Get the Whole Family Involved in Collecting Miles & Points!

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Are you looking for more ways to boost your frequent flyer account?

Get The Whole Family Involved In Collecting Miles Points

Collecting Miles & Points Is Fun for the Whole Family!

Your family can help you accumulate more points!  Find out how to get them involved and how it can benefit everyone!

What Are the Benefits?

Aside from earning their own miles and making it easier to take incredible trips, there are several other great benefits to getting your family in the game.

Note:   Do NOT sign-up family members (or anyone) for credit cards without their permission.  This is illegal!

1.   Everyone Learns How to Manage Credit Responsibly

Creating a budget and managing your personal finances is the key to earning Big Travel with Small Money.  It’s also an important life skill that’s not often taught in schools.

Get The Whole Family Involved In Collecting Miles Points

Miles & Points Is a Great Opportunity to Teach Your Kids About Personal Finance

2.   Top Off Your Account

Sometimes you’re a few thousand miles or points short of your next award flight or hotel stay.  When your family members participate in the hobby, you can transfer points between accounts.

You can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points between your account and your spouse or domestic partner’s account.

With American Express Membership Rewards points, you’ll have to use this trick.

Check out my posts, 11 Airlines That Allow You to Share Miles and Why and How to Transfer Hotel Points Between Accounts, for more ways your family can share points.

3.   Share Perks

Along with sharing points, you can share fantastic perks such as elite status.

Emily and I alternate earning the Southwest Companion Pass each year, which has enabled 1 of us to travel on Southwest for close to free, 4 years in a row.

Get The Whole Family Involved In Collecting Miles Points

Fly the Family to Phoenix for Cheaper With Your Southwest Companion Pass

You can also share hotel perks.  For instance, with the Citi Hilton Reserve or AMEX Hilton Surpass cards, you get free Hilton Gold status.  This includes free internet and free breakfast, which is a convenient benefit that anyone staying with you or booked on an award stay under your account can enjoy.

So you could get by with only 1 person in the family signing-up for a Hilton card.  That means everyone else can save their credit inquiries for other credit card deals that come along.

Similarly, there are several airline credit cards that come with priority boarding and free checked bags, which are great perks you can share with family.

Get The Whole Family Involved In Collecting Miles Points

A Family of 4 Can Save up to $200 on a Round-Trip Flight When You Book With Your AMEX Delta Gold Card

For example, when you sign-up for Chase United Explorer Plus card you’ll get free checked bags for you and your travel companion and priority boarding.

Certain cards also give you free access to airport lounges and allow you to bring your travel companions.

Get The Whole Family Involved In Collecting Miles Points

Relax With Complimentary Snacks, Drinks, and Wi-Fi With 2 Guests (or Immediate Family Members) When You Have the Citi American Airlines Executive Card

For instance, with the Citi American Airlines Executive card, you get access to American Airlines and US Airways lounges and you can invite up to 2 guests to join you.

4.   Increase Your Limits

Even if certain family members are resistant to the idea of signing-up for credit cards, they can still help.

By signing-up for prepaid cards like American Express Bluebird and Serve, your aunts, uncles, sisters, brothers, etc., can increase your daily and month load limits.

Your cautious family members don’t have to worry about taking a hit to their credit score, because prepaid cards don’t require a credit pull.

And it still helps you meet the minimum spending requirements  That’s because AMEX Bluebird and Serve have a load limit of $2,500 per day and $5,000 per month.  With 2 cards, you can load $2,500 twice per day!

Kids Can Help Too!

The minimum age banks require for credit cards is 18 to 21 years old.  However, there are still lots of ways your kids can help out!

1.   Set Them Up With Their Own Frequent Flyer Accounts

Make sure your kids have airline rewards accounts!  So whenever they take a paid flight, they will earn miles.

Get The Whole Family Involved In Collecting Miles Points

You’re Never Too Young to Have a Frequent Flyer Account

2.   Authorized Users

You can also add your child as an authorized user on your credit card account.  The age requirement for authorized user accounts varies by bank:

  • American Express – 15 years old
  • Bank of America – 18 years old
  • Barclays – No minimum age requirement
  • Chase – No minimum age requirement
  • Citibank – No minimum age requirement
  • US Bank – No minimum age requirement

Opening an authorized user account helps your kids begin to build credit.  Not only does it prepare your kids for adulthood by starting them out with a good credit score, it also teaches them responsibility.

And of course you can get some benefits too!  Authorized users can help you meet minimum spending requirements.  Plus sometimes banks offer a bonus for adding an authorized user.

But once they’re added, the entire payment history of the card is added to their credit score.  Of course, this is only good if you, as the primary account holder, have a great credit history!

Get The Whole Family Involved In Collecting Miles Points

Please Do NOT Add Your Kid to Your Account If You Don’t Pay Your Bills on Time!

Also keep in mind that you’re ultimately responsible for the charges on the account!

If you don’t think your child is ready, you can still add them, just don’t hand over the actual card!  And if something goes wrong, you can typically close an authorized user account with a quick phone call to the bank.

3.   Bluebird or Serve Sub-Account

A good warm-up to a credit card authorized user account is opening a sub-account for your teen on your AMEX Bluebird or Serve card.

Get The Whole Family Involved In Collecting Miles Points

AMEX Serve and Bluebird Sub-Account Holders Must Be at Least 13 Years Old

You can add up to 4 sub-accounts.

By setting-up 1 of these accounts for your teen, you can help them learn how to budget.  You control how much money they have in their account and can monitor their spending habits.  You can also remove money from sub-accounts if your teen is not acting responsibly.

The bonus is that sub-accounts can also register for AMEX Offers!  That’s more free money for you!

How to Motivate Your Family to Help Collect Miles & Points!

Collecting miles and points is very rewarding!  However, it takes some work and benefits aren’t instant.  You have to stay organized, up-to-date on news, and track everything.  So some folks lose interest.

Here are some tips for getting your family just as excited about collecting miles as you are:

Make It Easy

1.   Start With Smaller Tasks

Don’t lay everything on them at once.  Instead, you could divide up tasks.

One person can read the daily points news, another can track account balances and payment due dates, while another can be in charge of meeting minimum spending requirements (it’s a tough job ;)).

Get The Whole Family Involved In Collecting Miles Points

Keep to the Right When Introducing Family to This Hobby!

2.   Set Goals That Are Easy to Reach

Starting out with the Southwest Companion Pass is a nice way to get your family hooked on this hobby.

That’s because you only need to sign-up for two 50,000 point Southwest cards (when this offer is available) and earn 6,000 points to get ~$3,000 worth of free travel on Southwest!

Get The Whole Family Involved In Collecting Miles Points

Create a Target That’s Exciting and Hard to Miss

Or you could sign-up for the Citi Hilton Reserve card and earn 2 free weekend nights after spending $2,500 on purchases within 4 months of opening your account.  You can use your free nights at almost any Hilton hotel!

For the shoppers in your family, they could sign-up for a card like the AMEX Premier Rewards Gold card and earn cash back when they shop by taking advantage of AMEX Offers.

Make It Fun!

1.   Give Them a Preview

Show your family fun pictures of dream destinations or take them on a short trip to show where they can travel for cheap.

Get The Whole Family Involved In Collecting Miles Points

Wouldn’t Walt Disney World Be a Fun Family Trip!?

2.   Turn It Into a Competition

You may motivate some competitive family members by turning it into a game.  Perhaps whoever contributes the most gets to choose the next hotel, airline, or even vacation destination.

Get The Whole Family Involved In Collecting Miles Points

Oh, You Wanna Go to Hawaii? Then You’ve Got to Help Earn the Points, Grandma!

Make Sure Your Family Is Aware of the Risks

It’s important that you and your family understand the risks associated with getting involved in this hobby!

1.   Credit Score Impact

Your credit score goes down ~5 points when you apply for new credit cards.  This is a temporary impact that usually begins to fall off after 6 months.

So I recommend folks avoid getting into this hobby if they plan on taking out a major loans (home, car, or student) within the next 2 years.   That’s because getting the lowest possible interest on a long-term long can save you more money over time than you can save using miles and points.

However, over the long-term many folks see a boost in their credit score when they pay their bills on-time.

2.  Debt

Rewards credit cards sometimes come with an interest rate that is higher than what you can get with other cards.

If you don’t pay your bills in full and on-time each month you’ll pay lots of interest.  And the interest you pay will likely outweigh any benefit you get from collecting miles.

Not paying your bills could also leave you in debt.  That’s a hole that can be hard to dig yourself out of!

Bottom Line

Collecting miles and points is a fun and exciting hobby with amazing rewards!  But it’s even better when you can share it with your family!

Getting the entire family involved can make it easier to earn more miles and take some of the responsibilities such as tracking spending and meeting minimum spending requirements off your plate.

Your kids can also participate!  Plus, it’s the perfect opportunity to teach them about personal finance and help them build good credit.

But you must be able to handle credit responsibly.  And I suggest taking a break from applying for new credit cards when you have a major loan coming up within the next 2 years.

Has your family taken an interest in miles & points?  If so, how have you worked together to make your dream vacation become a reality?

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Editorial Disclaimer: Neither the responses below nor the editorial content on this page are provided or commissioned by the bank advertisers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertisers. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the bank advertisers. It is not the bank advertisers’ responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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5 responses to “Get the Whole Family Involved in Collecting Miles & Points!

  1. Can companies like Chase see exactly what you purchase with your credit card? For instance, if you purchase gift cards at Staples do they see what you bought or only that you purchased goods at Staples and the amount that they were for? Thanks.

  2. I was just telling my husband I can’t wait until my daughter turns 18. Only 3 years and 3 months to go!!

  3. Hey Darius,

    As always…thanks for your blog. It is really appreciated.

    I have a question about opening new credit accounts and a home loan. I will be relocating to U.S. in July from South Africa and will potentially be looking at purchasing a home thereafter. My credit scores are 765 and 752. I also really want to sign up for a couple of new accounts in June to take advantage of the spending for relocating. What are your thoughts on how much this would affect interest rates on a home loan if at all? How great of an effect would this have?

    This is a big deal because I’d like to rely on miles and points as much as I can in the years to come to travel back and forth between South Africa and the U.S.

  4. @Andrew I actually recently came upon an article about this in a different travel blog.

    According to them, it depends on your credit score and your situation. To qualify for the best morgage rates you usually need a credit score of at least 740, but having an even higher score (760 and above) doesn’t make any difference in the rate. If your credit score is in the upper 700s or above, you can still open credit cards as normal EXCEPT during prequalification and closing the deal (which takes about 2 weeks). But if you are sitting around 740 you may not want to apply for new credit card applications until after you’ve closed.

    This is the article I read:
    http://thepointsguy.com/2015/04/credit-card-strategies-for-mortgage-and-home-loan-applicants/

  5. @ Jessica,

    Thanks so much for the information. That’s very helpful!