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We recently asked our TPG Lounge members if they like to redeem their precious points and miles for friends and family who might want to travel. Here’s what they had to say. (Some responses have been lightly edited for style and clarity).
Yes, but Only for Charitable Reasons
Several TPG Lounge members wrote in with heartwarming stories about how they opted to use their points and miles to help others in times of heartache and despair.
“All the time. I use them so low-income folks can attend family events they would otherwise miss. Most recently, a formerly homeless guy I have mentored for 20 years wanted to attend the funeral of his uncle, who saved his life by donating a rare blood type. It feels great to use my points this way!” — Robert E.
“Yes, I flew my husband’s aunt to her sister’s funeral and her brother’s funeral and booked hotel rooms for many family members. Also flew my cousin to see her father before he died. Bereavement fares are still very expensive for last-minute flights. Such a good use of points to be able to share with family at a time of high stress and grief.” — Sherri U.J.
“Just donated rooms to elderly Paradise fire victims who really don’t belong on a cot in a shelter! Gratifying. Someone posted on another travel group that their 82-year-old mother needed help so we pulled together. You could try calling the fire departments in Chico or Redding, California, and asking for an elderly person who could use a night or two out of the shelter. When the lady got my elite benefits (I called and requested), she could not believe a stranger would help her. It made me so happy. It was very special for me. Two Marriott hotels in Redding, California, are also hosting fire victims and might be able to use another night. Our group was also able to pay for the lady’s flight to be with her daughter. Chico hotels [are helping], too.” — Sue D.
Yes, but Only for Friends and Family Members
We received the most responses regarding folks using their points and miles to fly parents, children, grandchildren, spouses and best friends — or to put them up in hotels.
“We’ve used points to fly my Mom on vacation with us. As timeshare holders, we’ve taken our large extended family of about 17 on trips to Walt Disney World and Cancun and covered the hotel expenses, saving them hundreds of dollars.” — Patricia C.R.
“I have redeemed miles for my Mom because she deserves it! I used miles to take her to Italy a couple of months ago on a United Saver Award and to Costa Rica — it was a great redemption of only 20,000 miles on Southwest for a round-trip ticket from Los Angeles (LAX) to Liberia (LIR).” — Soroya G.G.
“I have used them as a gift to immediate family or my best friend. I am very fortunate to travel for work often and I share when I am feasibly able. A Hyatt that’s 10,000 points per night doesn’t bother me when I’m sitting on a stack of Chase Ultimate Rewards points. The money they save can be a deal breaker or lift the burden of driving late at night. They’ve helped me in some way in the past, so I pay it back!” — Brittany C.
“Absolutely! And to be honest, I get the most joy out of gifting great travel experiences to others. With that crazy Iberia promo, I gifted my parents round-trip business-class flights between New York City and Madrid. They have never flown in biz before and it felt awesome to set them up with that.” — David K.
Yes, but Only on Special Occasions
Whether it’s helping friends and relatives have free (or almost-free) honeymoons or taking the kids on milestone vacations, our TPG Lounge members sure are generous when it comes to using their points and miles to fund dream trips for special events.
“My daughter and her new husband will have an amazingly cheap honeymoon. His parents gifted miles to Italy and we gifted nights at our Hilton Grand Vacation timeshare in Tuscany and my Marriott points for a hotel in Rome.” — Colleen C.S.
“Every year, I take my Mom on a long weekend vacay to the beach using my Southwest points. Our goal is to do nothing and we usually succeed!” — Amanda M.
“I have taken my daughter on several trips for milestone events, like a cruise to the Bahamas. I let her take a friend and covered her friend’s flight with my Delta SkyMiles. A friend has enjoyed many nights in Europe for free thanks to my hotel points. My boyfriend has enjoyed free travel with my miles and points, and four different people benefited when I had the Southwest Companion pass.” — Becky B.
“Yes, on our parents especially! We’re flying my wife’s mother over to dog sit while we are off on our four-week honeymoon in Europe. Lucky her, she gets to dog sit in Hawaii and has housing and transportation taken care of.” — Wil L.
Nope, Those Points and Miles Are Mine
Of course, there were a few folks in the mix who said they usually don’t offer points and miles to others — but not without good reasons.
“Call me selfish, but I don’t. We have no kids and our families don’t need them so we just save them for our own use. Sorry.” — Ana G.B.H.
“Often not, however I have in certain circumstances, like when my Dad needed an additional night at the Gaylord Opryland in Nashville. It was over $500 a night but only 35,000 Marriott points.” — Nate L.
“I’ll help people out with hotels, especially if we can share a room, but after my mother-in-law burned me on a flight to Florida last March, I refuse to give flights away. 12,500 American Express Membership Rewards and 10,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards down the drain when she didn’t go. My wife and I took separate flights for no reason at all.” — Nathan P.H.
Featured photo by dislentev / Getty Images.
With some great bonus categories, the American Express Gold Card has a lot going for it. The card offers 4x points at US restaurants, at US supermarkets (up to $25,000; then 1x), and 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines or through amextravel.com. It is currently offering a welcome bonus of 35,000 bonus points after you spend $2,000 in the first three months.
- Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $2,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months.
- Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. restaurants. Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X).
- Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
- Earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with The Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Shake Shack, and Ruth's Chris Steak House. This is an annual savings of up to $120. Enrollment required.
- $100 Airline Fee Credit: up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year for incidental fees at one selected qualifying airline.
- Choose to carry a balance with interest on eligible charges of $100 or more.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- Annual Fee is $250.
- Terms apply.
- See Rates & Fees