January, 2017 Recap

Lead image from DMZ, Korea; July 2014


  • Miles & Points: 208,000
  • Cashback: $1,503

Strong start to the year in terms of cashback (one of my best cashback months ever), thanks to some great AMEX and bank promotions.   Miles and points earned were primarily from new credit cards which were opened at the start of the month for my wife and I.  My focus for the next three months will be running all the bonuses associated with these news cards.


We booked our first trip of the year – eight days to Paris and Bucharest.  Business class airfare for two adults and one infant from the United States to Paris, connecting to Bucharest, and return to the United States:

  • Miles used for airfare (two travelers, one infant): 230,000
  • Intercontinental free nights certificates (Paris): 3
  • Taxes and fees for airfare (for three people, including infant surcharge): $352.12
  • 1 additional night hotel in Paris: $147.22
  • 4 nights hotel in Bucharest: $288.93

I was very pleased on the airfare redemption, which included a stopover, and a mix of Turkish Airlines, SwissAir,  and Austrian – all airlines with a great business class product.  Taxes and fees were generally reasonable for three people, given the trip included two cities, involved an infant ticket, and crossed multiple countries.

For hotels, free night certificates allow for three nights in the Paris Intercontinental.  The fourth night in Paris, while normally a bit more then I’d like to spend, will earn me a substantial amount of points  due to a current promotion that the chain is running.  I considered using points for a hotel in Bucharest, but by stacking two promotions together, I was able to get four nights at a 4-star hotel for $288.93 all-in; a cost so cheap that I’d rather save the points and pay cash.

Also booked –

My wife is from the Boston/Rhode Island area, and that’s where most of her family still resides.  We booked a trip to visit them in March.

  • Miles used for airfare (two travelers, one infant): 15,900
  • Taxes and fees for airfare: $21

While not as glamorous as a vacation in Europe, these loyalty program points allow us to frequently visit family  throughout the year – which is truly priceless.

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