This is sort of the final individual post in the 2011 Best of/Worst of post series. This is essentially the best individual 2011 point total accumulation. In a nutshell, 2011 rocked for many miles and points collectors, myself included. In this post I want to hear about how many points you were able to collect in the various miles and points programs. If you are feeling up for it, I would also love to hear about your redemptions as well! Remember, some of the best stories in the Best of/Worst of series will get Starbucks gift cards! If you have missed some of the other posts, check them out and get your comments in those as well. There will be at least one winner from each individual post in this series.
The totals I will include for myself are not all-inclusive. Frankly, my personal miles and points record keeping dropped off some when I began devoting more time to this site. Certainly a good trade-off, but my miles and points record keeping isn’t perfect as a result. The totals below do not include any points or miles earned through actual travel, but do they do include my credit card sign-up bonuses, regular spending, and the major promos I participated in this year. I’m sure I am missing some points here and there, but this is a pretty representative list. So, without further ado, here are my point accumulations for 2011.
Credit card sign-up bonuses:
Chase Sapphire® Preferred Card: 100,000 Ultimate Rewards sign-up bonus (50K + 50K “Bump the bonus”)
American Express Platinum: 100,000 Membership Rewards points sign-up bonus (I was actually targeted for this one – imagine that!)
Citibank AAdvantage cards: two browser trick with two cards for a total of 150,000 American Airlines miles
Starwood Preferred Guest Amex: 30,000 SPG points sign-up bonus
Barclay’s US Airways MasterCard: 40,000 mile sign-up bonus
Chase Ink BoldSM : 50,000 Ultimate Reward points sign-up bonus
Total: 470,000 points for sign-up bonuses for seven new credit cards
US Airways Grand Slam: 120,000 miles
United Months of Miles: 20,000 miles (estimate as the miles have not yet posted)
United Dining Program: 10,324 miles
United Shopping Portal: 5,000 miles (low estimate since history only goes back to October)
Chase Ultimate Rewards Portal: 22,068 points
Continental Airlines OnePass® Plus Card bonus: 10,000 miles for spending $25,000 on the card annually
At some point in the near future I should also be receiving a 7% bonus for all points on my Chase Sapphire Preferred card. That should come to at least another 10,000 Ultimate Reward points, but I will wait to officially count that one next year.
Total: 187,392 miles through promo participation
A low estimate of the number of points I have earned purely though regular spending on credit cards is about 45,000 miles/points.
Total: 45,000 miles and points through regular credit card spending
Final 2011 Miles and Points Total:
702,392 miles and points earned in 2011. Remember, this total does not include any miles or points that were earned by traveling. Of that total, only the money spent to participate in the Grand Slam was actually money that would not have been spent anyway. That total was under $500. For the most part, these 700,000 plus miles and points were earned without spending any extra money or doing any extra activities than I would have been doing anyway. I was just strategic and deliberate about how and when I made my purchases. That is really pretty amazing.
This is where my memory gets really foggy! To the best of my memory, we redeemed points to go to: Las Vegas in March, Disney World in April, Hyatt Lost Pines in August, Chicago/Denver in September, San Antonio in September, back to Chicago in October, Kansas City in November, and to bring C’s grandparents to Texas. Those destinations are not the “sexiest” destinations in the world, but we were able to get to all of them (and often there were two or three of us flying) for no out-of-pocket expense. In some cities we did pay for the hotel out of pocket, but in none of the cases listed did we pay for airfare. We had a few other trips that we did not redeem miles for. For 2012 we have already booked Denver, Las Vegas, Montreal, and New York City (flights already booked using points/miles). All of those are for three reward tickets each. Like most of our trips, three of the four trips for 2012 that are already booked involve visiting family members, and for where we are in life, that is the best way for us to spend our miles. Here are just a few shots of some of my favorite family travel moments in 2011.
What are your miles and point accumulation totals for this year? Where did your points take you in 2011, and where will they take you in 2012?
Disclosure: Some of the links to credit card applications are my affiliate links, and if you are approved for the card using my link I will receive a commission. All of the links are to the best publicly available offers that I am aware of, but not all of the best current offers are for the same sign-up bonuses that I received earlier in the year, so do read the offers carefully.