Home Travel Tips We Used Almost 2 Million Miles and Points in 2017
We Used Almost 2 Million Miles and Points in 2017

We Used Almost 2 Million Miles and Points in 2017

Our history with miles and points tracks something like this:
  • 2014 – Learned about travel hacking with miles and points
  • 2015 – Started to apply for credit cards
  • 2016 – Focused on accumulating more miles and points
  • 2017 – Put miles and points to work for several trips

During business school, I realized that by opening both US Airways and American Airlines credit cards, I could earn 100,000 AA miles. US Airways was acquiring American (yes, not the other way around) and both loyalty programs would combine into one. I viewed it as a way to quickly earn AAdvantage miles. Little did I know that opportunities such as this were available everywhere.

I told my wife about this plan, and after a few months of hesitation, she agreed to apply for the cards as well. After that moment, she hasn’t looked back. The student has surpassed the teacher.

Fast forward to 2017, we had a heck of a year. This is how the miles and points usage broke down.

Program Points
United Miles 400,000
Hilton Honors 334,000
IHG 260,000
AAdvantage Miles 210,000
Alaska Miles 170,000
Hyatt Gold Passport 90,000
Delta Skymiles 80,000
KrisFlyer 70,000
Marriott 50,000
Barclays Arrival 46,125
Total Miles and Points 1,710,125
How we used the points

In February, QL flew to Vietnam with her mom to do some wedding shopping. She also redeemed IHG points to stay at the Intercontinental Hong Kong.

The PJs were super comfy in Cathay First Class.

In April, we took a honeymoon to Japan and Vietnam after our wedding. We flew with United, Singapore Airlines, and Turkish Airlines. We stayed at Andaz Tokyo, Conrad Tokyo, Hyatt Regency Kyoto, Conrad Singapore, Intercontinental Danang.

Intercontinental Danang, cone booth, outdoor seating
Intercontinental Danang, outdoor seating

In September, we spent a week in California. Because of QL’s work travels, we had enough free rental days to rent a Nissan Rogue for a week. This saved us ~$750. We stayed at Hampton Inn Monterey, Comfort Inn Sequoia Park, and Doubletree Suites Anaheim. I got to play a few rounds of golf in Northern California. We attended a friend’s wedding and went to Disneyland in Anaheim, which only cost us $20 using this no annual fee card.

Sequoia National Park Entrance
Sequoia National Park Entrance

In November, we gifted my parents two business class tickets to Vietnam on Cathay Pacific for their annual flight away from the arctic conditions in the Midwest. We used 140,000 American Airlines miles for two one-way tickets to Saigon, with a layover in Hong Kong. We were offered a 50% bonus to purchase Alaska Airlines miles for the other two one-way tickets back to the US. We purchased 90,000 (60,000+30,000 bonus) miles for $1,774. Since the two one-way tickets cost 100,000 miles, we basically paid $1,774 for 90% of them, which would have cost about $8,200 had we paid cash. The other 10,000 miles were residuals from the Bank of America Alaska Airlines credit card.

Cathay Business Class
Cathay Business Class
Cathay Business Class
Cathay Business Class

We redeemed 50,000 Marriott points to gift my parents two nights at the JW Marriott in Phu Quoc, Vietnam for Christmas.

JW Marriott Phu Quoc
JW Marriott Phu Quoc

If you want to learn more about the cards we use and sign up too, visit the Support Our Blog page. There we list all the cards we currently have as well as links to apply. If you use our links, you get sign up bonuses and we get referral points too.

We are looking forward to more adventures in 2018 and have a few more trips planned. QL alone already has more than 1.5 million miles and points across multiple programs.

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