What I Wouldn’t Do for 25,000 Miles

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I’ll do a lot to earn miles.  I’ll play online games, register for promotions, shop for gift cards, apply for credit cards, buy Biscoff cookies, take a flight I don’t really need, rent cars and not drive them, and much more when the offer is good enough to warrant the time and expense.  However, there are also a long list of things I won’t do for miles.  Some things are on that list because they are too time consuming, over my own ethical “line”, or in this case, because what is at stake is just too important.

My husband has worn glasses or contacts since he was a kid, so basically for three solid decades.  I think he is finally getting tired of messing with contacts, and he has brought up LASIK off and on for years.  We finally decided it was time for him to get a consultation to learn more about whether he was a good candidate, what the procedure would be like, and what it would cost.  Of course, I know enough about the procedure to know that we will be earning a fair number of points thanks to the pretty high price, assuming the doc takes credit cards.

I also know that you can earn 25,000 US Airways miles for getting LASIK done via certain providers.  This particular offer allows you to earn 1,000 miles just for having a free LASIK vision exam to find out if you’re a candidate for the LASIK procedure, and then you earn another 24,000 miles for having the LASIK procedure at any of the LasikPlus centers across the U.S.  There may be other mileage offers out there as well, but that is the one that I knew of off the top of my head.

US Airways Dividend Miles Exclusive Offer

When it came time to book the consultation, I asked where he wanted to go.  He selected a provider that several of his friends have successfully used, and it was not a LasikPlus center.  If he had happened to select the same center where we could earn miles I absolutely would have gone through their offer page to set up the appointment, but since he had selected somewhere else, I didn’t even bring this offer up.  Things like your eyesight are way more important than miles, and I didn’t want to in any way influence where he went because of miles and points.  The LasikPlus centers may be fantastic, and if you choose to use them make sure to earn miles!  However, I wouldn’t let miles influence a decision this important.  Selecting a LASIK provider solely because of a bonus offer is something I wouldn’t do for 25,000 miles.

What would you have done in this situation?  Have you earned miles for something pretty random like LASIK?

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  1. I had Laasik almost 13 years ago. That is one thing you don’t want to do on the cheap. I went a one of the higher priced surgeons in the NY/NJ area and have never regretted the decision. For someone who wore glasses for almost 45 years it was a game changing experience

  2. I would have at least mentioned that the offer was out there and then left it up to him to decide where he wanted to go and accepted that decision with out further comment.

  3. I agree. Sight is my favorite sense. Ten years ago I had Lasik by the guy who did Tiger Woods. I love it. I did use the 1st time offer from my employer to use a pre-tax Flexible Spending Acct & Saved over $800.

  4. There used to be a 5000 mile offer just for getting the LASIK consultation!

    And I did get 20,000 miles for a hair loss consultation (no spend required).

    Plenty of women with full heads of hair got consultations for miles, too!

    Once upon a time there was dumpster diving for miles…

    And there have even been points programs for donating blood (in this case, a proprietary loyalty program, but I can recall a decade ago when it was possible to earn frequent flyer miles too).

  5. My husband had his Lasik surgery done at LasikPlus as well. Sadly it was a long time ago, and no miles bonus attached. This is a good deal, indeed, if you are gonna do it anyway.

  6. I had mine done at LasikPlus about 3 years ago! Wish i would have earned miles! They are one of the best Lasik centers in the country so if it were me, i would have totally told him to go there and get the miles!

  7. I didn’t get miles for my Lask in 2005, but I did use a cheaper provider. After doing some research, the advice I went by was to check out the laser on the FDAs website and check out the doctor. I went to consultations at two places: “Dr Z”, the high volume optometrist with the cheapest Glasses, contacts, LASIK and everything else in town, and the local specialty eye laser surgery center. I found out that both had lasers that were at the top of the FDAs list and both used opthamplogists from the same respected hospital, who had good reputations and lots of experience and they frequently subbed for each other. That gave me the confidence to go with “Dr. Z” and save $1500.

  8. I had LASIK almost 2 years ago. Had a terrible experience involving an eye infection and almost lost my eyesight in one eye. Now I have trouble reading because of that eye. It is too important to go somewhere you don’t trust. But I wish I had at least earned miles for my terrible experience!

  9. Went to LasikPlus several years ago. Had a wonderful experience and it’s worth every penny… even if I didn’t earn any extra points. Good luck daddypoints!!

  10. I had lasik done in 2004 with the top surgeon in the San Francisco area, using (at the time) the latest and greatest technology. Best $5000 I ever spent as I’ve had perfect vision since about 2 days after the surgery. After 30 years of glasses and then contacts it was like magic had happened.

    I’m amazed enough that I even let someone do surgery, and if it were today I would not give ANY consideration to having it done where I could get miles. Some things are too important.

  11. I didn’t choose my LASIK surgeon based on earning miles, and I certainly wouldn’t recommend that. But I did make sure to pay with a credit card that still needed the spending for the signup bonus!

  12. Eye. Laser. I mean, what could possibly go wrong?
    There’s also this opportunity that I posted about on Milepoint in April of last year: http://milepoint.com/forums/threads/miles-for-organ-donation.32509/.
    I wonder if one could earn double points by getting a Lasik consultation while actually IN a dumpster.
    And, in all seriousness, you’ll get the points even if the doctor doesn’t take credit cards since you can always use a Bluebird check, right?

  13. Besides my regular full time Information Technology teaching job at a local community college, I have a small business where I do IT work for local businesses. Luckily I was able to barter my IT services for Lasik for my wife.

  14. Something that important needs to be decided based on how good the surgeon is and his track record. If you can get extra points, great, but people should never base their eye health and vision on “getting a deal”.

  15. My husband is an ophthalmologist and doesn’t think Lasik Plus is a place you would want to get your surgery done, so good call not worrying about the miles!

  16. I actually do have Lasik. Best decision I ever made. But I really can’t imagine making a $5,000/surgery/health/eye decision and being enticed by 25,000 miles. 🙂 Choosing the proper surgeon is super important as you have your eyes much longer than your miles!

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