One month… $5,000 bankrolls… How much cash and how many points will be earned?…
The first week of the #milemadness manufactured spend tournament has completed, and a new week is under way. For review, the general idea of the tournament is that each player starts with $5000 (of their own) to spend in ways that will return their money and earn extra cash and points. Contestants are judged by 3 factors: amount earned, efficacy, and artistry. In case you missed the details, please see these prior posts:
- The Manufactured Spending Tournament
- The next mad challenge
- Manufactured Spend Tournament FAQ Post and Thread
- #milemadness Manufactured Spending Tournament meet the Players
Miles per hour
In response to feedback, we’ve added two new types of metrics to the #milemadness 2014 scoreboard: time on task, and points & miles earned. For fun, I also added up all of the points and miles earned by each contestant and divided by their hours spent. Now, to be clear, adding up points and miles produces a not very meaningful metric since the value of each type of point varies tremendously. But, I calculated it anyway. The leaders of this mostly meaningless metric were:
- The Miles Professor: 19,384 miles per hour
- Giddy for Points: 17,994 miles per hour
- Milenomics: 15,541 miles per hour
Just think, if The Miles Professor were to do this 8 hours a day at 19,384 miles per hour, she would earn over a million points in a week! That would beat the pants off my million miles in a month adventure. Of course, in reality, most manufactured spend techniques cannot be scaled up indefinitely. Limitations include credit card limits, store gift card supplies, cash out opportunities, etc. Also, it would be very risky. If she (or anyone) were to push that far that fast, they would likely get their accounts shut down.
UPDATE: I miscalculated the above results. The actual results (assuming my math is any better the second time) are as follows:
- The Miles Professor: 38,976 miles per hour
- Miles Abound: 13,815 miles per hour
- Quick City Visits: 11,474 miles per hour
Types of points earned
Here’s a look at the types of points and miles earned, across all contestants in week 2:
The main takeaway here is that the big points are, unsurprisingly, in the programs where contestants can earn 5 points per dollar. Ultimate Rewards points were earned primarily with Ink Plus or Ink Bold cards at office supply stores. And, ThankYou points were earned primarily at drug stores with the old ThankYou Preferred card that used to offer 5X at drug stores, groceries, and gas stations for 12 months.
In last Thursday’s post “Good stuff gleaned from #milemadness” I listed a number of rewards programs in which you can earn rewards by enrolling your credit cards. One that I forgot was Great Bridge. Great Bridge is a market research company that rewards consumers in exchange for permission to use their transaction data for market research. According to this Flyertalk thread, Great Bridge pays one fourth of a penny per dollar spent on linked cards (but not for all transactions). And, they limit rewards to $60 per 90 days. It’s not the most lucrative program in the world, but could mean an easy $240 for those who spend $96K or more per year. Milenomics reminded me about Great Bridge by using it to boost his profit for this tournament.