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Well, I Thought I Was the Miles and Points Expert in the Family…

I’ve mentioned before that I try not to bring up the topic of credit cards and especially my affiliate links IRL. I certainly don’t want to be known as one of those relatives who is constantly peddling her “wares” to friends and family.


Image courtesy of Mister GC at

For the most part, very few come to me for miles and points advice, which is fine. This hobby isn’t some sort of religion, and I’m not saving anyone with my message on the blog. I’m happy to help when someone approaches me, but I don’t get pushy with my “good news.”

Some  will ask questions now and again, but mostly prefer to do this hobby on their own. I respect that too. Obviously, I do mention the fact that I make money on credit card applications. Why give it to the bank instead of me?

But it’s a very tricky situation and one has to tread lightly when it comes to family and affiliate links. Just because they are friends or relatives doesn’t mean they owe you a click regardless of how much free advice you have provided. Not even if it happens to be the best offer available. It would be much better to charge a consulting fee with no strings attached. Awkward? Sure. But it would set boundaries  and help avoid any misunderstanding down the road.

This blog is my business in which I’ve invested a lot of time, energy and  money. It has even caused problems in my marriage and made  me  neglect  kids on occasion. So, yeah, opportunity cost is very real indeed.

That said, none of it justifies doing lasting damage to relationship with friends or relatives. Unfortunately,  I know I’ve made some mistakes in this area and feelings were hurt as a result. The older I get, the more I realize that family and business are like oil and vinegar. They just don’t mix very well.


You bought IHG points for how much?!

Some of my relatives really should come to me for advice, though. My sister-in-law, I’m looking at you! Remember how I said  that I plan to burn our IHG points before seeking to collect any more of them? Well, just a few days ago, I found out that my sister-in-law has recently bought 100K IHG points. Bought! No, it wasn’t through Daily Getaways sale, but via 100% bonus promotion from IHG, so the points ended up costing something like 0.63 cents each.

The crazy thing is that we would have been better off doing mattress runs via recent Accelerate promo. I’ve done some calculations and assuming everything would work out as planned  (not a guarantee, of course), we could get points for around 0.3 cents each. That’s about half of what my sister-in-law paid for them.

I asked her why she would do something like that, and her response was: “Well, it looked like a really good deal!” IHG sent her an email with an offer she couldn’t refuse. Well, yeah, when a dealership is trying to sell a car for $100K, and they discount it 50%, it may be a good deal, but it’s still  $50K. Can somebody shoot me?

How hard is it to call your sister-in-law who BLOGS ABOUT MILES AND POINTS?

Bottom line

Bloggers (including yours truly) are here to help. Please, feel free to email me at or comment on Ask a Question section of my site. I will be more than happy to give suggestions. I don’t claim to have answers to every single question, but will do some research. Also, check out my Free Consulting Page Yes, it really is free!

Value of miles and points is very subjective, but in general, if loyalty program is selling them regularly for a certain price, then it’s not that hot of a deal.

Above else, please, do your own research. Just because the offer is described as being the best thing since sliced bread, doesn’t mean it really is. And whatever you do, don’t speculatively buy IHG points for 0.63 cents each when you have hundreds of thousands of them already.

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Author: Leana

Leana is the owner and founder of Miles For Family. She enjoys beach vacations and visiting her family in Europe. Originally from Belarus, Leana resides in central Florida with her husband and two children.

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10 thoughts on “Well, I Thought I Was the Miles and Points Expert in the Family…

  1. The good things is now she’s forced to travel somewhere! Time for a post on where to stay if you have enough points for a stay in the highest category IHG. I could be a series across chains!

    • @Cheapblackdad Well, we will probably burn the points next year on a road trip. My problem is with buying them speculatively and for such a high price. Yikes! Believe me, she travels plenty, with or without points.
      Oh, and we don’t burn points on highest categories…ever. That’s what the renewal IHG certs are for. Stay tuned.

      • Given she got .63cpp, she needs to go big or go home on this redemption. String it together with the renewal certs for a nice long stay on an island.

  2. Too bad the last few rounds of Pointbreaks lists have been mostly meh!

    I know someone who has a Capital One Venture card and thinks highly of it, but then complains about never having enough miles in that program to use for a given trip. It’s basically just a cash back card, except, you get the best value when redeeming that cash back for travel. For pure cash back, I think there are better options out there like Citi Double Cash. But because they market it as “miles” people get all googly-eyed like they are gonna be rolling in free tickets or something. I have mentioned the real mile/points signup bonus game to this person but this person has zero interest in such cards because it’s “too complicated”. To each his own, I guess.

    • @Erik So true! I can’t figure out why anyone would keep Cap. Venture Rewards past the first year. It makes no sense. But many people renew it and brag about their free travel to family and friends. The whole “miles” angle is completely false, just like you said. Citi Double Cash gets 2% on everything, with no annual fee. And it gives you actual cash back that you can spend as you please. Total no-brainer if you have to choose between the two.

    • @Caveman Unfortunately, not that I’m aware of. I even did a quick Google search, but nothing came up. The best thing to do, of course, is to convert from a Citi card you no longer need. Well, if they let you. Otherwise, you would have to use up a hard pull.

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