Miles & Points Earned from Credit Cards in 2013

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Now that 2013 has come to a close, it’s time to tally up the miles and points that I’ve earned from credit card sign-up bonuses for the year.

While I’d consider 2013 to be a successful year once again, I ended up earning fewer miles & points from credit card sign up bonuses than I did during the previous two years. However, I supplemented my earnings by doing a little extra work. I took advantage of the 5X points bonus at office supply stores with my Chase Ink card, buying lots of gift cards. I also did a bit of manufactured spend, visiting CVS countless times to buy pre-paid cards.

Here is what I earned the previous 2 years:

  • 2011: 775,000 miles & points
  • 2012: 753,150 miles & points

Having had so many credit cards over the years, it makes it a bit harder to find cards with big sign up bonuses to apply for. Chase has been much stricter than in previous years so I try to limit the amount of cards I apply for through them.

For my yearly tally, I have included bonuses for all credit cards applied for in 2013.  I am currently still waiting on the bonus for one card to post.

Here are the cards that I was approved for along with the sign up bonus:

  1. Amex Platinum– 100,000 points + $200 airline incidentals + Global Entry ($100 fee), card has $450 annual fee
  2. Citi  American Airlines Visa– 50,000 miles + $150 w/ 1st AA purchase within year + 2 Admiral Club passes
  3. Citi American Airlines Visa Biz– 50,000 miles + $150 w/ 1st AA purchase within year + 2 Admiral Club passes
  4. Barclays US Airways Premier Mastercard– 35,000 miles, no annual fee
  5. Chase Ink Bold Biz– 50,000 points + 10,000 points match= 60K
  6. SPG Amex Biz- 25,000 points + 5K bump with secure message= 30,000 points
  7. Delta Amex Platinum Biz– 55,000 mile, (25K MQMs), $150 annual fee
  8. Citi American Airlines Mastercard– 40,000 miles
  9. SPG Amex Personal– 30,000 points
  10. US Bank Club Carlson– 85,000 points
  11. Lufthansa Miles & More Card– 50,000 miles
  12. Chase Sapphire– 50,000 points + 5K for adding authorized user= 55,000 points
  13. Alaska Airlines Biz Card– 25,000 miles, $75 annual fee

In 2013 I earned 665,000 miles & points from credit card sign up bonuses. 

This is definitely a significant drop-off from the past couple of years. I actually signed up for the same amount of cards in 2012 and 2013 however this year there weren’t as many cards offering huge 75K+ sign up bonuses.

A few things to consider:

  • I paid $675 in annual fees
  • A few cards gave me cash back (more or less): $200 incidental credit from Amex Platinum became $200 in AA gift cards, two different Citi AA cards gave me $ back totalling $300.
  • I got Global Entry for free which is a $100 value
  • I had to work very hard to receive my 100,000 Amex Platinum bonus points
  • I received 4 AA Admirals Club passes which I gave away to readers
  • I earned 15,000 miles/ points from sending secure messages to get bumped to better offers available on two of my cards.

After using miles for 8 out of 9 trips in 2013, I’m hoping for some big credit card offers to come out in 2014.(I’d love to replenish my stash!) Also, with Lucas’ days as a lap baby over (he turns 2 next week), we are now going to need an extra airline ticket for every trip!

I’m hoping for some new, big offers to come out in 2014. Hopefully some new credit card products will be offered by banks other than the major players.

Our flights are already booked for the first quarter of the new year. Thanks to the incredible mistake fares through Wideroe, we bought 3 flights to Europe at bargain prices. We also booked a flight using points for a trip in early June to the Caribbean. (More on these trips as each gets closer.)

It’s hard to say how many miles or points we will use to get away during the rest of the year but I’d guess we’ll be booking a few more trips.

How was your year in miles & points? What are you hoping for in 2014?

4 thoughts on “Miles & Points Earned from Credit Cards in 2013

  1. Hi,
    I have a beginner’s question about your post.
    How do you sign each year?
    Do you cancel the cards every year and sign again? They allow you to do so?
    If so doesn’t it affects on your credit score?

    1. Hi Nadav- I’m not really sure as to what you mean by How do you sign each year? I try to vary which cards I apply for each year but some can be overlapped. Some cards can be cancelled and reapplied for soon after, while others might require a waiting period before getting the card again. I do not cancel all of my cards each year. It really depends on the card. For instance the Chase Priority Club (IHG) card is well worth the annual fee for a free night each year and the Club Carlson cards are worth keeping for the stay 2, get 1 benefit as well as a 40,000 point anniversary bonus. As for my credit score- I’ve had a mortgage for close to 10 years, I usually pay early and I NEVER carry any balance on my credit cards, all are paid each month in full. It might go down a few points here and there but nothing too drastic. If you have any other questions, feel free to e-mail me at

  2. I had a promotion for a Chase United Club card which waived the $395 fee for the first year, but when I entered the special link, the on-line application did not mention the fee waiver.

    If they charge me the fee, is there a special number I can call to talk to someone who can sort it all out for me?

    1. I’d look into this before activating the card unless you are comfortable paying the $395 if you get stuck with it. I’m not sure of a special number. I’d call the # on the back of the card or send a secure message when logged into your account.

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