No respect for the points

Have you ever had this conversation with a spouse or loved one?

Them: “You have hundreds of thousands of points! You should use them for our hotel/flight/gift certificate/etc. Isn’t that what they’re there for?”

You: “Actually, I have a specific use in mind for them. We are going to book an amazing trip using a combination of hotel and airline points. First class, five star, the works! Sounds like a great vacation, right?”

Them: “That vacation isn’t for months, and we need the hotel/flight/whatever now. Can’t you just get more points later?”

Sigh. The last time I had this conversation with the Home Warrior, we needed to leave our house suddenly due to complications with our home renovation. He thought I should use 40,000 Rapid Rewards miles to book a hotel for a few nights. No matter that we would be booking at the last minute, at the highest possible rate. His attitude was basically, you have all of these points just sitting there, let’s use them for Pete’s sake!

And I can kind of see it. If you’re not familiar with miles and points, and the effort it’s taken to accumulate them, and how much they can be worth if used correctly, I guess it would seem like they’re sitting there doing nothing.

However, I was finally able to break through to him when I showed him what they could be redeemed for, in the simplest terms. “Honey, we could go to Chicago three times, round trip, for those 40k points. We could go to South Texas eight times, round trip. We could go to Puerto Rico twice, round trip.” I saw the light bulb go off behind his eyes. Finally! He understood.

Unfortunately, with that situation we went ahead and used a combination of points and miles to get our rooms. He has been much more respectful of their value since then, though. And the good news–we are finally planning our Puerto Rico getaway!

Readers, do you ever struggle to explain the value of your points to your loved ones?


  1. I usually start out with the “Ryan Bingham” approach…”Let’s just say I have a number in mind and I haven’t hit it yet”. Then I explain the value or ROI. Maybe I should put together a powerpoint. My wife get’s it but my young adult children just think I’m a free hotel booking machine. One of my children recently asked me to book a hotel for him near Chicago so he ended up at an odd out of the way HIX. Why? because it was like 10k points. Funny thing is that he spun the wheel at the desk and got 5k free points. He’s starting to figure out that I would rather spend my points in Rome or Paris this Winter than in Bollingbrook.

  2. I seem to be in the minority here, but I use my points “as I go” all the time. With airlines merging and frequent flyer plans changing, I figure “use ’em or lose ’em.”

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