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My miles and points balances are always in a state of flux. I’ve burnt more on short, small trips this year than in previous years, as our travel patterns have changed a bit.
Last year we spent roughly half a million miles and points on a 30 day, 6 country adventure in Europe. We saved a lot of hotel points for this endeavor, and it pretty much cleaned us out of everything except IHG points (at the time).
Now we’ve been taking trips that are no more than a week, burning what seem like only handfuls of points at a time. Yet…I tend to feel like the well is running a bit dry.
Mid-2017 points & miles inventory
I *do* have an Award Wallet account, which is a great resource. I highly suggest you sign up. I used their numbers to get my totals, plus looking up the ones that they can’t track (due to stupid airline requests). I did have to look up a few accounts I have yet to link. Here are our totals (mine + my wife’s):
|Club Carlson Gold||67000|
|Hyatt Gold Passport||5000|
|Starwood Preferred Guest||60000|
|British Airways Avios||120000|
|American Express Membership Rewards||148000|
|Barclaycard Arrival "Miles"||12000|
|Chase Ultimate Rewards||28000|
What surprised me was how many points and miles we have between the two of us. I honestly didn’t expect the total to be anywhere close to this. Assuming a fairly conservative value of 1.0 cent per point (even though the different currencies vary wildly), our points are worth about $14,000 in travel!!! That’s sort of insane.
Our stash is diverse
This is what stood out to me more than anything. I realized that I misjudged our balances by forgetting the sheer number of programs with which we have points or miles.
Conversely, there are only a handful of airline and hotel programs with which I have more than 100,000 points. Two other airline balances are creeping up on 100k as well (Alaska and Avianca). The one thing that needs to change is our lack of flexible points. We’re almost always running on fumes when it comes to Chase UR.
The only trip on the radar is our adoption trip (SEE: A new look at award flight options for our adoption trip). My wife and I were finally matched with our kids in June, and we are eagerly awaiting a travel date to go meet them. It will be the beginning of a new chapter in our lives.
A few friends have remarked that kids may equal the end of our traveling. This *might* be true, and I’m open to that if the situation warrants it. However, after the period of bonding as a family and depending on the kids’ needs, I hope we will still be able to squeeze some globe-trotting into our lives. It may not be as frequent, but I know we can make it happen with miles and points. Especially when we’re sitting on 1.3 million of them.
Or maybe I’m just a points hoarder?