the way things were

The Way Things Were: Camel Cash

A true points fiend is, in unequivocal terms, addicted to the game of earning and burning points and miles. But if there is anything more addictive than the points game, it’s nicotine. Now imagine – what if you could combine those two awesome addictions into one activity? Well, in a time before “science” decided that cigarettes are bad for us (ignoring the obvious health benefits that come from looking awesome), this glorious dream was a reality.

Cool kids who understand points sorely lament the loss of Camel Cash, the beloved currency of Joe Camel and his cronies. The program was the invention of Camel cigarettes, who used to stick C-Notes onto the back of every pack. C-Notes were worth 5 cents each and could be redeemed for valuable items in the Camel catalogue, such as t-shirts featuring Joe Camel, wallets, lighters, autographed pictures of Joe Camel, and other swag.

Who do you trust?

After many years of eager fiends ignoring health warnings in their search for these treasured coupons, the surgeon general grew jealous and started a media campaign to malign not just Camel Cash but the entire cigarette industry. Thanks to the resulting changes, we now have to settle for miles, points, and cash back. Adding insult to injury, we must endure an even longer life without Camel Cash thanks to our increased life expectancies.

You points n00bs may get excited about mileage runs earning 3 cents per mile, but we continue to lust for the real thing: a carton of Camel Lights and ten beautiful C-notes.