Miles & Points Earned from Credit Card Bonuses in 2016

Miles & Points Earned From Credit Card Bonuses In 2014
image: forbes

When people hear how much the Michael W Travels family gets around, one of the first questions tends to be something along the lines of how do you afford to travel so much.

I usually try to keep it simple and explain a little about miles & points and how I primarily earn them through credit card sign up bonuses. While many people might be interested in some travel tips to find out how they too can earn miles & points, the majority do not follow through.

With 2016 a not so distant memory, it’s time to take a look back at the miles and points I earned from credit card sign up bonuses during the year.

I used miles and points to pay for the majority of our flights. When I’m not using them, I tend to book super cheap or mistake fares…

This year every flight we took was paid for with miles and points besides our flight home from Cuba in early January and a day trip I took on JetBlue to Boston for a promo.

I’ve been playing the credit card game for quite some time and each year it seems to get harder and harder to get approved for cards. This was especially the case when Kim and I were both declined for the amazing 100,000 points Chase Sapphire Reserve offer.

I started keep track as to which cards I was approved for along with the bonuses earned when I started Michael W Travels.

Here are the miles and points I earned in previous years:

  • 2011: 775,000 miles and points
  • 2012: 753,150 miles and points
  • 2013: 665,000 miles and points
  • 2014: 605,000 miles and points
  • 2015: 450,000 miles and points

I averaged 649,630 miles & points earned from credit card bonus offers over the previous five years.

So how did I do last year? Let’s take a look.

Credit Cards Approved in 2016:

  1. Bank of America Alaska Air: 25,000 miles
  2. Chase United Mileageplus Explorer: 50,000 miles
  3. Barclaycard JetBlue Plus– 35,000 points
  4. Amex Mercedes Benz Platinum– 75,000 points
  5. Amex Delta Gold Business– 50,000 miles
  6. Citi American Airlines Platinum Select– 50,000 miles
  7. Bank of American Alaska Air– 30,000 miles
  8. Barclays Arrival Plus Mastercard– 50,000 miles
  9. Citi American Airlines Platinum Select: 50,000 miles

The Totals:

In 2016 I was approved for 9 new credit cards. I earned 415,000 miles and points with these sign up offers.

Once again the amount of miles and points earned from credit card sign up offers decreased. With some banks changing the rules related to new credit cards and making it harder to get approved, I’m worried to see what 2017 might look like!

However, I’m definitely hoping that 2017 is a much better year when it comes to earning miles and points from credit card bonus offers.

How many miles and points did you earn from credit card sign up bonuses in 2016?

Interesting in earning miles and points to help you travel more?

Click here and apply for cards that offer big bonuses.

(If you need suggestions about which cards are worth applying for, you can e-mail me at

FYI: If you apply and get approved for a credit card at the links above I may receive compensation. Thank you in advance for your support.

2 thoughts on “Miles & Points Earned from Credit Card Bonuses in 2016

  1. Rob- The first way is by charging pretty much anything I can. I charge Lucas’s school although now it is a bit cheaper, gift cards although in NYC it is much tougher so I don’t do that as much etc…

  2. Michael,
    How do you best meet the 90 day minimum spend requirement for each card? I need help/suggestions as I have a limited budget. Thanks —-

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