I wanted to share something that happened a few days ago. One of my husband’s relatives called me because she was having a hard time finding hotel reservation in her Club Carlson account. She told me how to log in, and I was able to locate it within few seconds. I’ve noticed that the reservation was refundable, so I figured why not double check and see if the rate went down.
Sure enough, there was a special sale going on, and the price per night was now $20 cheaper than the one on her current reservation. I was extremely excited because it meant saving $67 over the duration of the stay.
I called her with the happy news, and mentioned that she needs to cancel her current reservation and rebook it. Everything could be done online, no need to call. Except, she wasn’t interested. Say what?
She told me the booking was already set, and she didn’t want to deal with it. I kept insisting that the process was super easy and would take only two minutes. Nope. I then proceeded to offer to do it for her. The answer was still No. I could tell that she started to get annoyed by my “eager beaver” attitude, so at that point I chose to let it go.
When I hung up, my first reaction was combination of frustration and annoyance rolled into one. How can someone not want to save $66 in exchange for two minutes of her time? Scratch that, two minutes of my time? Of course, the logical thing to do was to just forget about the whole thing. But I can’t help myself! It literally hurts me to see money being flushed down the toilet. Plus, I’m a control freak who happens to be cheap.
So, I went ahead and called Club Carlson and asked the rep if they could simply adjust the existing reservation. He told me it would be no problem. And sure enough, two minutes later there was a confirmation with the new rate. I called the relative with the news not knowing what to expect, but she was very happy.
That’s the thing, most people like the idea of saving money. They just don’t want to work for it. It’s puzzling to me how something this simple would feel like a chore to someone, but it really is the case. Now contrast it with most hobbyists who go gaga over $5 coupon.
Do you have what it takes?
If you want to actively participate in miles and points hobby, you can’t be someone who is too comfortable with routine. You have to check and sometimes cancel existing reservations in order to get a better rate. On occasion, you’ll probably have to call banks and practice the art of negotiation.
To get the best bang for your buck, you’ll need to switch credit cards, maximize bonus categories, open and close bank accounts. The rewards won’t just magically fall into your lap, you do have to put forth the effort and get out of your comfort zone. Sounds like too much trouble? You don’t got what it takes! Sorry.
Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
On the other hand, if you like to travel AND want get a great ROI when it comes to your time, it’s very hard to beat miles and points hobby. When done right, the payoff is terrific. Emphasis on the word “right.” Of course, many simply won’t bother. And that is why, my friends, this hobby exists in the first place.
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