Found: The Perfect Perpetual Point Machine!

Yes, I believe that a Perfect Perpetual Point Machine has been found!  I need time to write it up, though.  Currently I’m busy at Frequent Traveler University and have other stuff going on through Monday, so I don’t know how soon I can do it justice.  The earliest possibility is Monday.  Tuesday is more likely.

Sorry for the teaser, but I just can’t wait to share!  If you find me at FTU, ask me about this and I’ll give you a preview.

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  1. Greg; Great to meet you and hang out.. it is a great tip that I hope everyone will use judiiciously and not let greed overtake. We actually have a year to finish it and a slow methodical approach seems best.

    Way cool Greg, Congrats

  2. You need to tell me to confirm the validity of it & give the green light. Oh wait, Rick has already done it I see:-)

    Please no teasers…I can’t sleep!

    And here we go again with the ever present dilemma….Reveal it and the likelihood of getting it abused and ended goes up…way up!

  3. I must admit that i check your blog for updates daily! I owe roughly 80k UR points to you so keep up the great work! mostly kmart to ebay cards to cards I actually use which i also made about $220 by buying below face value and 2% back threw ebay rewards. That was back when the ur-mall gave 10x. that deal is dead or dieing fyi. caught a glimpse of the new card layout and bp and ebay are being phased out. I will take a pic of the new layout next time i go in to offload the last of my kmart cards tomorrow. thanks again

  4. If it doesn’t scale, then it’s not really a PPM though, correct? I agree with a couple others here, I HIGHLY recommend if you have found yourself a true PPM that you keep it to yourself. The second you share it with the blogosphere your PPM will die a very quick death.

  5. From Rick Ingersoll’s comment it sounds like a scheme to meet a minimum spend requirement and bank the bonus points while somehow zeroing out the cost for doing so. I am not sure how to otherwise interpret the “we actually have a year to finish it” statement.

  6. I think it’s more “lowering” the cost of doing it, rather than “zeroing the cost”.

    “we actually have a year to finish it” probably refers to the maximum amount for office supplies per year, so you can spread out the amount for the whole year, and not “bunching” it in a few months and raises red flag

  7. @FrequentFlyerPost – I’m actually doing quite well selling GCs on ebay. Already sold $500 this weekend and making a 10% profit to boot. Next time I can obtain these GCs for 50% off I will buy more than $2K, lol.

  8. Looking forward to hearing what it is. I appreciate how open you are with your investigatioins ; lets hope everyone shows some restraint.

  9. I still say it’s http://www.youaregreat.us where you can “buy” UR points for 8¢ with a Chase Freedom card, and 10-points per transaction. But, Greg told me he would worry about pushing it too far. Let’s see if his new scheme pans out better. I’m looking forward.

  10. I caution you, what is more valuable, the publicity or the points. If you truly found the perfect PPM, the publicity will kill it. Word will spread to the retailer or credit card company or gift card company. All of a sudden that one key item will be made an exemption. Remember terms can be changes without notice.
    The PPM will most likeley involve a company that is being “a little too generous” on points….once they feel the financial cost of the points they will quickley turn it off. Points are ultimatley marketing tools that are very effective, but cost companies money as well. Once they realize they are being exploited, they’ll turn off their generosity and save money as well. If I had a company, I would do it. The PPM probabley violates the spirit of their program.
    We are getting points for almost nothing nowadays, if you found the truly “nothing” scheme, KEEP IT TO YOURSELF and enjoy it. Resist the urge to “talk” and you’ll benifiet in the long run. Your blog has a huge following.
    Companies will kill a program once they realize their generosity is being used for the wrong motives. Think of the Mint, they were pushing out coins like they wanted and planed….but one they realized people were after the points instead of the coins, they killed the program. I’ll gladly buy a secondary product for points, but when that company realizes we may not care about their product, they’ll kill the program…just like the mint did, the post office & money orders and several others.
    If you’re creative, you can get a lot of points, but don’t reveal your scheme to lazy people. Once 10,000 people push the envelope, the program is dead. Loose lips sink…
    Sorry for the rant.

  11. > Think of the Mint, they were pushing out coins like they wanted and plan[n]ed

    Actually, what they wanted was for people to put the coins into circulation. Having them just deposited into a bank did them no good whatever.

  12. Army Guy, I think a company could care less if people actually “care” about their product as long as the product is being bought and contributing to the company’s bottom line. Companies don’t care about their consumer’s feelings; all they care about is revenue. High revenue means the consumer is happy, even if the product is crap and the consumer could care less about it. If a company gets wise about a PPM they may change their points structure yes, but it’s not because they got their feelings hurt that people were not extolling accolades about their product. Also, I think half the fun of playing the points game is the challenge of continually having to finding new and inventive ways to accrue points. The journey is half the fun right, especially when shared with others?? Bring on the PPM!!

  13. The PPM will stand or not, depending on whether the companies in question are making money or not. If not, it may last longer if fewer know about it, but eventually it’ll collapse. If all parties are making money or otherwise believe they are getting value out of the promotion, then it’ll continue. “Feelings” don’t come into play for corporate decisions and points given for marketing only work…if people know about it.

    FM has created a popular blog that has shown his readers various ways to increase their net point acquisitions. It does nothing for him to keep it secret. If anything, he’s increased his loyal readership (I count myself among them) because of his sharing of tips and ideas with those who have less time to research. In turn, that loyal readership increases traffic to his site, uses his links, etc (at least I do).

    It’s a win-win scenario for all involved, which is actually the ideal state for a market. Coveting such tips in secret defeats the purpose of a blog of this nature, and the community as a whole.

    To those who’d just keep every tip to themselves, they remind me of 1920s black and white villains twirling their pencil mustaches and cackling about how they are about to take over the world from their dungeon abode.

  14. @Ajit: If readers are gaining here by getting free pts/miles, then somebody is losing out here. Obviously it is the company in question that is giving out the pts/miles. So no, this PPM will NOT stand. It will die when it gets too much blog exposure.

    And contrary to your view, it certainly DOES do something for FM if he keeps it secret. It keeps this loophole that he has found from dying a very quick death. He was smart enough to think it up on his own, so hopefully he does the smart thing and keeps it to himself so that HE can take advantage of it for years to come.

    Unfortunately, I feel like the allure of some fleeting “blogger fame” for posting this PPM will overcome common sense that he should keep this quiet. So he indeed will share it, and then indeed it will die a quick death. I just hope that once this happens for this current PPM that he has found (and I can virtually guarantee it WILL happen), FM will learn his lesson and NOT share the next PPM that he stumbles onto.

    So to sum it up, it is NOT a “win-win scenario for all involved” as you claim it is. There are plenty of losers. The biggest losers are the people that were smart enough to figure out this loophole before FM did, and partook of it all while keeping it quiet so that it would live a long life. I can pretty much guarantee you that whatever the loophole is, somebody else already thought of it before FM did, and they are currently taking advantage of it. When this PPM blows up due to overexposure, then that person gets screwed.

    Ajit, just because you are either:
    a) too lazy to think a PPM up for yourself, or
    b) not smart enough to think a PPM up for yourself

    does not mean that FM should ruin this PPM/loophole for others who WERE smart enough or motivated enough to think it up on their own.

    So Ajit, if you think sharing all tips (especially a working PPM) on some silly blog is a good idea, how about the second that FM posts this working PPM here tomorrow, I immediately go and package it up and post it on FatWallet and SlickDeal in a way that FW’ers or SD’ers can abuse the heck out of it? After all, it should be shared with everybody, correct? Even though most of those FW/SD leeches/lemmings are too lazy or not smart enough to think up such things on their own, they are certainly entitled to abuse these loopholes as much as FM’s readers are, correct? And when I post Frequent Miler’s working PPM on FW and SD tomorrow, it will then die in a couple days instead of a couple weeks………….even though if he didn’t share it at all it very well could last for years.

    So I guess my summary is that lazy/unmotivated people will support FM’s posting of this PPM, whereas smart/motivated people who can think these up on their own will not support it. I know which camp Ajit, Matt, and RizwanK fall into (leech camp). And I know which camp Nun, Scott, and BaldArmyGuy fit into (creative thinker camp).

  15. @gregorygrady: I’m not sure you recognize the sheer volume of irony in your post, not the least calling people “leeches” when you clearly think the PPM will collapse if it gets posted on a blog (which pretty much assumes that it is injuring a corporation and the users of it are thereby leeching off of said corporation, its stockholders and owners). Or that if society operated in the fashion you described in a broad basis, it’d be massively dysfunctional and highly corrupt. Or is that okay, as long as you “get yours”?
    Yee-haw, cowboy.
    Yeah. I thought so. Everyone who doesn’t come up with every single tip, strategy or point maximization plan is “lazy” or a “leech”, which is just the grade-school playground way of trivializing or demeaning entire swaths of people who for a myriad of reasons, haven’t come up with a particular idea. I don’t think you understand the concept of…books, articles, blogs, or the general dissemination of information. Or wait–did you absorb all the information you know about point acquisition via osmosis or god?
    If FM doesn’t share his findings, someone else will sooner or later. Welcome to the internet. Thankfully, FM has been pretty awesome about being open and transparent about his discoveries…which, of course, is the point of his blog. Which is why he has readers.
    Yeah.

  16. And what are you? 3? You know what camp we’re in? The “leech camp” versus the “creative thinker camp”? Are you for real? Where in the world did you come from? Hahaha.

  17. @Ajit: LOL, touche. You are completely correct. It is totally ironic (actually the better word would be hypocritical) that I leech off the companies in the exact same way that you are trying to leech off Frequent Miler’s PPM. But that’s just the way it is. Nobody likes a leech. Certainly not the companies who will shut stuff down if there are too many leeches, and certainly not me, as I try to think up this creative stuff on my own and don’t like leeches of leeches spoiling it. :-)

    I guess I just don’t like 2nd generation leeches since I am a first generation leech. Just like you (as a 2nd generation leech) wouldn’t like it if I go and immediately post FM’s PPM on FatWallet and SD so 3rd generation leeches go and ruin it for 2nd generation leeches such as yourself.

    I have no doubt FM will post it anyways despite my desire that he not. Cuz the more stuff like this he posts, the more blog readers he gets. Just ask Mr Bowtie/Million Mile Secrets.

    BTW, don’t get me wrong. I leech off other people’s loopholes and good ideas as well, so I’m definitely a hypocrit. Some things like this can work out okay if they are done small scale. But as soon as they hit the blogs, their days are extremely numbered. BTW, if you can’t tell, I’m not a big fan of bloggers either, even though I enjoy reading FM’s blog as I like his thought process. He’s going to come up with plenty more PPM’s over the next decade………..hopefully he can restrain himself from posting/ruining all of them though.

  18. @gregorygrady: Actually, I don’t mind if you post it on FatWallet (though I am sure FM would like appropriate credit and links). I just don’t have the same sort of outlook that you have. Everything is transitory, everything will come and go. Nothing is permanent or forever. And I’m not in a race to the finish line. There’s this good article on the Wall Street Journal today entitled “10 Things Your Commencement Speaker Won’t Tell You”. You should check it out. But one of the quotes I loved from it was: “We know that success isn’t about simply running faster than everyone else in some predetermined direction. Yet the message we are sending from birth is that if you don’t make the traveling soccer team or get into the “right” school, then you will somehow finish life with fewer points than everyone else. That’s not right. You’ll never read the following obituary: ‘Bob Smith died yesterday at the age of 74. He finished life in 186th place.'”
    More importantly, I don’t mind if you post it on Fatwallet, because by FM’s own description of a PPM is: “‘The PPM must do no harm. In my earlier post “Perpetual Point Machine… Not!” I described a failed scheme to buy gift cards with gift cards and earn miles each time, indefinitely. The problem with that scheme is that, if it had worked, it would clearly harm the retailer who would have been responsible for buying all of those miles.'”
    If the PPM does no harm, there is less reason for it to be shut down. Things like the Mint were shut down because they failed to meet their objective (getting coins into distribution) while incurring increasing costs.
    But I don’t partake in plans and schemes that I find illicit or otherwise would be considered stealing. Which is probably why I don’t ever worry about Amex or Chase shutting me down, or why I don’t freak out about ideas being posted or disappearing. I also engage in point acquisition in moderation.
    We just have different philosophies and approaches to the issue. Take a breather and don’t worry so much–you’ll enjoy life–and all those points you’re acquiring–a lot more.

  19. And yeah, I’m pretty sure you don’t read FM’s blog because you’ve got a zillion extra hours in the day and absolutely nothing else of interest came up. You’re here–like the rest of us–because you want to uncover ideas and ways to…acquire more points, especially if you didn’t think it up first.
    The truth will set you free.

  20. Bloggers are free to post what they want, but should also understand the likely unintended results once a PPM goes viral.

    Although there are two opinions on whether or not this PPM should be shared; it would be wiser to think of two group in a different light. First group, albeit small, may have found a PPM and are enjoying the benefits. The second group are people who don’t know about it, and obviously aren’t benefiting (paradoxically that’s me).

    By revealing this secret PPM, the second group will quickly try it out, and if it works will take it to the logical extreme, i.e. earn enough points to fly a family of five, round the world in first class. In their effort to maximize points, they may only benefit for 1 or 2 weeks, and then it’s over.

    Ironically, the second group who are currently isn’t benefiting, will not benefit once this PPM goes viral. They may enjoy the fun for a week or two, and then it’s over.

    Post away, but realize publicity changes everything. As we’ve seen, the media/reporters read flyertalk and are always looking for someone to interview, and give them an easy news story. Ultimately the business/bank/airline will find out what’s happening and make a strategic change that takes away the fun.

    FWIW, I’m in the second group and have no knowledge of this PPM. I do have another scheme that has nothing to do with airline/hotel/travel/points and I’ve benefited for almost two years. I keep it to myself and will be sad if it goes away. About six months ago one of the members of our community mentioned it “in passing”; I was nervous it would go viral but fortunately nobody dwelled in it and the conversation quickly changed.

    I hope this blog keeps talking about cheap and easy points, but if there’s a truly FREE point scheme, keep it to yourself.

    Bottom line: post the PPM it if you want to; but be prepared for what happens next. Those people in “the know” have everything to lose and nothing to gain by publicizing this. The second group who are benefiting, ironically will benefit very little once this goes viral.

    Being in the military, there’s obvious benefits to keeping things secret.

  21. @Ajit:
    1) Here’s a guarantee: Schemes/loopholes are a lot more permanent if they DON’T get posted to a blog or FatWallet type website. At least with Flyertalk you have to dig through the website to find some gems. These bloggers just spoonfeed lazy people, that’s the problem.

    2) I hate to tell you, but there IS NO SUCH THING AS A PPM. I can guarantee you that whatever PPM FM reveals tomorrow will somehow harm some company financially. When FM came up with his definition of “PPM”, he was obviously hitting the crackpipe too hard cuz a true PPM doesn’t exist. You cannot turn a $10 bill into $20 by splitting it up. You will always have $10. Somebody will be on the losing end (companies), and somebody will be on the winning end (hopefully the blog readers). As soon as the company realizes it’s taking a loss, they will shut the “PPM” down. Therefore it is NOT Perpetual, and it will not even meet FM’s definition of a PPM since it WILL harm some party financially.

    3) FWIW, I don’t read FM to uncover some great deal/idea. I read FM because I find it amusing that FM thinks he can find a PPM (by his definition). It was sort of like a train wreck when I first started reading, I almost couldn’t stop reading. Yet I very much like his thought process. Take out the “a PPM won’t harm anybody” rule, and he will likely be finding them in a couple years. But keep that in his definition and he will never find one.

  22. @Bald Army Guy: Fair enough. You’ve got a zero-sum perspective. It seems contrary to the concept of the community, blogs and sharing ideas, among other things. But to each their own. Still, if someone goes away, something new will take its place. No need to sweat it so much.

    @gregorygrady:
    1) I will concede that in some cases some things last longer without it being shared. This is not always the case.

    2) You seem to miss the point of why some companies do things–advertising and marketing. For instance, with Staples (and the companies that offer rebates through them), the value in marketing equals or exceeds the cost incurred from their perspective. This is also why credit companies give large bonuses. Admittedly, nothing is “perpetual”, but FM obviously used the term loosely to describe a system that continued to give points beyond a one-shot use. Not to describe something that will continue to work to the Apocalypse and beyond. If a company does not believe it is getting value out of its marketing (via points, rebates, what have you), it will cease to do so. Until then, it is a win-win situation for all involved, since all parties are getting value out of it.

    3) You read the blog, because you’re super-uber-smart and need no ideas from FM, but rather it was a “train wreck” and you couldn’t take your eyes off. And oh yeah, you also like the way he thinks. What, you got the hots for him and want to ask him out on a date?

    Yeaaaaaaah. Suuuuuuuure buddy. We believe you. That’s the reason why you read his blog. Mmmmmm-hmmmmmm.

    To quote the late, great Rick James, “Cocaine is a hell of a drug!”

  23. @Ajit:
    2) Staples does Free After Rebate items to bring customers to the store. If EVERYBODY came in and bought 10 of them, and that’s it, the FAR scheme would be shut down extremely quickly. Ink Bold offers 5% back at office stores as a loss leader, to get businesses to apply for the card in hopes they will use it to buy other things that they WILL make money on. The CC most certainly does NOT make money on somebody that goes and spends $50k per year at Staples and then sockdrawers the CC for the rest of the year. Just like a grocery store might offer milk for $1.49 per gallon. It’s to get people in the door so they will buy other things. They don’t intend to make money on these items. If enough people start abusing ALL of the above, then all the companies above would stop doing each of these things. The more publicity something gets (ie, PPM blog posts) that will cause people to abuse these loopholes, the sooner they will go away. And yes, I have already admitted I am a hypocrite for taking advantage of loopholes while still not wanting them to get too big that they are shut.

    3) I never said I’m uber-smart. But I have come up with one of two schemes in my lifetime that I would certainly never share with somebody who would blog about it. And shockingly enough, for some reason my schemes still work!!! But if they were blogged about tomorrow, they would die a quick death.

    And no, I don’t want to go out on a date with FM. I’m happily married thank you very much. He wouldn’t even make my cut of the top 50% of the people on the planet that I would want to go out on a date with. Although to be fair, he might be in the 51st percentile so if I wasn’t married and the first 3B people all rejected me, then yes I might ask FM out on a date. ;-)

    BTW, “train wreck” was a little harsh. When I first stumbled upon this blog, I was fascinated by FM’s pipe dream of finding this mythical PPM. I kept reading it cuz it was sort of amusing how much time he seemed to waste to get virtually no return back (ie, buying Nooks and then reselling them on eBay just for a few UR pts, etc). But I have to give it to him, he is getting better at thinking through these schemes, and his schemes are getting better and better by the week. That’s why I say I wouldn’t be surprised if soon he actually does think up a working PPM (minus the “no harm to anybody” rule of course) in the next year or two. Heck, everybody has to start somewhere. You don’t just think up great schemes from scratch with no practice, it’s something you have to work at (or else take the easy way out and leech from somebody’s blog who DOES work at it). I remember back in the old days I would sign up for 30-day trials of Travelers Advantage, get the $50 Savings Bond (which had a value of $25 as you would have to wait like 15 years for it to get to $50), and then cancel. I would do that with all sorts of little things like that, one of them gave out a free hotel night cert for trying their service. Would I ever waste my time with something like that nowadays? No way as it’s too time consuming and I value my time more than that. But it got me started and gave me a ground level to start from and improve upon. I see FM as thinking very much like myself a decade ago. And I know there are geniuses out there who I don’t even hold a candle to.

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