Million Mile Madness: Success!!!!!

1,000,546 points earned! 

Background: Million Mile Madness is the fun and foolish quest to earn a million points in one month. Throughout March, I’m doing 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.

All points earned and expenses incurred are tracked via this Google Docs spreadsheet. See all Million Mile Madness posts (in reverse order), by clicking here.

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Success!!!!!

At about 3PM Sunday afternoon, March 31, I was less than 2000 points away from my goal.  So, I cranked up Kivalens, and made enough loans to get to a million points & miles, and to hopefully do some good!  For details about Kivalens, see “Minimum spend requirements? Kivalens to the rescue.”

So, I made it to an expected million points, but did I keep the budget to under $1000 in net costs?  I believe so.  In fact, right now, it looks as if I may end up with a small profit.  It will be quite a while until I know for sure, though, since I have yet to sell everything bought for resale.  Of the items that I’ve started to sell, most are selling quickly and at a profit.

Now I can finally take a break!  I’ll follow up later this week with information about how I did this, what types of points & miles I earned, thoughts about what I’ll do with those points, and more.  See you in April!

 

Learn about Million Mile Madness:

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 »

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  1. […] This is really the best of times in earning miles and points. We have Vanilla Reload cards in plenty of CVS drug stores. Yes, sometimes you get the odd cashier or manager who refuses to let you buy them with a miles/points earning credit card. And some people still abuse this by buying too many cards at a time and then some true junkies hide the cards in ever more innovative spots (behind Facebook gift cards, really?). We can then load the Bluebird accounts up to $5k per month and pay our credit card bills with it. Or pay ourselves or get cash from ATMs. Or go to WalMart and do more things there. There are still plenty of other prepaid cards, from Paypal to AMEX prepaid to Target AMEX and a dizzying array of Vanilla type cards on the shelves. We now have regular gift cards that come with a PIN with detailed instructions and pics/arrows! We even have some debit cards still around that work like magic (Sun Trust Delta, my vanilla debit).  Mortgage payments, check! Student loan payments, check! Estimated tax payments, check! We can pay the odd vendor who does not accept credit cards with a Bluebird check or have Bluebird send a check directly…the floodgates are open! Amazon’s Bezos strangely still allows us to use Amazon Payments for $1k per month! You can up the spening in a big way by buying and selling stuff if you are into that kind of thing (and can keep track of all of it!). It is not the amazing 5x Office Depot/VR/BB angle but still, my point is, the issue of meeting minimum spend requirements on a new credit card is NO LONGER an issue! If you have the time you can also say that hitting the spend requirements on several cards to earn MQMs (Delta cards), companion tickets (British Airways Visa),  elite levels (Hilton Diamond with $40k in Hilton Amex Surpass), several spending threshold amounts in several cards, etc is also NO LONGER an issue! I think the only way to spend money (manufactured or not) and not earn miles/points is to invest in a 401k through your employer! (Anyone?)  It is a miles/points earning nirvana. It is how you get Frequent Miler to earn 1 million points in a single month and not sweat about it. […]

Comments

  1. I’d be curious to see an assessment of how much effort and time this turned out to be for you? Was it a 2h/day effort or more like a full-time job?

  2. Congrats! That is truly impressive, especially since your pts were gained ethically. It would be easy to push boundaries a bit during a quest like yours…well done!

  3. Congrats FM, I’ve enjoyed following your quest of madness this month! Looking forward to hearing about how you spend that 1M points/miles!!

  4. Congratulations and happy spending the miles now! I am sure you will keep us posted as you go through the process of smart and economical way of spending them now. Well done!

  5. This was actually a very helpful series for those of us who often wonder how points and miles bloggers manage to actually collect so many points. Congratulations on a successful completion.
    .
    How do you plan to use the miles?

  6. I tend to appreciate the experiments that you’ve run, but this one is just plain stupid and I have never bothered to spend more than a few seconds just to skim through it sometimes. This might explain why you’re unemployed.

  7. Congratulations! Never doubted you for a second. This is one epic case study. Will you add it to the website menu? I’m sure something like “Million Mile Case Study” at the top of your blog would attract a lot of users.

    You can take a well-deserved break and start dreaming of how you’ll use those miles. I imagine flying in a Singapore Airlines Suite is on the list. 🙂

  8. Way to go Greg! Congrats. Definitely Million Mile Madness. Glad to see you did not get knocked out in the early rounds. I had you winning it all as the #1 seed!

  9. Saved you spreadsheet in Google Doc, and every time it changed got a ding…sure glad it is over..

    Sure beats Dumpster Diving for Air Tran miles.

  10. FM- I googled “google docs spreadsheet but I didn’t get a link to download” how do you get it? Primer on technology but intermediate for travel hacking..lol

  11. Amazing effort.
    Shows the folks the power of scoring the points if you do the effort, but also hope it doesn’t spur copycats each stocking up on a million poinys who then eventually make the “providers” tighten up the points flow or shock horror – devaluation! Arhhhhhh

  12. Nice Job. For grins I decided to look at where your miles/points came from. While the rules considered all points equal, most would argue hotel points are worth a fraction of their counterparts. I’m actually surprised to see you didn’t exploit this loophole much, other than the ~21% from Club Carlson:

    Chase UR 40%
    Club Carlson 21%
    AMEX MR 12%
    UA 6%
    Citi TYP 6%
    AA 6%
    US 4%
    Delta 3%
    Hilton 1%
    Other 1%
    —– —-
    Total 100%

  13. How much did you end up spending in fees/expenses to generate the points/miles? And then how much we’re you able to “sell/reuse” (either FBA or VR, etc)? Finally, what’s your net cost? Btw, you had an FBA placeholder- is that en expense (debit) or credit?

  14. Can you explain what you did with Kiva Loans to spend so much?

    Also, what is Home Improvement Card Refund?

    What did you do with the paypal cards, just load them into your account and withdraw?

  15. well done, good job and congratulations!!! you give others something to aspire to. safe travels, see you around the world:)

  16. Who needs a grandslam promotion when you have million mile March. This should give you stuff to blog about for months. Go congrats dude.

  17. What a koinkidence all those miles and points you claim fell on your lap when it was the most unexpected. I earned 5mm miles and points this month maybe i should quit my job and start a blog. Oh wait im already unemployed! 🙂

  18. I think you are full of bull****!!!

    Your goal was a MILLION *MILE* MADNESS. Instead you earned a million points!! You know the game as well as I do! A point by Club Carlson (or 170,000) does not equal 170,000 United Miles, or even Delta miles.

    Same for your transactions. Unless you show me that you earned back every $ invested, I am not convinced that you should count the points/miles. Every fool can spend money uselessly to increase their points/ miles balance.

    I am UNIMPRESSED and don’t think you ever even got close to meeting your self imposed goal of 1M miles. Your declaration of victory is dishonest and self-serving.

  19. Job well done. Don’t listen to some of jerks. I already signed up Club Carlson through your link for both bus. and personal and wait for results next week. There are a lot of people appreciate what you put into.

  20. Congratulations on a final result based on a proper planning. I was wondering, however, how is it possible that you got both Carslon’s card in 9 days, while in my case it took US Bank 2 week to actually receive an application (must’ve been from one department to another) plus a week 1 accept it? Also besides PayPals you purchased 17 VRs. You’d charge BlueBird account in 9 weeks, unless you have a relative’s account, correct?

  21. Congrats FM! I think you slowed down after the 15th and that is why you dragged it till 31st! I was assuming you would have finished this around 20th and collected some more thousands extra, just to make sure you have enough points -if something goes wrong!

    Anyhow, yours is a great and unique achievement!

  22. Congrats on the achievement! A million miles/points is a LOT, no matter how you slice it. Looking forward to your future posts to see some more analysis and discussion how you got there.

  23. @Robert I agree, loading bluebird from vanilla reloads is limited to 5k/month, so I don’t know how he could have spend $9k on that

  24. Congrats, as many others said, never doubted you for a second. Now the real question is can this be duplicated 11 times in a year? If so, let’s ignore the fact that some of the points are airlines points and some are hotel points and value them all at 1c each. If this can be duplicated for every month, your annual salary from earning points alone would be $120k.

  25. @Wedding Spend: So you say that one should apply and approve for 11 new CCs every month of the year?!! Just to remind you, half of these points came from CC sign ups!

  26. Congratulations! I’m looking forward to seeing what items you purchased from Kohl’s and put on Amazon. Kohl’s is definitely overpriced, but I’m thinking with the 30% discount and Kohl’s cash, you got some decent deals 🙂

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