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Every now and then, I see a blog post or a post on a forum about the number of miles and points people own at any given time. And frequently, those balances are close to or over a million points.
I’m always surprised at this because I never have that large of a balance. But, it doesn’t mean I’m doing something wrong. Here is my situation:
I Have Five People in my Family
On most trips, my entire family of five is traveling. I know that makes us unusual in the “miles and points” community. But, it takes a lot of miles and points for flights and hotels for five people! On our trip to Australia and New Zealand two years ago, we spent 425,000 points on the flights for economy class.
Now that my kids are older, we don’t try to squeeze into one hotel room anymore. So, if we opt for a hotel instead of a rental house, we need to shell out the points for two rooms. Whatever miles and points balance we have depletes quickly with our redemptions.
Devaluations Happen All the Time
In the miles and points world, inflation and devaluations happen all the time. Expect them. The points you own today will be worth more now than they will in a year. Take the recent Southwest Airlines points devaluation, for example. While the points are not by any means “worthless” now, their value is slightly lower. And every year, most hotel brands announce a list of properties that are going up in points price.
I don’t want to own a million miles that keep depreciating in value. It makes no sense for my family.
Points Are Worth Nothing If You Don’t Spend Them!
Miles and points are not trophies or status symbols. If you don’t use them, they are worth nothing. If you have too many that you can’t possibly spend yourself, give them to me! (Ha!) But seriously, you can use them to book travel for friends and family. Or, you can donate them.
I’ve been accumulating airline miles over the past year (nowhere near a million) that I’m hoping to spend on flights to Europe as soon as the booking window opens for my dates. They are burning a hole in my pocket right now.
I realize that for most people, it’s been hard to spend points because of the pandemic. So, many folks are sitting on more miles and points right now than they are used to. Also for some, it makes sense to have an emergency stash of points to use if you have family that lives far away and you need to fly to them in an emergency. Every family’s situation is different.
Nancy lives near Dallas, Texas, with her husband and three kids. Her favorite vacations include the beach, cruising and everything Disney.