Welcome to the next installment of our interview series where folks share their thoughts about Big Travel with Small Money!
Miles & Points Interview: Miles per Day
How and when did you start collecting miles and points?
I started collecting miles and points over 10 years ago. However, I only got serious 4 years ago because I wanted to go to Bora Bora for my honeymoon.
Why did you start your blog? What’s special about it?
I started my blog in December 2014 because I wanted to keep track of how many miles & points I could collect in a year.
I eventually got so aggressive with my accumulation of points that I subsequently got shut down by Chase, Barclaycard, US Bank, Kohl’s, Macy’s, Sears, Best Buy, etc. There are also reader shutdown stories too since I seem to be a magnet for shutdowns. That’s why people refer to the blog as Shutdowns per Day now due to all the shutdown stories.
What’s the one single thing people can do to get more miles?
Pimp out your friends and family! At dinners, tell them all how awesome the Chase Sapphire Reserve 3X points is on dining transactions, and that they should get the card immediately! Then fire off referral emails during dessert and tell them if they apply right then and there, you’ll pay for their cheesecake!
What’s your most memorable travel experience?
When I flew from Seattle to Los Angeles and back in 1 day to do a “gift card run.” AMEX had a $25 off $50 offer at Smart & Final (California-based store), and I mapped out and drove to 14 different stores buying gift cards. I know people will think it was crazy, but I made a profit of nearly $2,000 after expenses for the trip.
What do your family and friends think of your miles & points hobby?
They love me because I just hooked them up with free cheesecake!
Is there any tool or trick which you’ve found especially useful in this hobby?
Yes, forget slow and steady! The pigs get slaughtered with the hogs these days. Did that piece of bacon come from a pig or hog? I don’t know.
They both taste the same to me.
What was the least expected way you’ve earned miles or points?
The most awkward way at least was when I got 20,000 Delta miles for a Bosley hair treatment appointment. I had a full head of hair, and so the conversation was pretty short. I did however learn about the process just in case I need it down the road.
What do you now know about collecting miles and points which you wish you knew when you started out?
That I should have hit the Mint deal harder!
What would your readers be surprised to know about you?
That I finished a full marathon in 4:24 hours even after only running 11 miles in training. It was sheer will power and lots of water that helped me finish.
Any parting words?
If you didn’t get shut down, you didn’t hit it hard enough.
Vinh – Thanks for sharing your thoughts on having Big Travel with Small Money!
If you’d like to be considered for our interview series, please send me a note!