Poll: What do you use your points for?

I am a business traveler. That means that the vast majority of the travel I do is for work—maybe 90%. It made sense fairly early maximize the amount of airline and hotel points I get for my travel. It’s like free money, or like a bonus for working as hard as I do. While I have set up as many automatic and easy ways as possible for earning points, I don’t work at it as hard as a lot of people do. Points and miles are a hobby for a lot of people, which I think is amazing.

Part of the definition of a business traveler is traveling all the time. I accumulate points with the vague plan of using them one day to go on amazing trips with my family. But I’m starting to realize that it is really hard to take vacations. And that when I have time off, sometimes the last thing I want to do is figure out the logistics of family travel. Looking at my mileage accounts, I have hundreds of thousands of points across several programs, and trying to spend them on travel seems so. hard.

I want to know what other people do. Does everyone spend their points on actual travel? Or do you spend them on other things, like upgrades or memberships? Or do you avoid travel all together and spend your points on shopping? Take my poll and tell me!

What do you use your points for? (choose up to 3)

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Comments

  1. Unfortunately, I’m just your average 100% recreational traveler. My other category for use of points is for Barclay Arrival points used to pay for cruises.

  2. Emergency travel! I just had to redeem 40,000 SkyPesos for a short-notice flight which would have cost me over $1,000 cash.

  3. I use them on my family to travel. My mom needed a last minute ticket when my aunt had a stroke, so I had to use USAir to get her there and Southwest to get her back. I flew my nieces in to visit. Went several times to NYC using Amtrak and hotel points, my family and friends all love those quick trips to NYC.

  4. I put other because we recently moved about 1000 miles away from most of our family so I use my points/miles to have grandparents come and visit. Three separate sets takes as many miles as I can collect. 🙂

  5. @Vincente
    Exactly. Last August, I flew a half-dozen folks to a funeral on what would have otherwise been huge last minute fares.

    @kodoma
    Agree here also – flights and hotels for relatives who aren’t frequent travelers.

  6. I’m a business traveler as well, so hotel points have come pretty easliy for me. I burned some visiting family over Thanksgiving. Points also make for a great wedding gift if used to reserve rooms for the wedding guests or couple’s honeymoon. I’d rather give them away than wait for the next round of devaluations to come along…

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