14 Nov Stop Collecting Points & Miles!

I’ve seen London and I’ve seen France, and I’ve ordered room service from the Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam in my underpants. Each place I travel produces new memories and fantastic stories to tell. My travel rewards points and frequent flyer miles are the currencies that make it all possible!


Paris made possible with points & miles!

And while I appreciate all that travel rewards and frequent flyer miles have done for me, I hate collecting them and hate having them.

You heard me right – I do not like having points and I do not like having miles! I am not a collector of points and miles and feel much more comfortable when my reward balances are low! The closer to zero the better…

Points & miles aren’t what they used to be…

The value of travel reward currencies is constantly declining.The points that you have today will not be worth the same tomorrow. Points collectors subject themselves to reward program devaluations and ultimately, to disappointment.

Calling all points collectors – The US dollar is not the only currency subject to inflation… travel rewards face constant inflation and devaluation!

The US Dollar inflation rate over the past 10 years...

The US Dollar inflation rate over the past 10 years…

For example, the recent change to the American Airlines Award Chart. Earlier this year I could fly round-trip from the US to Asia Region 1 (i.e. Japan) during off-peak dates for a very reasonable 50,000 AAdvantage miles. Then came the adjustment to the AA Award Chart on March 22, 2016 and BAM! Now that same award will cost me 65,000 AAdvantage miles! Not a crazy increase, but if you were planning this award for 2 that difference is 30,000 miles and may be just out of reach of your AAdvantage miles collection!

The new AA Award Chart shows the higher redemption rates!

The new AA Award Chart shows the higher redemption rates! of 32,500 per one-way!

And while American Airlines provided us ample notice in order to adjust our travel plans prior to the change, airlines are not always so transparent in their award chart adjustments… e’hem Alaska Airlines!

FYI – Hotels may be even worse in their efforts to devalue their currencies and prevent reward members from taking advantage of preferable redemption rates. If you are a hotel reward points collector (you know how you are), STOP! Redeem your points and see the world before it’s too late!

My Points Strategy – Direct from the AYP Starter Guide!

While I hate having points, I LOVE earning them and redeeming them to achieve my travel dreams! I don’t collect points and miles, I collect travel memories. Millions of unused points and millions of unredeemed miles do nothing to add to my collection of travel memories!


Earn ‘em & Burn ‘em!

Congratulations on earning all of those points and miles… Now put them to use! Have you ever heard people say that your car depreciates as soon as you drive it off the lot? The same concept applies to points and miles, as they can lose value based on the actions of hotel chains and airline programs. Whether they announce it or not, hotel chains and airline programs can and will increase the cost of point redemption, which means in the future you may need to use more points and miles per hotel night or flight, thereby causing your points and miles to lose value. So don’t get attached to all those points and miles you have in your accounts and take my advice – Earn ‘em & Burn ‘em!

This Earn and Burn strategy is the ultimate solution to constant decreases in reward value! Earn your points and miles and redeem them for future travel as soon as your point balances meet your redemption need. Keeping a short time-window between earning and redeeming limits exposure to point devaluation and maximizes your travel opportunities!

Final Thought

I love a good collection. Each place I visit I make sure that I pick up a postcard to add to my collection. I have accumulated hundreds of postcards over the years and I love looking back through them and reminiscing on the experiences that came with them.

Postcards Pic - AYP

Going somewhere!? Send me a postcard!

Be a collector of postcards and memories! Don’t be a points and miles collector!

Points devalue. Miles devalue. Memories last a lifetime! Your points and miles will help you experience all that this wonderful world has to offer, you just have to let them!

Happy [Earn and Burn] Travels!



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