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

Pam

So far this year, I have been able to earn a lot of points and miles. Over 800,000! Today I am going to break down 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 quick, 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 spends.

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 and includes 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 on paying 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 me 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 because of the ability to buy gift cards at office supply stores for 5x the points. 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 has an offer of 80,000 United Miles for a total spend of $5,000 (with an option to earn more miles for more spend). 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 so that brings 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 next year. Boom! Another 150,000 points + 22,500 for spend. 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 you get and the benefits that accompany the card.

Altogether this is my earning:

  • 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 to earn a lot of points and miles this year!  If you can handle the minimum spending, you can earn a lot of 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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