Destinations: Europe once or twice, Las Vegas, out west fishing, New Zealand, and who knows what else will pop up, it looks like we are going to need a few miles, hotel points and upgrades just to get it all done on the frugal. Thanks to last year’s credit card applications, we got a good head start on our needs. That coupled with this years card applications and mileage earning activities we should get what we need to see the world at prices we can afford.
We start the year with 800,000 American Airlines miles between Katy’s account and mine. Credit card signups and Bank Direct filled the coffers. If we head to Europe once for four of us that kills half the pile if we fly business class for all of us. I’ve got some vouchers and gift cards and may actually buy a ticket or two and use some of our systemwide upgrades good on any coach fare. We have ten to use.
We’ve got a boatload of Hilton points from last year. The stack is about 500K between us, but they go fast with Hilton as the redemption charts are high. We have Gold status so we can use GLON and VIP discounted awards and will be saving on breakfast with the Gold status.
Starwood balances are at 170K from credit card spending over the years, and we have ten suite night upgrades from achieving 50 nights last year with Starwood. It really was easy with the 10 nights for my two Starwood cards, and having award nights count. This year we’ll make Platinum again but probably only at the 25 nights level so we’ll use those suite upgrades carefully.
The Ultimate Rewards points will continue to fund our United and Hyatt accounts. No status for us there anymore, but we’ve got just about 280K of United miles which should get us to New Zealand in business if all goes well. Any additional flights will come from future Chase spending with Ultimate Rewards cards, and some of it hopefully still at five per dollar.
We’ve each got a few Alaska miles which will probably get us to the Caribbean again if all goes well and we can find a nice resort we like. It is hard to give up Hawaii and we won’t until we find a closer substitute.
And we have a few Priority Club points as well along with Platinum status, which really doesn’t mean much. We’ll need to find some PointsBreaks to make the best use of them.
And for our new points earning in 2013, we plan on at least three bunches of applications in the months of February, July, and November. I think our current balances will get us through most of our 2013 flight schedule and the 2013 applications will cover our 2014 travel.
I expect Katy and I will apply for four or five cards each, each of those times. Ten cards between us each time. Times three times will give us another 30 sign up bonuses to get us through 2014 travel. If we are able to average 30,000 miles or points per card, we’ll end up with just shy of another million miles available for 2014. Our current inquiries are falling off at this rate so we should not be denied for “too many inquiries” and by spreading them out more than 90 days apart, the term “recent inquiries” never seems to come in play.
That’s a brief look at 2013 for us. Drop me a line if you have any questions or suggestions and good luck to you in 2013!
Deal of the Day
For today’s Deal of the Day American Airlines AAdvantage® has provided 2500 AAdvantage® miles for the best deals, fares, promotions, anything related to American Airlines, their oneworld partners or AAdvantage® partners. Add it to the comments section of this post or this afternoon’s Deal of the Day post by 11:59PM ET (with your first name, last initial, and home airport) to be eligible to win.
IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card
- Annual Fee: $49 fee waived for the first year
- Foreign Fees: No
- Card Type: Hotel
The IHG Rewards Club Visa is often cited as one of the most underrated hotel credit cards, with good reason. The official offer is for 70,000 points after $1,000 spent within three months, with the first year’s fee waived. The card comes with an annual free night certificate that can be used at any IHG property, including Intercontinental hotels - making this certificate worth upwards of 50,000 points. This is far more generous than some other hotel cards, which limit the categories in which free night certificates can be redeemed.
Cardholders earn 5 points per dollar at IHG hotels; 2 points per dollar at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants; 1 point per dollar everywhere else. Moreover, you’ll get a 10% rebate on award redemptions, up to 100,000 points per year. The card also comes with Platinum status, though that doesn’t get you much with IHG. Still, this is a fantastic card to have in your wallet, with benefits that far outweigh the already low $49 annual fee.
- Earn 70,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months of account opening
- Enjoy a free night of card membership at over 4,700 hotels worldwide
- Earn 5 points for each $1 spent at our hotels
- Earn 2 points per $1 spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants
- Bonus points redeemable at hotels such as Intercontinental® Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts and Holiday Inn®
- Automatic platinum elite status, as long as you remain a cardmember
- $0 introductory annual fee the first year, then $49