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I just got done tallying up all our frequent flyer miles and points for the past year.  Getting all Tony’s information rounded up proved more tedious (he had no idea what he had or what his passwords were). But now that I have it all, future accounting shouldn’t be so difficult. Yay for organization! :)

2010 was an extremely fruitful year for me. My frugality branched off in a whole new direction, as I really focused on accruing frequent flyer miles and hotel points at little to no cost. The end goal, of course, is free/cheap travel.

Here’s the current breakdown of my active mileage accounts. {click to enlarge}

As of today, my current total is 386,997.  The best part? I accrued most of these miles/points without leaving my computer chair or spending a penny. Keep in mind: I wasn’t even a member of most of these accounts before last year!

The only account I gained elite status in is Priority Club Rewards. Gold status requires 30,000 Priority Club points in one year.  For most of my business trips I was put up in a Holiday Inn or Holiday Inn Express, so I accumulated some points there. I also participated in the Priority Club Anywhere Challenge, which gave me 10,500 free points. And I made sure to sign up for all the Priority Club quarterly promotions via the Priority Club Insider before my planned stays, so I got 5,000 extra points here and there.

Just for fun, let’s take a peek at Tony’s account, since he participated in most of the same mileage activities:

The crazy thing is, Tony started out 2010 with absolutely ZERO miles/points. As of today, he has a total of 251,518.

He has enough AA miles to do an around the world trip in business class (distance zone 7).

I joked with him that he went from a mileage zero to mileage hero in the course of a year. *swoon* ;)

What really stokes me is that Tony was able to get Gold Preferred status in his SPG account — which means we get late (4 pm) checkout, upgrades to better rooms if available & bonus points on our next vacation!! It’s kind of amazing to me that we’re able to stay in such nice, fancy digs for absolutely FREE — and now we’ll get upgraded status, to boot.

This is the lovely Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort & Spa in Kona, Hawaii, where we stayed for 5 nights free last November, courtesy of SPG points.

Here are the major activities that boosted our accounts:

  1. Chase United Mileage 50,000 Sign Up Bonus (Apr) – We both signed up for this card and received 50,000 miles each.
  2. Starwood Personal & Business Credit Card Sign Up Offers (Jul) – We both added the SPG Business Credit card to our arsenal, getting 30,000 SPG points a piece. We had already signed up for the personal SPG card {which gave us a 25,000 SPG sign-up bonus}.
  3. Citi AAdvantage Credit Card Sign Up Bonus (Sept) – We each signed up for a Visa and American Express, earning a combined total of 325,000 AA miles in sign up bonuses alone.
  4. Priority Club Anywhere Challenge (Sept-Oct) – I earned 10,500 Priority Club points for “guessing” the mystery destination over the course of 8 weeks (out of a possible 30,000). All my guesses came from a very helpful FT thread.
  5. US Airways Grand Slam Promotion (Sept-Nov) – I accumulated 13,144 miles for only $1.69 during this promo (that’s a cost of only $0.00013/mile)! This boosted my account over 25,000 miles, putting me over the free domestic trip mark.
  6. US Mint (all year) – Last, but not least, the little money hack that allowed us to get to Hawaii, and reach the minimum spend on many of our credit cards. Essentially, you buy $1 Presidential Coins from the US Mint using your mileage earning credit cards, and then recirculate the coins. More about that in this post.

The only mileage account not depicted in our above totals is Southwest Rapid Rewards, which is currently at 12.5 points (mine) and 13 points (his).

I can only hope that 2011 brings even more frugal travel opportunities.

Did any of you have a particularly successful year accruing miles/points? I’d love to hear about it!

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