January 1, 2016

How Many Miles Did We Earn in 2015?

Happy New Year!  As I've done in the past, here's an overview of miles earned last year.

I keep a pretty organized spreadsheet containing a ton of information about my mileage earning.  It also helps me keep track of our credit card applications, minimum spend required, etc...this is very much a team effort as Emily earned a little over 36% of the total in 2015 (down from 44% in 2014).  We earned a little over 1.3 million points/miles last year and nearly 1.7 million in 2013.

In looking at our 2015 earnings, we took home nearly 1.1 million miles and points from credit card signup bonuses/retention bonuses.  We applied for (and were approved for all) 26 credit cards in 2015 with an average signup bonus of 44,100 points.  For comparison purposes, in 2014 we earned 987,000 points from 20 sign-up bonuses.

This doesn't include the miles we earned by flying/staying which amounted to another 100,000.  We also purchased a British Airways and Alaska miles (50,000) during a couple of promotions across the year and earned around an additional 250,000 or so miles and points for our "everyday" spend including category bonuses and shopping portal bonuses.

All in, that is over 1.5 million miles and points generated during 2015!  It still amazes me that such a large portion (70%) comes from credit card sign-up bonuses.  Flying/staying (even at high volumes) won't earn you anywhere near what you can earn from a handful of sign-up bonuses across the year.

So where do things stand in terms of point balances now?  According to Award Wallet, we have 1.25 million miles "in the bank."  This time last year, we had 1.6M points and miles so we're doing a pretty good job of earning and burning!

In terms of burning, here's what 2015 looked like:

That is 2.1 million points/miles burned (some trips were booked the year prior) in one year!!  We don't have anything booked in 2016 other than a trip to London and Abu Dhabi - I'm sure that will change as the year goes on.  Here's to a another great year of travel!!

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