|2011 Medals and Credit Cards|
I’m sure you’ve heard it said that, in addition to actually flying and staying at hotels, the best way to earn miles and points, is through credit card bonuses.
In 2011, I earned a whopping 410,000 points/miles, merely from credit card sign-up bonuses – not counting points or miles accrued for purchases or miles flown. While my numbers may not approach those of some of the travel bloggers, they are nevertheless significant. With a new year, there are plenty of new deals on the horizon!
Here are my 2011 credit card stats:
1. British Airways Visa (Chase): 100,000 miles, $2,500 in spend requirements within 3 months, $95 annual fee (highlight: with the 100,000 points, I booked 2 RT economy tickets to Argentina next August for less than $150 in taxes per person, and one RT ticket to Montreal next September).
2. Capital One Venture Visa (Capital One): 110,000 points, $59 annual fee waived for first year (highlight: 2 points per dollar, no foreign transaction fees, useful for reimbursement of travel expenses).
3. Hyatt Visa (Chase): 2 free nights, annual fee $75 (highlight: no foreign transaction fees, Platinum status; and those 2 free nights are at any Hyatt hotel, including their most expensive and exclusive properties ~~ since I have Diamond status, those two free nights are for a Suite room! Hello – Park Hyatt Buenos Aires!).
4. Sapphire Preferred Visa (Chase): 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points, $3,000 in spend requirements in 3 months, $95 annual fee waived for first year (highlight: 2 points per dollar on all travel-related expenses, easily transferable to many airlines, no foreign transaction fees, and a superb shopping portal for extra points).
5. AAdvantage American Express (Citibank): 75,000 miles; $1,500 in spend requirements within 6 months, $75 annual fee waived for first year (highlight: primarily the free miles on the promo).
6. American Express Premier Rewards Gold: 75,000 Membership Rewards points, $1,500 in spend requirements in 3 months, $175 annual fee waived for first year (highlight: 3 points per dollar on airfare purchases, easily transferable to many airlines, often with bonuses).
Some of these cards I will keep for a second year – probably the Sapphire Preferred (it’s a great card, and its really really pretty too!) and the Hyatt card ($75 renewal gets a free category 1-4 hotel night) – some others I’ll keep, some I’ll cancel or “trade-in” for a card without an annual fee.
Wishing you a wonderful new year! Next weekend, I’m off to Baton Rouge, Louisiana for the inaugural Louisiana Marathon. I’m psyched. I”ve never been to Baton Rouge, so, of course, I welcome any and all suggestions.
And I’m off and running again!