How to lose $8K in minutes, earn Aeroplan miles on Amazon, and how much is MS really costing you?

In this Frequent Miler week in review around the web, we have a reminder about why it’s so important to lock up your digital kingdom, how you can earn Aeroplan miles while shopping on Amazon, why you need to match status to M Life ASAP, the view from two sides on the real cost of manufactured spending, and more. Read on for some posts you should check out.

If you are on T-Mobile, take 2 minutes to set your porting pin number

A few months back, we published a guide for How to survive the Equifax hack, where we laid out ways to lock down your digital kingdom. This post from Miles Per Day is a good reminder that we need to do this. If you aren’t absolutely sure this needs to be done, see the article Vinh links to within this post (when he says “don’t be this guy”) for a lesson on how to watch $8,000 of your money evaporate in front of your eyes in minutes thanks to not having your cell phone number locked down. Get that set up today — and then get 2-factor authentication that isn’t tied to your cell phone number to be safer.


THE REAL COSTS OF MANUFACTURED SPEND?

I read this post from Million Mile Guy with interest — after all, we maintain a Manufactured Spending Complete Guide and focus on earning miles without flying. I agree that there is a real time cost in manufactured spending that I think you should consider if you intend to do it large-scale. However, I’m going to make a controversial statement: Time isn’t money, and most people overvalue their time. I know some people will strongly disagree with me, but here’s the thing: If I value my time at $20 an hour, would I say that sleeping 8 hours a night costs me $160 a day? I made dinner last night — I used $10 in materials and it took me an hour to make it — did it cost me $30 to make dinner? Of course not. The fact of the matter is that most people don’t have a job where they can choose to work for 1 hour at 3pm on a Saturday and make $20 or $50 or whatever hourly rate they get at their day job, so I disagree with the notion of valuing that hour in dollars and cents unless you would otherwise be making dollars and cents during that time. Am I saying that time is worthless? Absolutely not — I think it’s worth considering whether or not you derive enough satisfaction/enjoyment from the points to justify the time put into earning them. Would I value going to Walmart for money orders over being present at my child’s first birthday party? Of course not. But if I’m going to Walmart to do my grocery shopping on Saturday and my wife and I can stand in line for 5 minutes each to buy $4K in money orders, that doesn’t feel like much of a compromise or add measurable cost. On the other hand, if we took off a day from work on a Thursday, leaving our child with a babysitter so we could drive 200 miles from store to store over the course of 5 or 6 hours, my calculations might more closely align with this post. What’s your opinion?


Why You Should Match Hyatt Elite Status to M Life Before March 1st

This post from Mommy Points is a good reminder. As my Globalist status will be expiring at the end of the month and my M Life status is still Platinum, I’ll be running this one in reverse — but if you haven’t yet matched to M Life, see this post for why you need to get on that ASAP.


Flying the United Island Hopper with United Miles

Amol at Travel Codex covers his experience with a legendary flight that I’ll probably never take but will always enjoy dreaming about. As someone who mostly lives in a Hawaiian shirt in the summertime, I can’t get enough tropical island in my life. If you feel that way, too — check out this picture and tip-laden trip report so you can put this one on your list.


Too Many JetBlue Points from Amazon Shopping? Convert them into Other Miles & Points

When making Amazon purchases, I generally shop through JetBlue out of habit, but until now didn’t have a solid plan for how to use the miles — JetBlue has a very limited reach out of my home airport. Did you know that you can convert your TrueBlue points to Aeroplan? At 3x JetBlue on Amazon, the ratio comes out to 1.275 Air Canada Aeroplan miles per dollar on Amazon purchases — which is a rate I can certainly live with. There may be another interesting play or two as well — check the comments for how you might be able to parlay JetBlue into Wyndham points down the road.


That’s it for this week around the web. Check back soon for this week’s last chance deals.

About Nick Reyes

Nick Reyes is a (fairly) regular guy with an animalistic passion for maximizing the value of miles and money to travel the world in comfort and style. There is little in life that he loves more than finding a fantastic deal and helping you shop smarter & harder to achieve your travel dreams.

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3 Comments on "How to lose $8K in minutes, earn Aeroplan miles on Amazon, and how much is MS really costing you?"

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Grant
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Thanks fir the link to Nick. I don’t get much love when I mention converting miles/points with Points.com. But it could be useful if you want Aeroplan, Amtrak, or La Quinta / Wyndham. Have a great weekend.

Emily
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Thanks for the JetBlue idea. I have so many JetBlue miles and they are of limited use from my home airport.

I do think people undervalue their time for MS in a different sense. If you enjoy it and find it to be a fun game to play, the time is costing you very little. If you think you should be doing it as a way to earn more miles but it causes you a lot of stress and anxiety it isn’t just that you could be earning money with that time, it’s that you only have so many minutes on this earth. Don’t spend them doing something you hate because you read about it online and you think you should. If you actually end up needed the vacation because of the stress caused by the MS, you probably shouldn’t do it. Also, it depends on your risk tolerance. As my spouse has a high level security clearance and any odd spending patterns could be cause for concern the risk would never be worth half of our annual income.

I own a business and can work at 3am to make more money if I choose so MS would be a money loser for me unless I was short on work at that time. That’s why if I’m busy I always pay someone else to do our household chores, have groceries delivered, send out laundry, etc. Because I can bill my time at a much higher rate than I have to pay to do those things. At times I’m too busy and have to turn down work making dinner is costing me a lot more than $30.

Jeffrey
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Nick the point you made about time not equaling money is already covered in the MillionMileGuy blog post that you featured. Also, if you’re cooking dinner, you’re not actively working on collecting points. If you’re driving to get cards, then to liquidate, then to deposit…rinse & repeat many times over, well that’s a totally different scenario. You’re actively making an effort to reduce the cost of your travel, or said another way, you’re working on lowering the cost of your travel. From there it’s a matter of how you value your time.