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2011 has been a pretty wild year when it comes to points and travel. We’ve seen lots of positive and negative changes: from Continental leaving Membership Rewards to British Airways “revitalising” their frequent flyer program. Here are some of the miles and points related things that I’ve been thankful for this year:
1) The increase in credit card sign up bonuses. Most notably the British Airways 100,000 mile promo, which allowed me to get a roundtrip business class ticket from NYC to Bali with a stopover in Hong Kong.
2) Starwood’s decision to count award stays towards elite status
3) The Chase Ultimate Rewards program blossoming into a formidable competitor to Amex Membership Rewards
4) The demise of foreign transaction fees on many credit cards (including Ink Bold, which was just announced)
5) The rise of category bonuses on credit cards – specifically 2 points per dollar on all travel and dining spend with the Chase Sapphire Preferred card
6) Mistake fares, like the $150 roundtrip Delta fares that allowed me to go to Stockholm and Copenhagen three times in a one month span
7) US Airways 100% buy miles promos that will allow me to fly around the world in business class for relatively cheap prices
8 ) Amex bump bonuses, which were sweet while they lasted! Those were some of the easiest points I ever earned – huge paydays just for calling up and asking.
9) The places that I’ve been able to go because of my miles and points. Whether it’s the Costa Brava, Mauritius, or California with my Grandmother, I wouldn’t have been able to travel as much (and not in as much comfort) without my points and miles.
10) Global Entry- it’s saved me so much time and frustration already. I can’t imagine international travel without it.
11) Being able to quit my day job and become a full-time blogger!
12) Going on my first Mega Do and having the Oneworld Mega Do lined up for January
13) Amex transfer bonuses- the multiple Delta 50-67% promos and the British Airways 50% helped pad my accounts
14) Speaking at my first points/miles conference and being asked by my friend and follow blogger, Rick the Frugal Travel Guy, to help plan next year’s event
15) Savvy TPG readers! I love waking up every day to new emails – whether success stories, deal tips or even constructive criticism. I read every single email (and try to respond to as many as possible). Keep it up!
What are you thankful for this year when it comes to travel, miles and points?