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Last week, I wrote what I assumed would be a non-controversial post about how I got the Amex pop-up box when I applied for the Amex Green Card. I was surprised because I am at 3/24 and haven’t gotten a new credit card in almost a year.
Apparently, I struck a nerve with a few readers who sounded off in the comment section. One reader said that Amex and all banks should ban me for life. Another reader said that people who max out promotions and try to game the system are greedy.
I don’t agree with the implied notion that only people with heavy business travel (butt in seat) and/or high spending on credit cards deserve all the miles and points and the rest of us are tricksters. Why do some think that earning miles via business travel is more noble? In most cases it’s the corporations, not individuals, who are paying the big bucks and letting business travelers keep the miles as a perk.
What is Gaming the System?
The thing is, even miles and points hobbyists can’t agree on what is considered “gaming the system.” How much annual spend do you need to put on cards? How many cards is too many? Which promotions are ok to maximize? What promotions should remain “secret”? There is no rule book. Some hobbyists are willing to put in more time/effort/risk to earn miles and points based on promotions, re-selling (Ebay business, for example) or manufactured spending.
Back when I started getting more invested in this miles and points hobby, the rules were different. Bloggers used to apply for dozens of new credit cards every year in three-month rounds. It was crazy! But it was also very lucrative for some.
Now, bank approvals are more difficult. But, hobbyists still have avenues to maximize miles and points with current cards and travel (see this great post from Miles to Memories for ideas).
Regardless, there are so many ways (legal ways!) to earn miles and points. I do what I’m comfortable with, which is earning the majority of miles and points from credit card bonuses and ongoing spending. The idea that hobbyists don’t deserve those miles and points sounds snobby and elitist to me.
I plan to keep earning miles and points through sign-up bonuses when I can. Sorry, not sorry if you think that I or other hobbyists don’t deserve the rewards. Enjoy your travels!
Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.
Nancy lives near Dallas, Texas, with her husband and three kids. Her favorite vacations include the beach, cruising and everything Disney.