Relationships and Points; It’s Complicated

I accumulate a lot of hotel points and airline miles every year. And, a lot of people know that I accumulate a lot of airline miles and hotel points. Which in turns means I get a lot of requests to dip into my treasure trove of miles and points that I accumulate every year and to just ‘give them away.”  It can be very difficult dealing with requests from friends and family, but these points, they are “precious to me.”

I try not to hurt people’s feelings during these requests, but those are my points that I have worked hard for; I have sacrificed a normal lifestyle accumulating these points, I stay busy doing my credit card arbitrage, I chase after the vendor bonuses and I do my organic spending.

I don’t go around asking people for their hard earned money. So, why do people go around asking me for points and hotel rooms? It is a tough dilemma.

But, I have a few ways of dealing with these awkward social moments and I have a several tips that I have used to help manage others expectations.

I Give Some Away– Every year someone asks for points; friends, family and others. And, I am happy to share some of my points every year with those who asks. I feel good sharing. I cannot use all of these hotel points and airline miles every year. Well, I could, but I don’t. So, I give some away. It is just a given. And, it makes me feel good helping others. But of course it encourages people to come back.

I Sell Some Points- Each year I set a limit on how many points I will give away. And, once I reach that limit, I go about selling points. Usually a friend will call up and ask for a few nights at a hotel or a free flight. I say, “I can sell those rooms to you.” I offer a rate of $50.00 per night for rooms. Which is far cheaper than the ongoing rack rate. And, every time, they have jumped on the counter offer. Everyone seems happy when I do that; they are happy for a great deal, I am happy for making a few extra dollars. The money I get from selling those rooms, I just plow back into my future travels.

I Grudgingly Say No- This is the tough part, learning to say no. It is painfully hard to say no, as everyone wants to be a nice person, especially this Average Joe. I know, I have been there. Particularly in the beginning of my points and miles gathering career. But, you have to learn to say no, otherwise people will bleed you dry of points. And, fast!

I Gently Remind Them- “Hey, you can do this also!” I tell them. Follow Average Joe Arbitrage. If Average Joe can do this, anyone can!

Do you have any good ideas for sharing on how to limit the outflow of your points stash with friends and family? I can always use some new ideas. And, let’s share them with the community!