My Bonus Haul After 1 Year of Churning, Pre-Blog

I wanted to show what we were able to accomplish in just one year, by being strategic with sign-up bonuses. And we did it with zero manufactured spending, no gift cards or any other shenanigans.

Most families who only have 2 or 3 weeks off each year, don’t need to make their life overly complicated by engaging in all kinds of crazy points-earning techniques. Of course, this haul did require a bit of effort. Was it worth it? I would have to say Yes.

Also, I thought it would be interesting to show you my haul before I started writing this blog. Tomorrow, I will do a separate list of  bonuses during my 1st year of blogging. By now you probably know my dirty secret of not tracking anything on a spreadsheet. So all of this is strictly from memory. But I assure you, it’s a 100 percent correct (I think).

If bored, skip to the end for grand totals. Please, don’t take any of it to mean you should do the same thing. If you are starting out, it’s best to go with just 1 or 2 cards and watch what happens to your score.  Without further ado:

June of 2012: Citi AAdvantage Visa, 50000 miles after $2,500 in spending in 3 months. Made in my husband’s name.

July of 2012: Chase Marriott Visa, 50,000 points after the first purchase plus free 1 night hotel certificate and $85  in statement credit. Made in my husband’s name.

August of 2012: US Bank Flexperks Visa, 34,000 points after $2,500 in spending in 3 months. Made in my husband’s name.

September of 2012: Chase Priority club (now IHG) Visa in my name. 80,000 points after the first purchase.

October of 2012: Barclay’s NFL card. 40,000 points (good for 400 dollars) after $1,000 in spending in 3 months. The app was in my husband’s name.

December of 2012: CITI Thank You Preferred Visa for my husband. 40,000 points ($400 in gift cards) after $3000  in spending in 6 months.

December of 2012: Chase Priority Club (now IHG) Visa for my husband. 80,000 points after $1,000  in spending.

December of 2012: Barclay’s US Airways Mastercard (my husband’s). 40,000 miles after the 1st purchase.

January of 2012: Barclay’s US Airways Mastercard (mine). 40,000 miles after the 1st purchase.

January of 2012: Chase Sapphire Preferred Mastercard (mine). 40,000 Ultimate Rewards points after $3,000 in purchases in 3 months.

February of 2012: Amex Gold Rewards card for me. 50,000 Membership Rewards points after $1,000 in purchases in 3 months. Transferred to Avios, when there was a 30 percent transfer bonus for a total of 65,000 miles.

February of 2012: Amex Gold Rewards card, targeted offer of 75,000 points after $2,000  in purchases, sent out to my husband. We accept! Transferred to 100,000 Avios.

May of 2012: Got Barclaycard Arrival card for both  me and my husband. 40,000 points after 1,000 dollars in purchases in 3 months (total 80,000 points good for $880  towards travel expenses).

May of 2012: Citi AAdvantage Visa (my app). 50,000 miles after $2,500 in purchases in 3 months.

We also got a targeted  offer from Barclay’s on my husband’s US Airways card to get 15,000 miles after making $750  in purchases in  the months of April, May and June. We gladly accepted. There was also a promotion from US Bank Flexperks card, that gave us 3,500 points for little out-of-pocket cost.

Grand total

807,500 miles and points in various programs plus $85  and 1 free hotel night. I counted the amount of Avios after the transfer from Membership Rewards, since that was the reason I got the cards. Even taking into account the less valuable hotel points, I estimate this haul to be worth  $6,000, though we’ll most likely get at least $12,000 in retail value, once the redemptions are made.   And I owe no taxes on any of it!

The amount of spending required to get the miles and points: $22,750. Our annual spending is usually around $24,000. I didn’t take into account the points earned on the required minimum spending on the offers.

Both of our insurance scores after 12 months: In the excellent range.

As you can see, almost all of our annual spending went towards getting the bonuses. Several times per year I pay my property taxes and insurance in one chunk. So I was able to sign up for extra cards during those times. As a result, we are set for several years worth of vacations.

However, tread lightly. Keep in mind, I’ve been doing this for 10+ years. Pick your comfort level and stick to it. There is nothing wrong with getting just one or two new cards per year. It makes you a normal person, unlike myself…

Come back tomorrow for the second part of the post.

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Author: Leana

Leana is the founder of Miles For Family. She enjoys beach vacations and visiting her family in Europe. Originally from Belarus, Leana resides in central Florida with her husband and two children.

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6 thoughts on “My Bonus Haul After 1 Year of Churning, Pre-Blog

    • @ Stretchingittotravel I’m glad you found it helpful! Honestly, there is nothing wrong with MS, I just don’t find it to be worth the trouble at this point in time. However, some techniques are fairly easy, like Evolvemoney and so forth.

  1. This was going to one of my first blog posts! I find this type if post that breaks down the value earned in a year to be very fascinating.

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