Our 2018 Miles and Points Earning

Our 2018 Miles and Points Earning


How is Your 2018 Miles and Points Earning so far? Which new cards have you earned bonuses on, and which spending bonuses have you taken advantage of? For our family, our miles and points earning is focused on opportunities to book first class and business class awards, which are also the highest value you can get out of your frequent flyer miles and points, at redemption values of 5-10 cents or more per mile or point. No cash back card comes close.

Because of the nature of my business and our own travel preferences, we ignore hotel credit cards and points. After all, the best luxury hotels and resorts, such as Aman Resorts, Four Seasons, Cheval Blanc, Oetker Collection and similar cannot be booked with miles and points. And as nice as flying first class can be, it can't compare to hotels such as Cheval Blanc Randheli, Laucala, Amanpulo, The Peninsula Paris or the like.

But back to the topic of this post–2018 miles and points earning. Here's the rough breakdown of the miles and points we've earned or that are in progress so far in 2018, by category:

  • 76%: Credit Card Signup Bonuses and Spend Required to Obtain
  • 19%: Spend and Category Bonuses, Including AMEX Offers and Shop Through Chase
  • 5%: Referral and Relationship Bonuses

And here's a breakdown by the type of miles and points earned:

  • 44%: Delta miles
  • 32%: American AAdvantage miles
  • 21%: Chase Ultimate Rewards points
  • 3%: AMEX Membership Rewards points
Credit Card Signup Bonuses
To date, we've signed up for 5 new cards this year. Note that the Delta offers have now expired, the signup bonuses are now lower.
  • 70K Delta AMEX Platinum Business (my husband)
  • 60K Delta AMEX Gold Business (me)
  • 60K Delta AMEX Gold (my husband)
  • 65K targeted Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select (one for each of us, so total of 130K bonus AAdvantage miles, in addition to miles from spend)
Spend and Category Bonuses
I use my Chase Sapphire Reserve for business spend, and with most of that spend on travel and dining, I've earned over 20,000 Ultimate Rewards points on that card year to date. My husband's Chase Sapphire Reserve, for our personal spend, earned over 10,000 Ultimate Rewards points including the bonus points, since most of that spend was also at 3X. I also earned 5000 points with my other business card, the Ink Plus, while my husband earned 7500 points on his Ink Plus, most of it at 5X for Amazon spend using Staples gift cards.
We each have 2 Chase Freedom cards and maxed out the Q1 2018 5X bonus, so we earned 30,000 Ultimate Rewards points with our 4 cards.
Shop Through Chase and AMEX Offers
I took advantage of a couple of AMEX offers, the 4000 Marriott offer and the 5000 Amazon Prime offer. I also used Shop Through Chase to earn 3900 Ultimate Rewards bonus points for a new computer purchase.
Referrals, Extra Bonuses
Thanks to readers, I earned 20,000 Ultimate Rewards points from Chase Sapphire Reserve and Chase Freedom referrals. I also discovered that I earned 3600 with AMEX as a “relationship bonus.” Not a lot, but I'll take it.
The Bottom Line
Since it's mid-April and we're not even halfway through 2018, we're happy with our ~455,000 miles and points earned so far this year. A good number are Delta miles, which we've declined to earn before, but we have a good use planned for them for next year. Heavy credit card churners and high spenders of course can earn many more hundreds of thousands of miles and points, but we just aim to earn about 1 million miles and points between the two of us each year, virtually none of it from flying, as this tends to be sufficient for our work and family award travel.
What are your 2018 goals for miles and points earning?
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