Million Mile Madness: Success!!!!!

1,000,546 points earned! 

Background: Million Mile Madness is the fun and foolish quest to earn a million points in one month. Throughout March, I’m doing 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.

All points earned and expenses incurred are tracked via this Google Docs spreadsheet. See all Million Mile Madness posts (in reverse order), by clicking here.

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Success!!!!!

At about 3PM Sunday afternoon, March 31, I was less than 2000 points away from my goal.  So, I cranked up Kivalens, and made enough loans to get to a million points & miles, and to hopefully do some good!  For details about Kivalens, see “Minimum spend requirements? Kivalens to the rescue.”

So, I made it to an expected million points, but did I keep the budget to under $1000 in net costs?  I believe so.  In fact, right now, it looks as if I may end up with a small profit.  It will be quite a while until I know for sure, though, since I have yet to sell everything bought for resale.  Of the items that I’ve started to sell, most are selling quickly and at a profit.

Now I can finally take a break!  I’ll follow up later this week with information about how I did this, what types of points & miles I earned, thoughts about what I’ll do with those points, and more.  See you in April!

 

Learn about Million Mile Madness:

About Greg The Frequent Miler

Greg is the owner, founder, and primary author of the Frequent Miler. He earns millions of points and miles each year, mostly without flying, and dedicates this blog to teaching others how to do the same.

More articles by Greg The Frequent Miler »

Regarding comments: Comments posted at the bottom of Frequent Miler pages and posts are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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ChasingThePoints
Guest

Congratulations FM!

canucklehead
Guest
canucklehead

Congratulations!

Avery
Guest
Avery

Now, what’re you going to be doing with your 1M points? Sharing with your fellow readers would be a good idea!

HeavenlyJane
Guest
HeavenlyJane

I’d be curious to see an assessment of how much effort and time this turned out to be for you? Was it a 2h/day effort or more like a full-time job?

JakePB
Guest
JakePB

Congrats! That is truly impressive, especially since your pts were gained ethically. It would be easy to push boundaries a bit during a quest like yours…well done!

Zac
Guest
Zac

Congrats FM, I’ve enjoyed following your quest of madness this month! Looking forward to hearing about how you spend that 1M points/miles!!

gazi
Guest
gazi

Congratulations and happy spending the miles now! I am sure you will keep us posted as you go through the process of smart and economical way of spending them now. Well done!

Sergio
Guest
Sergio

Congrats….great job!

william
Guest
william

Your my hero lol. congrats and happy easter!

Kathy H.
Guest
Kathy H.

AWESOME!!!!

adam
Guest
adam

Congrats FM!

JoC
Guest
JoC

well done !!!

I have no doubt you’ll make your goal.

Groobie
Guest
Groobie

Wow! Amazing!

Sil
Guest
Sil

Is the google docs spreadsheet free? I have an Imac. Does it come with free spreadsheet?

LarryInNYC
Guest
LarryInNYC

This was actually a very helpful series for those of us who often wonder how points and miles bloggers manage to actually collect so many points. Congratulations on a successful completion.
.
How do you plan to use the miles?

congratsfm
Guest
congratsfm

It’s too bad March isn’t spelled with a “B” or any other month for that sake.

Sensei John
Guest
Sensei John

I tend to appreciate the experiments that you’ve run, but this one is just plain stupid and I have never bothered to spend more than a few seconds just to skim through it sometimes. This might explain why you’re unemployed.

joseph m
Guest
joseph m

Kudos….

Randall
Guest
Randall

WTG!

@Sensei John – This is his job dumbass.

The Miles Professor
Guest

Congratulations! I am really glad you pulled this off 🙂

Lively
Guest
Lively

Congrats FM! It seems like it was so hard! Hope you have lots of fun traveling.

Marcus at Street Smart Traveler
Guest

Congratulations! Never doubted you for a second. This is one epic case study. Will you add it to the website menu? I’m sure something like “Million Mile Case Study” at the top of your blog would attract a lot of users.

You can take a well-deserved break and start dreaming of how you’ll use those miles. I imagine flying in a Singapore Airlines Suite is on the list. 🙂

Jesson
Guest
Jesson

Congrats!!! Thank you for showing us such an amazing journey !

rxgeek
Guest
rxgeek

Kudos, FM. Your quest is a great accomplishment and we will learn many tips from it.

greek2me
Guest
greek2me

Way to go Greg! Congrats. Definitely Million Mile Madness. Glad to see you did not get knocked out in the early rounds. I had you winning it all as the #1 seed!

FrequentMiler
Guest

Thanks everyone!
Sil: yes Google docs is free. It runs in your browser. No need to install anything.

Jeff W
Guest
Jeff W

Congrats! Fantastic. And wonderful fun content for the blog. A great topic!!!

Mel B
Guest
Mel B

Saved you spreadsheet in Google Doc, and every time it changed got a ding…sure glad it is over..

Sure beats Dumpster Diving for Air Tran miles.

Sil
Guest
Sil

FM- I googled “google docs spreadsheet but I didn’t get a link to download” how do you get it? Primer on technology but intermediate for travel hacking..lol

DonT
Guest
DonT

Congratulations!

Thalha
Guest
Thalha

Congrats nicely done

Mike
Guest
Mike

Great job …. Thanks for pushing me over to try amazon Fulifillment seeing if I works for my methods

Steve
Guest
Steve

Amazing effort.
Shows the folks the power of scoring the points if you do the effort, but also hope it doesn’t spur copycats each stocking up on a million poinys who then eventually make the “providers” tighten up the points flow or shock horror – devaluation! Arhhhhhh

HikerT
Guest
HikerT

Nice Job. For grins I decided to look at where your miles/points came from. While the rules considered all points equal, most would argue hotel points are worth a fraction of their counterparts. I’m actually surprised to see you didn’t exploit this loophole much, other than the ~21% from Club Carlson:

Chase UR 40%
Club Carlson 21%
AMEX MR 12%
UA 6%
Citi TYP 6%
AA 6%
US 4%
Delta 3%
Hilton 1%
Other 1%
—– —-
Total 100%

FrequentMiler
Guest

HikerT: Thanks for posting this. As you’ll see from my post today, you gave people an advanced preview :).

Truthiness
Guest
Truthiness

How much did you end up spending in fees/expenses to generate the points/miles? And then how much we’re you able to “sell/reuse” (either FBA or VR, etc)? Finally, what’s your net cost? Btw, you had an FBA placeholder- is that en expense (debit) or credit?

Tobias
Guest
Tobias

Can you explain what you did with Kiva Loans to spend so much?

Also, what is Home Improvement Card Refund?

What did you do with the paypal cards, just load them into your account and withdraw?

DrNo
Guest
DrNo

Good luck getting 1M in April.

sheri spero
Guest
sheri spero

well done, good job and congratulations!!! you give others something to aspire to. safe travels, see you around the world:)

Chimmy
Guest
Chimmy

Congratulations! Quite a quest.

DFW
Guest
DFW

Well done.

Bald Army Guy
Guest
Bald Army Guy

Who needs a grandslam promotion when you have million mile March. This should give you stuff to blog about for months. Go congrats dude.

Andrew in A2
Guest
Andrew in A2

WOW this is big news! Congratulations you deserve a beer! I hope all of your points post soon.

Anne
Guest
Anne

I knew you could do it!

BS
Guest
BS

What a koinkidence all those miles and points you claim fell on your lap when it was the most unexpected. I earned 5mm miles and points this month maybe i should quit my job and start a blog. Oh wait im already unemployed! 🙂

Matt
Guest
Matt

I think you are full of bull****!!!

Your goal was a MILLION *MILE* MADNESS. Instead you earned a million points!! You know the game as well as I do! A point by Club Carlson (or 170,000) does not equal 170,000 United Miles, or even Delta miles.

Same for your transactions. Unless you show me that you earned back every $ invested, I am not convinced that you should count the points/miles. Every fool can spend money uselessly to increase their points/ miles balance.

I am UNIMPRESSED and don’t think you ever even got close to meeting your self imposed goal of 1M miles. Your declaration of victory is dishonest and self-serving.

Clay
Guest
Clay

Congratulations! You are an inspiration to all smart travelers! It can be done! I am thrilled for your success!

Corky
Guest
Corky

Well done!

PumpkinM
Guest
PumpkinM

Job well done. Don’t listen to some of jerks. I already signed up Club Carlson through your link for both bus. and personal and wait for results next week. There are a lot of people appreciate what you put into.

Robert
Guest
Robert

Congratulations on a final result based on a proper planning. I was wondering, however, how is it possible that you got both Carslon’s card in 9 days, while in my case it took US Bank 2 week to actually receive an application (must’ve been from one department to another) plus a week 1 accept it? Also besides PayPals you purchased 17 VRs. You’d charge BlueBird account in 9 weeks, unless you have a relative’s account, correct?

jrey
Guest
jrey

Congratulations, FM! Can’t wait to see how you are going to burn the 1M points!

jason
Guest
jason

@Matt well said !!!

newbiee008
Guest
newbiee008

Congrats FM! I think you slowed down after the 15th and that is why you dragged it till 31st! I was assuming you would have finished this around 20th and collected some more thousands extra, just to make sure you have enough points -if something goes wrong!

Anyhow, yours is a great and unique achievement!

BothofUs2
Guest
BothofUs2

Congrats on the achievement! A million miles/points is a LOT, no matter how you slice it. Looking forward to your future posts to see some more analysis and discussion how you got there.

aadvantagegeek
Guest
aadvantagegeek

Congratulations!

Ariana
Guest

Congratulations! It takes me all year to earn that many points. Your next post can be about how to spend all of those points.

Tobias
Guest
Tobias

@Robert I agree, loading bluebird from vanilla reloads is limited to 5k/month, so I don’t know how he could have spend $9k on that

Delta Points
Guest

So well done Greg! What an amazing accomplishment. You are, again, a legend in our little community! – Rene

Wedding Spend
Guest

Congrats, as many others said, never doubted you for a second. Now the real question is can this be duplicated 11 times in a year? If so, let’s ignore the fact that some of the points are airlines points and some are hotel points and value them all at 1c each. If this can be duplicated for every month, your annual salary from earning points alone would be $120k.

newbiee008
Guest
newbiee008

@Wedding Spend: So you say that one should apply and approve for 11 new CCs every month of the year?!! Just to remind you, half of these points came from CC sign ups!

Yangyang
Guest
Yangyang

congratulations!

PhatMiles
Guest
PhatMiles

Great stuff. No wonder I follow all your posts. Happy Easter Greg!

Lovetofly
Guest

You should go for 2 million 🙂 Nicely done.

Wedding Spend
Guest

@newbiee008, no I’m putting the question out there to see if others think it’s possible to duplicate the results continuously.

Nikki O
Guest

Congratulations! I’m looking forward to seeing what items you purchased from Kohl’s and put on Amazon. Kohl’s is definitely overpriced, but I’m thinking with the 30% discount and Kohl’s cash, you got some decent deals 🙂

kamila
Guest
kamila

Congratulations!

trackback

[…] Million Mile Madness: Success!!!!! […]

trackback

[…] This is really the best of times in earning miles and points. We have Vanilla Reload cards in plenty of CVS drug stores. Yes, sometimes you get the odd cashier or manager who refuses to let you buy them with a miles/points earning credit card. And some people still abuse this by buying too many cards at a time and then some true junkies hide the cards in ever more innovative spots (behind Facebook gift cards, really?). We can then load the Bluebird accounts up to $5k per month and pay our credit card bills with it. Or pay ourselves or get cash from ATMs. Or go to WalMart and do more things there. There are still plenty of other prepaid cards, from Paypal to AMEX prepaid to Target AMEX and a dizzying array of Vanilla type cards on the shelves. We now have regular gift cards that come with a PIN with detailed instructions and pics/arrows! We even have some debit cards still around that work like magic (Sun Trust Delta, my vanilla debit).  Mortgage payments, check! Student loan payments, check! Estimated tax payments, check! We can pay the odd vendor who does not accept credit cards with a Bluebird check or have Bluebird send a check directly…the floodgates are open! Amazon’s Bezos strangely still allows us to use Amazon Payments for $1k per month! You can up the spening in a big way by buying and selling stuff if you are into that kind of thing (and can keep track of all of it!). It is not the amazing 5x Office Depot/VR/BB angle but still, my point is, the issue of meeting minimum spend requirements on a new credit card is NO LONGER an issue! If you have the time you can also say that hitting the spend requirements on several cards to earn MQMs (Delta cards), companion tickets (British Airways Visa),  elite levels (Hilton Diamond with $40k in Hilton Amex Surpass), several spending threshold amounts in several cards, etc is also NO LONGER an issue! I think the only way to spend money (manufactured or not) and not earn miles/points is to invest in a 401k through your employer! (Anyone?)  It is a miles/points earning nirvana. It is how you get Frequent Miler to earn 1 million points in a single month and not sweat about it. […]