Our 2019 game plan = diversifying points & collecting AIR MILES miles

This post is also available in: FR

We always tell you in the facebook group “Travel for free (or almost…!) with your points & miles – milesopedia” to have a game plan to start your points & miles hunt! I took the time to write and share with you today what our game plan will be for 2019!

Our goals to date with points & miles

Those who know me personally, know that “I love… what makes me dream and make my family enjoy it”!

Indeed, in my hunt for points & miles, I have always sought to travel:

turkish airlines ist hkg 04

asiana airlines a350 business class icn sfo 58
Asiana Airlines – A350 – Business Class – Seoul – San Francisco
lh first fra bos jm
Lufthansa First Class
jwmarriott essexhouse29
View from a Central Park Suite – JW Marriott Essex House New York

In fact, I’m looking to use my points & miles to buy things that I couldn’t necessarily afford with my own money!

To achieve this:

…have been my true allies until today!

But here’s the thing: many credit card offers keep shrinking and we’re still waiting to see what will come out of Aeroplan after the purchase by Air Canada, CIBC, TD and Visa is finalized soon.

AIR MILES seems to be doing well. So I decided to tackle it knowing that I am also diversifying my points & miles portfolio to meet my new reality as a “family man”.

Diversification of our points & miles portfolio

I am now looking to diversify our points & miles portfolio. I say “our” because I manage mine… and Audrey’s, my wife.

Indeed, as the children become “grown up”, they must now each have an airline ticket in their name, whereas until their 2nd birthday, only an extra $50 to $100 was required for Aeroplan air rewards: the beautiful bargain will end soon, our youngest arriving on his 2 years.

swiss baby business
Alexandra and her business class seat with Aeroplan miles

So I have to diversify our points & miles portfolio to keep up with this new reality!

Earning Marriott Bonvoy points

I continue to be a strong supporter of Marriott Bonvoy (the late Marriott Bonvoy / Marriott Bonvoy).

After all, American Express still distributes
credit cards linked to this program
and the bonuses – while not as generous as in the past – still allow for “free” nights at many hotels around the world!

 

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JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay Resort & Spa – Day Room

 

And there is an argument that struck a chord in my ear among the comments in the facebook group “Travel free (or almost…!) with your points & miles – milesopedia”:

A hotel room can be shared by 4 people… but an airplane seat cannot! Thus, accumulating 200,000 Marriott points to afford 10-20 nights in hotels for 2 adults and 2 children… will be much more lucrative than accumulating the equivalent amount of miles at Aeroplan… to afford only one plane ticket!

 

jwmarriott hanoi room 11
JW Marriott Hotel Hanoi

 

And since the last few months, the points bonuses have been decreasing on the Membership Rewards/Aeroplan side, so it’s getting harder to accumulate points!

After all, there will always be a number of credit cards that allow you to earn points to offset the cost of your airfare (in economy) such as the Scotiabank Passport™ Visa Infinite* Card or the BMO Ascend World Elite Mastercard.

Audrey and I are actively (re-)launching the direct accumulation of Marriott Bonvoy points with the sign-up bonuses of the two credit cards.

In addition, we continue to earn American Express Cobaltᵐᶜ Select Card Membership Rewards points, which we transfer to our Marriott Bonvoy account as needed.

5 Select Membership Rewards points / dollar spent in grocery stores – convenience stores (read: gift cards) – restaurants, that allows to accumulate 6 Marriott points / dollar!

 

 

In a couple where each spouse takes the 2 Bonvoy cards, that’s 240,000 Marriott Bonvoy points, easy to earn in a year, for a total of $540 in contributions. Enough to ensure you can spend at least 2 weeks in hotels during the year!

Earning Best Western Rewards points

We have also decided to earn Best Western Rewards points via the Best Western Rewards MasterCard. The bonus is very easy to get since it only takes one spend on the card. And the card is free, what more could you ask for?

In addition, points can be combined into one account by simply calling Best Western Rewards.

best western carte mbna
Name / Card The Mastercard credit card
Best Western Rewards
Annual fee No annual fee
Bonus 20,000 Best Western points
How to earn eUpgrade Credits after the first purchase
application [button color=”blue” size=”medium” link=”https://milesopedia.com/go/mbna-bestwestern” icon=”fa fa-credit-card-alt” target=”false”]Subscribe[/button]

This is one of the “easiest” cards to obtain and re-obtain. In a couple, you can get between 40,000 and 80,000 Best Western points per year… for free! And when you enter promotions like the one with 10,000 points per night, that’s several free hotel nights!

Collecting AIR MILES miles

Of course, I saved “the juicy part” for last: our planned AIR MILES mileage accumulation for 2019!

There are two types of AIR MILES collectors:

You can’t say that one is more right than the other: they are both equally good!

Still, their AIR MILES mileage accumulation statistics are simply incredible: around 20,000 AIR MILES miles per year for a couple.

Reported in SILVER miles, we are talking about a value of over $2,000. In DREAM miles, this can be worth anywhere from $2,000 to $4,000 (or even more) depending on how you use it!

But… how do they do it?

Via shopping offers

AIR MILES regularly conducts shopping offers to collect many bonus miles such as the Neighborhood Spin where you can easily earn 2,000 AIR MILES miles, or the Mega Miles offer.

2018 neighborhood turnaround offers

Our DREAM miles collector was telling us he gets around 2,500 miles a year. While our SILVER mile fan (who uses several of his children’s AIR MILES cards) is racking up bonuses during these shopping sprees!

With 2 AIR MILES loyalty cards, I think I’ll be able to pick up around 5,000 AIR MILES miles via shopping offers in 2019.

Via credit card offers

And of course, the best source for earning AIR MILES miles is through AIR MILES credit card offers. And we’re in for a real treat right now, with AIR MILES trying to attract Aeroplan’s disappointed customers (and not lose ground to the new Optimum program)!

As many readers have pointed out in the facebook group “Travel free (or almost free…!) with your points & miles – milesopedia”, it is possible for spouses to sign up for an AIR MILES credit card by indicating a “common” AIR MILES account number. This makes it much easier to accumulate miles in one account… so you can use them easily!

Our couple’s strategy for earning points in 2019

So here is OUR couple strategy for credit card underwriting for 2019.

January 2019: the first wave of credit card subscriptions for Mrs.

FIRST CARD SUBSCRIBED
Card bmo air miles world elite mastercard fr 1
Page The BMO AIR MILESMD MasterCardMD World EliteMD
Bonus 1,000 miles Promo: 3,000 miles
Fee 120$ Promo: $0
application [button color=”blue” size=”medium” link=”https://milesopedia.com/go/bmo-airmiles-world-elite” icon=”fa fa-credit-card-alt” target=”false”]Subscribe[/button]
SECOND CARD SUBSCRIBED
Card Platinum credit card air miles american express logo
Page American Express® AIR MILES®* Platinum Credit Card
Bonus 2,000 miles
Fee 65$
application [button color=”blue” size=”medium” link=”https://milesopedia.com/go/amex-airmiles-platine” icon=”fa fa-credit-card-alt” target=”false”]Subscribe[/button]
THIRD CARD SUBSCRIBED
Card bmo no fee air miles mastercard juno fr 1
Page The BMO® AIR MILES® Mastercard®* card
Bonus 500 miles
Promo
800 miles
Fee $0
application [button color=”blue” size=”medium” link=”https://milesopedia.com/go/bmo-airmiles” icon=”fa fa-credit-card-alt” target=”false”]Subscribe[/button]
Total miles earned 5,800 AIR MILES miles
Accumulated contributions 65$

Ms. will collect 5,800 AIR MILES miles solely through the welcome bonuses of these 3 cards. With the current promotions, it will only cost $65 in membership fees.

January 2019: the first wave of credit card subscriptions for Mr.

FIRST CARD SUBSCRIBED
Card bmo air miles world elite mastercard fr 1
Page The BMO AIR MILESMD MasterCardMD World EliteMD
Bonus 1,000 miles Promo: 3,000 miles
Fee 120$ Promo: $0
application [button color=”blue” size=”medium” link=”https://milesopedia.com/go/bmo-airmiles-world-elite” icon=”fa fa-credit-card-alt” target=”false”]Subscribe[/button]
SECOND CARD SUBSCRIBED
Card Platinum credit card air miles american express logo
Page American Express® AIR MILES®* Platinum Credit Card
Bonus 2,000 miles
Fee 65$
application [button color=”blue” size=”medium” link=”https://milesopedia.com/go/amex-airmiles-platine” icon=”fa fa-credit-card-alt” target=”false”]Subscribe[/button]
THIRD CARD SUBSCRIBED
Card
Page The BMO AIR MILESMD Corporate MastercardMD
Bonus 1,000 miles Promo: 3,000 miles
Fee 120$ Promo: $0
application [button color=”blue” size=”medium” link=”https://milesopedia.com/go/bmo-airmiles-entreprise” icon=”fa fa-credit-card-alt” target=”false”]Subscribe[/button]
Total miles earned 8,000 AIR MILES miles
Accumulated contributions 65$

He will collect 8,000 AIR MILES miles only through the welcome bonuses of these 3 cards. With the current promotions, it will only cost $65 in membership fees.

Assessment of the first wave of couple subscriptions

So all in all, by the end of March 2019, we should have accumulated through credit card bonuses just over 13,800 AIR MILES milesfor a derisory cost of $130! If we add the miles obtained via the expenses necessary to trigger the bonuses we will be around 15,000 miles.

Via credit cards and shopping offers, we will easily reach 20,000 AIR MILES miles in 2019.

Our second wave of subscriptions will begin in April 2019, check back here by the end of March for more information!

Our future use of these AIR MILES miles

As we regularly tell you, you need to have a game plan for using your points & miles.

Children growing up, our goal is to be able to save money on travel-related activities (e.g., admission to theme parks such as Disney World) or on short-haul flights for extended weekends in the Maritimes, for example (by taking advantage of the companion ticket of each of our BMO AIR MILES World Elite Mastercard).

So we’re going to focus on the DREAM version of AIR MILES.

air miles slider silver dreams
The AIR MILES slider on 100% Dreams

I think I will be able to withdraw around 20 cents / AIR MILES mile, which should save me around $4,000 on AIR MILES travel / DREAM products.

4,000 obtained for a “low” financial investment on our part ($130 in credit card fees) and an average investment in time (finding the right AIR MILES offers during shopping campaigns).

In this respect, the solidarity on the facebook group “Travel for free (or almost…!) with your points & miles – milesopedia” will be very useful!

2019 in milesopedia family What does this look like?

So, 2019 should be all about: AIR MILES + Marriott Bonvoy + Best Western Rewards. Of course, if bonuses from Membership Rewards, Aeroplan or other sources were to come out, we would be ready to get them!

If you’ve read the article this far, you should have a little idea of my 2019 game plan numbers!

air miles marriott bonvoy logo logo best western rewards e1548695895348 1
Points 20,000 miles 240,000 points 80,000 points
Estimated valuation 4 000$ 2 400$ 600$
Cumulative contributions 130$ 540$ $0
Approx. net valuation 3 870$ 1960$ 600$
Total 6 430$

So I estimate that our 2019 “adventure” in these three programs will provide us with a return of about $6,400 in savings for our future trips!

Bottom Line

I still continue to accumulate American Express Membership Rewards points – which I believe is one of the best point currencies in the Canadian market and makes it a “safe haven” value.

But I’m going to try to make 2019 about diversification… and optimizing our points & miles portfolio as a “good father “!

What about you, what’s your game plan for 2019? Come and share it in the facebook group “Travel for free (or almost…!) with your points & miles – milesopedia”!

This post is also available in: FR

Come to discuss that topic in our Facebook Group!
4.5 Milesopedia Rating
Jean-Maximilien
Jean-Maximilien is an expert in Canada and France about Loyalty programs, Credit cards and Travel. He is the Founding President of Milesopedia.

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