Every so often, I will get someone asking me why they should start collecting miles and points when they do not really travel much and do not have a desire to increase their travel. The answer is simple: Because you never know! Sure, you may not think you are going to add to your travel plans much as things stand right now, but you have no idea what the next month or year is going to look like.
Why Collect A Variety of Miles and Points
There are many people who might make just one trip a year or maybe not even that. To them, it may not make much sense to collect miles and points. Here are a few scenarios where you may find you can use miles and points.
- In the case of emergencies (Airline miles – British Airways and Delta, etc)
- For rental cars (Delta Skymiles)
- For gift cards with certain point (Southwest Rapid Rewards)
- For experiences (Starwood Preferred Guest)
- Making quick trips for races (British Airways Avios and hotel points)
- Cheap hotel rates (IHG)
While most people would never dream of using their miles and points for merchandise, gift cards, or experiences, those types of redemptions make sense for the people who never really travel. There are often ways to get some incredible, personal value out of miles and points without redeeming it for normal travel.
Obviously, if you do not travel, there may not be any reason to do regular spending on a miles and points card. But, that does not mean that you should not apply to get the bonus! Many offers pop up from time to time that could be of great interest to you and you will be very thankful you have the miles and points in your accounts.
There are a variety of experiences that you can access if you have the points. Airline programs offer experience packages as does Ultimate Rewards and SPG, to name a few. Some of them can be very interesting and worth quite a bit. One of those experiences that I came close to redeeming for one time was 4 tickets court side at a Knicks game. The package included the 4 seats and the chance to meet a player before the game. I believe the package went for 50,000 Delta Skymiles for the 4 tickets. While that may seem like a lot of money, it would have been a great value because a few days after the sale was over, the incredible Jeremy Lin began putting his mark on the NBA. The game that we almost got tickets for ended up being sold out and the tickets we would have had were going for a few hundred dollars each on the secondary market!
Another more recent experience that was made available was a prime offering for runners. I only wish I had been available that weekend because I would definitely have gone! It was a race package put together by Westin in Costa Navarino, Greece. It included two nights at the Westin resort and a race package to run races with Dean Karnazes. It went for less than the two nights at the hotel would have cost! That means that if someone applied for a SPG credit card, they would have received enough points to cover this race experience! A great choice for the runner!
Most miles and points collectors totally cringe when they read those words – gift cards. It is definitely not the best method of value redemptions. However, you can still get a 1 cent per point value with gift cards. I would never get gift cards from my Ultimate Rewards points, but Southwest points are a different story! Southwest is not the best carrier for everyone, but their points are easy to come by as you can see with the credit cards in this post. A credit card bonus that gives you $500 in Amazon gift cards, for example, is nothing to sneeze at!
As I wrote about yesterday, you can get rental cars at an incredible rate if you have miles and points ready. In order to get the Delta deal, you need to have a Delta credit card/be elite and have at least 1,000 miles in your account. All the more reason to get a card even without travel planned!
I will be writing an updated post about this next week, but you can actually use miles to pay race fees! No travel necessary but if you don’t have the miles, you can’t get the free races!
Everyone can take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for miles and points – even those who do not travel much (or at all). Even if you suppress the travel bug your entire life, it is still hard to say no to free money. My favorite on the list above is the auction that SPG launched – a race package. I would expect SPG to launch a few more of these in the months ahead so it would be a good time to stock up on SPG points. The easiest way to do that is by applying for the American Express SPG cards and receive the 25,000 points. Here is the personal link and here is the business link (I do not receive a commission for these cards)