1.25 Million Air Miles
Now, you’re probably thinking a guy walking into several stores and asking to purchase all the Healthy Choice pudding they possessed, even in the back of the store, would arouse suspicion; and if anyone cottoned on to what he was doing, they’d try to get in on it too, because, why wouldn’t they? David apparently had the same concern and while buying the pudding, he told people he was doing it because he was stocking up for Y2K, which was just around the corner.
All in all, David spent just over $3000 on pudding, which may seem like a lot, until you realise the total dollar value of the miles he was set to receive was in excess of $150,000. However, before that, he actually had to send off all of the bar codes.
According to David, his wife got blisters from peeling off hundreds of stickers and his kids and co-workers grew physically sick of the sheer amount of chocolate paste he was forcing on them. Further, it began to look doubtful they’d be able to peel off all the barcodes in time to qualify for the early bird part of the promotion.
This is when David had another idea- why did he need to have his wife and children suffer when he could get others to do the leg work for him?
David approached the local Salvation Army with an offer; if they gave him a bunch of volunteers to peel off all the bar codes on his pudding, he’d donate the pudding to them. But here’s the beautiful part, doing this counted as a considerable charitable donation, which let David claim just over $800 back in tax deductions at the end of they year.
But the benefits of David’s scheme didn’t end there. After sending off the bar codes and getting back his 1,280,000 miles, (he got a few more than just from the pudding because he also bought some soup at 90 cents a can before he realised that was the sucker’s method), 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, thanks to various frequent flyer incentive programs he keeps an eye out for and exploits just like the pudding scheme. Today, he has over 4 million miles in his various accounts and has flown to over 20 countries and taken numerous vacations in the meantime.
In the end, for a one time cost of a little over $3000 (or less if you subtract the tax deduction), and a few other similar deals he’s taken advantage of to bolster his numbers, David never has to pay for a flight in his life ever again. Genius.