December 26, 2016

How Many Miles Did We Earn in 2016?

Happy Holidays!  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 nearly 45% of the total in 2016 (up from 36% in 2015).  

We earned a little over 1.7 million miles/points from credit card bonuses alone!  Add to that flying, hotel stays, shopping portal bonuses, and everyday spend, and we earned roughly 2.3 million total points/miles in 2016!  Hotel co-brand cards from Ritz-Carlton and Hilton definitely padded these numbers - those two cards combined offered (in the form of free nights) nearly 400,000 hotel points!

That compares to 1.3 million points/miles last year and nearly 1.7 million in 2013.

We applied for (and were approved for all but one thanks to Chase's 5/24 rule) 27 credit cards in 2016 with an average signup bonus of 65,442 points.  For comparison purposes, in 2015 we earned 1.14 million points/miles from 26 signup bonuses.  

This doesn't include the miles we earned by flying/staying which amounted to another 250,000.  We also purchased American and United miles (40,000) during a couple of promotions across the year and earned around an additional 310,000 or so miles and points for our "everyday" spend including category bonuses and shopping portal bonuses.

All in, that is over 2.3 million miles and points generated during 2016!  It still amazes me that such a large portion (74%) 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 1.19 million miles/points "in the bank."  This time last year, we had 1.25M points and miles so we're doing a pretty good job of earning and burning!

In terms of burning, here's what 2016 looked like:
That is nearly 3.1 million points/miles burned (some trips were booked the year prior) in one year!!    Our miles/point value is essentially the same Y/Y meaning we burned everything we earned (and a bit more) in 2016.  

Here's to a another great year of travel in 2017!


  1. Berlin-- any chance you can unveil which credit cards exactly you churned and applied for? I'm curious!

  2. @Rachel Rakusin Jones - yep! Working on that this weekend!

  3. You can check out the list here: