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Copyright 1997 Boston Herald Inc.
' The Boston Herald
1997 Monday FIRST EDITION
to go the
By Beth Teitell
special-events coordinator sounded almost cheerful."It was a miles bonanza," she said, recalling how she and her husband put
newcomputer and stereo on
and were reimbursed by
The miles they earned helpedfly
enjoyedawonderful vacation,marred only
not break-in insurance - was vandalized. "Now we have to pay a fee," Ambach said. Live by
die by the
country. The Mile has gone places the Green Stamp never dreamed of, becoming so big itconstitutes
shadow currency."Frantic" is how Dorothy Anger, an outreach coordinator with Project Bread, described herreaction last winter when she realized 7,000 miles would expire if she didn't use
to go to Belize, which is 35,000 miles "away," but she had only 32,000
starting making purchases, a portable phone, a vacuum cleaner, but she needed more.
the fickle mileage god smiled on her. A friend mentioned she was planning to buy acomputer
very day. Anger's pulse quickened. Couldshe put it on hercredit card?
of currency was introduced by American Airlines in 1981. That year, there
million people trading
in it. The
they've changed the way companies do business.Sotheby's,forexample, stopped taking American Express cardsin thefallof1995, afteranartcollectorput a $ 2.5
RoyLichtensteinon hiscard, garneringhim big
andthe auction house big merchant fees.
the U.S. Postal Service
after clever bulk mailers started
gigantic orders - one was $ 30 million - oncredit cards.
Petersen, editor of
says heirs' and divorcees' disputes over miles are so
he no longer takes note.
back to the more benign aspects of the
Petersen's glossy InsideFlyer magazine
bestows annual "Freddies"
best award programs.
are all the
Yorker cartoon shows a woman offering a pamphlet to a teenager. "It's this marvelous
asks: "What's the difference between a
and a lawyer? A: The lawyer gets