There has been a huge amount interest lately in Best Buy Reward Zone (BBRZ) points due in part to their genius marketing campaign via their Facebook page. As I discussed in my article Why You Should Add Best Buy Reward Zone Points to Your Mileage Portfolio, BBRZ has been handing out free points like crazy. On a daily basis, you can earn 25 points for answering a single-question poll. Then periodically, there are additional features allowing you to earn additional points.
While this program means nothing to those that have no interest in ever stepping foot into a Best Buy store, it means great things for those of us that enjoy traveling for free with miles and points, as the Best Buy Reward Zone program is a great hedge to keep accounts from losing value or topping off an account. Yes, we are talking small denominations here and nothing that will get you on a beach with a single action, but there is some value to us that do not opening tons and tons of credit cards.
It is no secret Best Buy’s business has been hurting for years, making it tough for a brick-and-mortar to compete with the online sites. I think this Facebook program is really smart because it gets the customer in front of the Best Buy brand. Then lets say every week they give the customer enough points that can be redeemed for $5 off of electronics or other items in store. This is great marketing on behalf of Best Buy because then the customer gets into the store, where they hopefully spend their $5 on an item costing significantly more. Long live those that need the latest and greatest electronics.
While us mile collectors have no interest in actually redeeming points at Best Buy, I hope many others actually do use them for their intended purpose and that it becomes a successful venture for all.
I bring all of this up though because I was contacted this week by a reader who created a new BBRZ account, set their earning preference to the highest level ($20 = 1,000 points), yet their points were recently converted into certificates at the $5 = 250 points level. Upon notifying Best Buy, they were told that points earned via non-purchases are treated differently and will automatically convert at the lower threshold.
Interesting, because no where in the terms of the program does it state there are different rule for points earned based on purchases versus those earned for free or via partners. What the terms do state though is that any points earned in a calendar year are automatically converted into $5 segments and any remaining points are forfeited.
In our experience, what this means is that if you earned 300 points in 2012, at the end of January of each year, 250 points will be converted into a $5 certificate, and the remaining 50 points will be forfeited. So if you have 499 points, you will still receive a $5 certificate, yet lose out on 249 points. Make it above 500 points by the end of January, and your points will be converted over into 2-$5 certificates or a single $10 certificate.
So now here we are at an interesting predicament at the end of January. As you may recall, a couple of weeks ago we converted all of our BBRZ points earned in 2012 and early January 2013 into US Airways miles. Since converting out all of our points, we have since earned an additional 300+ BBRZ points over the course of a couple weeks.
As of right now, all of our BBRZ points are still in our account and have not been converted into certificates. There is a possibility that some people’s accounts may be impacted based on the conversion process mentioned above, particularly if you have points left over in your account from last year.
So what can you do?
First, your earning preference should be set as high as possible if you have no interest in spending BBRZ in store, and would rather convert them out.
Second, if you have any points left over from last year, you need to convert them out now, because at the end of this month or early in February, your points earned to date will automatically be converted. Head over to points.com, and convert the BBRZ points into any of the mileage programs you would rather have the points.
Third, if you have any worry about even the points earned this year, you can always convert them out now, and any other point of the year when you approach 250 points. This is a play-it-safe move.
While I can not say for sure, I venture to say our account is safe from conversion this year since we already converted out points earned in 2012. However, we will keep an eye out for what develops over the next couple of days or weeks. I am going to keep my BBRZ in there for right now to see what happens.
Please add any commentary below on your experience with the Best Buy Reward Zone conversion process, and thanks again to all those that contacted us on this potential issue.
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