If spend were no object…

Suppose you could manufacture an unlimited amount of spend on your credit cards…  What would you do?  That is, suppose you could charge things to your credit card, earn rewards, and get all of your money back without limit and with little or no effort?  I don’t have the secret formula to make that happen, but sometimes, on a slow news day, I like to dream about possibilities…

I would run up spend on several different cash back cards and earn a comfortable living.  And, I’d use the extra cash (after saving for retirement and contributing to charitable causes) to pay the annual fees on all of these cards mentioned in this post.

I would run up spend on cards that earn points that can be used to pay for airfare at better than 1 cent per point rates (e.g. Citi Prestige card, US Bank FlexPerks, Barclays Travelocity, etc.).  Then, I would fly anywhere, anytime without having to worry about award availability.

I would run up spend on cards that earn points that can be used to pay for other travel (hotels, trains, etc.) at better than 1 cent per point rates (e.g. Chase Ultimate Rewards, Barclays Arrival, etc.).  Then, I would stay anywhere, anytime without having to worry about price or award availability.

I would run up spend on multiple Delta Reserve cards in order to earn top tier Diamond StatusJust because I can.

I would sign up for half a dozen Citi Executive AAdvantage cards and run up $40K spend on each to earn American Airlines elite status.  I’d also run up $25K spend on three or more US Airways cards to earn elite status there (I think that would work?) just in case the status levels get added together due to the merger.

I would run up $40K spend on either the Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve card or the Amex Hilton Surpass in order to earn top tier Diamond status.  Just because I can.

I would run up $75K spend on the Chase Ritz Carlton card to get top tier Platinum Elite statusJust because I can.

I would run up $110K spend on a Chase Southwest card to get a companion pass good for unlimited flights for the rest of this year and all of the next.  Oh wait, I’m already flying for free everywhere, maybe I wouldn’t do this one.  For similar reasons (and the fact that it is mostly useless), I probably wouldn’t run up spend on my British Airways card for the Travel Together ticket.

That’s what I would do (and a little of what I wouldn’t do).  What about you?


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Comments

  1. Pointless post. If spending is no object, I would buy my way into first class, presidential suites and such. Why still bother with the MS. The reason we do MS is because we don’t have unlimited funds. Duh~

    • Please see the first sentence: “Suppose you could manufacture an unlimited amount of spend.” No mention of unlimited funds, just unlimited spend.

      Now please apologize to the blogger, honey.

      • But if you can MS an unlimited amount then, ipso facto, you HAVE unlimited funds. Take your favorite 5% cashback card. Put $100 billion dollars of MS on it on day 1. Now you’ve got $5 billion of your own in cash back and you can buy whatever the heck you want without having to worry about anything else.

        • Incorrect. Unlimited MSing is not contingent on unlimited funds. It is purely based on how much credit you have available. Example, I MS $13k per month, but I do not have $13k sitting in my bank account (or under my mattress). Nor do I need to. It is revolving credit, and since I pay zero in my situation, I do not need any money at all. What gets manufactured goes to pay what I owe.

        • But if your point is that credit limit is a CONSTRAINT, then that’s a different hypothetical. The hypothetical we were asked to consider is that you can MS an unlimited amount, i.e., no constraints.

        • Also, I think you missed my point. My point was not that the ability to MS in unlimited amounts means you have unlimited funds. My point was that if you have the ability to MS in unlimited amounts, then you have the ability to GENERATE unlimited cold hard cash for yourself through cashback rewards.

          If you can generate unlimited cashback for yourself, there is not need to pursue any other rewards or elite status. Make yourself a billionaire and then buy whatever the heck you want.

  2. Pie in the sky … I think Amol tested out the $40k spend on multiple AA Executives and found that you only get 1.

    If MS were infinite, I do believe I’d skip the SW Companion pass, although running up spend on Avios is something I would probably do for the short flights (I look at Avios points or Southwest as interchangeable for the 1-3 hour flights).

    I think I’d also beef up my SPG balance with an SPG AMEX Business, no points bonuses, other than that 25% bump up when transferring to a whole slew of partners.

  3. I may be kidding myself, but I think the Travel Together ticket is worthwhile for us. We fly from ORD, and most often to the UK to visit family. BA business was great, so I figure First should be even better. And availability WAS very good ORD-LHR. I haven’t looked lately and keep hearing that BA availability in general has gone down.
    Next, I’d put a bunch of spend on a fixed value card like the Arrival and then use those points to pay for stays to keep my Hyatt Diamond status. I really love a good breakfast and I’ve been impressed by them. I also really love lounge access. And surprise upgrades, even though I don’t seem to get them very often.
    I also love being able to stay at a hotel on some family visits where, for whatever reason, it’s possible but not ideal to stay with the people we are visiting. If I had tons of points to spend on travel, then I could stay in a hotel (with a pool for the kids!) and say it was free, then no one’s feelings would get hurt.
    And then…. I would go back through this blog and some of the other good ones and learn about all the other cards I haven’t been using. In real life I can only do so much MS, and so keep it focused, but if I could do an invite amount on MS… well, the possibilities are endless.

  4. for a short period of time, this is doable. But in a long run, it is not sustainable, because when you win, someone has to lose. No one is too stupid. So what you may wish is that the losing person does not recognize it soon or lazy to change until it really hurts.

    So you can earn some “extra money” by doing MS but make a living? Look else.

  5. MisterRich never apologized…just sayin’.

    I’d MS enough on AA and Avios to go anywhere I wanted at any time, business or above. With husband, and, a couple times a year, offspring and grandchild (children, if that happens).

    Enough on SPG to move up HIGH in the tiers and stay in the best of their suites wherever we find ourselves.

    And enough on cash back cards (UR and Ink) to live on when we’re not living on our miles/points.

    OF COURSE, that would include the retirement and charitable contributions mentioned by FM.

  6. Realistically on unlimited MS, up to how much can you do before somebody starts tracking you? $2K per month using GC?

    • If all you could do was $2K, do you really think that there would be that many people with blogs? Especially blogs with the theme of “we’re broke and traveling like kings.”?

      You can MS 2K with just AP and one other person to bounce off. You can MS 2K by buying and selling, but you need to have a float in case the selling doesn’t happen in the same month as the buying.

      And what CC company would track spending on, for example, a business card, when the holder of the card is buying products for resale. Pretty much the definition of many small businesses, isn’t it?

  7. I’d be going for Delta status also, since I’m in a captive hub. And lots of Arrival points so I can take cruises…

  8. Hmmm if spend were no object… like, if I had my Citi TYP back where I could essentially put like $20-30k spend on that thing a day and do it every day for a month every month (I did $400k+ spend my final two months of it) then I would go house on GCs and other opps. Some still have the TYP.

    I would also probably not say a darn thing to anybody except those in my closest email and PM gangs, and I would likely never blog a thing about what I got or where I got it, because that would (as we have seen proven oh SOOOO many times) end those things really quickly (evident in Staples and last year’s GCM $1k GCs to name a few) and I wouldn’t TALK about MS, I would actually go out and DO MS.

    I would be so busy DOING MS that I would make a crap load of money ($400k spend can net you over $15k if done well) and would continue this until stores shut me down (because they saw what they think is a scam on the internet) or my card shut me down (which TYP did not do–so be careful with Amex but with TYP it works/worked)

    ;)MM

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