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I have found that it is very common in our hobby to have one person in the relationship be all about earning and redeeming miles and points and the other be ambivalent or even anti-miles and points. In fact, it is so common that one of the sessions I am doing at the Chicago Seminars in October is devoted to the spouses, partners, boyfriends, girlfriends, etc., that are brought along to the miles and points conference, but that are not miles and points junkies themselves. And by session I really mean more of a hosted happy hour.
Since starting this blog two years ago it is one of the questions I get pretty frequently both online and in person. How do I get my partner on-board (sometimes literally)? I answered that question in a post once before here, but an email I got this week made me decide it was time to revisit the issue.
Here was a snippit from the email:
My wife and I escaped our kiddos for a trip to Warsaw (our oldest is C’s age). Managed to score LH F from DEN-FRA, and hit up the First Class Terminal. Like you, I was S.O.L. for a rubber ducky. However, my wife finally gets what all this “Miles and points” b.s. is about! Thanks for inspiring me!
If you don’t understand the reward, then keeping track of various credit cards, taking the extra steps to shop through portals, analyzing promotions, buying gift cards, spending time on the internet, etc., does just seem like “miles and points b.s.”. I mean if you take a step back our behavior absolutely looks and sounds crazy at times! However, most of us don’t collect miles and points just for the sake of collecting. We do it to use them for experiences we otherwise wouldn’t be able to have.
I think it is safe to say that flying Lufthansa First Class and visiting the Lufthansa First Class Terminal are experiences that most of us would not have without miles and points. Of course, don’t forget the actual trip to Warsaw (as well as the on-ground experiences) are even more important than the in-flight experiences.
While some of us may not care at all about premium cabins and first class terminals, it is about finding what travel experience matters to your partner and making that happen. It may be as simple as visiting family in North Dakota without having to open up the check book, but if it is important or enjoyable to them, and miles and points made it happen, then they will get on-board…or at least won’t give you near as much grief about “your crazy hobby”.
Since redemption is not usually the first step in the rites of passage of collecting miles and points, there will likely be a period of time when your partner sees the work, but not the reward. I recommend that during that time you just try to have the points collection impact them as little as possible. Don’t stuff their wallet with eight different credit cards and expect them to care about remembering which one is which. Just keep it very simple and understand why it can all seem crazy at first. Many folks have bought into the myth that miles and points are worthless, so it may take some time for them to see that doesn’t have to be the case.
Then make sure that they are a recipient of some early redemption success and see what happens. You may find that they are all smiles from there.