Saturday, October 11, 2003

Even the smartest men are beaten sometimes

Any names of companies, corporations, and/or services are fictional and have no relation to actual companies, corporations, and/or services. Additionally, the ideas presented in this post are a thought experiment only, and have not been tried in reality. Attempt any of the methods in this post at your own risk.

I have an American Express® Delta Skymiles® card, which this card has an interesting feature of giving you a mile or two miles for every dollar that is spent on the card. At a preset number of Delta SkyMiles®, you will get upgrades to airline tickets or even free tickets to any where in the world. Since I am getting these miles for essentially for free (after some yearly charges and credit card protection charges), is there any possible way to increase the amount of rewards that I get. There are a few ways you can increase the number of miles you get through American Express®, but over all I am unimpressed at the speed I can accumulate miles. The only way of increase the amount of Delta Skymiles® is buy spending more. This solution is not a good one because I have a limited income.

So the real question that I am asking is, "Can I increase the number of Delta Skymiles® , with out actually spending money?"

I will go through the ideas, and how each was shot down.

1. Cash Withdraws/Balance transfers
Read the TOS of my American Express® Delta Skymiles® card, and found out that you don't get Delta
Skymiles® for these two transaction types. Additionally it would cost a certain percent of the total cash withdraw
to withdraw the funds. This would eat into my profits over time. Also if I were to withdraw more than my income,
and repay the money back to my credit card, I am sure that would send up a couple of flags at the IRS.

The bastards shot me down, once.

2. Special Bank overdraft protection
In this case, my bank offers a special program where I can connect my credit card to my checking account for
overdraft protection. To increase the amount of Delta Skymiles® I would need to intentionally overdraft my bank
account. Which this could have unintended consequences on my credit. I checked into this possibility, and the bank
will only let me use their proprietary card for my account, not any random American Express® Delta Skymiles® card.

The bastards shot me down, twice.

3. Sending money to a third party using the credit card through a fourth part, and have the third party send it back to me.
This idea could take several forms, one of the more complicated ones is using E-bay® as a front and then
purchasing items (or more exactly services) from that business. And then racking up the Delta Skymiles®.
Or using paypal to send money using your American Express® Delta Skymiles® card, and having your best
friend send the money back to you then paying the balance off of you American Express® Delta Skymiles®
card. This holds the same problems as the first one did with the IRS.

Tonight will be the night I try beauty number three. Wish me luck.

As I side note: I am only harming myself, by inflating the number of miles and therefore reducing the value of what I seek. Funny huh. But since the inflation is just happening to me, I will be rich.

And remember ....... I did all for the Delta Skymiles®

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