Million Mile Madness, Day 1 results

340,000 points earned.  660,000 left to go.

Background: Million Mile Madness is the fun and foolish quest to earn a million points in one month. Throughout March, I’ll do everything I can to earn as many points as I can while keeping within my ethical boundaries. I don’t expect that a million points will have been credited to my account by March 31st: points often take quite a while to get credited. Instead, I’ll track all of the points that I expect, and I’ll declare victory if the expected total is over a million. To keep things challenging, I will try to keep my net costs below $1,000. In case you’re interested, all points earned and expenses incurred will be tracked via this Google Docs spreadsheet. See all Million Mile Madness posts (in reverse order), by clicking here.

Churn results so far

Today I signed up for 11 different credit cards.  I was approved for 7 (after calling about 5 of them).  Three are still pending.  One was denied.  Here are the detailed results:



Spend Req

First Yr Fee (ongoing)


Barclaycard US Airways 35K First Use Free ($89) Approved instantly.
Barclaycard US Airways business 25K First Use $79 Denied.  Initially pending. I called twice and spoke to supervisor. No luck. Too many recent inquiries.
US Bank Club Carlson Personal 85K $2500 $75 Pending. I called US Bank but was told that it was a fully automated process and that I would just have to wait 24 to 48 hours for a decision.
US Bank Club Carlson Business 85K $2500 $60 Pending. See above.
American Express Platinum Mercedes 50K $1000 $475 Approved after calling (initially pending). Will recoup $400 in airline fees in 2013 and early 2014, so net cost is $75.
American Express Premier Rewards Gold 50K $1K Free ($175) Approved instantly
Citi AA business 50K $3K Free ($85) Approved after calling (initially pending). Card include $150 statement credit after first use with AA.
Citi ThankYou Preferred 6K $300 Free Pending. Was told that after approving the AA card, they had to wait 24 hours to approve the second.
Chase Ink Plus 50K $5K Free ($95) Approved after calling. Had to move some credit from another card.
Chase Ink Plus 50K $5K Free ($95) Approved after calling. Initally this was denied as a duplicate application. Told agent that I have 2 different businesses (which is true).
Chase United MileagePlus 55K $1K Free ($95) Approved after calling. Had to move some credit from another card.


Here are the totals by application status:


Bonus Total

Required Spend  Total

First Year fees


Approved (7) 340K $16000 $475 I expect to get $550 in statement credits to more than offset first year fees
Pending (3) 176K $5300 $135
Denied (1) 25K $0 $79


My Thoughts

340,000 points is not an impressive churn.  In January, my wife earned 305,000 points from only 4 cards.  That said, the points I will earn are fantastically valuable.  The collection of 55K United miles, 85K AA / US Airways miles, 100K Membership Rewards, and 100K Ultimate Rewards is awesome!  I’m psyched about the 100K Membership Rewards alone because they are more than enough for another flight on Singapore Airlines Suites class!

And, of course, there is still hope with the pending applications.  This churn could end up with as many as 516,000 points, but I think its unlikely.  I’m hoping to get at least one of the Club Carlson cards approved.  If not, I have a big job ahead to earn 660,000 points through the rest of the month! That’s 33,000 points per business day! Luckily, Chase and Amex promised to have their cards here by Monday or Tuesday so I will be able to get started on those minimum spend requirements right away.  If you’re curious about how I intend to meet those spend requirements and earn many more points, please see “Million Mile Madness: Preparing to buy & sell.”

On Monday, I’ll give an update regarding the pending apps, and some lessons learned from this huge churn.  In the meantime, I’ll be planning more ways to earn miles!

Learn about Million Mile Madness:

Earn miles without flying—> Start Here

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.

More articles by Greg The Frequent Miler »


  1. I just found out that in my last churn of 11 cards two of them where boa hawaii and bank of hawaii they gave me the bait and switch and i got the lesser product which is 10k instead of 35k so my switch to hilton will only yield me 40k instead of 140k which sucks.

  2. I had to settle for amex,citi,boa,barclays since im blacklisted at chase.Chase has the best cards but i havent been able to get cards from them in 3 years.It sucks even more because that was before i joined the miles game and had no clue about traveling.I got blacklisted and no excuse was given.So i hope you guys take your relationship with chase seriously.

  3. Have you considered transferring your new Amex Premier MR points to Starwood, and take advantage of Starwood bonus points when transferring in increment of 20k pts to an airline?

    This will get you closer to the million mile mark

  4. That’s a great start!
    My question is when I applied about a month ago for the United 50k offer they told me since I earned the mileage bonus from United in 2011 I am not eligible for the bonus anymore because it is one time deal. I am just curious if you have ever earned the United bonus before via the Chase United card(or Continental card before) and how did you get the bonus again this time around? Any tips?

    • Jonathan: No, I never had a United or Continental card before. With Chase, I recommend looking for different products rather than trying the same card again. For example, the Sapphire Preferred Visa, and Sapphire Preferred Mastercard are different products so you should be able to get the bonus on each. Same with Ink Bold, Ink Plus, Ink Cash, and Ink Classic if you have a valid business.

  5. Thank you for your quick response. That clears my doubts. I am also relatively new to the whole points game and I find myself enjoying it.

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