A hackable award chart, a hacked account, Simon’s on board, and more


This week at Frequent Miler, read about the secret LifeMiles non-chart awards, see what Simon says, learn about life as a blogger, and more. Read on for our week in review.

A typical day as a career blogger

Let’s be clear: Greg and I love what we do. Working from home is great, connecting our hobby with our careers is fun, having the freedom to up and fly to England for a few days (without leaving “the office”) is awesome….Two plus years into working for Frequent Miler, I can say that working here is as good as anyone would probably imagine. But if you’d ask me what has surprised me the most, it would unequivocally be how long it sometimes takes to complete what feel like the simplest tasks. In this post, Greg lays out why that is sometimes the case.

Is the Freedom Unlimited 3x everywhere offer worth a 5/24 slot?

In a word, no. For all but a very slim group of people, this offer is far from being the best use of a 5/24 slot as it barely produces any more points than you could earn with the standard 15K offer — and I think we can all concur that there are better uses of a slot than that offer, too. See this post for more on why.

Considering a bizarro mattress run

Hotels create promotions that kick in on your second stay in order to encourage repeat business. Do they bank on people like us making reservations we have no intention to use in order to meet the requirement? Somehow, I doubt it…but I’m sure Greg isn’t the only one out there who was considering this (I was as well). A comment in our Frequent Miler Insiders group brought me back down to Earth: it’s not really a question of how much the dummy stay costs compared to the value of the bonus points but rather the amount the dummy stay costs compared to the cost of MSing the points. I can MS the points more cheaply than the cost of the 1-night stay I was considering, so I’ll pass on this.

Simon says (again) MS is great and they’re willing to help

Greg had his latest local meetup at the Simon mall, with Simon big-wigs in the house. Local folks interested in generating miles and points attended and Greg shares some additional information on the future of MS at Simon Malls. It’s really nice that Simon is on board, and I’m glad to see how much they are embracing the community, but we all know that’s only half the equation for most readers. Personally, I’m disappointed that the money order rumors weren’t true since we all know that’s where the bottleneck is for most folks. Of course, that’s highly regional. Any time I take a road trip, I’m surprised at just how easy it is in many parts of the country, but not everyone is fortunate enough to live near both a Simon Mall and a place where it’s easy to liquidate. File this under “developing”.

The secret LifeMiles award chart

LifeMiles has in some ways become my favorite program, even though I don’t use them as often as that would imply. There are some great value spots and a number of weirdly “hackable” gems. While a reader pointed out a LifeMiles award sale that led me to update this post, I’m actually not sure that sale applied to many of the routes I included here. There is at least one good short-haul sweet spot that I’m reasonably sure exists, and the routes to Europe highlighted may just be part of a “secret” award chart after all…we should know later today.

My Hilton account was hacked… Twice.

Greg got hacked….and then he got hacked again. By what appears to be the same person. In this case, it doesn’t appear that there is anything Greg could have done differently here, rather it was like Hilton at fault for letting someone make changes to his account over the phone apparently without verifying enough information first. Loyalty programs are in a bit of a tough spot here as I’m sure there are people who forget their passwords all the time, but you’d think that his account would have been flagged after the first hack to not make it easy to do again within the space of a few days. Also see the comments for many other similar stories. Bottom line: watch your loyalty accounts like a hawk — because someone else probably is, too.

That’s it for this week at Frequent Miler. Check back soon for our week in review around the web and this week’s last chance deals.

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