In 2011 I earned 775,000 miles from credit card signup bonuses which I wrote about here.
Getting close to that amount of miles in 2012 is not going to be easy and is going to take some creativity.
I wrote about my first credit card that I received in 2012 and my strategy of only applying for cards with bonuses of 50,000 miles/ points or higher. (You can read that post here)
I’ve been waiting for a new card to come out with a huge bonus (let’s say 75,000- 100,000) but nothing has materialized as of yet. I decided recently to rethink my strategy and went ahead and applied for two cards with a sub-50K signup bonus. (more on this below)
Here are the cards that I have applied for in 2012 and the signup bonus that go along with them.
(I’ve only applied for five cards so far and was approved for all of them)
- Chase Southwest Personal Card- 50,000 miles
- Chase Southwest Business Card- 50,000 miles
- Citi AAdvantage Business Visa- 50,000 miles
- Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa- 35,000 miles
- Barclays US Airways Mastercard- 40,000 miles (potential for another 10-20,000)
Once I receive all of these bonuses, I will already be at 225,000 miles earned in 2012.
Not bad at all if you ask me!
Why did I decide to change my strategy?
The days are flying by in 2012 and we are almost into May. If I keep waiting for massive offers to come out, I might be waiting until next year. Nobody knows for sure what new card offers are on the way. By going for cards in the 35,00+ range, I will be replenishing my accounts as I use miles for travel over the course of this year. I was also getting way too antsy waiting for new cards!!!
- I decided to apply for the Alaska Airlines card due to a few factors. I don’t really have any BOA cards. Most of the big offers over the last year have been from Chase and I don’t want to keep applying for their cards and get banned from cashing in on future offers with them. I’d also love to go to Alaska.
- I decided to get the US Airways card for different reasons. One common factor is the lack of cards from Barclays. I recently cancelled my US Air card and wanted another way to add to my Dividend Miles account. By adding 40-50,000 miles, I should have enough for 2 flights to Europe. I also plan to play the US Airways Grand Slam again this year and having this card is an easy hit.
At this point I don’t feel confident that 2012 will bring me as many miles as last year from credit card bonuses. However, if I can get to 500,000 miles I will definitely consider 2012 a very solid and productive year!
I don’t find this to be such a great offer or value but some might find this useful to top off their US Airways account or to get rid of leftover hotel points.
US Airways is offering a 50% bonus to convert your hotel points to US Airways miles. This offer sounds great at first but when you see what the conversion rates are you will definitely think twice.
Here is a list of the conversion rates which DO NOT include the 50% bonus:
Best Western Rewards: 5,000 points for 1,000 miles
Choice Priveleges: 5,000 points for 1,000 miles
Club Carlson: varies
Hilton Honors: 10,000 points for 850 miles
Hyatt Gold Passport: varies
Marriott Rewards: varies
Priority Club: 10,000 points for 2,000 miles
Starwood Preferred Guest: varies
Wyndham Rewards: varies
La Quinta: 6,000 points for 1,000 miles or 10,000 points for 2,000 miles
* I didn’t do much reading into the hotel programs that have a variable transfer rate. However, I read that transferring SPG 20K points will become 37,500 US miles which seems like a pretty good deal.
Miles must be transfered between March 11- March 31, 2012 to earn the bonus
Hotel bonus miles do not count towards preferred status
To find out more info about this offer and find out the conversion rates for programs that vary, click here
March is the last month to earn thousands of extra HHonors Bonus Points with the More Points Promotion.
You need to sign up for this bonus offer and can earn:
1,000 Bonus Points per night
An additional 5,000 Bonus Points for every weekend stay of 2 nights or more.
Some of the rules:
A weekend stay is 2 or more consecutive nights between Thursday and Sunday
There is no limit to the amount of Bonus Points you can earn
Bonus Points do not count towards elite tier qualification
Offer ends March 31, 2012
Sign up for the Hilton HHonors More Points Promotion here
American Airlines AAdvantage Dining is running a generous offer:
The Get Ahead Bonus lets you earn 2 AAdvantge bonus miles per dollar and dine at a higher level
To earn the bonus miles you need to:
Register for the Get Ahead Bonus
Spend $75 at program restaurants by 3/31/12 & complete dining reviews within 30 days of visit
Earn 2 AAdvantagebonus miles per dollar for each subsequent dollar spent dining through 4/30/12 (and continue completing dining reviews within 30 days of each dine)
- This offer is open to all AAdvantage Dining members. If you are not a member you can earn a 1,000 mile sign up bonus. (sign up here)
*The $75 dine does not have to be at one restaurant, it can be any combination of dines at participating restaurants.
Sign up for the Get Ahead Bonus, Click Here
Make a purchase of any amount on Delta SkyMiles Shopping and earn a 250 mile bonus. The offer ends on 1/31/12 at 12:59pm.
Search SkyMiles shopping to find the offer. My phone is not letting me post a link!
Visit SkyMiles shopping by clicking here
Update: I read that this offer might be targeted.(I didn’t see anything saying it was in the email I received)
US Airways is running a promo that gets you a 100% bonus when you buy miles. The miles are not cheap but this promo makes it a decent deal. If you need to top off your account for an award, this might be the time to buy some miles.
The minimum amount you can buy is 1,000 which costs $35 but you will also get an additional 1,000 miles as a bonus. The maximum bonus is 40,000 miles so you will get that bonus regardless of buying 40,000 or 50,000 miles which is the most you can buy.
40,000 miles cost $1400 which doesn’t sound like such a bad deal when you add the 40,000 miles bonus. Each mile will cost you around $.017 each.
This offer expires 12/31/11.
To buy miles, go to US Airways Buy Miles
I reached AA Lifetime Gold about a month ago. For reaching Gold status I was given 8- 500 Mile Upgrades. It seemed like it may have been better to wait until after the new AAdvantage program changes to cross the million mile mark. Starting December 1 2011 AA will be giving 35,000 miles as a bonus.
I definitely value 35,000 miles more than the 8 upgrades so I decided to call the AAdvantage customer service desk and ask if anything could be done. I was transferred to another operator that was more than happpy to switch the upgrades for miles!
She said to wait 24-48 hours for the miles to post.
I checked my account when I woke up and was happy to see the miles in my account less than 10 hours after I had called!
Now that is service!
From now until 12/31/11 AA eShopping is offering a holiday bonus for shopping with any online retail partner:
Spend $500 earn 500 bonus miles
Spend $1000 earn 1000 bonus miles
You can also earn double AAdvantage miles for shopping from a list of select retailer
This isn’t the most generous bonus offer but extra miles are always nice if you can reach the required spend on purchases you planned to make anyways…
US Airways Dining is running a bonus promo but it is by invitation only. You can earn an extra 3 miles per dollar.
Sweeten The Deal Bonus:
How to earn the bonus-
1-you must register to start earning towards the promotion
2-Spend $125 dining at program restaurants by 12/31/11
3-Complete reviews within 30 days of dining
This is a pretty nice deal if you eat out a lot. For spending $125, you would earn 500 US Air Dividend Miles.