My Name Is Casey, And I Love Miles|Points

Casey Friday Award Wallet

You didn’t think I was done… did you?  A few moons ago, I threw a fit over a few fees that Chase decided to nail me with, and I shut down a bunch of my miles|points earning accounts.  The truth is, though, I love miles and points.  They have more value to me than to most other people on this sweet planet because I actually not only enjoy traveling – I do travel.

Hilton

You’ll notice a strong presence in the force my Hilton HHonors account, at 84,245.  I’ve been really juicing my Hilton account up in a few different ways.  One of the most powerful ways is through e-Rewards (I’d give a referral link, but it’s invitation only).  I recently vamped my e-Rewards balance to over $100 and cashed that value in for 7,000 HHonors points.  That’s right – seven…thousand.  All I did was a bunch of random surveys over the course of a few months.

My wife and I also recently picked up and moved across the country recently.  We thought we were moving to Portland, so we drove there first and spent two nights in the DoubleTree.  It was a lovely hotel, and my HHonors AMEX plus Silver status got us a top floor suite our first night there.  It. Was. Awesome.  It also got me a healthy number of HHonors points.

HHonors Redemption Rates
HHonors Redemption Rates

So what am I saving Hilton points for?  If you take a look at the chart above, the most expensive redemption you can get with Hilton is a Category 7 hotel.  It comes in at 50,000 points per night.  Because of our recent food allergen test results, I want to make sure that any hotel Jessica and I go to will have a chef to cook for us.  At a Category 7 hotel, I guarantee you there’s a personal chef there.

So that’s what I’m saving Hilton points for.  I want to go on an awesome two-night excursion with my lovely, and I don’t want to pay for it.  I’m not sure where I’d like to take us yet, but it will definitely be somewhere out of the mainland.

Priority Club

No, I don’t have 100,000 points with Priority Club, but I do have something a little more valuable – Platinum Elite Status.  Back when I used to stay at PC hotels for work, I found a lovely thread in one of my favorite forums with a link to instant Platinum Elite Status.  I applied, and I think the status should have run out about four months ago, but lo and behold, I still have the status.

At each of our four nights of stays at PC hotels on our westward journey, I asked for a desirable upgraded room, and I got it.  I also got 2pm checkout.  Freaking awesome.  There aren’t currently any mega-signup-bonuses for PC, but when one comes out (80k or so), I will be grabbing it.  Until then, I have my Platinum Elite status, and I couldn’t be happier about it.

British Airways

This one’s a new edition to the club!  I recently got the BA Visa Signature card from Chase, and got a hefty 100,000 mile bonus.  That’s four round-trip domestic tickets, for FREE (plus taxes).  Sure, BA doesn’t fly in the USA, but American does, and if I book a domestic award ticket through BA, I’ll get an award flight on their partner, American.

I haven’t received the second half of the signup bonus yet, but I should be receiving it within a few days.  I’m not quite sure what I’ll be using those miles for yet, but I’m guessing it will be some domestic travel.  If I’m traveling overseas with Jessica, I want to travel up front, so I’ll need a lot more than 100,000 miles.  If I combine this amount with the 52,317 AA miles I already have, that’s three free domestic round-trips for Jessica and me – to anywhere.

So I don’t have big plans for the BA miles yet, but they could be coming in handy sometime soon.

Continental

Yup.  137,374 miles.  Wanna guess how many butt-in-seat miles are in there?  None.  This is my golden egg.  I have REALLY big plans for my Continental balance, and those plans just might coincide with my Hilton HHonors plans.  I have been accumulating Continental miles for a good long while now, and you can see it has paid off.  I opened a personal and business checking account for 25,000 miles each, plus a few miles for dollars spent on the debit cards.  That’s 50,000 miles just for the checking accounts.

Then I got the Chase CO OnePass credit card, which came with a 30,000 mile sign-up bonus.  That took me up to 80,000.  Then I bought a few things from the US Mint, and my balance skyrocketed.  The next part is the best part.

A few months later, Chase came out with a new promotion for the card – a 50,000 mile sign-up bonus.  What?!  I didn’t get that awesome bonus?  I only got a measly 30,000?  That just won’t do.  So I did what I do best.  I pestered the hell out of Chase until they gave me the 20,000 mile difference.  I was then at a 100,000 mile total for doing… what I do best.  🙂

The rest of my plan is this:  I’m pestering the hell out of Chase again for them to offer me the Sapphire card with a 100,000 point bonus, instead of the current 50,000 point bonus they have going on right now.  The Sapphire card has a 1:1 transfer rate to Continental miles, so that would take my CO balance to 237,374.  The next thing I’m waiting for is a Chase United Mileage Plus card sign-up bonus worth drooling over.  Hopefully between 50-100,000 miles.  That will put me up at a maximum of 337,374 miles.

Once I get all of these miles, it’s planning time.  Time to fly anywhere in the world to stay two nights at one of the nicest Hilton hotels in the world.  Doesn’t sound so bad, does it?

Budget Rental

Hilton currently has a promo going on, where if you rent a car for two days (until August 15), you get 6,500 HHonors.  Right now, I’m getting 6 points per every dollar I spend on the card.  That means that with regular spending, it would cost me $1,083 of spending to get 6,500 points.  I can do MUCH better than that with a two-day rental.  More on that when I book the rental.

The cool thing is that you get the points for every two-day period you rent a car.  So I could do it every two days between now and August 15.  That’s a lost of 6,500 points.

So What Does It All Mean?

I’ve heard before that my hobby is obsessive.  I’m okay with that.  Frankly, I’m just glad I have a hobby.  It looks obsessive to someone who doesn’t have the same goals as I, but that’s just it.

My wife and I love to travel, and I love to get REALLY good deals.  On everything.  So we’re both going to continue doing what we love to do.  I’m going to keep acquiring these points, and we’re going to take a trip for the cost of food alone.

You can really indulge in your vacation when you’re not paying for airfare and hotels.  What’s your next big thing?

7 Replies to “My Name Is Casey, And I Love Miles|Points”

  1. Just an FWIW, because I know it doesn’t really fit with ya’lls philosophy: for the last ten years we’ve been using the credit card to pay for… everything.  We pay the balance every month, and have the savings that God forbid – we could always clear that balance – no interest, just points.  At one point we had in excess of 500,000 miles, and we’ve just now started using them.  Both ways to Orlando, and a couple nights in a Disney resort?  Check.  Flights home from Boston for the holidays? Check.  That time I visited Chesapeake in San Antonio? Check.  That time in the future I visit you guys in Utah, or whatever awesome place you’re living in?  Freals.

    Also: you should meet my dad.  He’s pretty much the master of this sort of thing.

    1. That’s freaking awesome! Yeah, we’re against CC debt, but I do participate in CC sign-up bonuses. For instance, I got the British Airways Visa, and with a certain initial spend, I’ve received 100,000 miles from them. Do I carry a balance on the card? Absolutely not. But you better believe I’m going to get those bonus miles!

      That’s awesome that you’re getting free flights everywhere!

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