Million Mile Madness, Day 1 results


340,000 points earned.  660,000 left to go.

Background: Million Mile Madness is the fun and foolish quest to earn a million points in one month. Throughout March, I’ll do 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. In case you’re interested, all points earned and expenses incurred will be tracked via this Google Docs spreadsheet. See all Million Mile Madness posts (in reverse order), by clicking here.

Churn results so far

Today I signed up for 11 different credit cards.  I was approved for 7 (after calling about 5 of them).  Three are still pending.  One was denied.  Here are the detailed results:



Spend Req

First Yr Fee (ongoing)


Barclaycard US Airways 35K First Use Free ($89) Approved instantly.
Barclaycard US Airways business 25K First Use $79 Denied.  Initially pending. I called twice and spoke to supervisor. No luck. Too many recent inquiries.
US Bank Club Carlson Personal 85K $2500 $75 Pending. I called US Bank but was told that it was a fully automated process and that I would just have to wait 24 to 48 hours for a decision.
US Bank Club Carlson Business 85K $2500 $60 Pending. See above.
American Express Platinum Mercedes 50K $1000 $475 Approved after calling (initially pending). Will recoup $400 in airline fees in 2013 and early 2014, so net cost is $75.
American Express Premier Rewards Gold 50K $1K Free ($175) Approved instantly
Citi AA business 50K $3K Free ($85) Approved after calling (initially pending). Card include $150 statement credit after first use with AA.
Citi ThankYou Preferred 6K $300 Free Pending. Was told that after approving the AA card, they had to wait 24 hours to approve the second.
Chase Ink Plus 50K $5K Free ($95) Approved after calling. Had to move some credit from another card.
Chase Ink Plus 50K $5K Free ($95) Approved after calling. Initally this was denied as a duplicate application. Told agent that I have 2 different businesses (which is true).
Chase United MileagePlus 55K $1K Free ($95) Approved after calling. Had to move some credit from another card.


Here are the totals by application status:


Bonus Total

Required Spend  Total

First Year fees


Approved (7) 340K $16000 $475 I expect to get $550 in statement credits to more than offset first year fees
Pending (3) 176K $5300 $135
Denied (1) 25K $0 $79


My Thoughts

340,000 points is not an impressive churn.  In January, my wife earned 305,000 points from only 4 cards.  That said, the points I will earn are fantastically valuable.  The collection of 55K United miles, 85K AA / US Airways miles, 100K Membership Rewards, and 100K Ultimate Rewards is awesome!  I’m psyched about the 100K Membership Rewards alone because they are more than enough for another flight on Singapore Airlines Suites class!

And, of course, there is still hope with the pending applications.  This churn could end up with as many as 516,000 points, but I think its unlikely.  I’m hoping to get at least one of the Club Carlson cards approved.  If not, I have a big job ahead to earn 660,000 points through the rest of the month! That’s 33,000 points per business day! Luckily, Chase and Amex promised to have their cards here by Monday or Tuesday so I will be able to get started on those minimum spend requirements right away.  If you’re curious about how I intend to meet those spend requirements and earn many more points, please see “Million Mile Madness: Preparing to buy & sell.”

On Monday, I’ll give an update regarding the pending apps, and some lessons learned from this huge churn.  In the meantime, I’ll be planning more ways to earn miles!

Learn about Million Mile Madness:

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