There are probably a lot of topics that I will be introducing in this post that probably merit a more full blown post. If there is something that you would like me to elaborate on, please let us know in the comment section below.
Depending on which country you live in, seems like this COVID-19 lockdown may drag on longer than we might hope. So in the meantime, does it even more any sense to keep earning frequent flyer miles and hotels points? Should we really just switch to a more predictable cash back rewards option or other retail programs?
What Happens of this Drags on?
I think that the longer this drags on, the less valuable airlines miles are, hotels may be a different story that I will talk about below. I still remain hopeful that there are contingencies before we get to bankruptcies. The larger airlines may have a chance at survival, especially if we see government bailouts. However, I think the chances of survival gets slimmer every day for small airlines and smaller hotels chain, especially boutique hotels, who will probably not get any government bailout. The same can be said for many retail stores. I can’t see every single retail store surviving such a slowdown in business, nor matter how many expenses (especially jobs) are cut.
This means that other industries will emerge.
It is not like we are burning money. The money is still out there somewhere, it is just being shifted around. For example, instead of eating at the restaurant (business down), grocery stores are seeing an increase in business. Physical retail stores sales are down, but online shopping is going up.
As horrible as this sounds, at this point in time, the saying goes: “when one door closes, another one opens”.
Change in Diversification Strategy
I can’t see myself changing my overall strategy yet, as I plan to continue to diversify, as well as earn and burn. But I may diversify differently. What I mean is, I used to focus my energy on 10 or so primary loyalty programs. But now, I will shift my energy towards different programs, or more emphasis other specific ones. I am breaking down my diversification strategy into 3 categories: retail, hotels and cash back.
Right off the bat, I have started putting more energy towards studying PC Optimum. I think that Loblaws, Real Superstore, Shoppers Drug Mart and co. are going to survive this downturn, considering that grocery and drug stores are allowed to remain open. So I definitely plan to maximise earning and redeeming my PC Optimum points.
When it comes to online shopping, I still plan on taking this opportunity to keep specific loyalty accounts active. So I will be choosing rotating programs to earn miles and points with.
I am also shifting more energy towards hotel programs rather than airlines. As I mentioned earlier, I think that the airline industry is much more volatile because they have a more direct revenue generating business model. Hotels, on the other hand, have more of a franchise model. So we will probably see specific hotels shut down, but the company as a whole have a higher chance of survival than airlines.
In terms of cash back, I will continue to put my daily spending (i.e. not spending required to meet minimum spending for a credit card bonus) on my Capital One World Elite Aspire Travel MasterCard to earn essentially 2% cash back on all purchases. I still do not plan to on churning cash back credit cards for the time being and I do not see that changing any time soon.
What To do from Home
Which brings me to the topic at hand. What can I do from home? I anticipate a drop in my monthly spending for the foreseeable future and no plans for manufactured spending. So from home, I still plan on signing up for new credit cards and continue doing surveys. Which essentially means business as usual for the most part.
The biggest change is that online shopping will probably increase at some point, which means more time spend studying shopping portals for multiplier bonuses.
What is your miles and points strategy from home? Please let us know in the comment section below.