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Government worker uses mile credit card for $270,000 in expenses

by on Mon December 12, 2011 • No Comment

Here’s a case that involves an education in the value of mile and points, the perception of extended warranty benefits on mile credit cards, and an ethical dilemma.

The Los Angeles Times is out talking about the finance director of the Los Angeles Coliseum who used a personal Chase Visa (sounds like it’s an Ultimate Rewards card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card) to buy $270,000 worth of audio equipment for the stadium.

Usually you hear stories about people using corporate credit cards to buy personal things, a big no no that gets them fired.

This is the first we’ve heard of someone being put in the spotlight for actually buying things for the employer on his own, then getting reimbursed later.

Did he do anything wrong? We’re not in a position to judge, but 270,000 points is a lot — the LA Times did a good job of pointing out that’s enough for a couple of first class tickets to Asia or Europe worth $24,000. It also pointed out you can use them for a variety of gifts like Callaway golf clubs and Apple iPad 2’s.

The finance director justified using his personal card because ‘it gave an extra year on the warranty.’ But Chase rebutted by saying purchases for professional use are excluded from extended warranty benefits. So keep that in mind…and read the terms and conditions carefully before banking on it.

In the end…it shows that yes — points are worth something and people see big value in them. Though it’s not clear what he used the points for. But if it influences your decision and you’re playing with other people’s money….then think twice.

So far, he hasn’t faced any specific punishment or charge of wrong doing.

Here’s a link to the story…

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