Rookie Wednesday: Most times it is not bloggers who kill the deals, it is these guys!

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RenesPoints Rookie

Welcome to a weekly feature on the Renés Points blog. Each week this series covers in a “rookie” way either a Delta or travel related theme and attempts to break down to a basic level each topic. You can read up on all the previous posts HERE. Now on to this week’s feature.

iphones from stolen gift cards from Portland Tribune - com

The above is a shot from the about a police nabbing some crooks about to send a bunch of iPhones overseas. It is a very interesting article for us who like to use all the means at our disposal to make frequent flyer points and meet the minimum spending on our new travel cards (or for the year for that matter).

Notice a key part of the article said that:

“Police said that detectives seized more than 470 Apple iPhones from the car, worth more than $290,000, along with hundreds of gift cards worth more than $585,000.”

Holy cow over HALF A MILLION in gift cards. Holding that kind of total would make the most advanced student of MS blush. But these were not gift cards that were obtained legally and legitimately with a travel card of our own, these were stolen cards.

So what do thieves do with all these stolen cards? Well clearly they are buying a bunch of iPhones, but my guess is they are also doing some of the same things we are doing to make points and THAT is what makes our legitimate spending look strange.

And this is not the only case. Back in the vanilla reload days there were countless times where folks would email me (not regular readers) about the scam of “adding a zero” to vanilla reloads to turn $50 into $500. Clearly that was not possible and the scammer just took the $50 of the person who could afford it least. But I am sure that kind of constant criminal activity had an impact on us who were legally paying the fee to buy these cards and use them to load to BlueBird and such products as they were intended.

Now to be clear larger blogs like mine, or MEGA blogs like The Points Guy or View from the Wing, do have an impact and what we blog gets noticed. I get, on average, several dozen visits each day to the blog from Delta CORP computers as an example. Lots of other large companies visit the blog each day as well. So sure, they are well aware about what we write and teach to you. But that is also why some things I do not ever share on the blog and save for PVT seminars like the one in Vegas in April or Chicago in October. Not that anything I am teaching there is in any way against the law, just that they would get shut down if the companies knew about them.

And that last part is where we, that is bloggers, try to draw the line. The challenge is to blog about things that can benefit you but will not get shut down if we do. This is a hard balance to find but one I think most of us do very well.

So next time you read about a blogger “killing a deal”, realize it is more than likely not us who cause it to go sideways but some criminal element exploiting what works for illegal gains rather than just following a promotion or program to the letter! – René




  1. This is like the banks saying that people who couldn’t afford homes primarily caused the recession because they took out loans they couldn’t repay.

    Let’s not redistribute blame here. Criminals ruin deals, bloggers ruin deals, swarms of greedy guys like me ruin deals.

    Let’s be adults. We’re all toxic.

  2. @David – Disagree. Those who do not abuse an offer are not the cause of a deal ending. Criminals, and those who get greedy, are. Not all of us are “toxic” to deals.

  3. You mentioned there are certain tips you save for the seminars. Can you give an example of one that you avoided blogging about in the past but has now since been shut down and is no longer relevant? I’m curious as to just how exceptional these types of tips are.

  4. @D.Sue – No I can’t. Even talking about some of them can get things shut down (on the blog). You will just have to attend to find out 😉

  5. Rene, are you based in Portland? I’ve been looking for a local travel expert to learn from. Do you know of any travel/MS conferences in Portland? I saw one will be in Seattle shortly but can’t make it up there.

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