The other day I was tooling around just looking through the forums on milepoint.com when I saw a new post that grabbed my attention. It read, “Travel Hacking TV Series”. Immediately I began to wonder what the post would be about. Could it really be that there was going to reality show about us miles & points junkies? Or was this just someone’s post suggesting that there ought to be a show about travel hacking? Obviously I had to check it out so I pulled up the forum to see what it was all about.
As soon as I started reading, my heart began to sink. You can read the forum here. It turns out that a gal going by the id of hmanners had made a post stating that she is working with a major cable network who is looking for “Travel Hackers” who are outgoing, spontaneous, and good at what they do for a TV series they want to do about the miles & points world. I kept reading as she goes on to say that in order to apply you need to email her and then make a short video and upload it. I began to wonder if this was legit or not so I started looking into it further and it turns out that it is legit. It is being produced by an independent production company called Magnetic Productions. You can learn more about them on their website.
I know there are many miles & points fanatics who would welcome a reality series with open arms, however I am not one of those people. I can see nothing good coming from this. Don’t get me wrong, this could very well turn out to be a very entertaining show and I might even learn a thing or two. But seriously, what do you think will happen if suddenly hundreds of thousands or even millions of new miles & points fanatics all start playing the game at the same time! If suddenly the volume of applications for miles and points credit cards skyrocket in demand, then credit card companies will have less reason to offer large sign up bonuses to attract people. Everyone and their dog will be applying and therefore the sign-up bonuses will start to drop or the minimum spending requirements will start to go up for the big bonuses once credit card companies start to lose massive amounts of money because millions of rookies are all opening new accounts just to get the sign-up bonuses and then closing them right away!
Call me paranoid if you will but I am not sure I want this show to be successful. Take for example the world of Extreme Couponing. My wife has been an extreme couponer for years, even before the cable show started and never had any problems using her coupons and stacking deals to get all our groceries for 75% off at the minimum. It was a sport for her, seeing how cheap she could get stuff. However shortly after the show started you could see a major uptick in the number of extreme couponing blogs and the volume of visitors coming to the sights skyrocketed. Within a year the many of the major stores started changing their coupon policies to make it harder to redeem coupons and suddenly things started to change. Don’t get me wrong, the show did not actually kill extreme couponing, but it has caused it to be much more difficult and the average savings has come down as a result of the changes to store policies.
So, will a TV series about “travel hacking” kill the miles and points game?
The answer is no, but it the show takes off, we certainly will see some major changes to the whole industry over the next couple of years.