There are several things around my apartment that have not moved since Autumn of 2019 thanks to the pandemic. I shall not bore you with all the gory details but suffice it to say that one particular stash that has been gathering dust – and will continue to do so – consists of my frequent flyer cards. Consequently, I have lost many valuable miles that I accumulated because I failed to redeem them in either 2020 or 2021.
If the airlines barely made it through these two years without going belly up, who on earth were we supposed to redeem the miles during lockdown? Oh but you can continue to collect miles while shopping online with one of the many partners.
I found myself updating several apps on my phone and realised that I hadn’t touched my travel apps in a while. Why would I? It’s not as if I’m going anywhere by train, bus or plane anytime soon. Then it occurred to me that I hadn’t changed my data for the frequent flyer cards since changing my citizenship either, and for some I was still registered in Thailand!
Well, that’s how I came upon the ridiculous situation of these frequent flyer conditions. The only flying I’m going to be doing is with a keyboard, and that’s about it for the next six months. At the rate we are going in Germany, there is no way I will ever be on a plane and fly off into the sunset towards sunny and warmer shores the next months.
Once again the pandemic has forced me to re-think many things in my life, of them being the plethora of plastic cards we tend to accumulate in our wallets. Do we really need all those cards? Do we really need frequent flyer cards? Whatever for? To flaunt to the rest of the world that we can afford to travel or have to travel frequently due to work? It’s just as well that some airlines have dispensed of the plastic and integrated the digital cards in the phone or tablet apps. No more awkward fishing around at the bottom of the bag or backpack.
However it’s not just the airlines offering these frequent whatever cards. So many department stores offer cards that encourage you to shop frequently with them and accumulate points for future discounts or redeemable points. First of all, it takes forever to collect enough points to make the item worthwhile, and second, the wallet just keeps getting fatter and fatter. It reminds of the 1970s and 1980s when coupon collecting was a big thing, as were coupon trading parties. Lord, what was even a thing that I actually lived through? You had to go to the supermarket or drugstore with your coupon box! I thought Tupperware parties were bad enough, in the same manner that trading Pokemon or baseball cards too obsessive for my liking. Now here we are decades later, laden with so many plastic cards and nowhere to go.
Karma is a bitch isn’t she?
For some of the online shops I frequent, like the pet shop where I buy my cat supplies, I have the option of donating the points to animal shelters so they can buy food for animals in need. This is a concept I can easily get onboard with, but I am so done with the rest. How many of you have a plastic card for the petrol station of your choice, or the supermarket pharmacy, and drugstore you frequent? Or even the large department and maybe even hardware store? Ha! Raise your hand if you carry the Starbucks card around as well… or one for the fancy organic shop, or shoe shop, perhaps even the pizza delivery service of your choice? Whether it’s stamps or points, a large percentage of the vendors these days will have some kind of point collection scheme, even food carts! There was even a time I was in possession of three (!) cards for three different shops, simply because I liked the make-up better in one and the perfumes in another!
Don’t you think it’s time to lighten the load and simplify your life? I did and I really don’t miss any of them.