Year End Review 2015 and 2016 Plans!

 

Well 2015 is about to end but it has been a fantastic year for us!  The biggest highlight was the birth of our baby son earlier this summer! That has been amazing and kept us very busy.  My first born son also graduated high school and is attending college currently. I am very proud of him and he is a great young man.

Aside from those two major milestones we did get to have some great trips this year. Although 2015 was slower travel wise than the past two years due to pregnancy and the new baby it has been a fun and successful year. Our trips in 2015 consisted of:

Australia and Japan were “babymoons” as my wife was pregnant with our son during those trips.  We had great times this year at all of our locations and lots more memories created.  We got to fly first class on Cathay Pacific and Japan Airlines this year which was awesome! Continue reading

2014 Year End Review and 2015 Plans!

 

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.

2015 Plans

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:

  • Australia
  • Japan

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?!

-pointspinnacle


 

2013 Year End Review and 2014 plans!

 

Hi everyone!  I hope you all had a great holiday season and I want to wish you all a Happy New Year for 2014!

2013 Recap

Well 2013 was a busy travel year for us! I can’t believe all the trips we took this year! My wife still can’t believe how slow I get through airport security though (lol)!!I am going to recap our travels for the past year.

  • Orlando/The Villages in February
  • Atlanta in April
  • Minneapolis in April
  • Denver in May
  • Bali & Hong Kong in June
  • Boston in August
  • Ireland in September
  • Maui in November/December
  • Atlanta in December

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 also have 1 sick day left for 2013 that I can/will roll over to 2014.

Also in 2013 I was hoping to obtain Starwood Platinum status by getting the 25 stays required.  However I am going to end the year with 15 stays (10 shy!).  It just didn’t work out the way I had planned. In Bali we ended up skipping Starwood altogether as the St Regis was so expensive for just a basic room and the W in Seminyak was a poor points redemption.  So we lost a few stays there. Also in Ireland I was hoping for a stay at the Westin and it was booked for the night we needed. It looks like I really want to hit SPG plat for 2014 I would need to move every hotel stay to SPG or mattress run and I am not sure I really want to do either of those so we shall see.

2014 Plans

So far in 2014 we have a busy scheduled planned out already! Most of my vacation days are already spoken for it appears. I think I have 1 day for wiggle room or emergency day off.  So here are the plans for our destinations for 2014:

 

  • Puerto Vallarta
  • Orlando/The Villages
  • Paris
  • Toronto
  • Koh Samui/Phuket/Bangkok (2 weeks!)
  • Puerto Rico

Hopefully I will be able to add in our annual Atlanta and Minneapolis trips in 2014 for weekend getaways as well. I do hold the Southwest companion pass for 2014 yet however Mrs. PointsPinnacle’s companion pass is expiring tomorrow (12-31-13). If we can squeeze anything else in there for 2014 we will try! I now have 31 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 2014 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 2014 travel plans?!

-pointspinnacle

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