Earning and Burning

It has been a quiet month here at Back To The Mouse.  What have we been spending our time doing?  We took a few trips, but basically have been earning and burning our airline and hotel miles.

Here is what we earned since the beginning of 2016:


SPG  – We both signed up for the American Express Starwood Preferred Guest cards when the sign up bonus went to 35,000 points.  These points are great for hotel stays at various Starwood hotels or for transferring to American Airlines for miles.  We are sitting at a combined 84,000 points or so.  These points include the sign up bonuses from both cards, the required spend ($3,000 each), and 5,000 points that were received as a referral bonus.


Hilton – The Hilton American Express Surpass Card offered a great sign up bonus of 100,000 HHonors points, plus a 15,000 point referral bonus.  Combined with some work travel, we are sitting at 172,000 HHonors points in one account and 55,000 HHonors points in another.


American Airlines – We signed up for a CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World MasterCard® with a 50,000 mile signup bonus.  We signed up as a sole proprietorship and reported our business income as $0, which is accurate.  Now we’re just waiting for sponsorship money to roll into Back To The Mouse.

Here is what we burned (or plan to burn):

Summer 2016:

Hyatt – 48,000 points – We booked two rooms for two nights (4 total at 12,000 points each) for a quick beach trip this summer with friends.

IHG – We booked two Holiday Inn Express rooms for this summer using our free IHG Chase Credit card nights.  Not as good as the Intercontinental in Miami, but we needed two rooms for a concert we are attending and the Hiltons in the area were a bit overpriced in terms of money and points.  60,000 points for one night at a Hampton Inn in Hershey, PA is a bit too much considering we could stay at the El Conquistador, which is a Waldorf Astoria in San Juan, for the same number of points.

January 2017 Trip:

United Airlines – 50,000 miles – 4 one way tickets from Orlando, FL to Washington Dulles.  This is the return portion of a January cruise we booked.  (We paid for the outgoing portion of the flight from Washington Reagan to Orlando, FL because we wanted to leave after school the night before the cruise.  There were no saver award tickets that evening and I wanted to be on a particular flight).

Spring Break 2017

United Airlines – 75,000 miles – 5 one way tickets from Washington Dulles to San Juan, PR.  This is the outgoing portion of the trip.  We transferred 8,000 Chase Ultimate Reward points to United to get our United Mileage Plus account to the the required number of miles.

American Airlines – 75,000 miles – 5 one way tickets from San Juan, PR to Washington Reagan.  This is the return portion of our Spring Break for next year.

Hyatt – 48,000 points – We booked 6 nights for our Spring Break trip for next year in San Juan, PR at the Hyatt Place San Juan/City Center.  We transferred 48,000 Chase Ultimate Reward Points to Hyatt since our Hyatt Gold Passport account was empty.


Our overall point totals have really dropped with all the redemption for hotel rooms and flights, both for the next year and the past year that we spent going to Disney.  We burned a lot of Hilton HHonors points (over 200,000) during those trips (but no airline miles).  We used a lot of airline miles on our trip to Disneyland and Hawaii (560,000), as well as the Spring Break trip we want to take next year (150,000).  It is definitely time to rebuild the points back up for the next big trip.

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