I have had so many blog comments, tweets and e-mails that I thought this weekend I would pop up a post with a general overview of how I will in a somewhat simple fashion get the goal completed. But first some disclaimers.
I am not advocating anyone do this. I am doing this because I want to and can and as a Delta focused blogger I want to accomplish it just to have done it. If I did not fly Delta as much as I do, and value my Diamond perks, I would not spend this much money on Delta Amex cards that yield very low value SkyMiles as the reward for all the spending. Clearly, I value the MQMs and MQD exemption much more than ¼ million SkyMiles!
Next, I am personally in a financial situation I can do this and not pay a penny in credit card interest. I never pay credit card interest EVER! I always pay my bill off every month. I do have a business line of credit that I sometimes carry a balance on for a few days now and then but over a year those few days add up to very little cost at all and I factor those fees in with other costs to make points i.e. gift card or money order fees etc.
With that out of the way one of the ways I will knock out about $50,000 of the spend will be via Kiva.org. This takes study to do with little risk to your money. Greg, The Frequent Miler, had a really good part at the FTU in Seattle talking about how once you get to about the 6 month range you can expect about as much coming back to you as you re-lend each month. Sure until the end of the year I will have 25-50k tied up that I could invest in some stock or other instrument that could earn a good return and I am foregoing that to earn 50,000 SkyMiles and knock out some MQD exempt spend. I get some would say this is not wise. OK don’t do it then! 😉
My next big spend will be paying (and over paying) my taxes over the year. I happened to do very well in the stock market this year and sad to say will have a rather mega tax bill. Oh and I will over pay that bill by a bunch as I am happy to let the US Government send me a refund check in Q1 at some point. Yes, I will have to pay a 1.87% fee but since a SkyMile is worth at least 1 cent each I am only net paying 0.87%. Personally I value a SkyMile at a bit more than 1 cent so to me this is close-ish to a wash and will over the year in quarterly payments knock out a sizable chunk of the 250k spending needed.
In January will prepay many bills for the entire year. Cell, Cable, Gas and Electric and so on – all will get what I estimate the entire year will cost me. I get most are not in a financial position to prepay a year’s worth of bills. That is why I am not suggesting YOU do this, it is just what I am doing to help knock out the mega spend needed. Again here, I get that earning 1x SkyMiles vs. putting this spend on cards that offer MUCH better rewards (like 3-5x) is not the best choice. I do not suggest others do this unless you too value the end results with Delta.
So with just the above, I should be close to knocking out about half of the needed spend. That still leaves a sizable chunk left over. I will be using creative spending to get most of that done. Sure the Amex T&C says much of those choices are not approved or will count but for years they have said that and it all depends on how things “code” as to if they will work or not. I will be testing lots of different ways and then use the ones that do over the year.
Lastly, unlike other years where I rushed it, this time I am really not rushing it at all. I am going to take my sweet time as I have until 31 DEC for all the charges to post. Now I can promise you I will not push it THAT close. I plan to be 100% by October range. I want to cross the finish line well before 1 JAN 2019! – René
PS – Clear, for 99.99% of those who don’t want to do this – THIS is the best choice for 2018!