Check out the link below for summary of first year
Once again I feel compelled to say that this isn’t a brag post, instead it is meant to show what is possible even with an aggressive year one churning as mine.
As the title says this is the summary of my (and my alone) 2nd year of churning. You may read summary of my year one churning clicking here.
Goal has Shifted Towards Cash
My 1st year was heavily focused on acquiring miles and that was appropriate thing to do because because I was just starting out and thus was naturally low on points. Ironically when I had enough points to travel, I felt the need to acquire cashable points because I wanted cash acquired through churning to pay for travel and activities done during travel.
While I still value miles, I’ve definitely shifted more towards “cash is king” mentality and this will be abundantly clear in later section where you see me cashout points that most points & miles veteran would not. Also, these-days I find myself more likely to jump on a cash deal than a strictly miles deal.
Annual Fee Paid
This annual fee section was a bit trickier to put together than it was last year. Tricks like pro-rated refund make it harder to give an exact value of how much I paid. Regardless I’ve thrown some rough estimate numbers for your reading pleasure.
|Bank||estimated AF paid this year||estimated renewal of AF|
Alike year one my criteria for bank bonuses make it difficult to earn a lot of bonuses. Said criteria are as such:
- I don’t want to change my DD
- most bank bonuses require decent chunk of deposit and
- I don’t want to bank with banks I churn cc of
I did open Chase banking accounts and violated #3 but by this point I was more or less done churning chase credit cards for a while.
|Bank||Bonus in $|
|Old Second Bank||150|
|Old Second Bank||150|
My excuse for missing out on glory days of M&T is that I was out of State for a good portion of 2017.
Cashing Out Points
In this section I’ve only focused on cashing out of points that otherwise could be redeemed towards travel. I’m not going to tally out cash/airline credit that come with various credit cards.
|70k Thank You||$700||1:1 cashout via Prestige|
|678.4k Membership Rewards||$8480||1.25 cpp cashout via Schwab Plat|
|50k Arrival+||$500||always cash out|
|50k BoA Premium Rewards||$500||always cash out|
|25k TravElite||$250||always cash out|
|50k UBS||~$625||35k pays off $495 annual fee|
|55k Disney Dollar||$550||cashed out via upgrade to Premier Rewards trick|
|150k Ultimate Rewards||$1500||yay money?|
Cards in Year TWO
The pace at which I could obtain new cards significantly slowed in year two. It didn’t help that I was out of States for a good portion of 2017 and reconing or even applying for a new credit card was often time consuming and somewhat costly. I’m sort of bummed by the fact that I missed on massive Merrill+ churn.
|Hilton Surpass Upgrade||100k||Downgraded||tried again but no bonus (add link)|
|FNBO TravElite||25k||Keep Forever||free $100 every year|
|Ameriprise Plat||None||Cancel||just churn it again|
|Citi AA||60k||Cancel||churn baby churn!|
|BRG||75k||Downgrade||hope for plat upgrade offer|
|UBS Visa Infinite||50k||Undecided||matched to 50k|
|Vantagewest Connect||None||Keep||5% categories|
|Business Blue||10k||Cancelled||needed to free up slot|
|Delta Gold||60k + $50||Keep||5% categories|
|BoA Premium||50k||Undecided||can $100 travel credit be cashed out?|
|Schwab Plat||60k||Cancel||1.25 cpp cashout|
|AA Biz||65k||Cancel||loophole mailer|
|MB Plat||60k||Cancel||free MB merchandise is nice but overpriced|
|CIP||100k||Keep||5/24 bypassed through paper app|
|Delta Plat Business||70k + $100||Downgrade?||might down to Gold|
|Business Blue Plus||20k||Undecided||might cancel to open cc slot|
I did a lot of travel in Nepal. It definitely helped that $1 was roughly Rs 107. A simple bank bonus like $400 from Capital 360 could get me a lot of things or last me a long time with normal spend. While in Nepal I also did some things on the side so accumulating funds for travel and adventure wasn’t much of a problem. I did many activities like ride on a cable car (ropeway), paraglide, bungee, zipline, elephant safari, jungle boating, jeep safari, and numerous trekking and sightseeing throughout the country. I also made multiple stays at all four international chain hotels in Kathmandu.
After my return to US, I resumed my occasional travel within US. After several months of being back in US, I had traveled to San Francisco (twice), San Diego (twice), Buffalo, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Miami, and Fort Lauderdale.
|Mustang – Jomsom – Muktinath||travelling to the “kingdom beyond himalayas”; Nepal|
|Hyatt Regency Kathmandu #2||best category 1 Hyatt hotel; 5k points|
|Nepal is Beautiful.||random pictures|
|Beautiful Far-West Nepal||random pictures of Far-West region of Nepal|
|Marriott Fairfield Kathmandu||checking out newly opened Marriott hotel in Nepal; 15k points|
|Crowne Plaza Kathmandu-Soaltee||Kathmandu, Nepal|
|InterContinental San Francisco||meh|
|Fairmont San Francisco||probably should have used my free night cert elsewhere|
|Hyatt Centric Fisherman’s Wharf San Francisco||burning free cert at a often mentioned category 4 hotel|
|Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay||overhyped by bloggers; zero re-visitibility factor|
|Fairmont Grand Del Mar in San Diego||excellent domestic use of free night cert|
|Hotel del Coronado, Curio Collection by Hilton||wish I did not pay for an upgrade; 69k|
|Intercontinental Las Vegas – The Venetian||used free night cert and loved it|
|Hilton Los Angeles/Universal City||decent hotel and good location; 42k points|
|Hyatt Place Fort Lauderdale 17th Street||i like Hyatt Place; 8k points|
|Hyatt Place Miami Airport-East||i like Hyatt Place x2; 8k points|
|Hilton Cabana Miami Beach||decent hotel at a decent price; 38k|
|Conrad Miami||cool hotel but won’t stay again; 61k|
I don’t want to detail out my plane ticket so I’ll be brief about it. All tickets bought to-from Nepal were either bought with FlexPoints (at higher than 1.5 cpp) or with Ultimate Rewards (CSR at 1.5 cpp). I was pretty much using cash equivalent currency because it costs a ton of points to get there and/or points route is hours longer than my typical route.
Me and SO took four domestic Delta first class flights but other than that everything domestic was booked on Southwest for which I do have a companion pass. I had obtained companion pass through the Marriott vacation package trick (rip).