Earning 637,723 Miles in 19 Months – How Did I Do It?

I’m just going to brag here: in the 19 months since I started chasing miles, I have accumulated 637,723 worth of miles in various pockets of bank points. That’s almost 34,000 miles per month, or more than 1,000 miles per day for slightly more than 1.5 years. This is on top of also prioritising spend on my high cashback cards (RIP UOB One).

Perhaps it’s not much for a high SESer with cash to burn, but I feel it’s quite a lot given that I am not someone with a lot of personal expenses. Okay, it’s still a short of Joseph Schooling’s 1 million KrisFlyer miles, but I didn’t have to win an Olympics gold medal for it 😅

1. I make use of promos, hard

19 months ago happens to be July 2018, a month veteran miles enthusiasts might remember. It was the final month of the Citibank Apple Pay promotion and everyone was in overdrive.

For the uninitiated, Citibank was the last major bank to tie up with Apple for Apple Pay. When they did, they launched a promotion that is to this day unparalleled for earning miles. It even made cashback people (me, at that time) switch camps. It was 8 mpd for anywhere that accepted Apple Pay, without limit, which is absolutely crazy.

Personally, I brought forward a modest 5-digit figure of spending, between NTUC FairPrice Vouchers, Singtel bill prepayment, and even Apple gift cards. “Modest”, because I actually regret not putting more – I went through the prepaid values in only a year. Others were putting upwards of $50,000 on everything from car down payments to wedding banquets.

Now that 8 mpd everywhere is long done and gone, we still have 8 mpd opportunities in the form of 90°N. It’s highly restrictive and limited to things like Airbnb, but when you happen to have a friend who is fortuitously going overseas for an exchange programme and he requires long-term rental, 8 mpd is really sweet. If you have confirmed plans to go anywhere this year, now would be the time to lock 8 mpd in.

And who can forget our favourite Grab? Topping up with a variety of cards used to give miles in the past, Now, such cards are few and the list only grows shorter, but I made hay when the sun was shining and boy was it sunny all of last year.

When an opportunity arises that’s great for earning miles, you simply have to grab it and maximise it as best as you can.

Final day: Get a Dyson Pure Cool Me™ worth $499! Existing cardholders get $30.
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2. I use services like ipaymy

I’ve recently written about ipaymy, and it’s truly because I’m a heavy user of it. It’s a great way to offload Grab credits or move spending to credit cards, and clock lots of miles for transactions that wouldn’t normally earn you any card rewards.

And just like making use of promos, one has to really make use of these services as much as it makes sense. I have clocked easily $15,000 of spending through ipaymy in the past two months alone, and these are transactions that wouldn’t have gained me miles or cashback otherwise. Try it and use promo code Sethisfy to get a reduced fee if you’re a new user.

Also, when GrabPay was accepted on AXS – a shortlived affair that sadly ended in December – I paid all my family’s insurance premiums for the year even if they weren’t due just yet to clock miles. These premiums will go on ipaymy when they are due later this year.

3. I’m the Miles Guy to my friends and family

As rewarding as card rewards are, there are people who simply don’t care for it. You’re reading this, so you’re probably not one of them, but many of your friends and family are.

People who know me are well aware of my love for paying with my cards, and they don’t mind letting me paying. In return, I perform the unenviable job of splitting the dinner bill, or be the one navivating the flights and hotel websites. Not that I mind, of course. I’ve let friends and family know to look for me when they have sizeable purchases, and I’m basically a personal shopping concierge remunerated with miles.

4. I live and breathe this stuff

There are people who chase card rewards, and then there are people who chase them at a speed faster than a leisurely brisk walk at the park. To me, it is just a game so fun and addictive I have more than 600,000 miles without having redeemed a single one (I have a hoarding problem, but okay okay I’m going to use them soon).

What people find a chore – applying for cards, maintaining twenty cards, deciding which card to use etc – I find to be a sport, and such an enjoyable one I decided to blog about it.

You don’t have to be so fanatical about it; just leave the obsession to me, and read my blog so that you too can clock more miles by knowing more tricks, what cards to use, and what’s the best promo to maximise.

Keep up to date on the latest credit cards, savings promos, and more tips to maximise your miles and cashback by subscribing to my Telegram channel.

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