Help! Points & Miles Two-Player Mode With A Reluctant Partner

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Help! Points & Miles Two-Player Mode With A Reluctant Partner

Help! Points & Miles Two-Player Mode With A Reluctant Partner

Are you in “two-player mode” for points & miles, but you’ve got a reluctant partner? You’re gung-ho, but the other person doesn’t want to put in effort? Always getting into arguments when you need your partner to do a reconsideration call or retention call? Here are some things you can do to make points & miles simpler in two-player mode–especially if your spouse/partner is not an eager participant.

Make A Script

One of the most difficult parts of points & miles two-player mode is that one person typically is much more involved in this hobby. One person understands the finer details, makes the plans, submits the applications, etc. There are still times the 2nd person must be involved, and that includes phone calls for various reasons.

My wife LOATHES these phone calls. First, English isn’t her native language. Second, we all know the quality in these calls is never great, making it difficult for anyone to understand the phone rep. The reps often mumble or talk really fast, which makes it even worse.

We find that making a script and practicing the phone call in advance is really helpful. I type out exactly what my wife should say. Why is she calling? What account is it related to? What reference numbers are needed? Type all of this into a Word document and have it on the screen of your computer. Shuffling through multiple sheets of paper can be cumbersome, but one simple note with everything necessary/nothing unnecessary makes it simpler.

With the script and any necessary documents at hand (driver’s license, the card you’re calling about, etc.), you’re ready to call. Being in front of the computer also means that I can type info for my wife to see during the call, such as what the person on the phone is asking about. My wife has a bad memory for numbers, so this helps when they ask identity verification questions about our previous addresses, for example.

Hand Over The Phone

It’s also possible that the primary person in the couple can handle the phone call. You have to get started, obviously. You may need to go through the “psych up” and preparation rituals, but after identity verification, you can do this. “Can you please talk to my husband, Ryan? He handles our finances.” This helps us. They will ask some verification questions to get authorization on the recorded phone call, but giving the phone to the person more involved and more knowledgeable is helpful when you’re in points & miles two-player mode.

Use Amex Account Manager in points & miles two player mode

Account Manager

Mark previously talked about setting up “Account Manager” privileges with Amex. Once your partner has accounts opened and activated, you can set this up in their online account. After confirming account manager privileges, the spouse/partner can take the approved actions on the account. Remember that closing the account is a privilege only belonging to the person whose name is on the card. This means your partner still needs to participate in retention/account closing calls.

Use Online Chat / Messages

I love using online chat / secure messages with banks. With your partner’s permission, you can log in and send messages / chat in real time to ask questions about the account. Confirming how much you’ve spent towards earning the bonus from a welcome offer, changing statement dates, and more can all be accomplished this way.

Combine Points

When speaking of two-player mode, don’t forget that your points & miles can be combined in some programs. This also makes things simpler for a reluctant partner, because everything can be managed in 1 account. Rather than making separate bookings from 2 different accounts, combining into a family pool of points and making 1 booking for both of us makes life easier. Use points pooling/sharing capabilities to help simplify everything. Amex rules on sharing with Authorized Users are here as an example.

Final Thoughts

Points & miles in two-player mode has a lot of things that are awesome. You can rack up 2 people’s worth of hotel nights while only needing 1 room. That’s a great example of the joys of two-player mode. However, having a partner who is reluctant to participate can make it difficult. Using these strategies can help make things smoother for everyone involved.

What are your strategies with a reluctant partner? What works for you?

Ryan S
Travel hacker in 2-player mode, intent on visiting every country in the world, and can say "hello" or "how much does this cost?" in a bunch of different languages.

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4 COMMENTS

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4 COMMENTS

  1. I’d rather pay the annual fee (AF), then give my wife the phone to talk to those people. She speaks English like a native (Brooklynite). 😉

    DH

  2. Spouse is willing but just doesn’t have the stomach for the hardcore retention calls or Chase reconsideration calls. I do wish The banks would honor the account manager role for everything except permission to close. We always have to go through some version of primary on the call even with me as acct mgr.

  3. In limited ways I am into the P1/P2 game, mostly to keep my spouse’s credit rating alive and well, doing that by grabbing great SUBs putting one or at most two cards in her name. It’s also a smart estate planning approach (sort of) in that we all die, and you want to make sure she/he has instant access to credit lines should access to other assets be delayed. Otherwise our P2 activity is grabbing authorized user accounts when there is an offer for bonuses based on adding AU. With Covid, the extra time has allowed for pondering more intense approach, and I’ve found that my frank, “We need to do this is you want to do that (travel…)…” reality check is what moves us forward. She knows that we’ve traveled on what otherwise would have been impossible trips given the benefits of our efforts. I also have started to create a detailed tracking spreadsheet on everything financial, which miles/points fits under; and with access to that spreadsheet I’ve found that makes her more comfortable being able to see what is happening, where we have footprint, etc. She also handles the monthly receipts-to-statements work that is needed, which helps her be aware and that awareness seems to help too.

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