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The Maldives:  Heaven and Hell
23 Nov. 2016
The Maldives: Heaven and Hell
Paradise? How many countries have a President that has been tortured by its own government? One country that has: the Maldives. If you asked most points and miles enthusiasts for a shortlist of exotic destinations that they would like to redeem points for, most would have the Maldives on that list.  I must admit, it’s
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Greatest Points and Miles Stories of All Time
10 Nov. 2016
Greatest Points and Miles Stories of All Time
Irrational Exuberance Alan Greenspan once talked about rising stock prices as “irrational exuberance”.  Much of that kind of excitement in the award points and miles world now is manufactured spend.  But what seems like a new thing has roots many years old, and with it, some great and now nearly mythic people and stories to
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Points and Miles Inflation
10 Nov. 2016
Points and Miles Inflation
Collecting a Depreciating Asset It’s great to have award points and miles to reduce or even eliminate the cost of travel, but points and miles inflation makes that increasingly difficult to keep up with the Joneses. Most enthusiasts in this hobby refer to the various award points programs as “currency”, as each point earned has value.  ...
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US Bank Flexperks Underrated and Still Relevant: Manufactured Spend?
10 Nov. 2016
US Bank Flexperks Underrated and Still Relevant: Manufactured Spend?
Early Beginnings I have some nostalgia for Flexperks, as it was my first reward earning credit card and points program.  It’s not the best point program or reward currency out there, but I’ve been able to take advantage of some of the opportunities that it presents.  I don’t recommend any Flexperks cards for people just
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Manufactured Spend and the Story of the US Mint
10 Nov. 2016
Manufactured Spend and the Story of the US Mint
Manufacturing Spend For those who are new to the points and miles landscape, there are different definitions of manufactured spend circulating, but one that I think is agreeable is: “Manufactured spend” (MS) is the process of using promotions, resources and techniques that allow a person to accrue maximum rewards (cash, points, miles, benefits) whi...
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The Best Cities and Towns in Europe
10 Nov. 2016
The Best Cities and Towns in Europe
Simply the Best Not too long ago I backpacked Europe for a year.  Since then I’ve been back to see many of my favorite places and also explore a few new ones.  All in all, I have been fortunate enough to visit over 30 countries in Europe, many of which I’ve visited multiple times, and
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