So you read Boarding Area hourly, know your mile totals on five different airlines, and calculate what year you are going to reach lifetime status in your favorite program.  You are officially a frequent flyer guru, but do you share that with others?

It can be a problem at work and with friends.  You would love to share all this hard won knowledge especially of the tricks to maximizing your returns, but how not to be thought of as the “frequent flyer geek”?  I know for myself, I will gladly help out a person who comes to me with a question or if I hear someone with a dilemma, however, I don’t go around handing my Boarding Area business card and tell people to let me solve their problems.  Of course, I have to be aware of my position and not to be seen as giving inappropriate advice or direction.  The last thing I need is some E-4 being brought into my office because he went out and got 12 mileage earning credit cards because he heard from me that that would be a risk-free way to a fabulous vacation.

So what do you do?  Tell a friend who is in a quandary about how to pay for a nice honeymoon some tips?  Go with some of your buddies on a flight and you sit up front while they go to the back and they want to know what the deal is?  It can be tricky to handle and certainly some people will hear what you have to say and think it is too good to be true.

Personally, I am more than glad to help them out, but I am careful how much information I give them.  I try to give them enough to fix their immediate problem, but don’t geek out by telling them  everything I know.  IF they show more and more interest, I am more than happy to explain it all, but frankly, the entire frequent flyer game can be overwhelming and is best taken in digestible bites.  And, of course, I feel you need to be well versed in that before getting into things like credit card churning which has definite risks.

So how do you handle it?  Actively try to spread the word or keep it close hold?  Family, but not co-workers?  Tell the basics or launch into the advanced course?

Posted by glenn | 3 Comments

3 responses to “Do You Tell Your Friends About Your Miles/ Points Hobby?”

  1. Pat McKlindon says:

    I actually made a PowerPoint presentation on it to go over the basics with newbies. It’s 43 slides long and goes over how the airline/hotel/credit-card programs all align. From there, it goes over basic earning and redeeming. The most complicated topic it covers is transferring points from a credit card to a partner.

    The best part about the PowerPoint is that I can go over it in-person with them, or just e-mail it.

    Understanding the basics is a huge chunk of the battle. From there, I like to address the detailed (usually program-specific) quirks of anybody’s particular situation. It seems that they get a better understanding/appreciation from the explanation when they know what’s actually going on.

  2. Carl P says:

    I help on a selective basis. I don’t spread it all over, but if I hear somebody with the need I may mention it.

    I always give several warnings about it not being worth it if you can’t pay in full every cycle (generally higher interest rates). I usually also mention them checking their credit score on the free sites,

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