5 Million Frequent Flyer Challenge: Update #1


Greetings, friends. Today I have an update on the Frequent Flyer Challenge, coming to you live from the Hong Kong airport:

First, a good news / bad news personal update.

The Bad News – After flying 19 hours, I slept on the airport floor for five more hours last night. It just didn’t make sense to get a hotel, since I arrived at midnight and am headed off on my final flight (to Bangkok) at 10am local time.

The Good News – Thanks to my AA Executive Platinum status, I can now visit one of the nicest airline lounges in the world – otherwise known as the Wing by Cathay Pacific.

Who says you’re not supposed to drink champagne at 9am? Certainly not me. At least, not after you’ve flown 19 hours and slept on the airport floor. I’m headed that way right after I upload this.

And now, here’s the Frequent Flyer Challenge update:

If you didn’t read the original post from Monday, you should do that first or this won’t make sense. This update will cover the technical points of:

1. Earning Mileage on Multiple Programs
2. Cards for Canadians
3. How to Submit Your Expected Mileage

Earning Mileage on Multiple Programs

A couple of people have asked how it works if you spread your mileage across multiple programs. If you earn 20,000 miles on five airlines, that’s not as good as 100,000 on one airline, right?

The short answer is, yes, 100k in one program is better. However, you can avoid this problem by maximizing the miles you earn in your preferred program instead of getting smaller amounts in multiple programs.

It will be easy for me to use all 300,000 of the miles I earned due to the kinds of redemptions I use, but as mentioned, you don’t need to apply for 13 credit cards to benefit from the mileage bonuses.

To be more specific, consider these examples from the original post that will each give you at least 50k miles in one program:

American Airlines MC/Visa/Amex = 50,000 Total Miles
Add the AA Biz Card = 75,000 Total Miles

U.S. Airways 1 + U.S. Air 2 = 50,000 Total Miles

Northwest + Delta = 50,000 Total Miles
Add the Delta Amex = 75,000 Total Miles

This can be a bit technical, but with almost every program I highlighted, you can easily earn at least 25,000 miles, and in most cases, 50,000 miles. 25k is enough for a for at least a domestic (U.S./Canada/Europe) ticket. Of course, 50k is enough for two of those, one First Class domestic ticket, or an award for another region.

Because award ticket planning is an in-depth topic, I’ll write more about this later.
For now, I just wanted to note that if you can earn 25k in any one program, you’re good to go.

Cards for Canadians

Thanks to La Presse and the general awesomeness of my friends from the north, we have a LOT of Canadian readers. I’m not sure exactly how many, but it’s at least 20% of the total readership.

The challenge can be done on a limited scale in Canada, but it really is limited. Unfortunately some of the best cards for U.S. residents aren’t available in Canada, but on the other hand, most of the ones I found for Canadians have no annual fee.

If you’re in Canada, here are a few cards I recommend you take a look at:

How to Submit the Mileage You Expect to Receive

The form is now working to submit your mileage success:

**Submit your Information Here**

You can be anonymous if you want, but please take a moment to let me know if you earned mileage from the information. Remember, the goal is to help 100 people earn at least 50,000 miles each, so I need your reports.

Travel and Personal Finance Bloggers, Help Spread the Word

So far we have reports coming in that the post has generated at least 440,000 new Frequent Flyer Miles. That’s not a bad start, but to get to 5 Million, we have a ways to go.

Thanks for the trackbacks thus far, but the project needs more help. If you find it worthy, please help it go further. You can link to the original post here:×5/the-five-million-frequent-flyer-challenge

And that’s it

OK friends, I’m heading out to Bangkok, where I’ll settle in to the Southeast Asian routine and meet up with some fun people. But first, it’s time for that morning glass of champagne. I hear it goes well with coffee.

See you again on Monday, where we’ll talk about How to Be Awesome.


HKG Airport Image by ArtSnap

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