Road scholar not considered travel agency

My credit card gives 3% rebate on "qualified travel" ans 1% on other purchases. When I saw that I had received only 1% for a trip, I called them. I was informed that "thr merchant was a school and educational facility" . This doesn't seem fair to me!

  • Good to know. Sometimes life just ain't fair.
  • I called card when I saw this and they gave me the additional points. However, I was warned that may not be the case in the future. It was Chase Sapphire. I wish RS would add the travel code so we wouldn't have this problem.
  • The question is how do you define fair. Road Scholar prefers that we don't use credit cards to save them the fees that they pay. So if the switched to travel agency, they would encourage more credit card use.

    I have the Chase Saphire as well and must say that when I compare companies, I take the extra credit card points into account. I wish they would at least split those fees by giving a discount to those that use electronic check (direct withdrawal from checking account). To some degree it comes down to how much you buy into and support Road Scholar as a non-profit.

    Thanks Patricia for letting us know that it might be worth it to call Chase.
  • I too have the Chase Sapphire Card and was told this expense was not travel since they were an educational organization, and would not qualify for the 3X travel points. My main worry was that since they did not consider a $5,000 trip to Spain as travel  the travel insurance and other  trip related benefits the card offered would not be available if I needed them.  I was relying on the  included RS travel insurance and that from the credit card to eliminate  the need for any other insurance purchases.   Chase says if I can document the trip the insurance would be in effect.  I am still appealing for the travel points.

  • In reply to patricia.lucas021527:

    I also have Chase Sapphire.  I called and was told that Road Scholar only qualifies for 1%.  I was not given the additional points.  So calling doesn't always win you the extra 2% "travel" points.

  • I can't see the downside for RS other than more people might then pay by cc however, that would be offset by the upside for participants. Since prices of programs has really increased in the last three years this seems to be a small gesture that would win friends and influence people. After all, compare this to OATS or other organizations which offer similar programs but are coded as "travel".
  • In reply to jcaffrey47022117:

    I used a Citibank Visa card through Costco which also pays 3% on travel. I called when I did not get the travel points and was given an adjustment. Before I pay the balance of the trip I will call Citibank to remind them of the fact I was given the adjustment. Upside of using Citibank card, they have generous Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption Insurance so I did not have to buy any through RS or another agency.
  • I used to have a credit card issued by HSBC which gives points to be redeemed for airfare only. They wouldn't let me use these points for RS travel because the airfare portion was buried in the total charge made to my credit card and the airfare was not a separate item. Every year I would call RS to have them issue a statement breaking out the airfare part and I was successful in submitting that for credit towards the airfare.
  • My wife and I have spent $32,168 for Road Scholar TRAVEL, with education, in the last three years. We too got 1% instead of 3% for Russia, Egypt, and now China. The difference is $643, not paid to us. Bye Bye Citibank Visa. Bye Bye Road Scholar.
  • In reply to smberkner011200:

    I too got the Chase SAPPHIRE card and used it to pay $12,000 for a RS trip. As others have reported, RS is coded as "Education," not Travel, so I got only 1X travel points, after expecting a windfall. I, too, phoned and got a reconsideration and a one-time 3X.
    Would I give up RS over the fact that I get a smaller reward, no! I would probably use a different credit card, however, after analyzing my options.
    RATHER THAN ditch Road Scholar, consider that RS is a *nonprofit organization* which charges quite reasonable prices for unique travel and experiences. What commercial travel operation reaches out to giver scholarships to caregivers and to low-income people who would otherwise never have this travel experience? What commercial travel service puts together travel packages that go below the surface of places, and after traveling gives me a sense that I LEARNED something?
  • In reply to karen.mtnview011215:

    PS Because I know that RS is a nonprofit, I also make a charitable donation each year, probably about equal to what my credit card use is costing RS in fees.
  • In reply to bhjean2002031240:

    Your experience is very different from ours. Last fall, 2016, we did a six-week program in Spain for which we paid with Costco's new Citibank Visa (having previously received 3% refund via Costco's previous card American Express). When we did not receive the 3% we expected, I appealed and even had Road Scholar send an explanation of the program. No dice. Citibank refused the appeal. The difference was over $200.00. I'm not sure why RS lists as educational with IRS but it likely gives them better tax position.
  • In reply to txmeikle032442:

    Have you ever been reimbursed by Chase for travel insurance?
  • I don't think it is fair, either. Road Scholar offers educationsl programs, but you have to travel to get there Travel within the programs is usually included in the cost.
  • That's how it was started, as Elder Hostel, staying at college dorms and having educational lectures from professors.