2 Quick Questions: Would you Pay for Advanced MS Strategies? What is your Zipcode?

Good afternoon everyone, I just had 2 quick questions I wanted to run by you to get your feedback/opinion.  I really like what The Free-quent Flyer does in regards to his monthly blog subscription and what a few other bloggers do in regards to their weekly/monthly newsletter.  This is my thinking:

  • As a blogger, I have a responsibility to find deals and share those deals with my readers.
  • I also have the responsibility of not killing deals prematurely by drawing too much attention to various deals/tricks/loopholes.
  • There are many deals/tricks/loopholes that I discover over the course of the month that I do not post and that I only share with a very small group of people.
  • Some deals would be MS-related and some would just be simple cash back deals.
  • I would only share items that I discover and have personally tried.  I would not summarize ideas from other private forums.
  • I’m leaning toward a PayPal subscription, but I am not 100% sure on the implementation of the service (direct emails only or a password-protected section on this site?)
  • I will still continue to share normal everyday deals openly on my blog, nothing will change in those regards.

So, what do you think…

In a recent post, I mentioned that I wanted to map out where my readers were located (based on zipcodes only) to determine future meetup locations.  If you already entered your zipcode on the last post, please *do not* enter your zipcode again.  I am planning on using an online tool called Batch Geo to map all my reader’s zipcodes across the United States.  If you do not want to enter your zipcode, no problem.  After a few days of collecting zipcode data, I will share the custom Google Map with my readers.

Please scroll to the bottom of this post to enter your zipcode.  Thank you for sharing!

Map of Zipcodes

If you have any questions, please leave a comment below.  Have a great day everyone!

64 thoughts on “2 Quick Questions: Would you Pay for Advanced MS Strategies? What is your Zipcode?

  1. choi

    this is the best idea since stale bread, hahha, just kidding, but sure its workable and keep the interested interesting.

    Reply
  2. Carlos

    I say start the service at $5.00 per month, that is a small amount of money if you are getting good MS strategies

    Reply
      1. Hoang

        I am willing to subscribe too. I would like to pay you by SW e-GC for example I will send you $30 SW e-GC for 6 month subscription or you prefer cash it is OK too.

        Reply
        1. Grant

          Thank you Hoang, I’m sure I can accept other forms of payment and manually add you to the subscription list. Thank you for your SWA eGC offer :)

          Reply
  3. JEM

    I would disagree with at least one of your premises: “As a blogger, I have a responsibility to find deals and share those deals with my readers.”

    This is clearly false. As a blogger you may have a DESIRE to share deals with your readers (to increase readership, to increase affiliate bonuses, to generate subscriptions, to stay in the BA/P2B stable, to fulfill some deep psychological need, etc), but you certainly don’t have any ‘responsibility’ to do so.

    Reply
    1. Grant

      Thank you Judy, I can’t control what people do with the info, people will share the info with others. New tricks only last for a few weeks/months then it’s into the next trick.

      Reply
  4. Mike U

    I’m excited by this idea. I already get way over $5/month in value from your blog’s current content, so I would absolutely be a subscriber at $5/month.

    Reply
    1. Grant

      That is understandable, but I feel pretty confident you will get more than $5 in value from the posts. If you are not satisfied, I can cancel your subscription and refund the first month’s payment. How does that sound?

      Reply
    1. Grant

      It is a great idea, but I don’t to promise anyone that I will have the secret MS section for at least a year. I’d rather do month by month and see how it goes from there.

      Reply
  5. Adam

    How about a teaser title, with what region that particular deal applies to? Then you could have an option to buy just that article.

    Reply
    1. Grant

      Sort of like a pay-per-view option? That is an option, but it is starting to sound more complicated than I want. I’d rather do a monthly subscription and not have to deal with one time purchases. Great idea though Adam!

      Reply
  6. Ed

    So far I’d consider myself a plain Vanilla MSer (no pun intended). Currently I shop at Simon, use AmEx GCs, use AFT, have BlueBird, and PPBDC that I use conservatively. And I’ve Evolved. I try to be very careful about my MS expenses and also the time involved, but I’d love to expand my activities. Your blog is a good one, and I’d consider your offer, but I’d love to see what sort of value I’d get, like Smay’s comment above. Here’s a suggestion: to entice someone like me, would you consider sharing some past deals (things that are already over and done with, so that there is no harm)? That would give me a much better idea of whether or not the types of “advanced MS techniques” you’re thinking about are for me and whether the cost is justified.

    Reply
    1. Grant

      I can definitely share some ideas that I have used in the past that have died. I have a few pretty good options that revolve around the PPBDC. I might do a “here are the posts I would have shared if the advanced MS section were around at the time” post. I’ll add that to my to-write list.

      Reply
  7. Yeshu

    Hi Grant,

    First of all, I love your blog and would wholeheartedly support this. Also, I like the fact that you confidently say that we will get more than $5 in ROI in terms of new and potentially unexplored MS strategies.

    Just like Ed above, I am pretty conservative when it comes to MSing. There was a time when I got too excited and started spending a ton on gift cards and VRs. Did not think of the opportunity costs of MS. I think I’m wiser now and mostly do MS for miles when the opportunity presents (example: Chase quarterly bonuses) or cashback (Discover, etc.). I am a huge fan of The Free-Quent flier as well and he has a ton of good posts on MSing for cashback. Like you, he promptly responds to comments in the comments section. Understandably, when your blog becomes extremely popular (such as The Points Guy or MMS), it is tough to keep up with all the comments. I hope you can continue this because it makes this blog a lot more personal. I also second Ed’s comment about seeing some of your past (expired) strategies that were not widely advertised on blogs and/or FT. I think it would be safe to assume that most of the people here are somewhat active on FT and other travel forums (though it is true that even those forums don’t have all the secrets).

    Just out of curiosity, how would you separate the exclusive content for paying members vs. those who just want to casually browse your site? Would we have to create a separate login of some sort?

    Finally, while paywalls are becoming increasingly popular, are you trying to create a subscription-based model because of monetization issues or because of pressure from Boardingarea? You recently said you had over a million page views completed. I was under the impression that more page views = more money? Correct me if I am wrong.

    Reply
    1. Grant

      You have some very good points and ask some very good questions. The MS strategies would not be completely different than what is currently out there, just a few minor tweaks to increase the earnings/payout. If you can handle normal MS and cash back deals, this will just be one small step further, not requiring much more additional time. On any given day, I probably receive as many or more comments than TPG and MMS and I still *make* time to respond to all comments and *answer* all direct emails I receive. I will definitely share some of my expired ideas so you can see what kind of ideas/tricks come to me. Some deals are store-specific and some deals are credit card-specific, so some deals will be easier for others.

      I need to talk to the IT guys who work at Boarding Area (they are a great team) and see what is possible. Ideally, the casual browser or visitor from BoardingArea/Prior2Boarding/Google would not even know what the advanced MS section would entail.

      Page views = more ad impressions (views) = more money. I feel like making the advanced MS section cost money would bring in some extra revenue and give me an “excuse” to share some of my ideas/tricks with those who really want to learn more advanced tricks. Let me know if you have any other questions and I will do my best to answer them for you. Have a great evening!

      Reply
  8. Hoang

    Hi Grant,

    With information from your blog about Ritz Carlton is already a big winner for me. Therefore, $5 a month is nothing but I hope it shows we are very appreciated what are you doing.

    Reply
    1. Grant

      Thank you Hoang, I appreciate everyone who reads and supports my blog. Sorry I missed you at the OC Meetup last Saturday, maybe I will see you at TravelCon or FTU Advanced in San Diego.

      Reply
  9. Jean

    Grant, First off, THANKS for all the posts!! I’m constantly learning new things here. I wish I lived closer, so I could attend the weekend meet-ups! I’m MSP. $5 is a great value, so I would be up for that too.

    Reply
    1. Grant

      Thank you Jean, I’m glad you have been able to take advantage of some of the deals I have shared over the months. Hopefully you are staying warm in MSP!

      Reply
  10. AJ

    Being in an area where options are limited I wonder if your deals can be done here. For instance, we are unable to use any Staples offers for instore or mail order.

    Reply
    1. Grant

      All the Staples Free After Rebate deals will still be public info, most of my advanced tricks are based on online orders or other online websites/services that can be done anywhere.

      Reply
    1. Grant

      I will have a new post that explains everything. I’m still working with the Boarding Area team to figure out how best to implement this new feature.

      Reply
  11. goheerow

    I like the that you’re collecting zip codes to figure out where your readers are, but hopefully your subscription model helps everyone who decides to pay. I don’t have access to RB or extra options like SoftCard (ISIS) so whenever bloggers write about great MS opportunities that involve these, I don’t find them of much use.

    Reply
    1. Grant

      The zipcode data base is just going to make it easy to visualize where all my readers are located. The advanced MS tricks will be varied, so all tricks may not be available to everyone.

      Reply
      1. star

        I hope a small group of us East Bay folks can have some localized deals too. :) I already loved following you before since you were based out of California, so your posts were very applicable to me, and was even more excited when you announced you were moving to the Bay Area. I can’t wait to attend your meetups and meet other local MSers. Thank you so much for facilitating everything and for all you do!

        Reply
  12. Pingback: Blog Updates: Site Redesign, Advanced MS Section, and 2 Maps of Readers' Zipcodes | Travel with Grant

Got something to say?