fbpx
To All the Skeptical Significant Others… Ricky February 19, 2019

To All the Skeptical Significant Others…

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? 😉

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. 

Air-Canada-Business-Class-12.jpeg

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.

IMG_0153.JPG

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. 😉

Conclusion

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?

Top Offers

American Express Business Platinum Card

75,000 American Express Membership Rewards points
upon spending $7,000 in the first three months

  • 1.25x MR points on all purchases
  • Points transfer to Aeroplan and British Airways Avios at a 1:1 ratio
  • Unlimited Priority Pass access
  • Marriott Gold Elite status
Signup bonus
75,000 MR points
Annual fee
$499
8 Comments
  1. Avatar
    johnm

    I love sharing a great deal but surprisingly VERY few people whom I discuss this with are even remotely interested. Of all the people I’ve talked to, I only know of one person who has definitely started churning.

  2. Avatar
    Annie

    Thank you for writing this out. ???? My SO always say ‘why you keep destroying your credit score?’ whenever I apply for a new credit card. We already went on 2 trips from my points alone, finally he agreed to apply for the first AmEx a year ago. However it hurted his 800+ credit score down to 758 with only this application, everything else was normal. I kind of hesitate to ask him for next credit card.
    Honestly, as long as my SO appreciates all my hard work and enjoys traveling with me, I don’t mind doing all the hard work by my own ????

    1. Avatar
      Sunny

      It shouldn’t take too long for his score to rebound. Once he sees that it does rebound, he’ll probably be more on board.

  3. Avatar
    JL

    I have a different opinion.
    I think people should not ask others, including family members, to come onboard and play this game, unless they ask first.
    People have different values and different travel styles, and one should not force another to change that.
    I am a big fan of points and miles myself, and I put big effort into collecting them, but IMHO there is nothing uglier than someone obsessed with points & miles asking someone else to help collect more points & miles.
    Just play within your own boundaries and don’t bother anyone with it.
    That way, you won’t become too obsessed and you won’t hurt the eco-system too much to contribute to devaluations. 🙂

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      More than fair. I think when it comes to your significant other, it’s reasonable to prod them a little to help out the team, especially if you’ll be travelling together. In most "two-player mode" couples, there was one person who took the lead and encouraged the other to get involved in the first place.

      For extended family and friends, I agree with you – it’s poor form to push credit cards on others. Instead, wait for them to ask you how on earth you travel so much, and then show them the ways 🙂

  4. Avatar
    Dana

    So envious. My partner, even if he was game, has horrible credit from a divorce so it’s up to me to earn points for us both. Though mostly I travel alone as he’s not remotely as interested in travel as I am so it kind of works out as most of the time I just need the points for me. The upside is that finding an award seat for one is much easier than for two.

  5. Avatar
    Jerry

    Good one
    Problem is – what if your S.O. doesn’t even want to travel? LOL, that’s the bigger issue

    Every travel means packing, unpacking at hotel, possibly wash/cook depending on the duration, come home tired and still need to unpack and wash all the clothes. It does catch up as we get older (and kids, don’t even start)

    1. Avatar
      Dana

      Can sort of relate. My SO has flight anxiety and hasn’t flown in probably 15 years, not to mention he’s not that intetested in travel anyway
      So that means I travel alone or with a friend. He’s willing to try to work on the anxiety but the reality is he may never be ready for a long-haul flight. Hard sometimes for this travel-lover to swallow.

Ricky

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have an Account? Click here to Login