My 2013 Mile and Point Earning and Burning

In the tradition of this blog, it’s time to summarize where I went and how I got there. I flew about 228k miles in 2013, approximately 202k of which were revenue miles. Across my revenue and award travel, all but 73k miles were in premium cabins.  This is a worse ratio (32.1%) than 2012 (22.2%).

Overall, my travel for 2013 involved four trips to Europe, three trips to Hawaii, and one trip to Asia.

I had several redemptions:

  • I traveled to Zurich and Munich for Easter.
  • I toured Europe over Christmas and New Years Eve.  (Hopefully, a trip report will be forthcoming.)
  • I had 9 SPG award nights on the Hawaiian Islands (Maui, Oahu, and Kauai).
  • My two Hyatt Suite Night Awards were redeemed at the Park Hyatt Milan and Park Hyatt Zurich, for one night each.
  • I finally made a dent in my Club Carlson balance and benefited from free bonus nights at the Radisson Blu Palais Vienna, Park Inn Berlin, and the May Fair London.

I earned points and miles from a variety of sources.

  • On United, I finished the year with about 102k EQM or about 208k redeemable miles by flying (or United purchases on my United credit card). I retained United 1K for what will likely be the last time.  Based on my United spending, I would have managed to earn Premier Silver (according to the 2014 PQD requirements).
  • On American, I finished the year with 101k EQM. Thanks to a few Choice Fares, I picked up 215k redeemable miles. I retained American Executive Platinum.
  • With SPG, I earned 52k points from hotel stays.  Somehow, I managed to hit an obscene number of stays and nights with SPG this year:  34 stays, 54 nights (inclusive of credit card bonus nights).
  • With Hyatt, I earned a meager 17k points from hotel stays (13 stays, 15 nights).
  • I earned about 38k Avios from paying my rent with my British Airways credit card.
  • From signup bonuses, I had two suite nights from Hyatt and approximately 100k Club Carlson points.

In terms of total spending, airfare crept up from 4.42cpm to approximately 5.22cpm.  Hotel spending jumped considerably, as I wound up staying in hotels for 61 stays and 83 nights this year (to be contrasted with 54 nights last year).  Average costs per night remained nearly constant.  Rental car spending dipped ever slightly.

As far as my predictions my own travel in 2014 go:

  • I expect to see far more award travel compared to previous years.  2011 had approximately 10k, 2012 had 31k, and 2013 had 26k.  I already have 23k miles of award travel for 2014, with more to come as I lock in trips before the Great United Devaluation at the end of January and US Airways’ Exit from Star Alliance.
  • If I maintain a decent level of revenue travel, I expect to requalify for American Executive Platinum and United Premier Platinum (via the credit card spending threshold) in 2014.
  • 2014 will likely have far fewer hotel nights and I will not be aiming for SPG Platinum 50 in any way.  This year, a confluence of several long hotel stays and American Express stay/night credits quickly pushed me from qualifying on 25 stays to hitting the 50 night mark.
  • I expect to earn far more points from credit card spending than I have in the past.
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