#MileMadness Day 1 Lessons Learned

Well we are at the end of the first day of the March manufactured spend contest, and let’s just sum it up by saying it was a day of learning. And it also taught me that good planning will help this contest going forward.

So the challenges I came up with today were:

  • I planned on getting Visa Gift Cards from gas stations to use up the Chase Freedom quarterly 5x bonus (I have two cards in my name, one as a primary and one as an authorized user). I have never done gas stations before and after getting turned down at no less than six different gas stations today I never managed to get this done. That meant a lot of wasted time.
  • I have one unique trick at a grocery store that enables me to get a very high multiplier. I had only ever run $1k a day through it in the past. Well today I learned it is inherently capped at that amount. It was not the end of the world as I used my third trip to this store to unload some gift cards sourced at the other stores.
  • Real life really gets in the way of a lot of MS! (Or should that be the other way round?) Between Tae-Kwon-Do, taking kids for lunch, soccer for my son, soccer for me, family dinner out – there are not many hours left. I need to be brutally efficient!

Despite the challenges I managed to spend just shy of $5k with fees of around $28, earning miles and cash-back valued at around $206 using Frequent Miler’s Fair Market Value of Miles.

The quick summary is $1k at grocery store doing Visa/Mastercard Gift Cards (using Citi 5x), $2k at good old CVS with Vanilla Reload unloaded through Bluebird (again Citi 5x), and $2k with Amazon Payments ($1k using an AA card earning 2x due to a retention offer, and $1k with Barclays Arrival). I had hoped to keep Amazon Payments in my back-pocket for a rainy day, but frankly after spending way too much time running around gas stations and the need to get on with life, today was my rainy day.

Tomorrow is likely to involve some OfficeMax trips!

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  • http://first2board.com/giddyforpoints GiddyforPoints

    Nice job! Jealous of the Citi 5x card. You did great the first day! The hard part I see is keeping my momentum…

    • MilesAbound

      Thanks! I always tell my kids when they are swimming to get a good, fast start and I’m trying to do the same here! Easier to keep up from the front than the back :)

  • Paul

    Why only $1K at grocery rather than $5K?

    If you’ve got 5x TY, you should crush the competition – should be your entire MS for the month. Forget about all the rest and simplify your life.

    • MilesAbound

      If you read through I’m limited to $1k on this one trick (which earns 9.5x gross before fees!) And yes I could just do Citi 5x each day but that will get boring pretty quick I think so trying to be more diverse

      • JM

        Is this a store-specific promotion that stacks with the 5x? Fuel points?

        • ABC

          Curious about this as well. Can’t be at special K. I’ve bought more than $1k there. Any hits?
          On a related note, I spent a Saturday trying a good selection of fuel stations in RTP. No success. Most are confused and after 15min they tell me you need cash. Who uses cash (except with hookers and taxis in Netherlands)???

          • MilesAbound

            Store specific stackable with 5x yes. Very limited audience. If your kids swim in the RTP area it could work for you

  • rob black

    newbie question: is CITI 5x still available ?