Once upon a time, you could open up multiple Alaska Airlines cards at once and pocket the 25,000-mile bonus on each. You no longer can. Why is that?
Circumstantial evidence points to Million Mile Secrets. He put up a post on May 13 of last year (the post has since been removed, but here’s the original URL if you really want it) entitled “Got 5 Alaska Airlines Cards on the Same Day!” Merely a month later, on June 15, this Flyertalk thread popped up. From the OP:
I recently jumped in the BOA alaska offer which grants you 25K miles after the first use. I applied for 4 cards at a time, as the bloggers suggested. All got approved. I got the 25K*4=100K miles in 1 week after the approval.
I wanted to redeem the miles for myself. So I called the reservation center, and was told there is a lock on my account. Strange. So I called the customer care to figure out why my account got locked. The representative I talked to said I need to send in the US-ID for verification of the address. I did, thinking that it may be just a regular verification process.
And today I received an email saying that my account has been closed. No reason given except saying that they have the right to terminate the service. Anyone have the same experience recently? Can I fight for that? I didn’t realize which part went wrong.
And that was the end of that, as news of the Alaska gravy train came to an end.
Like I said, the evidence pointing to MMS is circumstantial, but allow me to add one thing. I live in Charlotte, and those of you who live here know that in some ways, Charlotte’s a small town… and banking can be a small industry. I was recently chatting with a Bank of America associate in a position to know, and he informed me that the MMS post was what shut down the deal. And not because too many people jumped on the deal, but because the post itself was brought to attention of a high level credit card executive, who promptly had some changes made.
I’m bringing this up not because I have an axe to grind with MMS, but to make a couple of points. The first point is that–though it doesn’t happen very often–bank and travel executives can and do read this stuff. And the more popular this hobby is, the more likely it is that something makes its way up to a decision-maker. Sometimes they’ll roll their eyes and ignore it because they have bigger fish to fry, but in this case they did not.
The second point is that over the past few years, the game has changed for bloggers as well as for commenters and forum participants. One of the reasons I started to blog–and this would be true of most bloggers–is because I love discussing this stuff. I still do, which is why I continue to write posts like this. Five years ago, somebody could have done the five-in-one-day post without ruffling any feathers or killing any deals, but those days are long gone.
And by “somebody” I don’t mean “a blogger”, I mean anybody. Even a post on a forum can blow up a deal, since it only takes one blogger hungry for readers for something to become public knowledge. A good question to ask yourself before posting a comment is, “What would happen if MMS wrote a post about this? Would the deal survive?”
It stinks that this is the case. I would love it if we lived in a world where hundreds of bloggers could boast about how they got five Alaska Airlines cards in one day, but we don’t. As I’ve mentioned before, the golden age of points and miles is over. Some think that there’s always a new deal waiting in the wings when an old deal dies, and I would appreciate it if those people will kindly inform me where the next Bluebird is. There’s been a lot of talk about reselling lately… but reselling is a job, not a technique or a hot deal. (Have you seen Trevor’s living room?)
Things will probably get worse before they get better. Be discreet in where you discuss the good stuff, and I recommend getting off the internet and actually meeting some points and miles people in person if you haven’t already done so. You could try Trevor’s reselling shindig (even if you didn’t want to resell, I bet it would still be interesting) or Dia’s family travel meet-up, and of course there’s the meetup thread on the Saverocity forums if you want to find something closer to home.