Monthly Archives

Monthly Archives for November 2005.

End of Year Mileage Runs

Joe Sharkey writes the obligatory end of year story on mileage runs, bringing the practice of last minute flights to earn airline status to a mainstream audience. Among folks I know this is common — at the end of year when realizing you’re a few miles shy of that coveted top-tier elite card, and in some cases even throughout the year. And it isn’t just airline runs, either, but last minute dummy stays at local hotels to rack up those coveted upgrades to suites. If you’re working on your own end of year strategy and need some assistance just drop me a note and I’m happy to help. Be sure to tell me the number of miles and segments that you have at present, how many more it take to reach your goal, where you’re…

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Foolproof logic on why you should send me money

Marginal Revolution offers a compelling reason why you should donate to support a blog: Efficiency says that goods with zero marginal cost should have a zero price but without prices not only is the incentive to produce diminished but so is information about what to produce. (See Coase’s 1946 classic, The Marginal Cost Controversy, JSTOR). Donations allow prices to be set at MC while at the same time providing a (noisy) signal about where true economic value lies. In particular, Tyler and I know that we can appropriate more of our marginal product from professional work than we can from blogging yet it is conceivable that our marginal product is higher in blogging. Thus, to decide how much to invest in this venture we markup donations to get an estimate of our social value and…

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More Media on Expedia

The LA Times is covering the Expedia / Tokyo & Osaka Hilton pricing glitch. What began as a simple error in the conversion of yen into U.S. dollars quickly snowballed into a public relations nightmare for Expedia. … Expedia isn’t saying much beyond a public statement acknowledging the error. Requests for interviews with Expedia executives were declined. The fact that an error can be publicized and acted upon so quickly is very telling. “It’s really not about FlyerTalk per se,” said Randy Petersen, founder and president of FlyerTalk. “It is about the impact of the Internet as a communication tool. “Many industries, including travel, have been pummeled by this social media in terms of the extent that information about a value offer and even mistakes can spread,” he said. … Travelers say much of their…

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Roundup of Holiday Shopping Mileage Bonus Offers

As most readers likely know, nearly any online purchase can earn miles provided you enter an online store via an appropriate mileage-earning portal. Andrew Cram’s comparison chart is the best place to start to determine what miles you can earn before clicking on web store. It’s incredibly extensive. That site catalogs the standard miles on offer. However, various mileage malls sometimes offer bonus miles — especially at holiday shopping time. This year the bonus offers seem sparse. I recall earning 10,000 bonus American Airlines miles last year for my online shopping through the AAdvantage mall. There’s nothing so exciting available this year. Here are the bonus offerings I’ve seen so far: American is offering double miles shopping at the AAdvantage Online mile and paying with Mastercard. In addition you get 1000 miles when spending $500…

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Massive Devaluation at Capital One

I’m quoted in KARE-11 TV Minneapolis’ story on the devaluation of Capital One miles. Readers of this blog already know to stay away from Capital One, which basically offers a rebate card where the rebate is limited to spending on travel, so it’s less appealing than a traditional cashback card. And as I’ve mentioned before, with miles you can earn from a variety of sources but with a credit card’s proprietary program you only earn through credit card spend — which means it’s tougher to earn enough points for a free ticket. Now the Capital One program has massively increased the number of points required for many awards, and it’s no longer ever possible to do better than 1% return on spending. Since it’s mass market TV, the story doesn’t get into the reasons behind…

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New Free Electronics Offers

free electronics
Nov 23 2005

I’ve written several times in the past about Gratis Networks, now known as FreePay, which offers free electronics for completing their marketing offers and referring friends. In some very real sense it’s a pyramind scheme, but it pays off. Gratis Internet was listed as Inc. magazine’s #18 fastest growing company in the U.S. I just noticed that there are three new offers I hadn’t seen before: free laptops free PS3s. I admit I don’t even know what this is, and it’s not slated to come out until early 2006. $300 SuperCertificate (from For the record I’ve completed all of the offers other than these three news ones and the free Xbox offer. I’ve received everything, too. When you signup for the PS3 offer takes, the site takes you through a few screens of ‘optional’…

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New Book Introducing Mileage Programs

Randy Petersen’s new book is out, I’ll be ordering a copy. It’s supposed to be a great introduction to frequent flyer programs, so readers just getting started down the road of miles and points may find it useful. I’ll be sure to write up a review once it arrives. Randy has an interesting blog entry on the process of writing the book.

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