A San Carlos mother said she spent over $300 on a gift card for airfare but when her daughter tried to use the card, the money was missing.
In 2015, Bernadine said she decided to give her daughter, Sue, and son-in-law a Southwest gift card as a Christmas present. The gift card was worth $300.
“My son-in-law travels to St. Louis, Missouri often and Sue comes down here,” Bernadine Ernster said. “I thought everything was fine until Sue tried to redeem the points.”
Six months after Bernadine had purchased the card, she said her daughter tried to use the gift card but the transaction wouldn’t go through.
Bernadine said Southwest Airlines told her that the card and points had been cancelled and the money refunded back to her American Express credit card.
Bernadine said there was a problem with that.
“It was no longer any good, it was defunct, I couldn't use it anywhere because it had changed over to Citibank Visa,” Bernadine said.
The card was linked to Costco and Costco had switched card companies from American Express to Citibank Visa. According to Bernadine, the companies told her the money should have transferred automatically to her new card.
“When I contacted Citibank Visa, they said too much time had lapsed, they couldn't do anything about it and they didn't know anything about it,” she said.
Bernadine also said she checks her bank statements regularly and the refund never arrived.
“I couldn’t believe why nobody could find this money and my children told me Mom don’t give up,” Bernadine said. “I saw Consumer Bob on TV and I was impressed with how he handles things.”
That’s when she contacted NBC 7 Responds. We contacted all of the companies involved: Southwest, American Express and Citibank. Southwest confirmed they refunded the money. American Express told us the money should have automatically transferred. Citibank got to work and in a few days, a spokesperson told us they had good news.
“I would like to give them that Christmas gift,” Bernadine said.
Citibank told Bernadine they did not know what happened to the money but because they value her as a customer, they would credit her account for the full amount that was missing.