Pam’s 2023 Points and Miles Recap

Pam

2023 was an incredibly great year for travel for this grandma of 21! Business-class seats, luxury hotels, and wonderful memories were all made possible with credit card points and miles. Here is Pam’s 2023 points/miles recap!

 

Pam’s 2023 Points and Miles Recap

January

I started the year with a multi-country trip to Japan, Australia, and New Zealand. I introduced my husband to hotel-hopping (he’s not a fan, sadly), but he did love some of the gorgeous hotels we used points and miles on. We loved each of these countries and plan to do a return visit.

 

 

February

Alex and I went to the Kimpton Seafire in the Grand Cayman Islands. It was a great use of IHG points, and we had a great time. The hotel is so cute, and the crystal-clear water is divine. Getting that fourth night free by having one of the IHG credit cards is always so nice too!

 

Kimpton Seafire Grand Cayman pool view

Kimpton Seafire in Grand Cayman

March

My sister, cousin, and I stayed at a timeshare in Cabo, but we made a quick trip to check out the Cape Thompson on points, too. Spoiler alert – I’m going back this January!

 

 

April

In April, my husband and I joined Alex’s family for a trip to both Kauai and Maui, staying at Hyatt Resorts. We had so much fun with them, and getting to stay for free at our resorts, complete with free breakfasts from our Globalist status, is always amazing.

 

Family at Hyatt Regency Maui

The ability to create wonderful family memories together is the best part of using credit card points and miles.

 

April continued with my daughter’s trip to Scotland (minus Alex😢). We had a grand time exploring Scotland, which was made all the more enjoyable by sunny skies for most of the trip. I finished it with a quick trip to London.

 

Four women in front of castle.

The blue skies in Scotland made the sights even more beautiful.

May

May also saw me making two trips on points and miles. First up was Sedona, Arizona, with my sister. She used Hyatt points to book the Hyatt Piñon Pointe, which was a great place for a family stay.

 

Two women hiking near Red Rocks.

Sedona was spectacular and is a hiker’s dream destination.

 

Second up was a trip booked solely around a flight. Alex and I wanted to fly Emirates first-class from Milan to JFK so we planned a trip to Orselina, Switzerland. We had a great stay and thoroughly enjoyed that first-class seat, as well as, our business-class seats on KLM to get to Europe.

 

Village near water

View from the Villa Orselina

 

June

Visited my daughter in London during the month of June and also did some hotel-hopping. I really enjoy checking out different hotels and comparing how they compare to each other. I must admit that Hyatt seems to float to the top most of the time, though.

 

Airline business class seats with purple lights.

Flying home in Virgin Atlantic Premium Class was a first for me.

 

August

My annual sister’s trip was to NYC, London, Dublin, and Florence. It included my Florence fiasco but it was still an epic adventure. This trip was cut short a few days by a family emergency, but points and miles saved the day in the end.

 

Two women sitting in front of green window

Dublin was a city worth visiting on our sister’s trip.

September

I made a return visit to Costa Rica with a friend in September. We visited two Hyatt hotels, and one was a clear favorite. Costa Rica is also a great place for family travel!

 

Pool overlooking water

The Andaz Papagayo became a new favorite hotel of mine on my trip to Costa Rica.

 

October

I spent a few days in Salt Lake City at the Hyatt Regency on points and miles at the beginning of the month. It is my favorite hotel when I travel to Utah.

 

Hotel lobby in browns

These are the clean modern vibes I enjoy in a hotel lobby at the Hyatt Regency Salt Lake City.

 

Oceanside, California, was my second destination in October. I was able to stay at the Seabird Resort there and can 100% recommend that hotel for families or couples. It is a perfect location, and I can’t wait to return.

 

Seabird Resort pool area in Oceanside, California.

November

We started the month with a trip to Mexico at two Hyatt all-inclusive resorts – the Impressions Secrets Moxché and the Hyatt Ziva Cancun. We had a great time on both trips, thanks to credit card points and miles!

 

Our crazy group had a lot of fun creating memories with credit card points and miles in Cancun.

 

Later, I returned to the Maldives. My husband mentioned that he’d like to go, so he twisted my arm into a return visit. Although we had paid for a package deal for our stay, our flights were all on points and miles.

 

December

I finished the year with a THM retreat at the Andaz Scottsdale with Alex and Jess. We made plans for the coming year and enjoyed spending time together. We are so grateful for this hobby and our business that has grown this year. Getting to fulfill our passions for travel and helping others do the same never gets old!

 

Cards I Applied For

It wouldn’t be a points/miles year without applying for many new credit cards and getting new welcome offers for further travel. Here are the new cards my hubby and I signed up for this year:

 

Altogether, we earned about 1,500,000 points for travel this year on welcome offers. There is seldom a time that I am not working on a minimum spend. We use our cards to pay our taxes, which is a huge expense for us as we are both self-employed.

 

Cards Cancelled, Downgraded

I canceled or downgraded the following cards:

 

Plans For Next Year

I’ve already booked the following (so far):

  • Abu Dhabi on Etihad Apartments with daughter Lindsey
  • Waldorf Astoria Los Pedregals
  • Israel (this will probably be cancelled)
  • Kimpton Roatan, Honduras
  • Singapore
  • Park Hyatt Aviara
  • Kenya Safari and Mauritius
  • Greece
  • Destin, Florida
  • Rome, Lake Como, and Cinque Terre

I would love to book the Azores and Sardinia, too, but they are in the planning stages.

Bottom Line

Never, ever did I think that this would be my life – travel is my passion, and the ability to travel so much for so cheap is unbelievable. My 2023 points/miles year was crazy, even crazier than the year before – what will 2024 bring?

 

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Woman sitting on airplane in business class seat

Share this post

  1. Sared Santana says:

    Amazing!!

    I want to do Rome lake come and cinque terre next year too. Don’t even know where to start.

  2. M says:

    Did you cancel the IHG to reapply and get the points? Curious why you wish you didnt 🙂

  3. april says:

    How much did you spend on annual fees for all the credit cards applied and the spending to receive to points and miles together?

    • Pam says:

      I spend a lot, a few thousand dollars on the credit cards but the benefits bring it down and it is worth it for the tens of thousands of dollars I save on trips I save. The spending is just on every day spend so I don’t have that figure.

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