An interesting thought and one I’ve often wondered about: How do we get our parents or grandparents to let loose on some of their outstanding and unused credit for miles and points — for their enjoyment and possibly our own?
I don’t know about your family but growing up, I can’t tell you the number of times I was asked by a family member: “What do you want for Christmas? your birthday? graduation?”
|Hawaii from the air, photo by Andrew Ingersoll|
What if you answered: “A trip to Hawaii and it won’t cost you a thing.” Or: ” Can I have two to five points off your credit score? I promise you’ll get them back.”
Very few of us would ever expect, or even ask, a family member to pay for a ticket to Hawaii for us. But what about if you show them how to earn the miles to give us a ticket? I’ve been doing it for my kids as long as I can remember. I’ve always been a believer that giving someone an “experience” is far more valuable than a “thing.” Anybody see where this is going? And it only costs me 2-5 points on my credit score.
Many of our elder family members have credit scores “through the roof,” so to speak. And in their mature years there may be little or no need for additional credit in many families. That great credit score just sits there waiting to be tapped and put to good use. But how to approach the topic? I’m not touching that one with a 10-foot pole other than in my own family. But, it is something each one of us should at least think about: Giving experiences not possessions.
How would this play out in your family?
If you are the older generation of the family: How would you react if one of your children answered your question with: “A Trip to Hawaii and it won’t cost you a thing” or “two points on your credit score?” Would you listen or blow off the question as unreasonable or unattainable? I’ve bought one honeymoon, four graduation trips, and so many birthday, Christmas, and job interview/audition tickets I can’t count them all. Will those of you in the older generation now consider this as a gift-giving experience? “Teach a kid to travel hack and they’ll travel for a lifetime.”
And if you are the younger generation: Could you answer the inquiry that way or name another location you’d really like to see, being fully aware of what was involved in getting your parents/grandparents to earn the miles then using the miles and points involved? You’d have some teaching and handholding to do. And you’d have to accept the responsibility for “closing out the position” upon completion.
I’d love to hear from those of you who have had this conversation from whichever side you were on. I’m sure we will all learn something from your past and present experiences.