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Miles and Points, The Fat Controller

1. The increased bonus on Amex Delta card will end on September 8th. It’s not an earth-shattering offer, mostly due to the fact that Delta has poor award availability. However, if you live near Delta hub, have flexibility and immediate plan in mind, it is worth considering.

Remember, you can also redeem 50,000 miles for $500 off your flights. That makes the offer worth at least $550, if you factor in the $50 statement credit. Keep in mind, you can only get this bonus once per new Amex rules. See my list of bonuses for more. The offer pays me commission.

2. The gravy train of getting cash back on purchase of Amex gift cards has come to an end, for now. All shopping portals have dropped the payout to zero.

3. IHG has brought back a promotion identical to Big Win. It’s called “Into the nights” and you can see your personalized offer here I will have a separate post on it Monday.

4. Through November 30th, get 50,000 AAdvantage miles after applying for business version of Citi AAdvantage card. The spend is $3,000 in 3 months, first year annual fee is waived. Does not pay me commission. (h/t Doctorofcredit)

On my mind

Those of you familiar with the   series “Thomas the Tank Engine”, know the character Sir Topham Hatt, who is in charge of making sure things run smoothly in the railroad network. My son loves that show.

But did you know that in the original European version, he is called The Fat Controller? Look up British episodes of the show on Youtube and see for yourself.

There is  definitely a cultural difference between Europe and USA. We tend to call things as we see them, many times in no uncertain terms. I lived here for quite a few years, but old habits die hard. It’s no coincidence that the most *ahem* outspoken bloggers in this industry grew up in Europe, like I did. Well, unless you count Seth (Wandering Aramean blog) who was born on planet Krypton.

There is a fine line, though,  between honesty and rudeness.  While I tend to say things without mincing words, I have to constantly ask myself if my posts come off as obnoxious and arrogant. That is something I very much want to avoid.

I certainly have made mistakes in this regard, it’s  a work-in-progress. While I do like to provide (sometimes colorful) commentary on the issues in this industry, I have zero interest in picking  a fight or taking sides. I’m too busy breaking up fights between my kids! I simply want to do my own thing, however crazy it is at times.

This industry is becoming a very negative and at times downright hostile place to be. As long as lucrative affiliate links are around, I don’t see this trend going away. There is a clear division of “the Haves” (bloggers who make good money, some through unscrupulous methods) and “the Have Nots” (those who make little to nothing). Add to the fact that many “Have Nots” create content far superior to anything produced by “the Haves”,  and  you have a recipe for tense/toxic atmosphere and  resentment galore.

The Encyclopedia of Social Psychology observes that people tend to envy their equals, perhaps in age, experience, or social background. A salesman, for instance, might not envy a famous movie star. But he may envy a more successful fellow salesman.

I don’t value status and money all that highly, so this isn’t a battle I’m interested in fighting. I don’t follow the crowd, be it other writers or even readers.  More than anything else, I want to be thought of as a blogger (or person for that matter), who always tries to do the right thing no matter what. Emphasis on “tries.”

Oh, and I actually like Sir Topham Hatt name better.

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Author: Leana

Leana is the owner and founder of Miles For Family. She enjoys beach vacations and visiting her family in Europe. Originally from Belarus, Leana resides in central Florida with her husband and two children.

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8 thoughts on “Miles and Points, The Fat Controller

  1. When my oldest (who is now 10) was 3, it was the Fat Controller here in the US, too! I remember it switched for my second son and we were trying to figure out if it was the same character, LOL.

    • Nancy, interesting! That was before I had kids. It is funny that the British version still seems to use the same name, at least from what I’ve found on Youtube. Makes sense that they changed it in US, more politically correct, for sure.

  2. The “have-nots” are seriously confused about how this all works. You say that they offer better content than their more popular peers but are disillusioned by the fact that they aren’t making as much money. I don’t doubt that, but people need to realize that blogging is just a huge popularity contest like everything else. The “best” and “most talented” person does not always get the job- sometimes the random likeable person does, or the person who spends the most money/time on marketing and SEO.

    Honestly, I think all the whining needs to stop. If you want to make more money (not you, just speaking in general), spend more time doing things the popular blogs do- working on SEO, writing searchable content, hosting giveaways. No amount of whining will help anyone make more money- but taking action will. The whining and finger-pointing is just sad.

    • Holly, I actually agree with what you are saying here. Make no mistake, I’m not whining at all. I don’t put myself in the “have-nots” group. I am simply an observer, who is pointing out the latest trends in the industry. This is what I like to do on my blog, and it is my blog, isn’t it? 🙂 I’m not disillusioned in any way, I just like to speak my mind.
      For the record, I agree that the finger-pointing and complaining is getting to be ridiculous. There are some real problems in this industry, just like everywhere else. However, the shouting and animosity aren’t going to solve the problem.
      As far as my blog, I’m OK where it is. I do probably need to look into SEO and different strategies you mentioned. I have no problem with those things BTW, I’ve never hidden the fact that this blog is a business. It is a business I love.
      As far as my statement that some bloggers who make little money (not referring to myself here) produce much better content than those who do well financially. Did I say anything that’s not accurate? Notice, I didn’t give my opinion on how things should be, I just pointed out a fact. Life is not fair, and this is a minor injustice, for sure. Plus, with blogging, things take time. Hard work is key, and some luck, I suppose. I don’t have any entitlement or jealousy issues, if that’s what you are referring to.

      • OMG, I was not talking about you. My comment Is directed toward the handful of bloggers who complain endlessly about how the “real experts” aren’t making as much money as the popular blogs, etc. Please don’t think I was talking about you. I find your blog fun and interesting which is why I stop by to comment =)

        I just get sick of the complaining about credit card sales. My philosophy has always been, “If you can’t beat them, join them.” I can’t stand it when people whine because they aren’t as successful as they want to be. It’s just my pet peeve. If you don’t like where you’re at, get out there and do something about it!

      • Holly, thanks so much for clarifying! And I appreciate your nice words about my blog. You are one hard worker bee, and certainly didn’t get lucky when it comes to your success. I was actually thinking that my post somehow didn’t convey my intended message yet AGAIN. That seems to be a pattern with my blog.
        Sorry if I came off a bit defensive. Like I said, I agree with what you said. That’s why I wrote the post. The atmosphere in this industry is getting downright toxic. I had to drop some blogs I enjoy, because I’m just tired of all the negativity.
        The whole debate of travel blogger vs. credit card salesman is also kind of childish. We are all (well, affiliate bloggers at least) selling credit cards. The question is: Who is an honest salesman? That’s what matters, not the definitions. The affiliate links aren’t going away at this point. I intend to be as honest and transparent as possible, and that’s all I can really do.
        Again, sorry for the misunderstanding and thanks for commenting on my blog. I really appreciate it.

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