Reminder of our 2019 travel hacking game plan
I told you that I wanted to diversify our points and miles portfolio, which was mainly composed – at 80% – of American Express Membership Rewards points and Aeroplan miles.
The reason is simple: we are a couple, with two young children, the youngest of whom will have to “pay” for his plane ticket as he will pass the 2 years old mark.
For example, a ticket to Europe in economy/business class on Aeroplan will no longer cost $50/$100 but 60,000/110,000 Aeroplan Miles. For a family of 4, we are talking about 240,000 / 440,000 Aeroplan Miles… !
So we find it makes more sense to earn hotel points from Marriott Bonvoy and Best Western Rewards.
To tell the truth, there is an argument that struck a chord in my ear among the comments in the facebook group “Travel for 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 airline ticket!
As for AIR MILES, it’s the logical choice to get short-haul tickets for short getaways on nice days… or tickets to theme parks like Disney!
As part of our first round of 2019 credit cards, we chose to start with AIR MILES for 2 reasons:
- BMO card promotions expire on March 31, 2019
- They require more purchases in 3 months ($3,000 and $5,000 for the 2 targeted cards) than the cards we expect to purchase in Q2 (around $1,500). However, we had a lot of purchases planned for the first quarter (both personal and corporate).
Cards purchased between January and March 2019
So here’s where we are in OUR credit card underwriting couple strategy for 2019.
January 2019: the first wave of credit card subscriptions for Mrs. AND Mr.
Contrary to our original game plan, we chose to subscribe to the same cards in our first “AIR MILES only” round.
|FIRST CARD SUBSCRIBED|
|Page||The BMO AIR MILESMD MasterCardMD World EliteMD|
|SECOND CARD SUBSCRIBED|
|Page||American Express® AIR MILES®* Platinum Credit Card|
|THIRD CARD SUBSCRIBED
|Page||The BMO AIR MILESMD Corporate MastercardMD|
|Total miles earned||8,000 AIR MILES miles|
Assessment of the first wave of couple subscriptions
The reason we changed our game plan along the way was because additional expenses were added: we could now afford to sign up for a card that required $5,000 in purchases in 3 months – the BMO® AIR MILES®† Business Mastercard®* card – instead of the card requiring $1,000 in 3 months – BMO® AIR MILES® Mastercard®*.
And we chose to accumulate EVERYTHING in the same AIR MILES account – mine – in dream miles. By the 3rd week of January, I had surpassed 6,000 AIR MILES miles and reached ONYX status.
For the record:
- The actual value of AIR MILES Silver miles is $0.105.
- The estimated
of AIR MILES Dream Miles is $0.20
|Purchases||3 000$||3 000$|
|miles||3,300 miles||3,300 miles|
|The BMO AIR MILESMD MasterCardMD World EliteMD
|Purchases||1 500$||1 500$|
|miles||2 150||2 150|
|American Express® AIR MILES®* Platinum Credit Card
|Purchases||5 000$||5 000$|
|miles||3,500 miles||3,500 miles|
|The BMO AIR MILESMD Corporate MastercardMD||Silver value||367.5$||367.5$|
|Purchases||9 500$||9 500$|
|miles||8,950 miles||8,950 miles|
|Dreams Value||1 790$||1 790$|
|Silver value||1 879.4$|
|Dreams Value||3 580$|
So in 3 months, after $19,000 in purchases, we have accumulated nearly 17,900 miles that we value at $3,580!
Removing the American Express® AIR MILES®* Platinum Credit Card contribution fee American Express® AIR MILES®* Platinum Credit Card we come up with a net value of about $3,450, if we use the Dreams miles as expected at $0.20/mile.
Our return is therefore 18.15%!
And with the 2,000 miles each earned during the Virée de Quartier, that’s nearly 22,000 miles accumulated!
19,000 in purchases in 3 months… that’s a lot!
As reiterated above, this is OUR game plan based on OUR pace of life.
Like any good couple of
we anticipated having a busy first quarter in various expenses, so we attacked hard the year 2019!
It must be said that the expenses at the beginning of the year helped, like the “big chunk” of municipal taxes(paid in full on PayTM with our Mastercard, like our Hydro Quebec bills).
As well as many business expenses for both of us.
And in this type of “bonus hunting” approach, we forget to use THE ideal card according to the category of businesses: we put absolutely all the expenses on the cards to be unlocked.
I’ll be sharing our next round of credit card subscriptions soon… made up of 3 credit cards with hotel points:
- Marriott BonvoyTM American ExpressMD Card.
- Best Western Rewards® Mastercard
- Marriott Bonvoy™ Business American Express® Card
We started 2019 with an AIR MILES account consisting of a few hundred miles…ending up with 25,225 miles at the end of March thanks to all those sign-up bonuses and the 2018 Neighborhood Drive bonus payout.
For those interested in AIR MILES cards offered by BMO, please note that the current promotions on both cards will expire on March 31, 2019! Don’t delay!