This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

Earn A Million Miles In A Year! Maybe Not. But Make The Most Of Your Rewards





In November, blogger Hilary Stockton laid out her plans for earning a million miles in credit card rewards in a year without leaving the ground. As blogs go, it was an extraordinary tour de force, made even more compelling by her opening paragraph, which described her and her family's first- and business-class flights to Bali and Hong Kong aboard Cathay Pacific airplanes.

Rewards credit cards and gaming the system

Within a year, Hilary seemed to imply, you could be enjoying the salmon and caviar in-flight platter pictured on her blog -- if you follow her "mileage running" strategy. And it seems likely you could -- but only if you're an unusual sort of person. Here are some of the characteristics you would need to hit her million-mile target:

  1. You'd have to have a spare $200,000 lying around, and be prepared to invest it with BankDirect. That's where 240,000 of your miles would come from. In return, Hilary said, you'd get only a modest interest rate, and would be charged $12 a month in account fees. Still, could be worth it.
  2. You'd need a really great credit score. You're going to be applying for 11 cards, most with with sign-up bonuses, and some of them are very high-end indeed.
  3. You'd have to be prepared to see that credit score fall. All those card applications are likely to reduce it significantly, so you certainly -- as Hilary warns -- wouldn't want to follow this strategy if there were any possibility of your wanting to make a mortgage, refinancing or any other loan application anytime soon.
  4. You'd need to spend a total $29,000 across some of the cards within months of acquiring them in order to qualify for your sign-up bonuses.
  5. You'd have to be willing to pay more than $1,000 in annual and other fees during the year.
  6. You'd need to be ready to micro-manage your accounts, including transferring some of your rewards onto gift cards.
  7. You'd have to remember to cancel many of the cards before their annual fees, which are waived for the first 12 months, kick in at the start of year two.

Rewards credit cards without that effort

Now, maybe you are prepared to jump through those hoops, and have the resources to do so. Perhaps you regard following Hilary's strategy as a hobby; one that could provide you with a good return on the time you invest. Good for you.

1 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 16,399.67 +19.26 0.12%
S&P 500 1,904.01 +17.25 0.91%
NASDAQ 4,316.0740 +57.6360 1.35%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs