Last week marked 6 months since our first blog post here at Miles4More! We’ve had a lot of fun with it, and even managed to put together some good stuff. These were our most popular posts by far:
- The Complete Illustrated Beginner’s Guide to Manufactured Spending, which contains useful tips for even seasoned pros on how to manage the ever-changing world of MS.
- Award Booking Sweet Spot: East Coast Using Avios, with helpful maps showing just how far you can stretch your BA Avios. Remember there’s also currently a 40% bonus on transfers from AMEX through the end of January!
- The West Coast Avios and Florida Avios versions of the same Award Booking Sweet Spot series.
- Posts on the Citi Dividend credit card and BB&T Rewards card. Both are still available today.
But a lot more fun than blogging is the goal: travel!
- New states: Alaska, Hawaii.
- New countries: Honduras, Israel.
- New airports: ANC, FCO, JAC, KOA, SAN, TLV, YUL.
- Segments in domestic first class: 4.
2014 Credit cards and earnings
- Total new credit card accounts opened: 34
- Signup bonuses earned: 2,045,000 miles and points
- Denied credit card applications: 5. Our goal is lots of runs, not a 100% batting average!
2014 Travel and MS costs
I’m a big fan of spelling out the cost of ‘nearly free’ travel, so here’s ours. Not for comparison (you could do much better), but just to share the full picture.
- Total out-of-pocket travel expenses including everything from airfares and lodging to parking and kennel costs: $13,335.
- Total bank, credit card and prepaid card fees: $8,210.
- Total statement and fee credits and purchase rebates: $23,120.
- Leaving us with a total cost to travel like we did as a family while playing the miles and points game of negative $1,575!
- Reselling profit: $1120.
- Blog income: $225.
Two long-haul overnight coach flights three days apart was pretty brutal but totally worthwhile for the time we got to spend in Israel Thanksgiving week. We’ve decided, however, we have enough miles to move up and get more room on some of the longest flights. And
unless until there’s another major mistake fare, we’ll take a few less trips this year.
Here’s a simplified map of the 2015 travel already booked for the 4 of us, with all the overnight and 5+ hour segments in business class:
Total remaining miles across all accounts: 1.8 million. Our travel savings account is lower than it has been since 2013 as business class for four takes a lot of miles! On the other hand, I have no expectation that premium cabin award travel for families will remain as reasonable as it currently is, so we’re looking forward to enjoying it while we can!
I’m excited for FT4RL2 in Charlotte in March. We’re not sure if the rest of the family will be there, but I would love to see you there!
I think our total cashback/rebates will be lower this year than last, but we’ll work hard to make sure the total cost to travel and play the game remains close to or below zero!
Disclosure: Opening 34 credit cards a year is stupid! Unless you have the time and energy to maintain and manage those accounts, you should probably play at a much lower level. Much more on that in this post.
Kenny, great synopsis! I’m looking forward to meeting you at FT4RL. I am looking ahead to more international travel for 4, so I will need some advice/tips as I go along:)