How I’ve Earned Over 800k Points and Miles So Far This Year


So far this year, I have been able to earn a lot of points and miles. Over 800,000! Today I will explain how I have been able to do that. I’ve mentioned before (once or twice) that my points and miles style is a little over the top – I’m after ALL the points I can get, and then I decide how to use them. In this way, I’ve been able to accumulate over 5 million points. This isn’t the way for everyone, but I can get through minimum spend on a card pretty quickly, play in 2-player mode with my husband, and we have really good credit scores. I pay all my cards in full and on time each month, so I get approved pretty easily. We remodeled a basement and paid taxes on credit cards, so that helped us meet our minimum spending.

These are the cards my husband and I have applied for so far this year and the points we’ve earned. Hold on to your seats – it’s pretty amazing.


The American Express Business Gold Card

The American Express Business Gold Card was the first card I opened this year in December (so I guess technically 2020, but I did the minimum spending and got the points in 2021. It offered a bonus of 60,000 Membership Rewards after a minimum spend of $7,500. The annual fee is $250. I applied for this card because I am after a ton of Amex Membership Rewards, so I can book a couple of around the World tickets on ANA in 2022.

Total points earned: 70,000+ Membership Rewards after minimum spend


The American Express Business Platinum Card x 2

We had to pay income tax because my husband is self-employed, and I wanted something from it, so I opened the American Express Business Platinum Card. Once for me and once for him. The offer was 110,000 Membership Rewards per person after a $15,000 minimum spend. I also referred him from mine and got an additional 35,000 Membership Rewards.

These have a high annual fee of $595, but we can offset $200 of each with airline travel incidentals and another $200 with Dell credits. The Dell credits are $100 every 6 months. The Dell credit can be used on items other than computers. I use mine for other smaller items like earbuds, totes, and chargers. That brings the annual fee to $195 each, including Global Lounge Access. I love a good airport lounge, and my hubby is now a convert to them too.

I got 1.5x on my tax spending, so 45,000 points, 35,000 for the referral, and 220,000 for the bonus. I did have to pay about a 2% service fee to use my card to pay taxes, but it was still more than worth it. I’ll write a blog outlining that at some point.

Total points earned: 300,000 Membership Rewards.


Busy Tokyo

I plan to use American Express Membership Rewards to visit Tokyo!


Barclay’s Red Aviator Mastercard

This card is the easiest when it comes to earning a chunk of airline miles. I had done it for myself before but not for my husband. It gives you 60,000 American Airlines points after just one purchase. You heard me right! I put a $13 purchase on this card, paid the $99 annual fee, and got my 60,000 points.

Total points earned: 60,000 American Airline Miles.


Chase Business Ink Cash Card

I love the Chase Business Ink Cash Card and this card gave me 75,000 ultimate rewards after spending $7,500. I did this by buying furniture, etc., for our basement remodel. I love getting more Ultimate Rewards!

Total points earned: 85,000 Ultimate Rewards


United Quest Card

The United Quest Card had an offer of 80,000 United Miles for a total spend of $5,000 (with an option to earn more miles for more spending). I fly United a lot because I live near Denver, it is a United hub. I was so happy that they came out with this new card. It has an annual fee of $250, but that comes with a $125 United statement credit, bringing the cost down.

Total points earned: 85,000+ United miles after minimum spend 

P.S. I just referred my husband for this card, too, and got a 10,000 referral bonus, and he’ll get the same 85,000+ miles, so that will be another 95,000 United miles.


The American Express Business Platinum Card

Nope, this is not an error. Amex did something crazy. They offered me this card again for the same business without any lifetime language. I applied for it because I knew I had to pay estimated taxes for the next year. Boom! Another 150,000 points + 22,500 for spending. I couldn’t get a referral offer because it was a targeted offer. Thanks, Amex, for contributing to my points and miles OCD!

Total points earned: 172,500+ American Express Membership Rewards after minimum spend


Key Takeaways

I realize that this is not normal spending and not something I would be able to do in a normal year. We paid taxes with our cards and also had a basement remodel. That was huge in being able to earn a lot of points and miles this year! The big take-home message is a few things:

  1. When you have big purchases, apply for a new card.
  2. You can get applied for more cards than you think if you have good credit.
  3. High annual fees can be worth it for the bonus and benefits accompanying the card.

Altogether this is my earnings:

  • AMEX Membership Rewards – 542,500
  • United Miles – 180,000
  • American Airline Miles – 60,000
  • Chase Ultimate Rewards – 85,000 points


Bottom Line

This is a total of 867,500 miles/points. Thanks to those generous banks for helping me earn many points and miles this year!  If you can handle the minimum spending, you can earn many points and miles in a short time too. But don’t be intimidated by this. I don’t do this every six months. I just want to give you a glimpse into what is possible. Go at YOUR pace. Whatever you are able to do is better than what you did before you got into the points and miles game. Every win is a win!

lady in Vietnam beach staying using points and miles

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