A lot of people always find this hard to believe, but the majority of miles / travel rewards that you earn comes from not flying. Yes, we travel a lot and earn a good portion of miles too, but the foundation of maximizing your points is learning how to spend wisely — stretching your dollar for that next travel redemption(s) for 2020.
Since we’re reaching the end of the year, we’ll do a high level glance at how we earned our points for 2019. Now every program is tiered differently, so adding the points up is just for entertainment purposes.
In the interest of disclosure, we get a small referral bonus if you happen to get approved with the links below!
Anyone on the same boat? A majority of our leisure time is spent at Mitsuwa (Japanese supermarket), Trader Joes, and Whole Foods for groceries.
And since this card gives you 4x back, it’s a card we definitely use everyday.
This is Chloe’s personal favorite card and hates it when we take the card back from her 😉
2) Hilton Aspire ~ 200,000 Hilton Honors points
This is one of the most lucrative hotel cards. Even though the annual fee is $450 a year, it gives you a lot of travel incentives for airline + hotel credits like this new Hilton in Taiwan.
And the travel earnings is at 14x, which makes it realllllly easy to earn a ton of Hilton Honors points for stays at places like the fancy Waldorf Astoria.
Chase Freedom is the OG card! Miki & Paul pretty much had this since the beginning of time. It has 5x quarterly return in select categories, so your spending habits will vary on a seasonal basis. Right now, if you plan to do your Black Friday shopping at department stores like Bloomingdales & Nordstrom, make sure to use this card to maximize your points!
This card is awesome in conjunction with premium travel cards like the Chase Reserve, Chase Preferred. and/or the Chase Ink Business due to its portfolio of travel partners for insane redemptions like drinking coffee in your own bedroom in the sky.
4) Citi Prestige ~ 55,000 ThankYou Points
This card is not the most popular card compared to the likes of Amex Platinum and Reserve, but we like it due to its crazy return in 5x dining and 5x airfare. In fact, here’s one of the month reward statements to show just how fast the points compounds.
Forgive me for spending $867 on 1x categories…. what monstrosity! Miki & Paul, that better not happen again under my watch.
5) Marriott Bonvoy Credit Card ~ 100,000 Bonvoy points
This card is not used for everyday spending, but we got one of the Bonvoy cards this year to take advantage of its bonus promotions. We don’t have a specific redemption in mind, but it’s hard to say no to Marriott when it has properties like the Ritz Carlton in Hong Kong….
So in summary, that’s about 525,000 in total for points / miles for 2019.
Believe it or not, if you’re new to travel rewards, you can easily get a lot higher returns than that since a lot of cards in the U.S. market have high lucrative sign up bonuses. For us, we’re more limited in point earnings since we don’t apply for new credit cards as much anymore.
We understand that travel rewards can be quite overwhelming. If you want more assistance or information in how to do this, you’re more than welcome to send us an inquiry. Will love to help everyone out.