How was your 2016 in travel, including frequent flyer miles and points? For us, miles and points are very much a means to an end: flying international first class or business class to the destinations and luxury hotels and resorts we really want to visit. Thanks to our frequent flyer miles and points, we were able to fly Etihad First Apartment on the A380, Emirates First Class, Singapore First Class, Lufthansa First Class, Air Tahiti Business Class, Fiji Business Class and Cathay Pacific First Class this year, to Bora Bora, Europe including Russia, Hong Kong and the Maldives.
As nice as some of the flights were, notably Singapore First Class, Etihad First Apartment and Cathay Pacific First Class, the hotels and resorts were far more memorable, especially Cheval Blanc Randheli in the Maldives, Four Seasons Bora Bora, The Peninsula Paris and The Farm at Cape Kidnappers in New Zealand. None of these luxury resorts are available with miles and points, but all are leaders in their markets, and far nicer than anything bookable with points.
So with our luxury travel focus as context, here's a breakdown of our earned and purchased miles and points in 2016:
- 46%: Credit Card Signup Bonuses
- 15%: Spend and Category Bonuses
- 22%: Purchased Miles and Bonuses
- 17%: Referral Bonuses
- 37% Chase Ultimate Rewards Points
- 22% American AAdvantage Miles
- 8% British Airways Avios Points
- 8% Hyatt Points (= 4 free nights at Category 6 property)
- 7% AMEX Membership Rewards Points
- 7% Citi ThankYou Points
- 6% SPG Starpoints
- 4% Delta SkyMiles
- 200K Ultimate Rewards points via 2 100K Chase Sapphire Reserve cards, one for each of us
- 100K Avios via 2 British Airways Visa cards, one for each of us
- 100K Hyatt points (equivalent, since the Hyatt Visa gives 2 free nights at any Hyatt, and we used them at the Park Hyatt Maldives, a Category 6 property that requires 25K points per award night)
- 70K SPG Starpoints via 2 SPG Business AMEX cards
- 40K Citi ThankYou points via the Citi ThankYou Premier card
- 50K Delta SkyMiles via the Delta AMEX card
- 95K Ultimate Rewards points, most of it at 5X, from the Ink Plus and Chase Freedom, with some of it at 3X toward the end of the year, from our Chase Sapphire Reserve cards
- 23K AMEX Membership Rewards points from spend, the new 1.5X bonus for AMEX Business Platinum transactions of $5000 or more, my husband's 10K Extended Pay bonus, and the 6K AMEX Offers bonus for our recent stay at a Marriott
- 35K other miles and points from spend, including meeting minimum spend on new credit cards
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