Mileage Success Stories

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Miles/Points' started by mrredskin, Mar 1, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. mrredskin
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    mrredskin Gold Member

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    I started thinking about all the miles I've accumulated over the past year and figured we could post our success stories here and how we accumulated them. This isn't thread isn't limited to last year, but more of the major hauls you've had at certain times. This is meant to be limited to mileage accrual.

    Mine essentially started around the time DL had the Together We Fly team promo with AMEX in which members of your team could earn 20k bonus Skypesos based on the amount of flying within your team. Fortunately as a TN resident (former NW hub state), I was able to form a team and take advantage of it with my first real MR.

    Thanks in major part to Slickdeals and FlyerTalk, and in part from frugaltravelguy.

    • 20k Skymiles in Spring 2010 from Together We Fly Promo. Out of pocket roughly $140.
    • UA credit card offer of 50,000 miles and no fee. Spent $2.5x at Target, received 50k miles, and closed account two months later. Cost: $0 (I would have spent the $2.5x anyway!)
    • Citi AAdvantage personal and business cards in August of 2010 with low spend to earn 75,000 miles on each. Applied for both on same day and was approved. Closed one account in October, and the other in late January 2011. Net of 150,000 miles on AA. Cost: $0.
    • Earned Gold on US (silver trial and H/S/J). Not mileage worthy in itself, but led to:
    • Grand Slam Promo on US. Out of pocket roughly $500, but $350 of which I received some sort of item in return. One night "reservations" at Knight's Inn - Cleveland TN and Hertz "rentals" at CHA. Net of roughly 120,000 miles.
    • CO credit card in January 2011. 50k miles after one purchase. Still open. Out of pocket: $0.
    • DL Amex in February 2011. 25k after first spend, 25k soon to come after $1k within 3 months. Net of 50,000. Out of pocket: $0.
    • US credit card in February 2011. 35k miles after first spend. Out of pocket: $0.
    • Platinum Amex in February 2011. 50k points transferable to DL with 50% bonus transfer, which also yields Silver status on DL. 75,000 total Skymiles. Out of pocket: $450 (annual fee). $200 recoverable with airline expenses.
    So in total within the past 11 months, I had a total expense of $1100 ($900 after reimbursemnt) , gold on US (2012), silver on DL (2013), lounge access for a year, and a total mileage accrual of approximately 550,000 miles.

    This was also all on my own dime.
     
  2. Westsox
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    Westsox Gold Member

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    You have done quite well. I will have to round up my 2010 activity.
     
  3. vitousa
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    vitousa Active Member

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    wow, nice work.. That's what I am aiming for in 2011..
     
  4. mrredskin
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    mrredskin Gold Member

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    it's only march 1 and look what's been available thus far for this year! who knows what the rest of the year will have in store for us. of course i'm sure my available credit might be near its max for a few months now :D

    edit: need better smileys!
     
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  5. Steven Schwartz
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    Steven Schwartz Gold Member

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    Got the BA Visa - one for me and one for my wife. I use the cards in my dental practice so hitting the $30,000 threshold was pretty easy. Using my 2-4-1 to go First Class with my wife to Israel in May - two tickets for a $76,000 spend with the 100,000 free miles and 1.25 miles/$ for the rest.

    My wife's voucher expires July 2012. We booked a June cruise next summer from St Petersburg to Copenhagen - pretty much the same deal. Very, very happy!
     
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  6. nomflyer
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    nomflyer Silver Member

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    Thanks for sharing! I started just before you did. I hope I got all of these numbers right. Here are my totals:
    • Chase BA Visa in January 2010. 100k miles for a few thousand spend. ~$75 fee.
    • AMEX SPG Personal & Business in July 2010. Total of 70k SPG points after $1000 spend on each. $0
    • Citi AAdvantage personal Visa and Amex in August 2010. 100k after $10k spend on the Visa and 75k after $1,500 spend on the Amex. $0
    • Citi AAdvantage business Visa in October 2010. Got 50k miles after $750 spend and 50k more pending after $10k spend. $0
    • Chase CO business and personal checking. 40k miles (didn't receive the first 10k for personal acct due to non-first time customer). $25 and $65 annual fees
    • Grand Slam promo for US. Earned about 120k miles with about $600 out of pocket (includes purchase of US Club membership).
    • US Airways MC with Grand Slam promo. 25k miles after $750 spend. $89.
    • US Airways debit card (BofA) with Grand Slam promo. 3k miles after first use. $30.
    • Chase Sapphire in October 2010. 25k points after $3k spend. $0.
    • Citi AAdvantage checking & savings. 40k miles pending. $0.
    • Delta Suntrust Business checking in December 2010. 125k miles after first debit card use. $275.
    Total for last year: $1150 for around 825,000 miles/points.

    I didn't earn any status from these bonuses, although I did earn US Silver from the Preferred Trial and 1 year of Club membership at a discounted price. I also got a BA 2-for-1 voucher for reaching the $30k spend.
     
  7. JohnDeere19
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    JohnDeere19 Gold Member

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    My favorite, booked 5 JFK-LAS trips (in 3 consecutive weekends [​IMG]) courtesy of xp.ca $300 deal costing <$100 total ai and signed up for and completed the AA platinum challenge with these flights with gold comped during the challenge!
     
  8. dwhotz
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    dwhotz Silver Member

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    My breakdown isn't as impressive as some out there, but I'm pretty happy considering that I just decided to jump into the game during the Chase BA 100K offer. I finally decided to pull the trigger what must have been a couple hours after it went away for the second time. But I still made out ok for myself...by no means do I consider myself an expert.

    SPG AMEX personal and business for me - 70K points
    SPG AMEX personal for fiance - 35K points
    Citi AA VISA and AMEX personal for me - 150K points
    Citi AA Business for me - 75K points
    Citi AA VISA and AMEX personal for fiance - 150K points
    Chase Continental personal for me - 50K
    Delta AMEX personal for me- 45K

    All of these cards had first year waived and minimums were met with normal spending or other "free" spending options. All balances were paid in full each month, so no cost to us. So all in all, not too shabby for our honeymoon: 105K Starwood points, 375K AA points, 50K Continental points, and 45K Delta points for free
     
  9. mrredskin
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    mrredskin Gold Member

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    good job! i should have taken more advantage of some of the checking/debit offers
     
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  10. mrredskin
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    mrredskin Gold Member

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    I'm jealous of you *wood folk that got in on the lucrative amount of points with minimal spend. I had to spend quite a bit to get my 30k points. Can't remember how many thousand, but it was significantly more than what you guys did! I made a few dozen trips to banks with $1 coins :/
     
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  11. heramato
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    heramato Silver Member

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    And Im jealous of seeing all this earning oportunities..... 100K, 70K, 50K......
    Here in Spain that kind of opportunities are very limited
     
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  12. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    The "success" comes in the redemptions, not the earnings, IMHO. Don't get me wrong, earning the points on the cheap is part of the fun, but until they've been cashed in the value is wholly theoretical.
     
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  13. JohnDeere19
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    JohnDeere19 Gold Member

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    How about cashing in for JFK-FRA LH First Class and being lucky enough to have the 744 swapped out for an A380? Successful?
     
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  14. JohnDeere19
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    JohnDeere19 Gold Member

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    Confessed to my now girlfriend, that wasn't at the time, that this is what I actually did in Vegas... Her response: "I guess that's better than wondering what you were doing alone in Vegas for the first two weekends, but now I just think you're crazy..." She hasn't yet been on a International F flight with me yet, so we'll see how she comes around!
     
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  15. nomflyer
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    nomflyer Silver Member

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    Yeah, I think I've got the hang of the earning part. Now to work on maximizing these redemptions!
     
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  16. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Yeah, that is definitely a success.

    I've had some great redemptions over the years. I just booked a pseudo-RTW using BD points (really 3x one-way trips, one of which adds a stopover) so I can do it in C for 175Kish BD points rather than the 300K I think they normally charge for that award. Over 29K miles flown on my routing and stops in BKK, CPT and EZE along the way, plus a couple months back at home before heading out to SJU to finish it off.

    Or getting a pretty sweet open-jaw itinerary up into the Canadian maritime provinces. The planes are all RJ-only so every seat is F (;)) but there are so few flights that the cash price on the tickets is ridiculous. My 25K CO points paid for a $2200 ticket. Obviously I wouldn't have paid cash for that, but the value is very real.

    Doesn't suck at all.
     
  17. Mark Allen Jackson
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    Mark Allen Jackson Silver Member

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    I'm pretty new (about a month), but

    just got my first 10000 SPG points from the AMEX card!
     
  18. WaterSki
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    WaterSki Silver Member

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    Using 2 x 25k miles to have two close friends join me on a ski trip last minute. Cash tickets at the time were $600, and the preferred nonstop flights were available with miles the week before. My friend will repay me with the 50k miles he earns from a credit card signup bonus in a few weeks.
     
  19. miles and smiles
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    miles and smiles Gold Member

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    Welcome Mark. Every mile/point counts.
    I believe it's more important that I appreciate what I have received than always wanting more, more, more....
    Anyway, you gotta start someplace. [​IMG]
     
  20. mrredskin
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    mrredskin Gold Member

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    good job, brah! keep up with the credit card forum for new offers. a few other threads already show what other earnings potential is out there for you right this second.
     

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