Frequent Miler’s 2011 Hits


Happy New Year’s day everyone!  Today you’ll find a list of my top posts from 2011 (based on my own subjective opinion).  Yes, I’ve only been blogging for 4 months now so it may seem a bit ridiculous, but hey, that’s OK.  In case you missed it, please also check out my top failures in “Frequent Miler’s 2011 Fails”.  Now, back to the good stuff:

Frequent Miler Hits

  1. Perpetual Point Machine… Not!
    I didn’t actually think much of this one when I wrote it, but reader feedback was quite positive. I discovered that I shared a common goal with many readers:  a perpetual point machine that will award us with points and miles forever and ever. I followed up with more “PPM” posts and quickly discovered that I had found my niche.  You can find all PPM posts by clicking on the Perpetual Point Machine tagon my site. Note that the posts are sorted with the most recent first.
  2. The Art of Gift Card Churning
    I’ve been writing about double-dip shopping with gift cards since I started blogging. Now, however, with the addition of “upgrading” gift cards (see Hit #4), I decided that it was time to give a name to this activity. Since most of my readers are familiar with credit card churning, the name “gift card churning” seemed to be just the right fit! In my most recent peek at my Ultimate Rewards points I found that I now have over 150,000 UR points: only 50K of which come from credit card churning. That means that I’ve racked up almost 100K in points in just a few months thanks to gift card churning! And, that doesn’t even count the fact that most of my gift card purchases were made with non Chase cards in order to meet minimum spend requirements or to hit bonus thresholds. In other words, I earned many more miles and points on other cards.  I’m hoping that many of you did too!
  3. Fair Trading Prices for Points and Miles
    Since starting this blog I’ve been writing about schemes that involve spending money in order to accumulate points and miles.  One thing that bothered me with these schemes, though, was how hard it was to come up with an objective way to identify the value of those points.  Without that, how can anyone know if a scheme is a good deal?  Then, one day I realized that while it is nearly impossible to guess the value people will get from redeeming points, it is possible to estimate the usual price for acquiring them.  I preceded this “fair trading prices” post with one about the cost of credit card pointsin which I identified the primary way people “buy” points through credit card spend.  This laid the foundation for the fair trading prices chart that is now a permanent page on the Frequent Miler site.
  4. Buy Miles for 1.2 cents or less
    This was my first post in which I introduced the idea of upgrading merchant gift cards to make them more valuable for use or for resale. It was also my attempt to introduce a safer way to buy miles in the hope that people would forget about the Amex GC / Square debacle (see “Frequent Miler’s 2011 Fails”)
  5. Mileage run shopping: Buying 162,000 miles for $500
    What a big day December 9th was!  It was the day in which Sears brought back 10 points per dollar in the Ultimate Rewards Mall and it was the day in which I did my first true mileage run which resulted in Platinum status on Delta and 54,000 Delta miles!  Many of you followed along as I flew from city to city using Delta’s in flight internet to buy gift cards and electronics at  I have recently finished selling it all off via EBay, and I’ll post the results soon.

Others receiving votes:

What do you think?  Did I miss any of your favorites?

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LOL, I just posted a comment on your previous blog post but maybe it should have gone here. It was regarding the mythical “PPM” that I believe to be your biggest fail of 2011, but you seem to believe is your biggest hit of 2011 somehow. Good luck finding it though!! I guess I will repost my comment here:
I think you missed the single biggest Frequent Miler Fail of 2011:

There is no such thing as your PPM as you describe it!!!!!

If miles/pts were PPM-able, they would inevitably hurt one party, as at least one party is footing the bill for those miles/pts. Either it is the merchant who you get the miles from who pays the airlines directly, or the airline who takes a haircut by offering them cheaper somehow. The miles are not free.

And yes, there are things that are very close to your ideal PPM, however one party will be harmed financially. In fact I know of multiple “almost PPMs” (minus the “doesn’t harm either party” guideline). But the problem is that nobody in their right mind who knows of a PPM (or anything close to it) would be caught dead posting a whiff of it on your blog, nor even on FT as that would kill the deal ASAP. So just realize that the second you find your “ideal PPM” and post about it to your blog, it will just as soon vanish as all your blog readers will jump in and kill the deal for you. My advice to you for 2012 is that if you ever do happen to find your mythical/elusive PPM, don’t post it on your blog or it will die a very quick death. 😉

UR Fan

can’t wait to see your ebay/sears UR results. Thanks!


I can’t wait to sit down and read thru each of your “hits”, as 2011 was a very busy work year for me and I just haven’t been able to keep up on all the good info you have out there! thanks for at least making it easier for me!