To tell or not to tell

At 5 this morning I received a message from my son saying he was sick.  He had been spending the night at a friend’s house because my wife had to leave very early this morning for a business trip, and I’ve been away for the weekend for frequent flyer fun.  The plan was for my son to go with his friend to school, but now we’re on to plan B.  I jumped on an early flight to go get him.  So, now I’m typing this with my laptop crammed on my lap while the passenger in front of me reclines peacefully.

On Saturday I posted a teaser claiming I had found a perfect Perpetual Point Machine (PPM).  I didn’t post details at that time partly because I’m evil, but mostly because my weekend was full with activities which were virtually non stop until now.  When I get home I plan to take a nap and then, if my son is doing OK, I’ll write up the first in a series of posts about the new discovery.  As a habit I write most posts the day before publication.  I schedule them to publish at 6:15 a.m. EST, but the automated feeds, tweets, etc. often don’t go out until about 7.

If you haven’t already seen them, I recommend you take a look at the comments from my teaser post.  The dialog ranges from exasperation to excitement, and proceeds to a debate about whether or not I should tell at all.  The whole thing is a lot more interesting than anything I’ve ever written, so thank you all for adding great content to this site!

Lowering Expectations

Tomorrow’s post won’t be described as a Perpetual Point Machine.  Instead, I will be highlighting a great way to maximize point earnings.  Instead of a radical new discovery, I’ll describe an important, but incremental improvement over ideas I’ve published before.  I’ll follow up later in the week with a discussion of how to turn the new approach into a PPM.  We can then happily debate whether or not it meets the definition of “perfect”.  Honestly, I think we’ll land somewhere closer to “really good”, but we’ll see.

Should I tell?

I discovered this a couple of weeks ago and have been struggling since then with the question of whether to tell.  The fear is that when people get too greedy, the deal will be killed.  After testing things out to make sure it all works, I then consulted with a number of people with more experience than me.  The general consensus has been that I should tell all.  Here’s why:

  • The deal leverages publicly available offers.  There is not a single piece of this scheme that is anything like a mistake fare.
  • The deal is based on a new product that will be advertised more and more going forward.  This isn’t rocket science.  Everyone playing our game will know about this sooner or later.
  • There are built-in limits to the deal.  While the average person can probably squeeze out about 20K points per month, it would be extremely difficult to do more than that.  And, if you try to do more, it is likely that you will get shut down, but the deal will go on for others.
  • Finally, yes, of course I hope to draw in new readers.  If this deal eventually dies, more will follow in the future.  While some discoveries come from the Frequent Miler Laboratory, most come from reader tips.  With more readers, I expect to see more tips and the game will go on.

I want to thank everyone I confided in to help me reach this decision.  I spent many sleepless nights agonizing over this question, but I finally slept well on Saturday night after reaching a decision.  For those of you agonizing over the wait, please accept my apologies.  As I said early, I am most certainly evil and so will milk this for all it’s worth Smile.

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About Greg The Frequent Miler

Greg is the owner, founder, and primary author of the Frequent Miler. He earns millions of points and miles each year, mostly without flying, and dedicates this blog to teaching others how to do the same.

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  1. I was truly an honor and a pleasure meeting up and talking with at the FTU. Just wanted to thank you again for all you do for the miles and points community. I hope you son gets well soon and that you have a safe travels today. Keep on scheming my friend, keep on scheming 🙂

  2. Great seeing you again this weekend and looking forward to hearing more! 😉 (hope your kiddo recovers quickly, I know how that goes!)

  3. You are making me sick to my stomach with excitement. I’d love a little scoop if you want to drop me an e-mail; I will certainly let you know what I find in my other experiment I told you about.

  4. Hope ur sons feeling better

    Milk……where’s the cookie 😛

    Hope this involves the INK, since I just got it this week. Need to meet the minimum spent

  5. I think you should tell. It was a goal of your blog to find something like this. If you kill the deal by posting, it’s not that big of a loss. You will find another PPM you can keep to yourself. This one you should share, to accomplish your goal.

  6. I am with other that family first! Then tell all.

    On my blog I tell all if it can be done open by all and inside the rules. The only time I do not tell, or save for a DO, is ones that can not reliability be done by all or are outside the “official” rules and could mean no points or worse!

    Worst thing that can happen is this deal dies and we move to the next, and the next etc etc! 😉

  7. I’m leaving for a cruise Thursday, back on Mother’s Day. Can you send me the plan in email today? 😉

    Well, I guess it’ll make for some interesting reading when I get home. I’m guessing even a PPM isn’t worth modem-speed access at 50 cents/min from the ship. 🙁

  8. I think these are your hints, “20K points per month”, “incremental improvements”. With that in mind, I think you are referring to a business card, with a spending bonus category, and with a limit of 50K purchase (before bonus) per year on that specific category.

    “incremental improvements” is probably referring to finding a way to lower the cost of doing it.

    Over the weekend, another blog (initial HS), NOT “boardingarea” has done a write up about it, with pictures and everything.

    My next apps will be using your link and her link.

  9. I certainly hope that the PPM involves commercial transactions and doesn’t affect/involve a particular non-profit that’s doing lots to help alleviate poverty.

  10. That’s exciting new! Just wanted to comment on the 20k points per month limitation you mentioned. I am sure more is merrier, but that by itself will get anyone a free round-the-world ticket in business class after a year. How much more do people really need? 🙂

  11. One should always assume a deal will disappear. It’s only a matter of time, none last forever. Consider this fact when deciding whether to share any piece of information.

    At any rate, this is what I like: careful consideration of the facts and (if so desired) consultation with others. No shooting from the hip blog posting without examining the consequences (positive and negative). Some get it, some don’t. You clearly do and it’s why you’re on my morning coffee. 🙂

  12. My second favorite blog behind Mommy Points (only because I have a 2 yr old daughter). Thank you for keeping it real and not hiding behind some pretense that you are doing the world a whole lot of good by keeping it to yourself. Don’t let a few bad apples ruin it for the rest of us.

  13. It’s going to be a shame when this PPM only applies to one specific card that only a relatively small group already has or will be able to apply for and get approved. I hope that’s not the case.

  14. It’s NOT 20K per month. It’s 50K x5 = 250K per year. That’s appoximately 20K per month since you dont want to max it to raise red flag.

  15. @ Randy

    Just wait for “Frequent Miler” write about it. It will only be a couple days when his article comes out. There’s no need to rush into this. Like Gary said on comment #1 of the “teaser” post, this method should be done over the course of a year.

  16. Jo,

    Considering miler’s great work with Ink, I would think you are probably correct as I was suspecting the same. I need to find this blog you are referring too.

    I went back and read his definition of the “PPM” and it must be “easy.” So, wondering what his wrinkile is? His best finds, of late, were the $500 gift cards at Office Depot and the new cash back rate for Staples online with brings back the $100 card into play. Wonder if it has to do with these?

  17. Whenever I see your posts I get very excited to read. You have become one of my favorite reads. I’m looking forward to this next post!

  18. It will not have anything to do with buying or selling gift cards; it can’t. Rates for cash back change and are not reliable in the long term, heck they could, and do, change weekly. Unless FM has found another way to liquidate giftcards I see such a scenario unlikely. Also FM mentioned that if one gets greedy they will get shut down yet others will continue to prosper. That insinuates some form of long term stability in the PPM; yet another strike against the ever transient vicissitudes of the giftcard play.

  19. I think I stumbled upon IT in a store last week and know what it is. If so, I’m stoked. If not I’m still stoked. But more stoked if I guessed it right.

  20. I have a feeling I may know what it is also. If correct I would strongly caution anyone from letting greed overtake. We’ll see whether I’m right but if I am it’s a new product from a long established company (see if anyone is thinking the same thing).

  21. This post might not necesscarily kill the ppm, but it will DEFINITELY bring a lot of unwanted (negative) attention from a certain card issuer….then it will kill it.

  22. OK, I’m in the minority here, but the fun part will be seeing how long this lasts. I’d like to have an office pool to see when it gets shut down, and the winner gets a few SWUs. The community is buzzing right now, thereby, guaranteeing that this will spread like wildfire. I, and many others expect an early closure to this scheme, therefor if you want points you may need to pile on fast.

    As always, I personally advocate for not disclosing it. 250,000 mile will be too much temptation to resist, and people will pile on quickly expecting an early closure.

    By reading the hints, I suspect it involves the chase bold credit card, giftcards from an office store, and someway to liquidate these cards. I predict chase will see the spike in points they’re giving out, and quickly end the program.

    Personally I’m more curious how this will end. Will it last as long as the mint, or will it close as fast as the post office scheme.

    Game on, this blogger already said he plans on posting the scheme tomorrow. On your marks, get set, ready…

    “subject to change without notice”.

  23. Jo – After it is posted on here, can you post the original site? I am just always interested to check out other blog sites.


  24. @jamba would tend to agree. Again if it’s the same one we all seem to be thinking. My concern would be a potential affect on other business we might have with this company.

  25. Wow, I’m having so much fun reading these comments it almost makes me want to put off the reveal another day…

    Or, I can reveal it right now: It’s a Segway Scooter!

    As to the comments and guesses above, I can only say that I agree completely with Kathy in comment #15.

    But seriously, tomorrow’s morning post will give you the basics of what you need to know. I’ll follow up with a number of related posts including, perhaps, a doomsday counter. I like that idea. I’m also curious about who in the world HS is. Maybe we can play that game next.

  26. Oh, I may have figured it out. I’ve spent some time on the web tonight based on the above clues, and I think I know what everyone is talking about. If I’m right, the new product is not from Chase.

  27. I like all the rest am getting this feeling deep in my stomach! I really do think this is cruel and unusual punishment. I really hope this is understandable, attainable, sustainable, reliable, reputable, accessible, and not too detectable!!!!

  28. HS is… well… think first name, last name initials, not the blog itself. Figuring it was almost as fun as searching for the PPM. I just got lucky with it.

  29. You do know that HS has already beat you too it right? I saw her update earlier on MilePoint. I like the way you guys think!

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