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After earning 2.4 million miles and points in 2015, many people asked what we would do for an encore in 2016. Our goal for this year was to redeem our points for dream trips. Earlier in the year, we spent a couple weeks hopping around Ireland, Scotland, England, and France and we took a ski trip to Keystone, CO. During December, we spent nearly three weeks in Australia and New Zealand. We had an absolute blast on these trips, and they were funded almost entirely using miles and points! Even with the focus on traveling in 2016, we were still able to accrue 1.9 million miles/points and $6,055 in cash!
Eurotrip – Boston, Ireland, Scotland, London, & Paris
Australia/New Zealand – Cairns, Brisbane, Sydney, Queenstown, & Melbourne
The points game can be played solo, but we find it much easier as a two-player game. The following table shows the totals we earned with each program, including sign up bonuses, some manufactured spending, and refer-a-friend bonuses. This year, many of our points came via referrals, thanks to many of you! Totals do not include points earned from actual travel.
|Program||2016 Total Earned|
|Chase Ultimate Rewards||380,000|
|Amex Membership Rewards||285,000|
|Citi ThankYou Points||50,000|
|American Airlines Miles||120,000|
|Hilton Honors Points||275,000|
|Hyatt Points||10,000 + 4 free nights|
|Bank of America/Merrill Points||100,000|
|Barclay Arrival Miles||270,000|
|Discover Cash||$4,214 (with double cash promo)|
|HyVee Profit||$2,202 + 300 gallons of gas|
|Amex Offers/Plat Credits||$847|
|Annual Fees Paid||-$1,508|
|Gift Card Fees||-$200 (est)|
TOTAL MILES/POINTS EARNED = 1,871,600
TOTAL CASH EARNED (NET OF FEES) = $6,055
The table below breaks down what cards/products we used to earn the miles and cash. The rest come from referrals and spending.
I hope this post inspires you to get into the game now! Next year at this time, you could be throwing darts at a map of the world, knowing that you can fly wherever the dart lands for FREE! If you are brand new and want to get the ball rolling, check out our Getting Started page. Be sure to subscribe to our weekly newsletter. If you would like a bit more personal guidance, we offer Personal Award Travel Coaching Services. Cheers!
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