Need More Reward Options

Discussion in 'Newbies' started by nchristina529, Sep 5, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. nchristina529

    nchristina529 Member

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    My name is Christina, 29 years old, and I still haven't used any of my stored points to redeem anything from any of these loyalty programs!

    I belong to many of the mutual rewards programs between the credit cards & frequent flyer ones... unless it is going on a long vacation somewhere nice, there just isn't really an option for me as I am stuck working most of the time and there is no way to redeem all of the points I have through vacations alone.

    If anyone can let me know, I would really like to find out if there is something else I can spend these points on - this whole system feels like a gimmick to someone like me because I am not really getting anything by belonging to any of these systems!...

    Thanks.
     
  2. thefitworldtraveler
    Original Member

    thefitworldtraveler Silver Member

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    You can donate them to charity
     
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  3. IkeEsq

    IkeEsq Gold Member

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    Welcome to MilePoint!

    As a general rule, before accumulating miles and points, I generally advise people to set goals they want to accomplish with those points/miles. As you seem to have noticed, the accumulation of points is not worth much if you don't use them. There are a wide variety of ways to use points and miles, depending on what you want and what kinds of points you have.

    1. Bid on or purchase 'experiences' like concerts, sporting events, and trips.
    2. Purchase goods and services through online malls.
    3. Use them for travel.
    4. Cash them out as gift certificates.
    5. Reserve hotels and flights for friends and family.
    6. Donate them to good causes.

    If you are interested in specifics, feel free to share numbers of miles in various programs and what sorts of things you like to do.

    Ike
     
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  4. olmangsr

    olmangsr Silver Member

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    Give them away and help people lol just kidding:)

    what programs are you in?
     
  5. MDDCFlyer

    MDDCFlyer Silver Member

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    The best thing for you is to use credit card that give cash back instead of points. If you cannot use the points there is really no need to accumulate them as they lose value (and probably faster than inflation).

    If you have orphan miles in airline programs you can use them for gift cards, magazine subscription, charity donation etc.
     
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  6. olmangsr

    olmangsr Silver Member

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    i think the best is either gift card or donation.it's a shame that you can't use it for travel since obviously there is where you get the most bang for you buck.
    totally agree with @MDDCFlyer you should thing about changing to a cash reward card if you wont be using miles....
     
  7. LarryInNYC

    LarryInNYC Gold Member

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    Wow, having more points than you can manage to use is a problem I'm sure everyone here would like to have!

    Is it really true that you never travel for fun? If you travel even once a year for a week or two you should easily be able to consume a few hundred thousand points (say, 140,000 on r/t premium cabin airfare, and 150,00 on nice hotels). If you accrue more than that in one year, why not invite a friend of family member to travel with you, and pay their airfare and hotel using your points?

    If you're not going to travel yourself, you can use your points to buy tickets for friends and family members as a gift -- for their own vacations or to come and see you.

    Finally, if you travel only on business and the trips are paid for (I assume your frequent flier miles are coming from somewhere) you can often use your miles to upgrade your ticket so that you move from economy to business or business to first class.
     
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  8. HaveMilesWillTravel
    Original Member

    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    It would be helpful to know some details:

    - how many miles (roughly) do you have in what programs?
    - travel goals for the next year?

    As LarryInNYC pointed out, it's quite easy to burn through a couple hundred thousand points/miles or more in one trip.
     
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  9. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    Looking at her posts; it does seem like the OP just has the miles/points but no time and is just asking for alternative redemption options.
     
  10. SC Flier
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    SC Flier Gold Member

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    Welcome to Milepoint, nchristina529! It would help to know a little more about which accounts you have and what range of balances you're talking about.
     
  11. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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  12. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    There are plenty of non-travel redemption options if that's what you want. How big are the balances and in what programs. We can certainly offer up ideas for good alternatives, though the value will likely be less than travel awards. If you really aren't ever going to be using them for travel the cash-back card options are better.
     
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  13. Randy Petersen
    Original Member

    Randy Petersen Founder

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    Welcome to Milepoint.
    Actually, I think you might have more value in your points and miles than might be thought. While I get that you are constantly working (you share that with a lot of our other members), typically you might find because of work you can't plan vacation time and that the personal time that does come your way is sort of last moment. What I might suggest is to create a personal bucket list of "Things To Do In Your Lifetime". The key here is that when those rare moments come up when unexpected time does come up, rather than find yourself with nothing to do because of the last minute, cast a quick glance at your list and with a simple text to a friend, make a day or two escape to whatever is on your bucket list. You've got the miles and points and this type of spontaneous use of miles and points is perfect for the life of a workerbee. You have to do three things ... 1) create the bucket list; 2) make sure that with all your work stuff, that your miles and points are kept active from expiring; 3) look at life as half full and fill it up with the unexpected pleasures that you can afford with your miles and points because we all know that 'time' is just something you can't seem to ever buy.

    Again welcome and always remember with advice from any fellow frequent flyer — you mileage may vary!
     
  14. marcwint55

    marcwint55 Gold Member

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    Not knowing which programs you are in, it is hard to give advice. If you truly have too many points in a program, there are usually shopping programs associated with the points and perhaps you can find things to buy that you need.

    Rest assured the system is not a gimmick and many people travel the world and do things they would not be able to do without the points and miles that they accrue.
     
  15. deant
    Original Member

    deant Milepoint Guide

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    There are also "anytime" awards for many of the airline programs. You could make relatively last minute reservations for a nice weekend.

    As others have said, it would help to know what programs your miles are in.

    As a last resort, you can always donate the miles to my wife and myself. :D Being retired, we never have enough miles.
     
  16. dayone
    Original Member

    dayone Silver Member

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    The only things certain in life are death, taxes and "Donate your points to me" posts.
     
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  17. sendbillmoney

    sendbillmoney Silver Member

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    Welcome, Christina. You say that you belong to "many of the mutual rewards programs," and the result (paraphrased by me) s that you're stuck without appealing options to redeem what you've accrued.

    Don't dump those points just yet, you may have a use for some of them.

    Suggestion:

    1) Figure out your goal (i.e., free flight to Paris on your preferred airline, during which you will stay at your preferred hotel).
    2) Figure out which programs will get you to your goal with the least amount of effort and outlay on your part. Concentrate your effort (or lack of effort) on those programs. Yes, I said lack of effort! In my opinion, the killer payoff is to get rewarded for things you'd have done anyway. As the philosophers Knopfler and Sumner once said, "... now that ain't working, that's the way you do it ..."
    3. Be patient. Tend your accounts. Accrue your miles and points. Follow writers and posters who offer useful shortcuts, exploit those shortcuts when they're realistic and applicable.
    4. Post on Milepoint when you've taken your first class flight to Paris and stayed at L'Hotel Snooty on miles and points and your biggest cash outlay was for escargot and adult beverages.

    Good luck!
     
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  18. thesterlingtraveler

    thesterlingtraveler Gold Member

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    Welcome Christina! I somewhat have the same problem you do. I earn my own points/miles through everyday spending and weekend flights but I don't necessarily have the time off of work to take full advantage of a big trip using the miles to their full potential. I have, however, set goals for myself as others have said. One of which is a bus. class flight to Paris and free hotel there. Keep in mind that even though your miles do devalue over time, you'll likely still have them when/if you change your situation at work. Don't feel like you're in a complete rut!
     
  19. wrxmom

    wrxmom Gold Member

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    Another thing to keep in mind is that while right now you aren't able to travel, your situation may change and you might be able to travel in the future. So keep those accounts active to keep the miles active and then when you are able to use them, you'll have them.
     
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  20. mattsteg
    Original Member

    mattsteg Gold Member

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    There's always the option of shorter vacations. Business or first-class travel goes a long way to hitting the ground running, and is much more feasible with points than cash.
     
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  21. Wageslave

    Wageslave Active Member

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    One other suggestion is to start considering which programs you are most interested. It is one thing to have points in many programs, however, you'll find you can reach your goals faster if you focus on certain programs. It doesn't mean you close off other programs, but I would suggest that you organize your programs into two tiers... ones where you actively focus on and others which are "if I encounter" them. You'll find that you'll build up points a lot faster that way.
     
  22. nchristina529

    nchristina529 Member

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    Wow, I am absolutely stunned at all of the feedback I received on my post. For a while I didn't think anyone was listening... Thanks for the info and I will continue to update on my current situation regarding the programs and points I have... Hard to go from school, to work, and back home to the family so hope to talk soon!

    Was never really good at games so I like the idea of cash back, that way I don't have to worry about all of the requirements. Thanks again.
     
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