I was amazed (and amused) to read of an engineer who turned 12,150 cups of chocolate pudding into 1¼ million frequent flyer miles – and free airline travel for the rest of his life. Gizmodo reports:
[David Phillips] saw that Healthy Choice was having a promotion on their frozen entrées section. The offer was as follows: for every 10 bar codes of their product a person sent in, they’d be awarded 500 Air Miles. However, the company had an early bird stipulation that people who redeemed the offer within the first month of the competition would receive double that, meaning a person could potentially receive 1000 Air Miles for buying just 10 of their entrées.
Upon catching wind of the deal, David scoured his local supermarkets to see which, if any products offered the best potential return. After some legwork, he found what he was looking for- a discount grocery chain that was selling individual chocolate pudding cups for 25 cents each. This meant that for a measly $2.50, he could get 1000 Air Miles.
Realising the amazing return he was potentially able to receive, David set out to hit every store in the chain in one day and buy up every single Healthy Choice pudding they had.
. . .
But the benefits of David’s scheme didn’t end there. After sending off the bar codes … he now officially had over a million miles in his frequent flyer accounts, which automatically gave him lifelong access to something called the “American Airlines AAdvantage Gold club” giving him and his family a number of awesome flying related perks for the rest of their lives.
But we haven’t even got to the best part yet. David will likely never run out of Air Miles because he’s still earning miles at about 5 times faster than he’s spending them, despite traveling quite often …
There’s more at the link. It’s a fascinating study in how thinking outside the box and being mildly obsessive can reap a rich harvest.