2011 Points Accumulation Totals…….Drumroll Please!

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This is sort of the final individual post in the 2011 Best of/Worst of post series.  This is essentially the best individual 2011 point total accumulation.  In a nutshell, 2011 rocked for many miles and points collectors, myself included.  In this post I want to hear about how many points you were able to collect in the various miles and points programs.  If you are feeling up for it, I would also love to hear about your redemptions as well!  Remember, some of the best stories in the Best of/Worst of series will get Starbucks gift cards!  If you have missed some of the other posts, check them out and get your comments in those as well.  There will be at least one winner from each individual post in this series.

Best Airline Promo of 2011

Best Hotel Promo of 2011

Best Credit Card Promo of 2011

Worst Promo of 2011

The totals I will include for myself are not all-inclusive.  Frankly, my personal miles and points record keeping dropped off some when I began devoting more time to this site.  Certainly a good trade-off, but my miles and points record keeping isn’t perfect as a result.  😉  The totals below do not include any points or miles earned through actual travel, but do they do include my credit card sign-up bonuses, regular spending, and the major promos I participated in this year.  I’m sure I am missing some points here and there, but this is a pretty representative list.  So, without further ado, here are my point accumulations for 2011.

Credit card sign-up bonuses:

Chase Sapphire® Preferred Card: 100,000 Ultimate Rewards sign-up bonus (50K + 50K “Bump the bonus”)

American Express Platinum: 100,000 Membership Rewards points sign-up bonus (I was actually targeted for this one – imagine that!)

Citibank AAdvantage cards: two browser trick with two cards for a total of 150,000 American Airlines miles

Starwood Preferred Guest Amex: 30,000 SPG points sign-up bonus

Barclay’s US Airways MasterCard: 40,000 mile sign-up bonus

Chase Ink BoldSM : 50,000 Ultimate Reward points sign-up bonus

Total: 470,000 points for sign-up bonuses for seven new credit cards

Major Promos:

US Airways Grand Slam: 120,000 miles

United Months of Miles: 20,000 miles (estimate as the miles have not yet posted)

United Dining Program: 10,324 miles

United Shopping Portal: 5,000 miles (low estimate since history only goes back to October)

Chase Ultimate Rewards Portal: 22,068 points

Continental Airlines OnePass® Plus Card bonus: 10,000 miles for spending $25,000 on the card annually

Total: 187,392 miles through promo participation

Regular Spending:

A low estimate of the number of points I have earned purely though regular spending on credit cards is about 45,000 miles/points.

Total: 45,000 miles and points through regular credit card spending

Final 2011 Miles and Points Total:

702,392 miles and points earned in 2011.  Remember, this total does not include any miles or points that were earned by traveling.  Of that total, only the money spent to participate in the Grand Slam was actually money that would not have been spent anyway.  That total was under $500.  For the most part, these 700,000 plus miles and points were earned without spending any extra money or doing any extra activities than I would have been doing anyway.  I was just strategic and deliberate about how and when I made my purchases.  That is really pretty amazing.

2011 Redemptions:

This is where my memory gets really foggy!  To the best of my memory, we redeemed points to go to: Las Vegas in March, Disney World in April, Hyatt Lost Pines in August, Chicago/Denver in September, San Antonio in September, back to Chicago in October, Kansas City in November, and to bring C’s grandparents to Texas.  Those destinations are not the “sexiest” destinations in the world, but we were able to get to all of them (and often there were two or three of us flying) for no out-of-pocket expense.  In some cities we did pay for the hotel out of pocket, but in none of the cases listed did we pay for airfare.  We had a few other trips that we did not redeem miles for.  For 2012 we have already booked Denver, Las Vegas, Montreal, and New York City (flights already booked using points/miles).  All of those are for three reward tickets each. Like most of our trips, three of the four trips for 2012 that are already booked involve visiting family members, and for where we are in life, that is the best way for us to spend our miles.  Here are just a few shots of some of my favorite family travel moments in 2011.

What are your miles and point accumulation totals for this year?  Where did your points take you in 2011, and where will they take you in 2012?

Disclosure: Some of the links to credit card applications are my affiliate links, and if you are approved for the card using my link I will receive a commission.  All of the links are to the best publicly available offers that I am aware of, but not all of the best current offers are for the same sign-up bonuses that I received earlier in the year, so do read the offers carefully.

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.


  1. You could have gotten 50-150K more from Fidelity (50K AA, 50K MR, 50K DL).

    The 40 SkyMiles per Dollar Spent at Spafinder.com was a favorite of Miss HikerT (essentially buying DL miles for 1 cent and getting Spafinder gift certs at 50% off). Wish we had bought more. 🙂

    The 40K Alaska card offer was another good one.

    My largest haul was 200K from one shopping portal and I didn’t buy anything either, grin. I shan’t say more as I wouldn’t want them to take those miles back. 🙂

    My bah humbug award would go to stallion114 at FT. I traded with him to do some GS hotel hits for me. He didn’t do the last 2, costing me 20K GS miles. Don’t ever trade with this clown.

  2. BTW, I don’t know my 2011 total. I accumulated a bunch of miles from what I would classify as discounted “purchase” promotions like the GS, spafinder, transfer bonuses, etc. which distorts the numbers. My bottom line is I started at ground zero a couple years ago and have been accumulating well over a million a year thanks to blogs like this. Didn’t have any significant resumptions in 2011. Here’s to accumulating more (and redeeming more) in 2012.

  3. Between the wife and I we racked up over 1m miles and points. All cc sign up and promos. Also took advantage of the delta transfer when some nice friends didn’t want their delta miles anymore. Just spread out so not enough for our trip to Asia next year but have our anniversary trip to europe in BC or FC.

  4. .
    Between my wife and I April-today:
    323,000 MR (4 X 75K AmEx Gold cards, all bumped)
    144,000 SPG (2 X 30K and 2 X 25K SPG AmEx cards with spend and bonuses)
    251,717 HH (2 X 50K Citi and 1 AmEx 60K AmEx plus pre-April spend on my HH AmEx card)
    621,466 AA (6 X 75K Citi cards + 2X Fidelity 50K, plus misc promos, spend, etc.)
    125,000 US (2 X 40K Barclays + Grand Slam 45K)
    111,000 Rad (2 X 50K Big Night promo)
    100,000 DL (2 X Fidelity 50K)
    Total = ~1.9 Million

  5. Well done. I need to show my wife (and soon to be mother of my child!) this site and get her on board with racking up miles. 🙂

    I will be following this blog in the new year.

    Happy New Year!

  6. Highlights include 250,000 miles for the Grandslam for me and my wife combined. Good considering we didn’t even belong to Dividend Miles prior to October ! I was able to get 51,000 bonus points at Radison with the latest Blu promo. My wife got the 80k Chase bonus on her new Holiday Inn card plus she got about another 100k bonus points throughout the year as she is a very heavy visitor at Holiday Inn. She should come out great on the promo that ends today.
    Low points. American Airlines pulling the log in from AwardWallet. Southwest changing the earning structure . High points would also include finding the Mommy Points blog. Happy New Year !

  7. Great summary. Just wanted to say happy new year 2012 and let the points and miles accumulation start again tomorrow! Happy New Year!!!

  8. I just started reading your blog and at first was dismissive at the fact that it might be too focused on family travel but I ended up getting lured in by the many pointers and enthusiasm you have in your writing.

    You could call this year my first year to apply to a credit card strictly for points. My fiancee and I were having our weddings in Canada and the Netherlands. He had about 25k flying blue miles with KLM and I only had a few skypesos. I jumped at the chance to get 25k Delta MC through capitalone. It was very surreal to see my skymiles account jump up. Luckily, around spring KLM started a 50 percent off redemption so instead of a redemption of 50k or 60k needed it was only 25k! We were able to work with dates so we could book on the same flights and got a return YYZ – AMS for 25k in the summer! It was nonstop on KLM there and connected on AF on the way back in CDG! We only paid about 200 euros in taxes! Needless to say we had saved enough money to take advantage of the 70 euro sale for economy plus and for a honeymoon trip to Tel Aviv! If it weren’t for the 50 percent off redemption promotion we would haven’t enough money for extra trips and perks!

    Right now I only have about 70k Aeroplan points and starting to build up more skyteam

  9. I just started the points and miles game in July this year. Prior to starting, I only had 40K miles with AA. Since then, I have racked up the following:
    150K AA miles with 2x75K Citi AA cards
    100K Southwest miles via Chase Southwest CC signups + 10K miles via flying/CC spend = a companion pass
    94K US Air miles via GS and Barclays card
    55K Club Carlson points via 1 night stay promo
    315K Hilton points via Citi HH 50K + Amex HH 60K + 2x 35K Hawaiian cards (140K) + minimum spends + TopGuest checkins
    50K Starwood points via 30K SPG personal card + spend
    100K Amex MR via 50K Plat card + 50K bump bonus
    100K Chase UR via 50K Preferred card + spend + holiday shopping bonuses

    In addition, accumulated 1 free Hertz day and 2 free National rental days just by signing up for promos and doing normally planned travel.

    Total miles/points = 964,000 in 6 months

  10. End of year miles and points:

    928,755 inventory
    62,000 accounts receivable (earned not received)
    80,000 committed (travel not commenced)
    1,070,755 total

    Total accumulated this year (estimate)

    1,500,000 across 44 programs

    Mileage consumption (major cities visited):

    Andorra la Vella
    Vatican City
    Tokyo (2)
    Hong Kong
    Las Vegas

    Total countries visited using miles or hotel points:

    16 new and 9 repeats spread across 3 continents.

  11. Love your blog! I’m fairly new to the game and am getting hooked. HikerT seems to have some great ideas i’d like to hear more about. I’ve been trying to come up with more ideas to accumulate points in the way he has. Is it possible for you to forward my email address to him with this post?

    • @Smay, I can’t give out any email addresses, but he posts regularly on Flytertalk. I bet you could send him a secure message on there. He does have some good ideas!

  12. Wow! This is an amazing haul. I got into this about a year later than you and it is interesting to see how much more lucrative the sign-up bonuses were in 2011. We shall see what 2013 brings!

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