Why Knot?

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Look, there are some good reasons for not playing The Miles Game.

We’ve already covered them, but let’s rehash.

If your credit score is below 700 it will be difficult for you to get approved for multiple cards at one time. It’s a better idea to first get your score up above 700 and then to start to play.

If you have a big purchase upcoming such as a home refinance or a new home loan, now is not the best time to apply for a bunch of credit cards. Even though your credit score will likely not be negatively impacted in the medium to long-term, you should focus your energy instead on securing the best rate possible. Once you’ve done that, then you can entertain playing The Miles Game.

If you can’t get your spending under control, that’s something to work on before even thinking about starting to play The Miles Game.  You will feel pressure to put spending on your new credit cards, once they arrive. But spending money you wouldn’t have already spent is counterproductive. And paying interest on credit card debt is the opposite of investment.  It is, in fact,  financial suicide.

But there are plenty of people who would be good candidates to play the miles game, who choose not to.

Selfishly, the fewer people who play the miles game, the longer it will run unabated. So this is an advantage to people who are already playing it. (I.e. me).
If everybody played the miles game, it could become “the tragedy of the commons,” and the miles game could collapse upon itself.

But still, I started this blog to help people, not to preserve my own little kingdom of miles.

With that in mind I would like to address some of the (misinformed) reasons why people choose not to play the miles game.

1. “My credit score will be negatively impacted.”

Although hard credit pulls do temporarily negatively impact your credit score, The improvement in your credit utilization ratio with your expanded credit lines should more than offset this negative effect.

The other point to be made here is that any credit score above 750 is gravy. You will not get a better mortgage interest rate with a credit score of 825 than with a credit score of 760.

brown-gravySuper high credit score being poured on mashed potatoes

With this in mind, the logical approach is to apply for as many cards as you can while still keeping your credit score above 750.

I would even say that the benefits of the miles game are so profound that even with a sub 750 (but above 700) credit score, it is still worth playing the miles game, assuming you don’t have any big loan applications upcoming.

2. “It’s too much work to juggle all those credit cards.”

Yes and no.

This is a calculation you will have to make for yourself.

But speaking as a naturally disorganized person, who despises paperwork of all kinds, as well as talking to customer service agents on the phone, the work is not that ominous.

In my case, specifically, the effect was paradoxical. The economic benefits of gaining more miles for my family to travel, turned what could have been seen as a chore, into what felt like a game.

To be sure, I devote some time to this hobby, but honestly, it’s enjoyable.

It feels like a big puzzle. But the rewards are both quite palpable and very lucrative.

3. “It’s a scam. I don’t want to participate in a scam.”

This one does just does not pass the laugh test.

In order to play the miles game one need neither break laws, nor hurt anyone.

Each lucrative sign-up bonus is there for a reason. And that is that the credit card company sees the bonus as a profit making move.

The hope on the credit card companies’ part is that the sign-up bonuses will lure people into applying for credit cards who will spend unwisely and generate a bunch of point-of-sale commissions for the card company, as well as future high interest debt payments.

The Miles Game player simply profits by not being the victim in this scheme. He is leveraging some financial discipline, organizational attention, and due diligence, into outsized rewards for himself.


Miles Game Player:  Neither Predator nor Prey

The easy way to address the “scam” objection is to imagine a world in which everyone played The Miles Game, and did not carry high-interest debt. What would the credit card companies do in this scenario?

The answer is clear. The Miles Game would end. There would be no point in offering further sign-up bonuses.

Fortunately or unfortunately, that is not the world we live in.  The game rolls on because of the poor financial decisions of others.

So why not become one of a few, the proud, The Miles Game Players?

Am I missing something?

….If you have any reservations not addressed here, please leave comments.

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