It’s a phenomenon I’ve observed over and over again: when Miles & Points enthusiasts try to get their significant others into the game in order to maximize their earnings in two-player mode, they’re often met with a fair bit of resistance and a healthy dose of skepticism from their partner.
If this situation describes you, then show this article to your significant other, and let’s see how convincing I can be…
Dear Skeptical Significant Other,
So, your loving partner has been really into the idea of “points” recently. Like, really into it. Perhaps you’ve even witnessed them spending hours on this very website, and you’ve wondered to yourself: What’s the big deal? What is this stuff all about? Why can’t they just spend this time unloading the dishwasher instead?
Your partner has been telling you about all the fancy adventures you’ll go on together – “free travel” this, “First Class” that – if only you’ll sign up for a new credit card or two.
But you’re not convinced.
Earning points through signup bonuses and redeeming them for heavily discounted travel – it can’t be that simple! There’s gotta be a catch, right? Surely your partner’s fallen for some sort of elaborate scam, and this “Prince of Travel” character must be of the Nigerian variety? 😉
Well, my girlfriend Jessica felt exactly the same way at the beginning, but ever since she got her first American Express card in 2015, we’ve been on some pretty incredible and life-changing adventures, including a winter trip to South East Asia, a two-week tour of Latin America, a summer trip to the World Cup in Russia, and a round-the-world tour of luxury hotels… all in business class or First Class!
This stuff works, and I’m living proof. If you have any aspirations to travel the world, or even if you simply would like to score big savings on your family vacations, Miles & Points can change the game dramatically.
Your partner has done the research and is very eager to get you guys set up, but they’re waiting for you to get on board. Well, let’s get on with it then!
It’s Understandable to Be Skeptical
Look, I get it. Signing up for dozens of credit card purely for the welcome bonuses, then cancelling the cards before the first year is up, then using those points for free travel… it feels a little sketchy.
After all, how many people in your circles are walking around with more than, say, three credit cards in their wallet? Probably very few of them. Opening and closing lots of credit cards isn’t exactly “normal” behaviour by any means, and that naturally puts you on high alert, as appealing as the thought of cheap luxurious travels around the world may be.
Moreover, you’ve probably been told your whole life stuff along the lines of “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!” And the thought of having your business class round-the-world flight subsidized by the credit card companies? That does sound too good to be true.
But take note of the word “probably”. Things that seem too good to be true often turn out to be scams, tricks, or swindles. Smoke and mirrors. A bamboozle of some sort.
And yet, not always. Sometimes – as in the case of collecting and redeeming points for travel at an excellent value – they represent are an opportunity that most people around you are missing.
Nothing Bad Will Happen to You
Now you’re thinking to yourself, “well, that’s exactly what a scammer, trickster, or swindler would say.” Fair enough. Let’s address your concerns head-on, then, and I’ll show you why they’re misplaced.
Most likely, you’re concerned that something bad will happen as a result of signing up for credit cards just for the points. Maybe you’ve heard that your credit score will enter a downward spiral if you keep opening and closing credit cards, or you’ll rack up huge interest charges and get fleeced by the credit card companies as a result of pursuing their rewards points.
I can assure you that nothing of the sort will happen, if you know what you’re doing!
First, let’s talk about credit scores. I’ve written extensively about this topic in the past, and you can click here for an in-depth rundown.
Essentially, though, while it might seem intuitive that applying for lots of credit cards can hurt your credit score, the reality is that the New Inquiries criterion only accounts for 10% of your overall credit score.
The vast majority of your score is in fact determined by three factors: Payment History (35%), and Utilization (30%), and Length of Credit History (15%).
How Your Credit Score Is Determined
So if you always pay your credit card bills on time, consistently allow your statements to close with no more than 30% of the credit limit being used (something that’s easily manageable), and in doing so build up the overall length of your credit history, then you’re already ensuring that 80% of your credit score is in excellent health.
The idea is that when you apply for a new credit card, your score might temporarily dip as a result of that 10% that’s assigned to New Inquiries, but over time, as you demonstrate responsible usage of the credit card by paying off your bills on time, the remaining 80% of your credit score will more than make up for that.
In fact, as a result of this effect being applied over time, not only do people who routinely open new credit cards get to take some incredible trips around the world, but they often end up with some of the highest credit scores out there in the high 700s and 800s!
Paying off your bills on time also means that there’s no chance of accumulating interest and getting hit with late fees. And since you’re simply putting the purchases you would’ve otherwise made onto the credit cards, you aren’t being tempted into spending more money either.
Overall, it’s fair to say that as long as you exercise prudence when you’re getting into Miles & Points, your quality of life is far more likely to be significantly better, not worse, as a result.
Your Partner Will Do All of the Work!
But what exactly does “prudence” entail?
Another viewpoint often espoused by Skeptical Significant Others is something along the lines of “this feels like a lot of work!” And indeed, I wouldn’t be providing a clear picture of Miles & Points if I didn’t mention the amount of work that must go into it behind the scenes.
You need to meticulously keep track of so many moving parts, such as the credit cards you have open, the minimum spending thresholds you must reach, your points balances in the various programs out there, all of your upcoming trips, and much, much more.
I call this “work”, but in reality it doesn’t feel like work at all if you like travelling and enjoy the challenge of putting together a spectacular trip.
But here’s the best part. YOU don’t need to relish the challenge at all, because if your partner is badgering you to play your part and get involved, then chances are THEY would be willing to put in all the work, and simply let you enjoy the fruits of their labour.
Your partner will be more than happy to stay on top of everything for the both you, from managing the credit card spreadsheets to hunting for business class availability for two. The only thing you will have to do is give your consent to sign up for a new credit card whenever the time comes, allow your partner to speak on behalf of you when it’s necessary to contact the call centre, and answer questions like “Would you rather fly Japan Airlines First Class for their champagne, or ANA First Class for their whisky?”
(My girlfriend Jessica has this down to a tee. Her involvement is limited to giving me the OK on new credit card applications, letting me know which new destination around the world is tugging at her heartstrings, and showing up at the airport, dressed to the nines, ready to sip her welcome champagne in Seat 1A.)
So yes, taking advantage of Miles & Points to travel the world is something that requires a fair bit of work. But with your partner willing to put in the time and effort, you really don’t have to lift a finger in order to travel the world in luxury in a manner that most people can only dream of.
Do you even realize how lucky you are? Go ahead, get your credit card applications sorted out, then give your partner a hug and tell them how much you appreciate them. 😉
Remember, your partner loves you, only wants the best for you, and is always looking to make some lasting memories together with you. And believe me when I tell you that the trips I’ve taken thanks to Miles & Points have given me some of the memories that I cherish the most.
With points, you have the freedom to travel anywhere in the world in whichever fashion you desire, and that’s a powerful thing. Your partner has laid the groundwork, and needs you to be fully onboard in order to unlock the full potential that’s waiting here for both of you. Are you ready to help out the team?