What defines a whale in the miles, points, and manufactured spend game? It’s hard to quantify exactly, but it’s easy to use a relative definition so let’s cheat and use one of those. For my purposes and for the purposes of this post, a whale is someone that’s spending 10x what I’m spending or more.
In my career as a manufactured spender, I’ve met dozens of whales, and the deeper I get into the hobby the more frequent my encounters become. I’ve learned something from each of them, and usually that boils down to a single lesson:
The limits aren’t usually what I thought they were.
That’s not to say that limits don’t exist, they most certainly do. Banks will shut you down when you go too hard, credit card companies often don’t tolerate heavy cycling, and too many wires or money orders can lead to the FBI, IRS, or postal inspector showing up at your doorstep (which will probably turn out to be a nothingburger, but not before you have a few sleepless nights stressed out about what might happen.)
If you’re like me though, limits are often quite a bit higher than you think, and whales can be your data-point for how much further you can push things. Whenever possible, seek out these whales and their data-points, learn from them, and step-up your game as appropriate.
I mean, you can’t tell me that this whale teacher looks less weird than your high school english teacher, and you learned something from them too, right?