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I bought him/her a gift AND I earned miles for it! But *is* that OK?

I bought him/her a gift AND I earned miles for it! But *is* that OK?

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Old Dec 17, 06, 7:00 pm
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I bought him/her a gift AND I earned miles for it! But *is* that OK?

OK, so around the holidays, some of us crazies find even MORE reasons/excuses to earn miles where we otherwise may not have.

I find myself shopping in online stores that I would never go to but because it's XMASS, I am there, buying away for everyone on my lists. The thing is, however, I am glad to do it because they are friends and family and I wish to give them gifts, but also because this will all make me earn MORE miles!

Yup, be it because you use your UAL Chase Visa or that new AMEX SPG card, or youíre into MyPoints, or you use whatever other method you have, if you are in this FT type of game, you are going to earn miles or points around the holidays, and you probably wonít mind it too!...

AND if you use those online shopping portals like AAdvantage mall or World Perks mall, etc, it's even better. We all know of or can find the deals in other threads on FT. I have informed many in my world that when they plan to shop online anyway, to consider doing it by making a few extra clicks, starting with mileage portals first, such as the airline malls every FFP has available. Again, all of this is based on the premise that the shopper planned to buy the item anyway. Doing a bit of research for a few moments online, or finding the right site or store to buy from is like shopping around in my opinion.

BUT...

I had a family member get a little bit miffed the other night... nothing too serious, but she was saying to me that she thought it was somehow wrong that I should "benefit" from the process of gift giving, and that somehow this lessened the value or meaning of the gift! Yes, she was telling me that it's not as thoughtful or not as from the heart, etc... on and on about WHY one buys gifts and weather or not the gift was purchased because it was FOR the person in mind, or just to GET MILES...

I have heard this stuff before and I dunno who these people think they are--after all, we live in a society that promotes the concept of sales, specials and savings every single day. With few exceptions, there is no ONE PRICE for any good or service in this entire country! I mean, hey, maybe in Soviet Russia there was once a single solitary price for CHEESE, SHIRT, HAT, VODKA, but that was then and that is not here. You can get 'deals' or find coupons and compare prices and do the whole competition convenience game and on and on and on.

So I asked her... Isnít THAT the same thing? I mean, if I were to hear that you wanted a certain pair of designer jeans that everyone has seen around for $100, and I knew you wanted them for XMASS and then one day I saw them on sale for $69,95, isnít that the same thing as "waiting to get them when I could also get miles for the purchase--or get some 'deal' when buying them?" What if they also gave you a free box of chocolate chip cookies with your purchase? Isnít that the same thing as getting double miles for some short promotional period?

She kinda agreed but then she said, well, if you have to go out of your way to sign up for something that generates more Ďspam-mailí and puts you on more lists, then it's still not good.

To this, I said, we all have our hobbies, that to each of us, are not an inconvenience at all. She rolled her eyes and still didnít like my method, but would probably like the gifts I got her anyway, I bet!

Thoughts welcome.
Happy Holidays to those who celebrate them and all that jazz!

MM
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Old Dec 17, 06, 7:06 pm
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I remarked to my friend who mentioned the same thing. Would you rather not have recieved the gifts? You have a cash back credit card, should you gift that as well? Obviously we know the answers!
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Old Dec 17, 06, 7:47 pm
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Apparently your 'family member' does their shopping in places where "If you have to ask the price ... " , and figures THEIR gift isn't coming from there.

Might want to 'hint' they shouldn't expect any future award tix in their stocking, either
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Old Dec 17, 06, 10:50 pm
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I'd say it's no more wrong than buying a gift using a rewards card. Now if you bought something to get miles USING a rewards card I don't know... You'll probably go to hell
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Old Dec 17, 06, 11:04 pm
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Your family member needs some satisfaction in a way that nothing you could buy her would provide.

Many purchase options offer some sort of reward, whether it be cashback, rebate, miles, store credits, etc.

Did this same family member (depending on age) used to tell the clerk "No, I don't want those Blue Chip Stamps today, as this purchase is for a gift"??? Or tell her bank "no, I don't want the 1% cashback on my ATM?

This is one of the most absurdo things I've heard in awhile.
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Old Dec 17, 06, 11:40 pm
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I've done this probably half a dozen times myself for various gifts, not even for the holidays. I've used my NWA WorldPerks Visa and some promotions to get gifts from "get well soon" flowers (300 bonus miles plus 10 per $1 on FTD.com) to birthday presents from Nordstrom.com (triple miles).

For my presents on Nordstrom.com, was shopping for my father's birthday, I flat out told him that since I'm away at college, that if he picked out 3 or 4 dress shirts he liked, I'd buy them for him. I told him he had to pick by the end of the week (this was back in October), though because I was going to get triple miles on my card and the promotion would expire. He had absolutely no problem with it, and even chuckled at at the thought of "getting more bang for my buck."
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Old Dec 18, 06, 3:46 am
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Originally Posted by squawk7500 View Post
Apparently your 'family member' does their shopping in places where "If you have to ask the price ... " , and figures THEIR gift isn't coming from there.

Might want to 'hint' they shouldn't expect any future award tix in their stocking, either
so noted and I totally agree. And I agree with ya all, except that she is not really 'in need of other satisfactions...'

I do think some people just have a different way of processing things so I will forgive her THIS TIME and then send her to a mileage re-education program where they strap you in a seat with your eyes forced open by clamps in front of a TV screen and feed images of ways to happily earn miles over and over again acted out by fake smiled blissful would-be customers... yes, and then they later feed you horrid images of stranded passengers with tired eyes and lost luggage over and over or pictures of people sleeping in ratty tents becuase they didnt use the right credit card or something. (Hey, I could even sell this concept to Capital One!).

Ah, things have a way of coming back around to bite ya and I could see it now: "No, there are just not enough miles in the account for ALL of us to fly. One of the family just has to stay home. boo hoo "

hehehehe

I do think, however, that the person had thought it was such that I was buying the item JUST TO GET MILES and not because I actually was asked to get it. For example, if you dont know what someone would want and you just blindly bought stuff just cuz it was there, then yeah, that's a bit off. Unless you have money or the stuff you bought could be useful anyway.

that could be what she thought.
But the fact is, I bought something I knew could be useful for a person who has everything but still could use this. Here's the kicker: What I bought was a store gift card for someone as a gift AT the store I was in while using my mileage earning CC to buy other items there. There is absolutely NO harm in that! What, was I supposed to like pay in CASH or somethin? Oh, the humanity! Geesh!

(Ok sistah, maybe yer right and I AM sick because little do ya know, I probably would have gotten that cash by cashing out one of those VisaBuxx reloadable gift cards that I had previously loaded with my Citi MC or something! Hehehe--so I still winnnnnnnn! )

Last edited by Marathon Man; Dec 18, 06 at 3:57 am
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Old Dec 18, 06, 5:32 am
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I take solice in the fact that 90% of my gifts are coming from bn.com with an earning of 10 miles/dollar through the CO mall.

I sleep well at night.
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Old Dec 18, 06, 6:08 am
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what about the other 10%! you are failing me! (hehehehe JK)

anyway, last year, you see, we had all gone thru this whole stage of "let's not really get gifts for everyone unless you happen by it and feel in the moment. Let's all buy for the kids and nefews..." So I was in the mall and I bought this person a Simon Gift Card (A) because I was there, (B) because it was there and (C) because I had seen posts in here about how people could buy these with a CC and then cash em out and get miles the easy way like with VisaBuxx gift cards and all those... It didnt work (the cash out) so I instead gave it as a gift to her.

She was like "um thanks but um like... yeah thanks." (yeah, I know... but really, she is a nice person"

Well, yeah, I did it to GET miles but then in the end, I still used it as a gift!

AND this year there are ads all over the radio promoting that as a great gift for people. Not that Id get one but it is a good idea.
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Old Dec 18, 06, 6:47 am
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this thread made me think that its OP was kinda like my mystery family member...

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=633886

OP even later says in another post: "I want to make it clear that I'm just looking for a gift for my wife, not to launder money through gift cards for miles..."
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Old Dec 18, 06, 8:29 am
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How would this person react to an award ticket as a gift? I mean, it's "free."

"Don't look a gift horse in the mouth," comes to mind. I don't see how it's more thoughtful to purchase from Circuit City versus circuitcity.com to get miles. Maybe the person has a point if you're picking some crappy gift to get miles versus something you already know she'd like instead.

I once received a reaction to a gift like, "You probably got this on sale," as if that would be a bad thing. I felt like throwing the gift in the trash (incidentally I paid full price).
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Old Dec 18, 06, 8:46 am
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I recall being in college in the 1980s and trying to sell T shirts door to door as a way to make a few bucks on the side. This was really true: I found if the price is high, people feel the need to buy them because it seems as though they are more exclusive and so they'd better grab one while they can. If you give too many deals they think they are cheap. Yup! crazy, huh?

Who ARE those people? Well, they were not MY friends; it was all just business!

gosh.
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Old Dec 18, 06, 9:15 am
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The gift recipient is right - I think it is wrong to buy a gift for someone who is so ungrateful!

Next time simply send a card with a note indicating that you didn't want to offend them by sending a gift as you always get miles for your purchase.
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Old Dec 18, 06, 9:57 am
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Maybe she should ask the bank not to give her interest on her account. Or better yet, 0% return rate on all her investments, esp those matches by her companies.

I actually would be offended when people deliberately NOT earn miles / cash / points when they purchase me gifts. I think that's very inconsiderate.
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Old Dec 18, 06, 10:47 am
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Marathon Man, or anyone else for that matter, you may buy me any gift you wish, with no other motive in your mile-lovin' heart than to earn miles, even to the point of finagling a deal where you actually receive more value in miles or other rewards than the value of the gift, and I promise I'll never question your motive. Next time you see something nice at a big discount, or with a big miles dividend, get one as a gift for me and it'll be a great way to exorcise the demons of your unappreciative relative(s).
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