2009 — a whole new game for me

I posted my 2009 travel year in review in December, and mentioned that this was the “richest” year for me yet as far as miles and points go. The “game” really changed for me in the second half of the year, as I extended my hobby beyond just earning miles through flying, but also through basically any promotions I can take advantage of. There’s no easier way to earn miles than through credit/debit card sign-up bonuses, so here’s a breakdown of how many miles I earned through that. I signed up for all of these cards between July and October:

  • AAdvantage Citi Mastercard: 30,000 miles (and another 3,000 miles retention bonus after calling to cancel)
  • AAdvantage Citi American Express: 30,000 miles (and another 3,000 miles retention bonus after calling to cancel)
  • Starwood American Express: 25,000 points
  • United Mileage Plus Visa: 30,000 miles (and another 30,000 miles for referring two cardmembers)
  • British Airways Signature Visa: 100,000 miles
  • Continental Chase personal debit card: 25,000 miles
  • Continental Chase business debit card: 25,000 miles

If my math is right that’s 301,000 miles. All for maybe $200 in annual fees and a bit of work. And that’s just me. My brother, mom, and dad took advantage of many of the same offers. I haven’t signed up for anything since October since I’m trying to let my credit score “recover” for a bit. Not that it was bad, but now it’s back close to 800. I’m in no rush anyway, since some of the cards that were “churnable” aren’t anymore.

Of course it wouldn’t be right of me to make this post without pulling a Frugal Travel Guy and mentioning that your credit score is one of your most valuable assets, so use caution.

When I do the math again I actually probably earned more than a million miles and points last year. I earned about 600,000 miles through flying, another 200,000 hotel points, and probably close to 100,000 points through actual credit card spend (don’t worry, I don’t spend that much, most of it was “BS” spend). So that’s over 1.2 million miles last year just for me. Then there’s my dad, mom, and brother…..

Hmmm, probably time to book an award ticket! 🙂

Comments

  1. LUCKY,

    I overheard someone from the top executive office today, UA and AA will do the DEQM again in mid February. Last year DEQM did not increased the elites but decreased by 40%
    I’m guessing the economy is going downhill.

    JOSH

  2. MY TIP: sign up for many cards as many as you can and take advantage of those FREE miles. AND WAIT until mid FEBRUARY to fly so you could also take an avantage of DEQM again this year.

    THREE EASY STEP FROM JOSH:
    1 .JANUARY, SIGN UP FOR ALL CARDS
    2. FEBRUARY, DEQM AA and UA
    3. EARN ELITES STATUS FASTER AND FREE MILES RTW!

    JOSH

  3. I forgot about calling to cancel a card. Thank you upfront for the 3000 AA miles I’m about to receive.

  4. Did they (at CHASE) ask you for any verification documents when establishing your business account for continental business debit card ?

    LIke checking with a database online of LLCs that are registered?

  5. @SYD, You just list your business as a sole proprietorship, as if you had just started a small business.

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