TPG readers reveal the best points and miles redemptions they’ve made for other people

Dec 8, 2019

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We recently asked our TPG Lounge readers about the best points and miles redemptions they’ve ever made for other people, the times when they’ve shared the love and treated their family and friends to a special flight or hotel stay. Here’s a look at some of our favorite answers. (Some responses have been lightly edited for style and clarity).

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Gifting entire trips on points and miles

Get ready for all the feels — this has to be the most heartwarming post I’ve worked on in a long time. Here’s how some of our generous TPG Lounge members have used their hard-earned points and miles to help their family and friends see the world.

“I once booked two round-trip tickets and corresponding stays at the Sheraton Moscow for good friends that were adopting a child from Russia.” — David O.

“I used points and miles to get my roommate to our friend’s wedding in Turks and Caicos last year.” — Jenna D.

“I gifted my brother a trip to Abu Dhabi on points and miles. It was an amazing sister-brother vacation! I also used hotel points for a down-on-his-luck cousin and paid for a month of housing for him. Over the years, I’ve used points and miles for all of my family. It’s one of the best reasons to earn them!” — Stacy W.D.

One TPG Lounge reader sent his loved one to Abu Dhabi. (Photo by Ben Smithson/The Points Guy)
One TPG Lounge reader sent his brother to Abu Dhabi for free with points and miles. (Photo by Ben Smithson/The Points Guy.)

“I have two friends in particular I’ve gifted Southwest Rapid Rewards points to [so they could] come see me, and just last weekend, we used Hilton Honors points so one of them could come with me to see Jason Mraz in concert in Chicago. The other one is now living in the Washington, D.C. area and I’ve also paid for her flight and cashed in American Express Membership Rewards points for our hotel so she can come meet me in Miami for our 40th birthdays and her eight year anniversary of being cancer free. I’m paying because I’m trying to accrue more points and miles for my Dad’s 80th birthday so we can stay at a Hilton in Syracuse between Christmas and New Year’s and see my darling daughter sing the National Anthem at the Carrier Dome. It’s a total role reversal as he used to fly me out on points and miles to Hong Kong, Ireland, London and Spain all the time as a kid. I was a Red Carpet Club brat but he taught me to pay it forward.” — Erin E.T.

Related: Using points and miles to book award travel for others

Treating friends and family to fancy flights

Our TPG Lounge audience was most generous when cashing in points and miles so their friends and loved ones could arrive in style aboard some of the best business- and first-class products in the skies.

“Round-trip upstairs in a TWA 747 from New York-JFK to Athens (ATH) in 1990 for my best friend’s grad school present.”— Jon W.

“Treated my mom to a first-class flight from Toronto to Sydney, Australia, for her 60th birthday.” — Sherry C.

“Helped a cousin get to a last-minute international funeral and saved them several thousand dollars.” — Mike R.

“One of our long-time contributors just sent her 82-year-old Dad in business class on Cathay Pacific to the Philippines via Hong Kong. He’d never flown in lie-flat seats before and would never have been able to afford to as a pensioner.” — Wallace C.

Have you flown in business class on Cathay Pacific yet? (Photo by Wallace Cotton/The Points Guy)
Have you flown in business class on Cathay Pacific yet? (Photo by Wallace Cotton/The Points Guy.)

“[ I used] American Airlines AAdvantage miles to fly two relatives from San Jose (SJC) to Los Angeles (LAX) to Kauai (LIH) and three relatives from Columbus (CMH) to LAX to LIH. We were all on the same flight from LAX to LIH over Memorial Day weekend for another family member’s wedding. Sure it was all in coach, but I’m just glad we made it all happen at the then-standard mileage rate on our family’s AAdvantage accounts, which included some TW, OZ, US, PI, AL, PS and QQ legacy miles.” — Lee E.

“Burned close to seven million miles for all of my parents’ trips since 2009. They haven’t flown economy on any flight longer than four hours since then either, with the exception of two family trips to Hawaii. I treated my parents to the first-class experience multiple times on ANA, Japan Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Lufthansa, Thai Airways, United Airlines, Asiana and Korean Air and put them in business class for the rest of the flights on nearly every carrier I could think of. The funny thing is I haven’t flown half the carriers or in first class nearly as much as they have. I’m just sad they’re pulling true first-class seats. It’s almost a race against time to get my Mom on them before they disappear. [To do this I’ve] used a combination of sign-up bonuses and a lot of spending from purchasing inventory for all of my businesses.” — Jonathan C.

Related: The best small-business credit cards

Cashing in points for free hotel stays

Even I had to get in on this week’s topic, having recently transferred my remaining Chase Ultimate Rewards points to World of Hyatt and IHG Rewards to treat my Mom to a few nights at fancy hotels when she came to visit me in Australia and New Zealand.

“I’ve been living abroad for almost two years. Last November, my Mom used United miles to fly in business class to Auckland and American Airlines AAdvantage miles to fly home in economy from Sydney. We stayed at the Park Hyatt Sydney, Park Hyatt Melbourne and Crowne Plaza Queenstown using my points (Chase UR transferred to Hyatt and IHG) and added a few nights at the Hilton Auckland and DoubleTree hotels in Queenstown and Melbourne by using some of her Hilton Honors points. My Mom still refers to the Park Hyatt Sydney as ‘The Brian Hotel’ because she’d read his review on the way down and was very excited to be staying in a hotel he liked so much. We also bumped into Usher in the hallway before his concert so apparently he likes staying there, too.” — Kaeli C.

Related: The best hotel credit cards

Featured photo courtesy of the Park Hyatt Sydney.

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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.