10 most popular FM posts of 2015


This was eye opening.  Two of the most popular posts published on this blog this year were not written by me.  Using Google Analytics, I filtered to all posts that I published this year, and sorted by number of page views.  The top 10 list is shown below.

top 10There are a quite a few popular posts and pages on this blog that are not shown below, even if they had more page views.  Examples include the Best Credit Card Offers page, Complete Guide to Bluebird and Serve; etc.  The reason these pages aren’t shown?  Each was originally written prior to 2015.  Shown below are only those posts that were originally written in 2015…

#10: An awesome new 5X (and beyond) game. Let’s play…

> 19,000 page views

In December 2014, Toys R Us added variable load (up to $500) Vanilla Visa gift cards to their stores.  And, most Toys R Us stores accepted Toys R Us gift cards for payment.  Given that there are many ways to earn extra points and/or a good discount when buying Toys R Us gift cards, this was a potentially huge bonanza.  The catch?  It was likely that Toys R Us would stop allowing Visa gift cards to be bought with gift cards, so it was risky to buy too many.  And, in fact, Toys R Us did stop allowing it.  It was nice while it lasted!

#9: Confirmed: REDbird credit card loads will not be allowed as of May 6, 2015

> 19,000 page views

For 7 months, beginning in October 2014, REDbird (the Target Prepaid REDcard) was awesome.  It was possible to load the card with a rewards credit card, for free, and then use the prepaid card’s bill pay feature to pay the credit card bill!  We all knew the deal would end (when deals are too good to be true, they always  end), but we didn’t know when.  On May 5th, 2015, we learned that the “when” was to be May 6th.  Many of us rushed out that day and loaded our cards to the maximum daily limit ($2,500).

#8: Best options for Serve online loads

> 21,000 page views

American Express’ Serve card has long allowed cardholders to reload up to $1,000 per month online via credit card, for free.  As of April 15th, 2015, though, they added a tough new restriction: you can only load with American Express credit cards.  Worse, cards issued by Amex do not earn points when used to reload Serve.  Fortunately, there are still ways to earn rewards.  Read the post for details.

#7: Hacking Walt Disney World

> 24,000 page views

If you’re planning a trip to Walt Disney World, you should check out this post.  The “hacking” details were all contributed by a reader to whom I owe a big thanks!  This was one of the two top 10 posts that were not written by me (in this case, I did write a little bit, but not the interesting bits).

#6: My manufactured spend strategy

> 27,000 page views

There are many ways to increase credit card spend while getting all or most of your money back.  In this post I described my 2015 manufactured spend goals and how I expected to achieve them.  Things have changed a lot since I wrote that post (e.g. both REDbird and Amex gift cards are no longer useful for manufactured spend), but my general approach remains intact.  You can read an up-to-date version of a big part of my manufactured spend approach in this post: Manufacturing spend with Serve.

#5: Free credit card spend. What’s left?

> 27,000 page views

Options to manufacture spend for free keep dying off, but a few techniques remain.  In this post (written in May), I summarized the widely known options that remain.  Since then, I added a resource page to this blog that summarizes both free and paid options for increasing credit card spend to earn rewards. The resource page can be found under the Credit Cards menu on this site; Or click here: How to increase credit card spend.

#4: The NEW Deal of the Year: Preparing for Discover Apple Pay and $2,000

> 28,000 page views

Before we learned that Discover was going to exclude gift card purchases from this deal (along with any purchases that they suspected included gift cards), I was quite excited about this easy opportunity to earn $2,000.  Apparently, readers were excited too since this post garnered over 28,000 page views!

#3: Can I really buy $500 gift cards with Apple Pay? How can I get an iPhone for free? Does my Discover card qualify? Discover’s Deal of the Year Questions Answered

> 30,000 page views

Excitement for the Discover Apple Pay promotion continued.  In this post, I attempted to answer all of the questions that I had received about the Discover Apple Pay promotion.

#2: A new way to increase rewards beyond 5X

> 31,000 page views

Since late 2011, Chase Ink cards have offered 5 points per dollar for purchases made at office supply stores, and most purchases made with phone and cable companies.  An easy way to expand your 5X earnings is to buy gift cards at office supply stores (where you’ll earn 5X when paying with a Chase Ink card).  For example, Staples carries Whole Foods gift cards.  So, rather than using a card that gives a grocery store bonus, you can buy Whole Foods gift cards from Staples to earn 5X, then use those gift cards at Whole Foods when buying groceries.  In this post, I shared a new way to earn 5X when buying gift cards, along with some tricks for extending rewards beyond 5X.

#1: Bet You Didn’t Know: Using Hipmunk to book ITA Matrix flights

> 38,000 page views

I bet you didn’t know that the #1 most popular Frequent Miler post written in 2015 was not written by me!  Julian, the Devil’s Advocate, publishes his “Bet you didn’t know” series every other Friday on this blog.  And, who knew that Hipmunk and ITA Matrix would be such a popular topic?  Apparently he did.  It helped (enormously) that Life Hacker linked to his post, here: Book Cheap Fares You Find on ITA Matrix with Hipmunk.  To bad, for me, that I pay Julian by page view.  He’s planning to retire to the tropics on this post alone Smile.

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