Hi everyone! I hope you all had a great holiday season and I want to wish you all a Happy New Year for 2015!
2014 Travel Recap
Well 2014 was another busy travel year for us! But we traveled less than in 2013. I am going to recap our travels for the past year.
- Puerto Vallarta
- Orlando/The Villages in February
- Paris in May/June
- Toronto in August
- Thailand in August/September
- Atlanta in December
We decided to skip our Puerto Rico trip we had planned for October because it was only 3 weeks after we got back from Thailand and it was just too much travel in such a short time considering we went to Toronto only 3 weeks before our Thailand trip. We will save Puerto Rico for another year!
We did not pay normal airfare for any of these flights! All were paid using miles and points and only a few had some minor taxes or fuel surcharges.
I had no plans this year to obtain any level of loyalty status with any airline or hotel chain. I realized early on I cannot devote all my hotel stays to one chain just to achieve a “status” with that brand. There are too many lovely hotels and resorts that are part of various programs or simply don’t participate in loyalty programs or points earning programs. I have yet to pay for a flight since 2005 so I will not be earning any loyalty status or points that way!!
2014 Credit Card points earning recap- SIGNUP BONUSES ONLY
- 450,000 American miles via (4)Citi Executive card and (1)Citi AA Business card (me)
- 150,000 American miles via (1)Citi Executive card and (1)Citi AA Business card (wife)
- 75,000 Hilton Honors points via Amex Hilton Honors Surplus card (me)
- 2 Free weekend nights-any Hilton property worldwide via Citi Hilton Honors Reserve card (redeemed at Conrad Koh Samui for a total of 190,000 points for 2 nights) (wife)
- 40,000 US Airways miles via Barclays US Airways MasterCard (me)
- 50,000 US Airways miles via Barclays US Airways MasterCard (wife)
- 70,000 Ritz Carlton points + $600 travel credits via JP Morgan Ritz Carlton Reward Visa card (me)
- 50,000 Alaska mileage plan miles via (2)Bank of America Alaska card (me)
- 25,000 Alaska mileage plan miles via Bank of America Alaska card (wife)
- 20,000 Ultimate Rewards points via Chase Freedom Visa card (wife)
- 50,000 Virgin Atlantic miles via Bank of America Virgin Atlantic card (transferred to 75,000 Hilton points instead) (wife)
- 50,000 Miles & More miles via Barclays Lufthansa Miles & More MasterCard (wife)
- 2 Free nights-any Hyatt property worldwide via Chase Hyatt visa card (should be redeemed for 60,000 Hyatt points total) (wife)
So over one million miles and points earned between us for 2014 which frankly is easy to obtain and we are not super aggressive on the signup’s!!! There are others with 20+ hard pulls to their credit files which is amazing! We usually sign up for 3-5 cards every 4 months or so nowadays. So 9 cards per year on the low end and 15 cards per year on the high end, per person. we both have great credit scores over 750 and even refinanced our home mortgage in 2014. The credit inquiries WERE NO PROBLEM FYI! If you are a responsible, organized consumer and can easily manage your finances signing up for some credit cards for the rewards/benefits is smart for US!
Also bear in mind we have earned numerous other miles just from various normal spending from groceries to gas and Christmas shopping and more.
So far in 2015 we don’t have much planned for various reasons! Only two trips in the works thus far. So here are the plans for our destinations for 2015:
For the first time since 2011 neither one of us hold the Southwest Companion pass at this time. We do have a decent amount of Southwest points and a $100 voucher that my wife has for a delayed flight so that will come in handy for any domestic flights or maybe one of their new international destinations!! We may take this year off of obtaining it and go for it next year. If we can squeeze anything else in there for 2015 we will try! I now have 30 days paid time off for 2014 so thats a good amount and I am thankful my employer is generous in that regard.
Once again I hope you all have a great 2015 and I hope you have safe and prosperous travels as well! Please remember to be thankful for every breathe and go out and see the world and appreciate the beauty of the Earth!
What are your 2015 travel plans?!