The Miles Game

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The best decision I ever made was asking my wife to marry me.

At the time I was a poor medical student in New Orleans and she was a beautiful Japanese woman who had recently graduated college in Tokyo.

When she said yes I was very happy. But I was also aware that I was asking someone to move thousands of miles away from her family and culture for no other reason than to marry a shlub like me.

At that point I made a bargain with myself; no matter the cost, I would have to make sure that she was able to get home at least once a year to visit her family.

It is worth mentioning that at that time a round trip ticket from New Orleans to Japan cost about 400 bucks.

This past February I booked a trip for my (now) family of five during summer break.

The plane fare alone cost almost $8000.

I found this deeply disturbing. And I’m glad I did.

My discomfort led me to search for a better way to afford this luxury which for my family is almost a necessity.

And that is how I came across The Miles Game.

The Miles Game stems from a simple observation: By leveraging credit card applications and usage one can travel (almost) for free to (almost) anywhere.

Before delving into the minutiae of how to reach this Utopian state of free travel, it is worthwhile to first go over the rules of the game.

But first, a question.

Do the credit card companies offer generous sign-up bonuses to the general public because they are charitable and giving?

No, they do it to make money. And the way that they make money is by allowing people to make unwise decisions using their credit cards, and to profit off of the obscene interest charges intrinsic to credit card debt.

So before you decide to enter the game; you’d better make sure you’re the predator, not the prey.

The best way to do that is to follow these rules:

1: You can never carry credit card debt. You will pay off your credit card bill in full each and every month. If you already have credit card debt, get rid of it before you even think about starting to play The Miles Game.

2: You will monitor your credit score. You can sign up for a couple of free services including Credit Sesame, and Credit Karma. Get your credit score above 700 at a minimum before contemplating The Miles Game. If your current score is under 700 work on that first.

3. You will get organized. You will keep track of all of your new credit cards, and all of your bank statements. You will keep track of all of your mileage accounts. You will pay each bill on the day it arrives. If you’re not ready to do this, then you’re not ready for The Miles Game.

4. If you have a big purchase such as a new home, or home refinancing coming up, you will take care of that first before entering The Miles Game.

5. You must be disciplined in your spending. Having thousands of dollars in new credit limits, and daunting minimum spending requirements, will only strengthen your resolve not to buy a single thing that you don’t need. If this sounds like a stretch for you, please ignore The Miles Game. Focus instead on the other aspect of this blog, The Early Retirement Game!

And that’s it. If you can follow rules 1 to 5, there is no reason why you should not be playing The Miles Game.

Hell, even if you don’t travel, instead of playing The Miles Game you can play a related contest: The Cashback Game. You can even plug your winnings from The Cashback Game into an investment account and play the terrific Compound Earnings Game!

There’s no such thing as a free lunch. I believe this with every fiber of my being.


Pasta aglio et olio: cheap and delicious

But there is such a thing as a very cheap and delicious lunch. In my opinion The Miles Game is just such a delicacy.

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  1. Confirmation | Miles Dividend M.D. - October 9, 2013

    […] So after some honest self reflection you decided you were ready to play the miles game. […]

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