A crazy million mile idea. Should I do it?

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A few weeks ago I had an idea.  I’m not saying it was a good idea, but to me it was a fun idea.  A fun challenge.  A big challenge…

The idea is simple: I will challenge myself to earn a million miles in a month.

Now, to be clear, I don’t need a million more miles.  And, there’s nothing special about the number “million” other than the fact that it is big and begins with the same letter as “miles”.  And, there’s nothing special about the timeframe of a month other than that it is a relatively small amount of time in which to earn lots of miles.  And, of course, “month” begins with the same letter as “million” and “miles”.  No, I don’t need a million more miles, but I think it would be great fun to try to get them, in one month.

My first thought was that I should do this in May since that’s a nice month that begins with the same nice letter.  But then I realized that March was also a good month in which to preserve the ridiculous alliteration and it is much more amenable to puns.  “Million Mile March” has a nice ring to it.  To me, it sounds better than “Million Mile May”.  I like too that it sounds like my intention is to march a million miles, Forest Gumpishly.  A million mile march would be the equivalent of walking completely around the earth 40 times.  If someone wanted to match my Million Mile March with their own million mile march, they would have to walk the equivalent of 1 and 1/3 times around the earth each day.  I would argue that earning a million miles would be easier.

Less than a million rules

To do this crazy feat, I would need some rules.  I mean, given unlimited money, I could buy a million miles, but that wouldn’t be fun at all.  So here are some thoughts:

  • Keep to a budget of $1000. Many point-earning techniques cost money. Let’s keep the total expenses down to $1000 or less.
  • Miles or points, it’s all good.  Even though different types of miles & points are more or less valuable, I think this game would be easier if we just agree to count all miles and points as long as they are somewhat travel related (e.g. airline miles, hotel points, flexible points, etc. all count).
  • No extra points through conversions.  Sometimes its possible to trade one type of point for another at a better than 1 to 1 ratio.  For example, Virgin Atlantic points can be transferred to twice as many Hilton points.  In this example, I think it would be cheating to count the Hilton points.
  • Cash earnings can be used to increase the budget.  If I make money through cash-back portals, for example, that cash can be used towards more mile-earning opportunities.
  • No points from family and friends.  I could always ask my wife to sign up for a bunch of credit cards (and I frequently do), but I won’t count those points towards this challenge.
  • Points expected, but not yet credited are OK.  It often takes quite a while for points to get credited to a person’s account.  Whether I’m waiting for sign-up bonus points, shopping portal points, or run of the mill credit card statement points, I’ll count the ones I expect to get based on March activity even if the points don’t actually post until April or later.
  • All requirements must be met within the month.  If I sign up for a credit card in order to earn the sign-up bonus, I would have to sign up in March and meet minimum spend requirements in March in order to count the points.  Here’s to hoping for overnight credit card delivery!
  • Don’t cross the line.  There are often times when points can be earned by violating laws, rules, or ethics.  Those opportunities are not allowed.  See “Drawing the line.”

Did I miss any important rules?

Blogging on the way

If I do this, then I would post a bunch of progress reports during the month of March.  With most of the reports I expect that I would be able to give full details of how I earned points, but in some cases I may not.  The reason is that some deals have limited scope – only so many people can participate before the deal is ruined.  One example is when I buy merchandise for points and resell the stuff.  If I were to specify exactly what I bought, many others would be likely to do the same, and then when trying to sell the stuff we would face a price war as we all competed with each other.  So, for some things, where I think necessary, I’ll be less forthcoming about how exactly the points were earned.

Who’s with me?

Do I do this alone or are there others who would like to join me on this ridiculous mission? If there are others, I think it would be very interesting to track everyone’s progress along the way.  We could setup a Google spreadsheet or something similar for each person to self-report their progress.

What do you think?

Is this crazy idea worth doing?  As a full time blogger, I’m lucky enough to have the time to do insane things like this.  I think that many readers would find it entertaining to follow along with my successes and setbacks as I report them.  And, maybe, we’ll all learn some great tricks along the way.  What do you think?

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[…] A crazy million mile idea. Should I do it? […]

[…] a million points and miles in one month?  I published the idea in January with the post “A crazy million mile idea. Should I do it?“  In that post, I laid out the rules I would […]

[…] A crazy million mile idea. Should I do it? […]

[…] A crazy million mile idea. Should I do it? […]

[…] A crazy million mile idea. Should I do it? […]

[…] A crazy million mile idea. Should I do it? […]

[…] A crazy million mile idea. Should I do it? […]

[…] A crazy million mile idea. Should I do it? […]

FrequentMiler

BK: Good idea!

BK

why don’t you try to make a deal with a contractor to use the lowes credit? they usually have a large bill (and typically pay cash).
B

[…] A crazy million mile idea. Should I do it? […]

[…] A crazy million mile idea. Should I do it? […]

[…] A crazy million mile idea. Should I do it? […]

[…] A crazy million mile idea. Should I do it? […]

[…] A crazy million mile idea. Should I do it? […]

Diana Turk

I just treated 6 of my mothers friends to roundtrip airline tickets to Italy to celebrate my mothers 80th birthday. Gave up A LOT of miles so I need to replenish my accounts. I’m in too! Just praying my home refi actually closes this week so I can join all of you in March. I love a challenge too!!!!

[…] A crazy million mile idea. Should I do it? […]

[…] myself (and anyone foolish enough to join me) to earn a million points in one month (see “A crazy million mile idea. Should I do it?” and “Million Mile Madness, it’s on“).  So, starting March 1, I’ll […]

Brian

Sorry for the late response, I like the idea of adding the Charitable Donation to the success of the promotion 🙂

Can the miles themselves, or some portion of them be donated to Charity? Do Charities take miles?

Anyway, good luck, and thanks for being open minded. 🙂

FrequentMiler

Brian: There are some organizations that coordinate accepting miles for charity, but I don’t think the charities end up getting as good of value from the miles as they are worth. In general, I’d rather give cash.

[…] A crazy million mile idea. Should I do it? […]

Graham

Great idea, good luck!

Silvia

I want to follow along, too.

robertw

I like the idea although it wont be good timing for me on new credit apps until April. I am pretty creative so I will go along with you. BTW we talked briefly at the LAX mettup before your discussion. I forgot to tell you how I like your blog and your talk was quite interesting as well.

Lively

So many comments! You would think FM is giving away a $15 Starbucks card.

Julian

Sounds like it would be a LOT of fun to watch. Please, please, please do it!

marathon man

@ Mary Kate: That’s just it. Whatever any one of us does, we now have to share it here! lol

Mary Kate

I wonder if FM got wind of an extra-good promo coming in March – I hope so!

Mark

Ok, frequentmiler. Let’s allow hotel points but make this a challenge that ANYONE following your blog could complete. In that vien, I think we need to rule out getting VR cards from CVS as a valid strategy. For example, the nearest CVS that has VR and accepts CC or GC for payment is 100 miles away. I’m sure many of your readers face similar challenges with this approach. What do you think?

MileageUpdate

I do know that local trips beat mileage running. I’d personally rather earn millions of miles and burn for biz or FC then worrying about getting an elite bump to those seats.

marathon man

@smitty – agreed. Sometimes a visit to say, WM can be 10 mins in and out and sometimes there’s issues, calls to something, broken equipment, etc and it takes an hour. Sometimes a visit to CVS yields no spice and sometimes a call to a CC CSR takes 20 mins or 30 seconds. I figure it comes down to whether or not the whole gig is fun to do or a pain to do overall. If too many bad things like an FR or some shut down take place, then it is not. If you get through it and spend some time but it averages out to being relatively doable, then it is good. Also, if you have more time than the willingness to spend money on a flight, then it is good. I mean I dunno. It’s all relative–and what comes easy to us vs someone else who knows nothing of these arts.

marathon man

Well yah… in my case I actually did register a small business in my town and get a stamped certificate to that affect stating I own a business in marketing promotions and travel consulting. There’s no reason why I cant use my business CC which is actually set up in that name to buy GCs for ‘promotional services & continued use.’
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I mean, in a way, isn’t that kinda the same as when you call a company and they say they are recording the call for ‘quality and training purposes?’ (Only if one were to ever call 1-800-Walmart would that the recording also state that they are recording it for ‘other business reasons.’)

Frequent Miler

I believe that everyone needs to draw their own line in defining what is acceptable to do towards collecting miles. Whatever rules I choose to follow will be based on where I draw that line (with some help from my wife, of course). I don’t have a problem with using a business credit card for things like buying gift cards. If you do, then don’t do what I do.

I plan to widely diversify techniques so those trying to play along should be able to pick and choose.

I like the idea of tracking my time and effort. We’ll see if I am disciples enough to carry that out 🙂

smitty06

It can be difficult to judge time into the equation. If you pass by many drugstores and office supply stores in your regular commute, that doesn’t seem like alot of time, but it is time. I personally count it as time well spent, since it is just time that I am not wathing TV.

Rapid Travel Chai

This would be more instructive if you keep a log of the time spent by activity (store trips, phone calls, etc) and try to measure the real costs including such things as gas and use of the car. In 128 comments I see hardly any mention of the time and real costs of this. People can better figure out their opportunity cost with a realistic reckoning with that this takes.

marathon man

@Rob… what T&Cs do you refer to?

Rob

Add me to the list of want to see this done without any “bending of the rules.” Sure, many have received 6x Hilton points for VR purchases (and gift cards) at CVS, but it is specifically against the T and C. And I agree that Business cards that state that they should be used for business purposes/purchases be used for such (in this challenge :))

Might make it a bit tougher…….

Mike

Even half a million a month would be outstanding! Sign me up

Irishtiger

Did you get hacked overnight? Got a wacky email. 🙁

longleaf

i suspect i will follow along with the majority of what you do. Should be good fun!

Delta Points

@Grant – Oh like this “code” for this adventure:
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FM4M = Frequent Miler’s March Million Mile Madness!
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Also kinda work FM for (a million points).
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@FM – I could see this going big on BA with others jumping in and trying with progress and coverage.

marathon man

Well I have already done it in like 2-3 months but I can tell ya’ll from experience you will most likely get shut down or kicked out of a few things in doing so. Some wont matter, some can be recovered but some take work or effort and can even hinder future mileage earnings on the slower track.
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In either case you may find your own peers later telling you that you shoulda done this or that and it was this or that… but it’s not about being a star, it’s just about doing what my trainer at the gym says: Set a goal and reach your goal as quickly as you can.
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Then again being able to sustain certain levels is also key. Depends, therefore, on what goal(s) you have! And it is NOT about touting on here or in FT, etc. It is about getting the miles and using them. A trans-Atlantic flight for a family of 4 is up to 300k sometimes. So that’s not even enough if you wish to visit family overseas 2x in 2 years now is it?
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But count me in lol
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MM

TravelisFree

I mean, who wouldn’t take an opportunity for 1,000,000 miles?

webazoid
MileageUpdate

FM for as popular as he is, isnt going to kill a deal by himself or his followers. There are many people doing big numbers at walgreen and cvs w/o the urging of FM already.

Don T

I’m conflicted about this. I was excited about your proposed adventure at first, but I share some of the concerns expressed about killing the good deals that exist now. If you decide to do it, I wish you luck.

Frequent Miler

Wow, it sounds like there is a lot of interest and excitement over this! I’ll definitely go for it even if I don’t yet know what exactly the challenge will be called :). I do want to clear up one thing: anyone can join in and try to do this themselves, but please make sure you understand the risks and don’t expect that you can simply copy exactly what I do. Everyone has different circumstances that will impact what can be done, such as which credit cards they have, their credit limits, their credit score, amount of cash available to float, tolerance for risk, experience with reselling, available nearby stores, etc. I will do my best to walk the thin line between giving full detail of what I do while avoiding killing deals. I expect that most things I do will be already well known techniques (such as credit card signups) so in those cases I’ll be explicit about my approach and the results.

smitty06

Sounds fun. I don’t think I have the time or organization to try something like this, but I cant wait to read all about how you did it (cause I know you will)

Paul

It’s so inspirational, I’m excited to learn what ideas you guys have! I’ll be very content if I can get even half of that much points within a month.

bf

Please don’t kill the golden goose (the ability to buy Vanilla Reloads at CVS and/or Walgreens on credit cards, and Vanilla Visa GCs at OD and grocery stores) just for a frivolous purpose! If you have particular lab experiments in mind, just do them. Just my 2 cents.

Grant

Secret: add everyone on your blog as an authorized user and send us cards so we can buy VR cards for you. That should be a couple million points.
.
Frequent Miler’s Million Mile Madness…in March

BigRedBears

I’m in. I’ll try to participate in this challenge despite upcoming RGN R3 February trip.

IHMO, anyone should be able to mimic this challenge. That’s why I’m not sure if you can allow credit card sign ups. Just because you never signed up for a particular card doesn’t mean others can sign up for it. Then again I can be persuaded otherwise.

I agree that not all miles/points are created equal. I would be less impressed if you earned 1MM PriorityClub points vs. 1MM UR points.

Transfers. Some transfers should be OK. E.g. 20K SPG transfer to 25K AA miles is fine. On the other hand, transfer to 50K LAN kms is against the spirit of the challenge.

In my case it would be Maxim’s Million Miles Month of March Madness

Blad Army Guy

It’s like watching a train wreck. I’m sure the publicity will force CVS to disable credit card payment options for VR (as OD just completely removed VR).

Think about it: if you WANTED to destroy points earning options, this would be the perfect way to do it. One call to CVS corporate headquarters. . .poof all gone.

Everything ends (i.e. mint), and they all seem to end when things receive too much publicity.

JL100

I think you should limit the total spend that you have to achieve this – for example if you have to put $30,000 on credit cards, even if you have $30,000 in prepaid cards or gift cards, that would not count. So maybe you need to have a rule that limits the spend, even if you are acquiring assets that are worth an amount almost equal to the spend (like a limit on vanilla reloads, gift cards, etc to achieve the 1 million), since in reality it would take a while to unwind all those assets.

Charlie

@ Kathy C Check and see if anything similar exists at Amazon. If so, try for a price match and use gift cards purchased at Office Max/Office Depot with a Chase Ink card for 5Xpoints! I have done this a few times and it works really well. I have had them match B&H before (love that store!). Good luck!

JakePB

Picture Owen Wilson in Starsky & Hutch, “Do it, do it!”

Kathy C

Can’t wait to see it happen. Somebody help me here if possible. I looked over HikerT’s site and evreward.com but I am unable to find any reward site that rewards for purchases at B & H photo. My son is getting ready to purchase a $2000 camera. Am i missing a rebate or reward? This is the best price/package on this camera but I hate not getting points, miles or cash back. UGH! Hope someone here sees something i missed!

Webazoid

U could name it ‘million miler secrets’ as ur alter ego

MileageUpdate

Real job?? Come on George that sounded like a shot.

DBest

Million Mile March Madness.

Joel

How are you going to choose who participates with you?

TravelBloggerBuzz

What is so crazy about that, come on? If I had no real job, no wife and kids…I would earn a million miles per month and only call one BILLION miles per month a crazy idea. Just saying:-)

Cheryl

Love this idea. I’m thinking I’d like to partake as well!

Lively

I love you FM! I’m in (to some extent). And btw, the next time you do a MR to Ocala, meet me at the Sears to help me find the gift card rack…I cannot find it! 🙂

russell

“My wife already hates me for mile/point addiction” made me laugh as I’m in the same boat.
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I’d love to join in, but suspect I may have to settle for a smaller goal, maybe half or quarter million.
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Any limits on how much of a float you’ll need? i.e in the silly 334 VR example you’d need a $167k float as you’d only be able to pull so much out within a month.

MileageUpdate

I think sign up will get you partly to a million miles in a month but its the spend that’ll get you there if you play it correctly. I am sure FM is a detail oriented guy. Details and organization are your friends in this hobby.

Charlie

Sounds very cool! I love how your mind thinks! Are you limiting the amount of cards that can be applied for? I didn’t think you could stay away from new applications! 🙂

T

I don’t think this can be done—but I’ll be following along to find out.

J

RE why limit to 1 million? Sure billion doesn’t start with M as you stated above, but MULTIMILLION DOES!!! 🙂

AroundTheWorldin12Days

I am totally in. My wife accrued about 600K in December so it will be fun to see if I can top her on that. No major trip until May so plenty of free time to play.

DrewBird

@RestlessLocationSyndrome — You cannot get a deduction for contribution of miles. Or, at least you cannot do so for airline miles (I’ve looked into it), and I assume the same legal principles would apply to hotel points/miles.

So it is much better for FM to be donating dollars than miles. (Plus, the recipient agency probably would not know how to leverage the donated miles in an efficient way, whereas they would have a comparative advantage in spending dollars.)

hulagrrl210

only if you tell us what yo do with the miles afterward

RestlessLocationSyndrome

Just do it and keep a detailed account of how you accomplish this feat.

Keeping with the theme, instead of donating money, you should donate points instead. Then, you can hopefully realize some kind of tax benefit of donating points and be able to repeat this process.

PatMike

Can’t do it in March. We’ll be in a place that begins with an “M” though (Maldives) …
I think that the transfer bonuses (like the Virgin to Hilton) are legit snd should be included in the total. My 2 cents…

Phil

Sounds like a challenge! I’m in!

THOMAS

Do it!! open the window to epic miles!

HikerT

PatrickA5, lol.

FM, I say do it as long as it isn’t a publicity stunt to reveal all at the expense of killing all. Leave that to MMS.

Katie

Ohmygoodness, yes, YES! Count me in!

FindAWay

Having “March” and “Madness” or even something with “Madness” related to an event in March might mean a NCAA trademark violation.

@FM – STICK WITH “MILLION MILE MARCH” (AND SEE YOUR POST 61).

Lawrence

This must lead to the mother of all trip reports though 🙂

MMM

Thanks FM. I think that would be a grand thing to do! Good luck!!

jay

the more i think about it, the more i dont think EVERYONE should go for a million miles in march…

the run on Vanilla cards, OD, 5x portals, etc will spike and open people’s eyes and what not. seems like this could end up killing a lot of the better double dips or 5x/6x category spends or GC promos…

think a bit about that before hand

karen

Sounds fun! I am in if it is not too crazy -:).

Chirag

Looking forward to it 🙂

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IrishTiger

And then come hang out in DC in April and give a presentation on how you did it!

Tim 2

I’m for the name change as well.

Nancy

Houston that’s a go!
Sounds like fun!

greek2me

@FM- How about just changing the word order to March “Million Mile” Madness? Seems to work on all levels.

Alan

Is spending only the money that leaves your pocket and doesn’t come back?

Meaning, if you buy gift cards, does that count towards your $1000 spend?

FrequentMiler

Alan: buying gift cards would count towards the $1000 spend, but then liquidating them (turning them into cash) would subtract from the $1000. For example, if I buy a gift card for $500 and turn it back into cash for a total of $8 in fees, then my total cost towards the $1000 is $8

PatrickA5

I think you should try to stay within the T&C of the credit cards you’re going to be using – such as OD purchase (Ink or Bold) for only business purchases. Good luck!

laurent

Sure I am in as well.

romsdeals

Crazy idea, took me about a year to earn my first one million miles. Do it!

Jeff

Credit card churn… what else?

FrequentMiler

Jeff: besides credit card signups, I’ll look for:
1) mega promotions such as the Club Carlson deals (stay one night, get 50K points), or miles for car rentals, etc.
2) shopping portal promotions: buy stuff for miles and resell the stuff
3) gift card churning opportunities: buy gift cards to get miles and liquidate gift cards
4) mileage runs (maybe)
5) anything else that comes up that’s worthwhile!

MMM

Great idea, but why does it sound very similar to oh I dunno a play on words on one of the most important modern events of African-American civil rights. Oh well, perhaps I am the minority here (I am)

FrequentMiler

MMM: I certainly hope this doesn’t disturb people due to sounding similar to the million man march! Maybe I should rename this to something like Million Mile Madness?

ffmiles99

I’m in…. let’s do it!

Jerry

Its crazy and you should totally do it!

bluto

Suggested rule: points earning maneuvers count only if they could be executed by your average non-blogger (i.e. no using your celebrity blogger status to hit Company XYZ up for 50k)

FrequentMiler

bluto: Yes, definitely no freebies from companies due to my blogger status.

Zz

I love penis measurement contest. Add some cool graphics and I’m IN!

Mark

Your headline certainly caught my attention, 1,000,000 miles in a month but that quickly morphed into ANY travel related points. To me, that really dilutes the premise of the original challenge. I’d be game if you wanted to go after miles and/or program points that can be transferred to miles at no less than 1:1

FrequentMiler

Mark: That’s a tall order!

Mic

EXCESS!!!!

BH

1) I think conversion points should count – as long as those points you are converting were earned in that month and follow your other rules. If you can earn 100,000 points through one method and redeem them in for 200,000 miles – then you should. That being said…

2) You are calling this Million Miles. So, while points are equal to miles – we don’t care about point in the end for this challenge, we care about miles. Pick an airline that you want to earn the miles with. ONE AIRLINE and show us your earnings and the math that at the end of the month you have the points to equal 1M on the airline. Personally I would limit you to United or AA as those are what most people would fly.

3) I don’t like the idea of you spending money (even $1000) to buy/sell/rebuy items. If you have some secret sauce that allows you to buy $100 items and turn them around for 2x profit in a few days you are easily pumping up that number. If you have such a tactic that’s fantastic – but since you aren’t willing to share the specifics, it is worthless to the community at large and makes your victory here hollow and self-aggrandizing only.

4) More clearly define the rules here for spending. you say $1000 – but you are also going to have to spend probably at least $10-15K on minimum spends for the new CC you will *need* to complete this challenge. That 10-15K spend will also be earning you points (sometimes x2+) but are you going to use those purchases to resell and grind more? Unless you have a repeatable and share-able tactic, once again – uninteresting.

I think the idea is great and one would hope that your experiment will empower others to try. Obviously keeping up 1MM a month is not possible, and most people won’t have the time to recreate your strategy…but if we can take the lessons you learn and do 1MM in say 3-6 months, or 2MM a year that is still a fantastic accomplishment.

good luck!

FrequentMiler

BH: Thanks for the suggestions
1) One reason for excluding conversions is that it encourages low value conversions such as converting miles to Hilton points.
2) Picking just one airline sounds too hard! Maybe I’ll try that in March 2014 if this goes well.
3) Usually when I do buy/sell techniques I give enough info for people to follow along, but without revealing the exact item I bought. For example, when the Southwest portal offered 15X at Sears, many readers jumped in with me to buy and sell stuff towards companion passes even though I never published the exact items I bought. I don’t see any reason to exclude these types of shopping portal promotions.
4) Yes, I think I’ll have to be clearer about what the $1000 budget means. I won’t count normal day to day expenses in the budget, but should I count points earned from those expenses? I’m not sure. Also, I need to make clearer that a $1000 budget does not mean that I won’t spend more than $1000. With many deals, some or all of the money spent will come back. The $1000 is the budget for my net loss at the end of the month.

Could I just hire you to earn the million miles for me 🙂

Stacey: Sure, all I’ll need are your credit cards, SSN, and bank passwords…

Alan

LOL would love to do it but I know I don’t have the time. So, the next best thing would be to live vicariously through you. MMM FTW!

Ron

I, too, look forward to your daily updates of this challenge, and love Rene’s suggestion of adding “madness” to your challenge title.

However … I admit to being a little disappointed when I saw that any type of accrued point would be valued at par with an airline mile toward meeting your goal. All points are not equal and not each point is close to being worth 1 mile. One might value 1 UR point as equalling 1.8 mile but 1 HH point might be worth 0.6 mile.

Perhaps you might consider an adjustment so as to match the implied goal from the title of the challenge.

Frankly, I see no problem in using points accrued from VR activity, so long as it’s done in reasonable moderation like any of the non-obsessed might do in a typical month.

FrequentMiler

Ron: I expect that the points will naturally average out. That is, based on whatever opportunities exist at the time, I’ll collect a combination of high value points and low value points. Of course, I personally want more of the high value points so that is what I will go for more often than not. I think that trying to adjust for the value of points will make this challenge unnecessarily complicated.

Bjp

Looking forward to it.

Pamela T

I would find it immensely entertaining and educational.

Brian

I’m in the minority it would appear but this seems greedy and reckless to me. I don’t see how there is any educational value in it.

You said it yourself, you don’t “need” a million miles. If this is just a stunt to generate more page views (which is fine, I suppose), donate the miles to a charity or something.

Or not. It doesn’t really matter to me. I only follow your site in order to learn about new offerings and opportunities. Which you do a great job of sharing.

The extreme crap you guys do here seems more like an audition for a future Lifetime reality show. 🙂

FrequentMiler

Brian: you may be in the minority, but even before you posted your comment I was thinking that this whole thing seems greedy too. So, here’s what I’ll do: If I’m successful, I’ll give $1000 to charity plus any amount left over from my $1000 budget. For example, if I spend $850 to get to a million points, I’ll have $150 left over and so I’ll give $1150 to charity. Specific charity TBD

Rick Ingersoll

Hell Yes. Good luck Greg

ArizonaGuy

I’m in.

Frequent Miler

nikdro: for meeting minimum spend lets say that I buy $5000 worth of stuff and resell it all and in the process I lose $150. In that case, I would say that the points earned cost me $150 of my budget.

Andrew: interesting idea to require some travel. I’ll think about it.

Grant: I might have to reserve some if my budget to pay MMS for the words “million mile” ;). Or, maybe he’ll let me borrow the term for a bit. As to FAR deals, sometimes they generate cash and points. If that were to happen I would credit the cash earned towards my budget. For example, if I earned $20 on a FAR deal, my budget would increase to $1020

PhatMiles

FM, Count me in. I am so looking forward for this. Google Spreadsheet is very nice to track. 🙂
Let the party begin………….in March.

Stephen

Rock on, FrequentMiler. I will follow your crazy plan.

David

MileageUpdate, How do you earn 3-4 million points per year for only $300/mo? Thanks in advance for your reply.

Grant

@Nikdro, minimum spend would probably have to be on cards that have no first year annual fees and got you points on first purchase. Not sure you would get very many points like that in one month.

Grant

Good morning Greg, some thoughts. Maybe Daraius can help you with those million miles 😉
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Secondly, I’m in. Why not?
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Thirdly, how would you classify staples FAR deals? Since you get all your money back, plus more sometimes, would that affect your $1000 starting limit?

Adam

My wife already hates me for mile/point addiction, i want to start this, i guess i will get the couch, eill have to think abt it

Andrew

Why not add a rule, like at least one milage run or fly around the world at least once during the month? It may be out of your budget, hey, it would make things a little more interesting.

oliver2002

1000$ to generate 1 million in one month is a cool challenge, but take airline/UR/SPG points as a basis, not hhonors, that would be more like 100k spg/UR/airline points which is lame! 🙂

nikdro

When you say $1000 spending limit, are you saying $1000 on buying points, or does min spend on new cards count towards that limit?

Anita

FM, this sounds fun! No wonder your blog is my favorite 🙂

Count me in to play along at home.

Anita

Dan

@Josh – I think the idea is that the cost to acquire points should not exceed $1000. If he were to pay bills and do ATM withdrawals with the funds from the VR card I would not consider that as costing him anything since the ATM cash would go right back to the bank account and the bills would have been paid anyways.

Personally I think it would be highly entertaining seeing if he could actually find 334 VR cards in a month and be able to acquire them without a. having to hit every CVS store in a 100 mile radius b. having every CC involved shut down and c.being banned from said CVS stores. Would not want that really happening to him but still thinking about someone trying to pull that off is funny. Of course the other problem is what would one do with 334 VR cards? You can only load so many per month. 334 VR cards would be $167,000.

Frequent Miler

Josh: I wouldn’t count the value of reload cards because the value is easily turned into cash via bluebird (although, in that example it would take a very long time due to bluebird limits).
MidTierStatus: sure, I’m willing to limit how much I do with reloads, etc.

Irishtiger

March! Can’t wait til May! I will play along in April. 😉 1M would be a visit to the man stationed across country every other week for a year!! Woo hoo. 🙂

MileageUpdate

When do we get the “Million Miles a Month” for every month post?

greek2me

@FM- great idea. Look forward to it. I’m traveling half of March and my next AOR falls afterwards, so won’t have enough time to make a serious run at 1 million. But someone has to finish last, so count me in anyway. 🙂

@Delta points- love “Million Mile March Madness”

Acker

Oh man. Here’s hoping Mr Pickels doesn’t get wind of this. He might think one million is chump change and decide to up the ante. I’ll be watching from the cheap seats (wishing I could join you).

Nick @ PFDigest

Do it! Meanwhile I will earn a lot of points by buying popcorn to eat as I sit back and watch.

william

Im in. Time to start preparing.

MileageUpdate

I say count all pts and equal for simplicity. I am usually around 3-4 million points a yr and that costs me about $300 a month (I count TCB and BC as well) so it seems possible to accelerate it and only spend 1k for a million in a month.

David Lesshafft

You had me a “crazy”.

MidTierStatus

What about some limits on how much you would earn using reload cards? By this I mean purely withdrawing the cash of the cards using an ATM, cash adv, paying yourself or other such means. Just to make it more interesting… 😉

As fun as this sounds, I’m not sure I can commit to doing this. Will surely be following along closely!

I’m in. Love to hear some methods to make this happen!

JohnnyCakes

your idea is great and your outline for your gameplan is fine. Keep it simple, count all miles/points as the same, for the general purposes of this challenge. To me a PC point is just as valuable as a Hilton point, because they’re all going toward the same general end-goal.

What I’d like to see during your run: actively show us how you are tracking and showing caution with your credit score, and the impact this wild effort may have on your credit health.

Josh

Don’t you have to include the value of the vanilla card itself in the cost (not just the fee), so $503.95 * 334?

Dan Parlegreco

How could you get a million HH by spending $1320 at CVS? Wouldn’t it be $1320 times 6 = 7920? I’m totally confused

Bayguy

@Dan: Yo is talking about CVS.

Susan

Can’t wait for March!

Dan P

Great idea!

@Yo: what do u mean you could get a million hilton honors points by spending $1320 at a local SVC store? What is a SVC store? Confused by what u are talking about

FrequentMiler

Dan P: I think Yo was suggesting that I could buy 334 Vanilla Reload cards at CVS (not SVC). At 6X (using my Hilton Amex), I would earn 6 X 334 X 500 = 1,002,000 points. Cost = $3.95 x 334 = $1319.30. I don’t think I can realistically buy that many in a month though (nor would I want to)!

Joel

Pending whether I already have the means, count me in, FM.

james

don’t allow complaint emails to count… i can only imagine all worthless complaints that the airlines would be flooded with if other people joined in and went that route.

the stupid meaningless complaints that i’ve seen posters of FT or MP or bloggers submit make us all look bad and should not be encouraged

Yo

I think it’s a great idea. However, I think the strategy of counting al travel points in one category (million mile category) is kin of like cheating. 1 HH point is very different than 1SPG or 1UR point. Doing some quick math, you would spend only $1320 to get a million HH points at your local SVC, where as it would cost $8K to get the same SPG. Your limit of $1000 initially seemed inspiring. I think it’s reasonable to include a few of the 5x or 6x hotel properties but frankly they are on a different scale w respect to worth, value, and earning opportunity. Perhaps to make it a real challenge 😉 you should define a set percentage ( could be liberal) that your hotel points for example should not exceed more than 30 or 50% of your million mi race. Perhaps you can get votes here. Obviously this is a game w no rules other than the ones you define for yourself so most of what I said is irrelevant. But I think to make it challenging and more fun and for you to get the title of “balls of steel” we should have a limit on Hhonors or CC points. What do you think?

FrequentMiler

Yo: I completely agree about the wildly different values of points, but since I don’t yet know exactly how I would pursue 1 million points I didn’t want to artificially limit myself. For a target, sure, let’s say that no more than half should be hotel points. That makes sense.

Tom / SitInFirst.com

Why limit yourself to a million?

FrequentMiler

Tom / SitInFirst.com: Why limit to a million? Because “billion” doesn’t start with “m”.

GemGem

Let’s do it!

David M

I think you should go for it – I look forward to reading your posts. Like you said, it will be entertaining and people can learn from it.

Delta Points

Love this idea. Things in my head at first look. Will say retention call CC points count? Would complaint email/call points count? Also why no conversion. If you earn with conversion in mind, why not. Is it just the goal? i.e. say rent a car with bonus point but not best deal? Fun and will make for…
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“Million Mile March” – Madness!
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🙂

FrequentMiler

Delta Points: Hmm, I’ll have to think about those (retention call, complain emails/calls). Those would violate my “don’t cross the line” rule unless they were real. So, I guess as long as they are real complaints & real intention to close card, they probably should count.

bayguy

I would like to participate in this challenge with you. Pl. count me in.