Do You Ever Pay For Everyday Things With Points? Why You Should Consider It!

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Using Miles & Points To Pay Everyday Expenses

Using Miles & Points To Pay Everyday Expenses

Calm down and back away from the troll button, I am not talking about turning points into cash or gift cards.  You can relax, I hope you know that I can think a little more outside of the box than that!

We all know that travel presents the best redemption for our miles and points, unless Amazon and Hilton get together again that is.  But how can we get that travel level redemption to pay for regular things? Is it even possible? Yes it is! Using miles & points to pay everyday expenses is possible for some services.


Let’s get the easy one out of the way shall we? Most of us have given travel as a gift to friends and family.  I honestly haven’t bought a birthday or Christmas present for my extended family in years because of it.  I book them hotels for family trips to Orlando or flights for my sister and her son to check out NYC with me and my son etc.  My parents flights home for the holidays are usually their gift from me.  I have even given a weekend in Portland Maine as wedding gift.

I like giving the gift of travel because it usually ends up bringing friends and family together to experience something special.  But I also like sharing my love of travel with others.  Most (all) of my family does not play the game so they don’t get to travel as much as they would like.  The other great thing…it doesn’t cost me any dollar dollar bills y’all.

Using Miles & Points To Pay Everyday Expenses

Other Options

So this gift idea is great and we have all done it but have you ever taken it further? What about trying to barter with someone that you normally pay?

Do you have a personal trainer?  Or do you think they are too expensive?  Have you ever approached one and said, is there anywhere you want or need to travel to?  Would you be willing to give free sessions and I’ll book the trip for you?  I don’t think you would need to look very long to find one that says yes.

See the thing is most people really want to travel more but they can’t afford to.  But if they could work off the cost of travel without taking money out of their actual pocket their ears perk up.  It is technically the same thing as you paying them and then them booking the trip but our minds are weird.  If you never held the money did you really spend the money?  People are funny that way.

Here are some other things you could try to pay for with your miles and points.  This does require some social skills and is easier if you already have a relationship with the person.

  • Babysitting
  • Painters
  • Movers
  • Plumbers
  • Handy Work
  • Yard Work
  • Hair Cut
  • Tutoring
  • Music Lessons

Any service work you can think of could probably be covered.  Is your friend’s husband a plumber and you know they want to take the kids to Disney?  Tell them you will book the flights or hotel or both for some work you need done.

Do you have a friend that works for Disney or Universal?  Book them a flight home for some free passes etc. There are really a lot of possibilities out there.

Final Thoughts

This takes you knowing people and having social skills.  That is a non starter for some but for most we can figure out some of these things.  It is like six degrees of Kevin Bacon, we pretty much know someone or know someone who knows someone that can take care of what we need.  You just need to try to barter with them.

Your cost to acquire those points is a heck of a lot cheaper than the cash you would have to pay them to do the work.  So why not give the gift of travel, get the stuff done that you need to get done and keep a lot of green in your pocket!  That is what I call a win-win.

Has anyone else done this?  Share your experience in the comments below.

Mark Ostermann
Mark Ostermann is a father, husband and miles/points fanatic. He left the corporate world after starting a family in order to be a stay at home dad. Mark is constantly looking at ways to save money and stay within budget while also taking awesome vacations with his family. When he isn't caring for his family or taking a weekend trip, Mark is working towards his goal of visiting every Major League Baseball ballpark.

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  1. When I saw the headline, I thought “don’t drink the bong water”. After reading further, I’d say that you either have to be big on ms or be sitting on a whole lot of points and miles. Still a frightening headline. Go easy on us next time.

      • I’d say a ton more points, at least for airfare. If you say “I’ll fly you to ___” and can’t find Saver availability, you’re gonna either disappoint or be out a Standard award (and not even those are available on all airlines/in all cases). I guess you could offer it with a huge asterisk, but that requires a pretty close relationship with a flexible and understanding recipient. Kind of a big gamble, unless you give expensive gifts or are absolutely flush with points.

        I’d rather transfer hotel points to them instead. The learning curve is not bad, so they can book it themselves; and availability is better, so they’re less likely to be disappointed. I also won’t look like an ass/be out a ton of points when the 3 flights from their airport are all unavailable at the Saver level. And not only do I know from the start how many points I’m giving, but I also have a better idea of what they’re worth, as valuations tend to be similar across properties (unlike airline miles, which vary wildly across routes/dates).

        • In the past when I have done flights I have asked for several date options so that I could find saver space. But sometimes it may not work and I agree the hotel route is easier all around.

  2. Ahhh.. but here’s the rub. If you book them a seat in F and the retail price for that is $10,000, is that the value you expect to get from them in return?

      • I’ve done this before. My lady’s close friend needed a flight but the cash fare was prohibitive. I found a saver-level mileage redemption that worked. She offered to pay me what she would have willingly paid for the flight (which worked out to ~2 cpm). I cut her a deal, to just give me ~1.5 cpm which is somewhere between what I can get miles for (~1.3-1.35 cpm) and what TPG values them at (~1.6-1.7 cpm). Made a small profit and she got the flights she needed.

  3. I’ve actually offered to buy points from people at work. They’ve all turned me down. Fair prices too. Seems everyone wants to hang onto them.


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