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The end of 2012 is officially here and what a year it has been! Last year I did a few Best of/Worst posts to recap the year, remember great deals and travel moments, as well as to reminisce about the disasters as well. So, I thought it would be fun to do it again this year. This post will focus on the good times. Read all the way to the bottom (or just skip to the bottom) to learn how to turn some of your 2012 “Best of” moments into free Starbucks.
Best Travel Moments of 2012:
In 2012, miles and points helped take my family on many adventures! Some of my favorite moments were:
January: Watching my two year old experience her first snowfall in Colorado
March: Watching my daughter experience Disney Magic at Disneyland in California
July: Heading to a mini-family reunion with my husband’s family and spending time together in Montreal and upstate New York
August: Experiencing our first international business class flight and watching the Olympics in person and taking my daughter to a mini-family reunion with my side of the family in North Carolina
November: Staying in the Park Hyatt Zurich as part of the Star MegaDo 4 and flying back to the US on miles in First Class on the Lufthansa A380. Also seeing my daughter sit up front in the United 787 Dreamliner and meet the real Santa at Macy’s on 34th Street.
December: Visiting Maui and then finishing the year with my family at a Hyatt resort
There were tons of other great experiences as well, but those were some that standout in my mind!
Credit Card Sign-ups in 2012:
In 2012 I also earned a bunch of miles and points thanks to credit card sign-ups and other promotions. The cards I acquired in 2012 were:
February: United MileagePlus Explorer Card and The Enhanced Business Gold Rewards Card® from American Express OPEN
April: Ink Bold Business Card
December: Ink Plus Business Card
That is a total of around 331,500 miles and points just from my own credit card sign-up bonuses. Last year I was close to half a million miles and points from sign-up bonuses, but this year I didn’t get some of the 100K offers that I got in 2011, so the total was a little lower. I averaged two cards per quarter, balanced which banks I applied with, and am very happy with all the offers I got in on. I’m sure I could have gotten twice as many cards if I wanted to, but I’m not that aggressive of a card churner.
I wish I would have been able to get in on the short lived 60K Ink Bold, the 75K Amex Business Gold Rewards Card, and gotten my mom in on time with the 30K Freedom card, but sometimes timing isn’t in your favor!
Best of Points Earning/Redemption Moments in 2012:
- For me, 2012 was the year of category bonuses. Between the Freedom card, the Ink Plus and Ink Bold (PS if you still don’t have these I would recommend adding one to your 2012 totals ASAP), targeted bonuses on my US Airways card, and more I was often getting as high as 5x on my everyday spending. Couple this with shopping via online shopping portals such as Ultimate Rewards and my family did quite well by maximizing our points earning through regular spending in 2012.
- Earning 36x British Avios at Nordstroms in February
- Vanilla Reloads
- Amazing Singapore Airlines First Class availability using United miles for a day in July
- Double dipping with Sears for 20x via Ultimate Rewards
- Discover America promos -especially the amazing package at the Mirage we were able to purchase
- Club Carlson “Big Night” Promos (and then leveraging those free nights in a big way)
- Double miles promos from American Airlines and US Airways
- Icelandair miles purchase for $300ish first class Hawaii round trips
- My Points/Open Sky 150 points per dollar deal that resulted in effectively $500 in free merchandise (more for new customers)
- And many many more that aren’t coming to me right this second!
I’d love to hear some of your standout miles and points moments for 2012! How many miles and points did you rack up? What were your favorite promos? Favorite trips? Favorite mistakes fares, redemptions, etc? To end the year with a jolt of caffeine I’ll be giving away several $10 Starbucks cards to those who post some good “best of” moments in the comments section. Stay tuned for an upcoming “Worst of” post as well. 😉
Disclosure: Some of the links in this posts are to my affiliate offers and I do receive a commission for any approved applications that utilized my links. All Starbucks winners are selected after serious and official debate amongst the Mommy Points team (uh, me and my three-year-old). Happy Halloween, Merry Christmas, Happy Birthday, and Happy New Year. Bottoms up!