Read the comments!

I've mentioned before that I rarely read other blogs anymore. Of course the affiliate bloggers just repeat the same bought-and-paid-for content over and over, but even the good guys only occasionally post something that piques my interest. There are a few reasons for that:

  • deals come in waves, and the current wave involving buying and reselling discounted gift cards while earning bonus Ebay credit doesn't have any interest for me;
  • even many non-affiliate bloggers focus on earning huge airline mile balances for premium cabin international travel. I only take one or two international trips per year, so those aren't awards I chase as diligently as other bloggers do;
  • I'm already earning the miles and points I need for the trips I want to take, so big signup bonuses or earning rates in unrelated programs don't interest me much.

There are exceptions: I'll certainly hop on the Discover/Apple Pay 10%/20% cash back deal, for example.

The experiment

Having said that, I know that a lot of the best information on my blog is found in the comments that readers leave about their own experiences testing out the ideas I write about and sharing their own tips and tricks. That being the case, I decided to run a fun experiment: I'd take a popular blog with a focus on manufactured spending, and go back and read every single comment in a range of recent posts (excluding weekend reviews, roundups, and summaries).

I was hopeful that there would be gems even more valuable than those found in the posts themselves. Here's what I found.

Hack Uber surge pricing

In order to avoid Uber surge pricing, reader Mike commented:

"You could also be dishonest and drop your pin somewhere outside the surge zone, then call the driver and tell them where you actually are. I’ve never done this before but it works if he driver agrees."

Open American Express Offer-eligible subaccounts

Since Serve and Bluebird (but not Prepaid REDcard) accounts are eligible for Amex Sync offers, you might want to create multiple subaccounts, each of which can be synced with a separate Twitter account. Frequent Miler responds to a reader by saying:

"You can use your own name if you want to. You might want to change something each time to be able to tell them apart."

Use American Express offers to buy cheap Southwest and Delta miles

Over the holidays last year 1800Flowers offered 30 Southwest or Delta points per dollar. Frequent Miler reminded a reader how to use these offers to buy Southwest and Delta miles for 1.33 cents each.

Amtrak's new program won't allow "saver" redemptions

In the comments to his review of the new Bank of America Amtrak co-branded credit card, Frequent Miler points to this FlyerTalk post where an Amtrak representative says "saver" fares won't be eligible for redemption under the new Amtrak Guest Rewards program.

Acme Markets accepts Apple Pay

If you live in New Jersey, you might be excited to know that Acme Markets, "a supermarket chain in the Delaware valley," sells $500 Visa gift cards and accepts Apple Pay, according to commenter DavidNJ.


Keep in mind that these are just the five comments that jumped out at me from the first three pages of Frequent Miler's blog archives. But there are many, many pages of blog archives, and there's also a search function!

So if there's a particular technique you're interested in datapoints about, you should search for posts about it, and read every comment.

There's no telling what you'll find!