Here’s How You Know You Think About Miles WAY Too Much!

This just never gets old for me.

You know you think about miles too much when:

  • You hear the words “mile a minute” and find yourself pondering the concept of earning bonus miles as a function of time.

  • You answer the question, “How many miles per gallon do you get?” with “It depends on what credit card I use.”

  • You unthinkingly ask your non-frequent flyer friend why she is taking the nonstop flight to London instead of the connection through Syracuse.

  • You check 4 times a day to see if US Airways brings back the Grand Slam promo before merging Dividend Miles into American AAdvantage.

  • One half of your brain keeps trying to calculate the cost/mile value of a mileage run against a baseline of a $24.98 San Francisco – Paris ticket, leading to a temporary conclusion that a $507 New York – Singapore trip is “expensive”.

  • You criticize your spouse for not spending enough (“doing your share”) on the credit card last month.

  • You see a lone shopper in the grocery store place a box of Nutrigrain bars in his cart — and you have to bite your tongue not to ask him if he will be using the 100 miles on the box.

  • Your teen learns that the best way to ask for something is “It’s on sale, and you’ll still earn miles for it!”

  • When all your friends are in debt to you because you always pick up the check at lunch.

  • One of the first things you do with the person you are training is to go over the airlines and routes out of their local airport, and which mileage programs will work best for them.

  • When you have not only YOUR frequent flier and credit card numbers memorized, but also the numbers for family and friends that you book travel for.

  • You know all your mileage balances within 50 miles, but can’t remember your phone number.

  • You used to drive past half a dozen gas stations and ten extra miles to the Shell that accepted Diners Club even though the “low fuel” light on your dashboard had been on all day. You miss the days when nobody accepted Diners Club, because the card’s perks were better.

  • The only thing you use Excel for is tracking miles, and you write to Microsoft asking them to include class-of-service bonus spreadsheet function to the next version of Office.

  • You walk into a meeting at the office and people ask, “So where did you go last weekend?”

  • You buy flowers for your wife so you will earn partner credit in a shopping portal promotion. What’s worse is when she asks you if the florist is a partner.

  • A loved one passes away and you think that the funeral home accepting your miles-earning credit card mitigates your loss.

  • You book an international trip because you don’t want to waste a Systemwide Upgrade domestically.

  • You plan day trips to cities you find boring just because there’s a websaver and you can get free booze in the lounge.

  • You get a big goofy smile when you hear “Rhapsody in Blue”

(* Culled from multiple folks, these do not originate with me but I don’t have all the attributions unfortunately.)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. At the Holiday Inn in Visalia, when you walk past one of the meeting rooms that is named The Oak Room, you wonder why they have a room named after an airport.

  2. Everytime you pass a CVS you wonder if this one might still take a credit card so you can get some beans

  3. Funny stuff. I laughed out loud about the funeral home.

    I have Rhapsody in Blue on my iPod. I think that counts.

  4. Probably the most common one is that when someone else tells you about a trip they took or are taking and how inexpensive it was or will be, you know instantly several ways the trip is overpriced and that they are paying way too much. Another one is that you do not enjoy a trip as much if there is much cash outlay.

  5. You grimace when you see the person in front of you in line paying with a non-rewards card (or a SkyPesos card).

    You buy a pair of heavy duty shears to cut up your expired Chase Sapphire Preferred cards.

  6. You bring your car in to find out why your check engine light is on and they tell you you’ll need $1,000 in repairs. You’re not that upset, since that means 5,000 Carlson points you hadn’t been expecting.

    Naturally, you use Uber to get to and from the repair shop.

  7. You constantly are correcting everyone that a direct flight is not in fact the same thing as a non-stop. And you can work up an example (bonus points for flight numbers) to explain the difference between a non-stop, connection, and direct flight.

  8. It’s not enough to earn 5 miles per dollar, but you continually want to be working on new cards that give you 40 or 50,000 miles for a couple thousand dollars, or the equivalent of 25 miles for every dollar spent anywhere. Then there are the wonderful US Air cards that get you 40,000 miles or more for $89 plus a $1 purchase or 400+ miles per dollar spent.

  9. (real story) You ditch a landing at SAN due to fog, divert to LAX and your first thought is whether you will get credit for the extra miles.

  10. When you actually WANT to pay your taxes (both personal and W-2- I have a business with employees) with the Visa Gift Cards that you purchased with your miles-earning credit card, b/c you know you are earning miles by paying those taxes.

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