points to miles transfer times: what actually happens?

I mainly use chase UR and am used to the instant transfers. I also make significant use of Diners Club which takes about 3 days to transfer to alaska. Currently I have a diners club to aeroplan transfer that is already ten days and CS advises it could take up to 30 days ($35 expidite fee would be 3-5 days). This was my first transfer to aeroplan and had I known it would take so long , it would have paid the $35...

So its 2019 and I wonder what credit card programs are doing for points-to-miles transfers to take longer than instant or more than overnight?
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Old Nov 4, 19, 10:09 am
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It sounds as if Diners is transferring to AC on a scheduled basis. If you missed the October transfer cut off your transaction would be included in the November batch etc.
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Old Nov 4, 19, 11:42 pm
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Originally Posted by rufflesinc View Post
So its 2019 and I wonder what credit card programs are doing for points-to-miles transfers to take longer than instant or more than overnight?
You're apparently unfamiliar with the concept of "sweep" programs/scripts/etc?

"Sweeps" are program/scripts/etc which only run on a periodically scheduled basis (with the period discernible to humans; ie, I don't think the term "sweeps" is used for programs/tasks that run "only" once a second, even if that is also periodically scheduled).

So even if everything's automated, that doesn't mean it happens in a set amount of time, it might be send on one "sweep" cycle, and then have to wait for another totally separate "sweep" cycle to process it at the other end.

Besides program-to-program transfers, "sweeps" are also used a lot in promotions. That's why with some promotions, you have to wait a certain time after you complete the transaction before you earn the promo; because the promo "sweep" might only run once during the whole promo (at the end), or only a couple times during the promo, or every month, or twice a month, or whatever.

And then if there is any need for a human to double-check, that may be yet another things that's scheduled like a "sweep"; the person doing the checking of transfers might have dozens of other tasks, and may only rarely have time to check all the transfers that came in since the last time they checked. But, again, there's delay enough possible without humans, just due to how "sweeps" are scheduled.
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Old Nov 5, 19, 7:15 am
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Originally Posted by sdsearch View Post
You're apparently unfamiliar with the concept of "sweep" programs/scripts/etc?
Yes I've heard of them but it's 2019 , what technical reason would there be to use them for this scenario? (Chase can do instant transfers with most of their partners so it's not like a heavy IT lift. ) It's not like it's linked to a periodic action like weekly timecards or quarterly reports.
Besides program-to-program transfers, "sweeps" are also used a lot in promotions.
Are they used with issuing of airline tickets? I know AA and UA are famous for taking forever to issue some award tickets.


My main concern here is that they're not able to confirm was the status of the transfer is, only that I initiated it. So I have to wait the full 30 days then if I don't receive, then they start a ticket.

Last edited by rufflesinc; Nov 5, 19 at 7:22 am
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Old Nov 5, 19, 10:28 am
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Diners may have outsourced transfers to a third party, such as Points International (points.com). It may cost less to make one transfer per month than to have the service provider check for pending transfers more often.

Also, some airlines and hotel chains have become unenthusiastic about large transfers from infrequent customers which are immediately redeemed for flights or nights. One way to allow engaged customers to add to their account balances, but discourage instant redemptions, is to stretch out the time it takes to transfer. I do not know if Aeroplan has taken this approach with other card partners.
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Old Nov 5, 19, 2:20 pm
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Originally Posted by rufflesinc View Post
Yes I've heard of them but it's 2019 , what technical reason would there be to use them for this scenario? (Chase can do instant transfers with most of their partners so it's not like a heavy IT lift. ) It's not like it's linked to a periodic action like weekly timecards or quarterly reports.
Are they used with issuing of airline tickets? I know AA and UA are famous for taking forever to issue some award tickets.
It’s not exactly difficult but it does require a certain level of integration and for the necessary systems to be built out on both ends. It’s entirely possible those systems have never been built and that doing so would require a big increase in the amount they spend on maintaining them. For instance, a lot of data transfers were built to be done by hand with people on a phone speaking numbers to each other, or sending letters that had to be transcribed! Then the interface logic got updated to take in files on a portable drive, but the code which did all the updates stayed the same. Then they updated it so you could download a file over the internet, but it still only took it in once a day because that’s how long it took for the sender to build up the file and for the recipient to finish processing it.

That kind of thing can continue for a loooong time, especially in industries like banking or airlines where building a replacement requires rebuilding all the interfaces to other companies before you can deploy it. Doing a real update basically requires corporate executives make it a company priority and fund it to match.
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Old Nov 15, 19, 7:31 am
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Originally Posted by mia View Post
It may cost less to make one transfer per month than to have the service provider check for pending transfers more often.
They told me to allow up to 30 days, so this window would not allow for monthly transfers. It's been three weeks now , no aeroplan miles.

I am very much regretting not paying the $35 expedite fee since it is a flat fee for an entire order. Thankfully the miles will be for LH F during the holidays so a month after the 30 days is up to fix it.
For instance, a lot of data transfers were built to be done by hand with people on a phone speaking numbers to each other, or sending letters that had to be transcribed!
I'm not worried so much about how long it takes, I'm concerned because they are not able to give me any status updates. Even worse, they cannot even see the details I submitted in my order such as aeroplan number and birthday, and would need those details when they submit a ticket.

Before this aeroplan transfer, I had only transferred to AS and those transfers always took around 3-5 days but should I transfer to AS again , will pay the $35 just in case they regress to "people on a phone" or "sending letters"
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Old Nov 17, 19, 5:13 am
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Speculating a bit here, but consider the possibility that the systems arenít integrated at all. Given the overhead associated with manually handling transfers individually, itís far more efficient to batch them. Your transfer request would sit in a queue, and on a periodic basis someone at Diners sends a file over to somebody at Aeroplan. Maybe it even sits in a queue waiting for periodic processing on that end too. Manual processing (or at least manually-initiated bulk processing) of the debits and credits to each programís accounts, and also the financial accounting associated with the transfers would need to occur. To automate this is not a trivial effort and requires a hefty investment between two large enterprises, each with their own large and complex IT infrastructure. Until companies see it as a priority to invest in automation - which happens either as a strategic move (not likely here) or because manual processing has become so burdensome that there is good enough ROI, the investment doesnít happen.

30 days seems a little extreme, but itís certainly conceivable that such a process (between queue time and processing time) would take a while. There may not be enough transfer activity that it merits an IT investment in integrating the systems, or more frequent manual processing, but the expedite fee allows your transfer to get handled off-cycle.

Last edited by javabytes; Nov 17, 19 at 5:22 am
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Old Dec 2, 19, 4:36 pm
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A week after submitting ticket, I get phone call from diners club , explaining that the request Aeroplan received only had the first three digits of my aeroplan number. So rather than have her resubmit it and wait another 30 days, I paid the $35 to expedite 3-5 days.

I'm 100% sure that I entered all nine digits of my aeroplan number, but maybe 95% sure that it was "123456789" and not "123 456 789" as displayed on aeroplan website. I also think that the "30 days" for regular processing does not mean their process could take up to 30 days, but rather they want you to wait 30 days before they will investigate the issue.

So hopefully in 3-5 days, I'll have my aeroplan miles and aeroplan fixes their amadeus migration issues and I can book LH F.
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