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! 🙂