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Vig's Points, Miles, and Cash Back Earnings 2021 Edition


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Amex Green, Platinum, EveryDay MR 280,792

Delta SkyMiles. Amex Delta Gold and Blue 200,129

American Airlines. Citi Platinum Select MC and MileUp MC 64,017

Amtrak. Amtrak Guest Rewards MC 35,825

IHG MC 59,507

BofA Cash Rewards Visa (3% Travel) $46.11

Citi Double Cash MC $64.15

Citi Rewards+ MC ThankYou Points 17,830

Choice Privileges Visa Signature / Points 365,427

US Bank Cash+ Visa Signature $2.45

DOSH $61.46

Rakuten Amex MR Earning. Pays out quarterly. See Amex MR balance above.

Fetch Rewards Points 11,962

Regions Cash Rewards Visa Signature $118.20

HSBC Cash Rewards MC $256.47

Wells Fargo Cash Wise Signature Visa $42.74

 

17,210 points from a 5 night stay last week.

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2020 Thread   For 2021, I'm doing things a little different. Instead of being a thread that is centric on Choice Hotels, I'll be posting the earnings and redemptions for all the programs I p

Yes, I was lucky enough to stay at the Gold Strike Hotel in Jean, Nevada, when the hotel was full of customers and it cost $55. Well, the luxurious high roller room is really $250 per night, and a Jac

That is such an great experience and memory.

I haven't discussed my latest earn and burn plans in awhile. So here is my plans as of right now. Especially for any new people who have recently joined CB, who are curious.

 

Not including a trip to DC coming up in a few weeks, here's what's planned for the future.

 

Fall 2021. 6 nights in Philly with a day trip to NYC. Amtrak will be the mode of RT transportation.

Spring and fall 2022. 5 to 7 nights in Chicago, and 5 to 7 nights in NYC / 5 boroughs. Amtrak will be the mode of RT transportation.

 

Hotels will most likely be at a Choice Hotels property for all trips. Choice Privileges Visa gets a good workout with all my reimbursable business stays.

 

Not the most aspirational use of Amex MR points, but Choice Hotels is a Amex transfer partner. So if needed, I can move points over to Choice.

 

Amtrak points are used for sleeper rooms on the long distance hauls. Never use points for coach class.

 

Currently my daily driver cards are as follows, and not in any particular order:

Amex Green and Every Day

Amtrak MC

Choice Privileges Visa

Citi DC

BofA Visa

 

I use shopping portals like Rakuten when ever possible for stacking purposes.  Mrs. Vig was slow on the uptake when it comes to stacking and portals. But she has been onboard for awhile now. Cards are also linked to DOSH and AA and Delta Dining portals.

 

Mrs. Vig and I do not have an optimal player 2 (P2) setup since we don't have any joint or AU cards. That's a conversation for another day. With that said, I've got her using my Citi Rewards + card for her daily spend, earning TY points. She has cards of her own, but one of her daily drivers, is her Cap1 QS card.

 

Amex Platinum is still going away in June.

 

Looking ahead to 2023, we are looking to fly to Seattle on miles, spend a few days there, and return to Charlotte via Amtrak, using Amtrak points. Mrs. Vig has really geeked out on rail travel.

 

 

 

 

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Amex Green, Platinum, EveryDay MR 280,792

Delta SkyMiles. Amex Delta Gold and Blue 200,281

American Airlines. Citi Platinum Select MC and MileUp MC 64,017

Amtrak. Amtrak Guest Rewards MC 35,825

IHG MC 59,507

BofA Cash Rewards Visa (3% Travel) $46.11

Citi Double Cash MC $64.15

Citi Rewards+ MC ThankYou Points 17,830

Choice Privileges Visa Signature / Points 365,427

US Bank Cash+ Visa Signature $2.45

DOSH $63.39

Rakuten Amex MR Earning. Pays out quarterly. See Amex MR balance above.

Fetch Rewards Points 12,071

Regions Cash Rewards Visa Signature $118.20

HSBC Cash Rewards MC $256.47

Wells Fargo Cash Wise Signature Visa $42.74

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I booked our Amtrak tickets this morning, for our October trip to Philly. Wasn't planning to book this far out, but demand that far out was causing prices to slightly tick up.

 

Unlike the airlines, who's prices can fluctuate daily or hourly regardless of demand, and when you book, Amtrak pricing is strictly demand based. Prices increase, as more people book. Once a train hits 50% to 75% booked, prices start to jump. Also because of COVID, they are still only selling out trains to 50%.

 

I was gonna use points to book a sleeper between CLT and PHL, then cash for business class on the return. However, I let Mrs. Vig talk me into paying cash for the entire trip. She wants to save the Amtrak points for our Chicago trip in 2022.

 

$800 RT. Using points for the sleeper portion, would have saved almost $500.

 

Hotel will however be booked on points. Can't book it yet, do to a quarky policy Choice has on points redemptions. Can only use points a max of 100 days out from your check-in date.

 

A little rambling about Amtrak coach and business class seating for those that have never taken Amtrak. Coach and business class cars are all 2x2. There has never been a middle seat. Both offer plenty of leg room for most people. The difference is business class offers even more leg room, a foot rest. The business class car is separated from the peasants in coach by the cafe car. Coach riders are not allowed to go into the business car, however, business class pax can venture into the coach cars. ALL seats have standard 120VAC outlets, regardless of class. There's a few other business perks that escape me at the moment.

 

For the math geeks, Amtrak points are worth 2.5 to 2.9 cpp.

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16 hours ago, TheVig said:

I booked our Amtrak tickets this morning, for our October trip to Philly. Wasn't planning to book this far out, but demand that far out was causing prices to slightly tick up.

 

Unlike the airlines, who's prices can fluctuate daily or hourly regardless of demand, and when you book, Amtrak pricing is strictly demand based. Prices increase, as more people book. Once a train hits 50% to 75% booked, prices start to jump. Also because of COVID, they are still only selling out trains to 50%.

 

I was gonna use points to book a sleeper between CLT and PHL, then cash for business class on the return. However, I let Mrs. Vig talk me into paying cash for the entire trip. She wants to save the Amtrak points for our Chicago trip in 2022.

 

$800 RT. Using points for the sleeper portion, would have saved almost $500.

 

Hotel will however be booked on points. Can't book it yet, do to a quarky policy Choice has on points redemptions. Can only use points a max of 100 days out from your check-in date.

 

A little rambling about Amtrak coach and business class seating for those that have never taken Amtrak. Coach and business class cars are all 2x2. There has never been a middle seat. Both offer plenty of leg room for most people. The difference is business class offers even more leg room, a foot rest. The business class car is separated from the peasants in coach by the cafe car. Coach riders are not allowed to go into the business car, however, business class pax can venture into the coach cars. ALL seats have standard 120VAC outlets, regardless of class. There's a few other business perks that escape me at the moment.

 

For the math geeks, Amtrak points are worth 2.5 to 2.9 cpp.


May 23rd, Amtrak seat booking goes back to normal capacity. No limiting to 50%. Makes sense, since airlines have phased out, or are phasing out their COVID seating policies. 
 

Speaking of Amtrak seating policies. With limited exception, their are no seat assignments for coach seats. Depending how full the train is, this can be a cluster fook, when traveling with others. Sleeper rooms, business class, and Acela services are however assigned seats at booking. 

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Amex Green, Platinum, EveryDay MR 280,792

Delta SkyMiles. Amex Delta Gold and Blue 200,365

American Airlines. Citi Platinum Select MC and MileUp MC 64,017

Amtrak. Amtrak Guest Rewards MC 35,825

IHG MC 59,507

BofA Cash Rewards Visa (3% Travel) $46.11

Citi Double Cash MC $64.15

Citi Rewards+ MC ThankYou Points 17,830

Choice Privileges Visa Signature / Points 365,427

US Bank Cash+ Visa Signature $2.45

DOSH $63.39

Rakuten Amex MR Earning. Pays out quarterly. See Amex MR balance above.

Fetch Rewards Points 12,223

Regions Cash Rewards Visa Signature $118.20

HSBC Cash Rewards MC $256.47

Wells Fargo Cash Wise Signature Visa $42.74

Edited by TheVig
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Amex Green, Platinum, EveryDay MR 280,792

Delta SkyMiles. Amex Delta Gold and Blue 200,570

American Airlines. Citi Platinum Select MC and MileUp MC 64,017

Amtrak. Amtrak Guest Rewards MC 35,825

IHG MC 59,507

BofA Cash Rewards Visa (3% Travel) $46.11

Citi Double Cash MC $64.15

Citi Rewards+ MC ThankYou Points 17,830

Choice Privileges Visa Signature / Points 365,427

US Bank Cash+ Visa Signature $2.45

DOSH $63.39

Rakuten Amex MR Earning. Pays out quarterly. See Amex MR balance above.

Fetch Rewards Points 12,390

Regions Cash Rewards Visa Signature $118.20

HSBC Cash Rewards MC $256.47

Wells Fargo Cash Wise Signature Visa $42.74

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Amtrak turns 50 this weekend. May 1st. No surprise, they decided to have a sale. I must say the coach pricing is pretty darn good. The Acela business class prices ain't to shabby either.

 

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Posted (edited)

Amex Green, Platinum, EveryDay MR 280,792

Delta SkyMiles. Amex Delta Gold and Blue 200,578

American Airlines. Citi Platinum Select MC and MileUp MC 64,017

Amtrak. Amtrak Guest Rewards MC 35,825

IHG MC 59,507

BofA Cash Rewards Visa (3% Travel) $46.11

Citi Double Cash MC $64.15

Citi Rewards+ MC ThankYou Points 17,830

Choice Privileges Visa Signature / Points 365,427

US Bank Cash+ Visa Signature $2.45

DOSH $63.39

Rakuten Amex MR Earning. Pays out quarterly. See Amex MR balance above.

Fetch Rewards Points 12,501

Regions Cash Rewards Visa Signature $118.20

HSBC Cash Rewards MC $256.47

Wells Fargo Cash Wise Signature Visa $42.74

 

Dumpster diving the SkyPesos dining portal lately.

Edited by TheVig
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Amex Green, Platinum, EveryDay MR 280,792

Delta SkyMiles. Amex Delta Gold and Blue 200,578

American Airlines. Citi Platinum Select MC and MileUp MC 64,017

Amtrak. Amtrak Guest Rewards MC 35,825

IHG MC 59,507

BofA Cash Rewards Visa (3% Travel) $46.11

Citi Double Cash MC $64.15

Citi Rewards+ MC ThankYou Points 17,830

Choice Privileges Visa Signature / Points 365,427

US Bank Cash+ Visa Signature $2.45

DOSH $63.90

Rakuten Amex MR Earning. Pays out quarterly. See Amex MR balance above.

Fetch Rewards Points 12,577

Regions Cash Rewards Visa Signature $118.20

HSBC Cash Rewards MC $256.47

Wells Fargo Cash Wise Signature Visa $42.74

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Amex Green, Platinum, EveryDay MR 280,792

Delta SkyMiles. Amex Delta Gold and Blue 200,578

American Airlines. Citi Platinum Select MC and MileUp MC 64,017

Amtrak. Amtrak Guest Rewards MC 35,825

IHG MC 59,507

BofA Cash Rewards Visa (3% Travel) $46.11

Citi Double Cash MC $64.15

Citi Rewards+ MC ThankYou Points 17,830

Choice Privileges Visa Signature / Points 365,427

US Bank Cash+ Visa Signature $2.45

DOSH $78.60

Rakuten Amex MR Earning. Pays out quarterly. See Amex MR balance above.

Fetch Rewards Points 12,577

Regions Cash Rewards Visa Signature $118.20

HSBC Cash Rewards MC $256.47

Wells Fargo Cash Wise Signature Visa $42.74

 

Walmart+ trial ended and the yearly fee hit.

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Visited my local Omaha Steak store today. Needed a box of beef sticks. Sometimes the simple stacks bring a smile to my day.

 

Box of 12 is with tax is 36.60. Not cheap, but way better than a Slim Jim or most anything else you find at a gas station.

 

BofA Amtrak MC. 10% statement credit.

Rakuten 7% in-store offer. 256 Amex MR points.

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Amex Green, Platinum, EveryDay MR 280,792

Delta SkyMiles. Amex Delta Gold and Blue 200,578

American Airlines. Citi Platinum Select MC and MileUp MC 64,017

Amtrak. Amtrak Guest Rewards MC 35,825

IHG MC 59,507

BofA Cash Rewards Visa (3% Travel) $46.11

Citi Double Cash MC $64.15

Citi Rewards+ MC ThankYou Points 17,830

Choice Privileges Visa Signature / Points 365,427

US Bank Cash+ Visa Signature $2.45

DOSH $79.11

Rakuten Amex MR Earning. Pays out quarterly. See Amex MR balance above.

Fetch Rewards Points 12,577

Regions Cash Rewards Visa Signature $118.20

HSBC Cash Rewards MC $256.47

Wells Fargo Cash Wise Signature Visa $42.74

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Amex Green, Platinum, EveryDay MR 280,792

Delta SkyMiles. Amex Delta Gold and Blue 200,578

American Airlines. Citi Platinum Select MC and MileUp MC 64,017

Amtrak. Amtrak Guest Rewards MC 35,825

IHG MC 59,507

BofA Cash Rewards Visa (3% Travel) $46.11

Citi Double Cash MC $64.15

Citi Rewards+ MC ThankYou Points 17,830

Choice Privileges Visa Signature / Points 365,427

US Bank Cash+ Visa Signature $2.45

DOSH $79.11

Rakuten Amex MR Earning. Pays out quarterly. See Amex MR balance above.

Fetch Rewards Points 12,794

Regions Cash Rewards Visa Signature $118.20

HSBC Cash Rewards MC $256.47

Wells Fargo Cash Wise Signature Visa $42.74

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Amex Green, Platinum, Every Day MR 290,792

Delta SkyMiles. Amex Delta Gold and Blue 200,578

American Airlines. Citi Platinum Select MC and MileUp MC 64,017

Amtrak. Amtrak Guest Rewards MC 35,825

IHG MC 59,507

BofA Cash Rewards Visa (3% Travel) $46.11

Citi Double Cash MC $64.15

Citi Rewards+ MC ThankYou Points 17,830

Choice Privileges Visa Signature / Points 365,427

US Bank Cash+ Visa Signature $2.45

DOSH $79.11

Rakuten Amex MR Earning. Pays out quarterly. See Amex MR balance above.

Fetch Rewards Points 12,794

Regions Cash Rewards Visa Signature $118.20

HSBC Cash Rewards MC $256.47

Wells Fargo Cash Wise Signature Visa $42.74

 

Amex ED SUB of 10k MR posted.

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Tweaking the layout.

 

Amex Green, Platinum, Every Day MR 290,792

Delta SkyMiles. Amex Delta Gold and Blue 200,578

American Airlines. Citi Platinum Select MC and MileUp MC 64,017

Amtrak. Amtrak Guest Rewards MC 35,825

IHG MC 59,507

BofA Cash Rewards Visa (3% Travel) $46.11

Citi Double Cash MC $64.15

Citi Rewards+ MC Thank You Points 17,830

Choice Privileges Visa Signature / Points 365,427

US Bank Cash+ Visa Signature $2.45

Regions Cash Rewards Visa Signature $118.20

HSBC Cash Rewards MC $256.47

Wells Fargo Cash Wise Signature Visa $42.74

 

Shopping Portals:

DOSH $79.11

Rakuten Amex MR Earning. Pays out quarterly.

Fetch Rewards Points 12,794

AA/DL Dining and Shopping

 

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Amex Green, Platinum, Every Day MR 290,792

Delta SkyMiles. Amex Delta Gold and Blue 200,908

American Airlines. Citi Platinum Select MC and MileUp MC 64,017

Amtrak. Amtrak Guest Rewards MC 35,830

IHG MC 59,507

BofA Cash Rewards Visa (3% Travel) $46.11

Citi Double Cash MC $64.15

Citi Rewards+ MC Thank You Points 17,830

Choice Privileges Visa Signature / Points 365,427

US Bank Cash+ Visa Signature $2.45

Regions Cash Rewards Visa Signature $118.20

HSBC Cash Rewards MC $256.47

Wells Fargo Cash Wise Signature Visa $42.74

 

Shopping Portals:

DOSH $79.11

Rakuten Amex MR Earning. Pays out quarterly.

Fetch Rewards Points 12,905

AA/DL Dining and Shopping

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Amex Green, Platinum, Every Day MR 290,792

Delta SkyMiles. Amex Delta Gold and Blue 200,908

American Airlines. Citi Platinum Select MC and MileUp MC 64,017

Amtrak. Amtrak Guest Rewards MC 35,830

IHG MC 59,507

BofA Cash Rewards Visa (3% Travel) $46.11

Citi Double Cash MC $70.19

Citi Rewards+ MC Thank You Points 17,830

Choice Privileges Visa Signature / Points 365,427

US Bank Cash+ Visa Signature $2.45

Regions Cash Rewards Visa Signature $118.20

HSBC Cash Rewards MC $256.47

Wells Fargo Cash Wise Signature Visa $42.74

 

Shopping Portals:

DOSH $79.11

Rakuten Amex MR Earning. Pays out quarterly.

Fetch Rewards Points 13,036

AA/DL Dining and Shopping

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Amex Green, Platinum, Every Day MR 290,792

Delta SkyMiles. Amex Delta Gold and Blue 200,908

American Airlines. Citi Platinum Select MC and MileUp MC 64,017

Amtrak. Amtrak Guest Rewards MC 35,830

IHG Traveler MC 59,507

BofA Cash Rewards Visa (3% Travel) $46.11

Citi Double Cash MC $70.19

Citi Rewards+ MC Thank You Points 17,830

Choice Privileges Visa Signature / Points 365,427

US Bank Cash+ Visa Signature $2.45

Regions Cash Rewards Visa Signature $118.20

HSBC Cash Rewards MC $256.47

Wells Fargo Cash Wise Signature Visa $42.74

 

Shopping Portals:

DOSH $79.11

Rakuten Amex MR Earning. Pays out quarterly.

Fetch Rewards Points 13,036

AA/DL Dining and Shopping

 

Eliminated one of AF today. Changed from the IHG Premier to the no AF IHG Traveler.

 

Next on deck for closing will be Amex Platinum and Citi AA Platinum.

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Amex Green, Platinum, Every Day MR 290,792

Delta SkyMiles. Amex Delta Gold and Blue 200,908

American Airlines. Citi MileUp MC 64,017

Amtrak. Amtrak Guest Rewards MC 35,830

IHG Traveler MC 59,507

BofA Cash Rewards Visa (3% Travel) $46.11

Citi Double Cash MC $70.19

Citi Rewards+ MC Thank You Points 17,830

Choice Privileges Visa Signature / Points 365,427

US Bank Cash+ Visa Signature $2.45

Regions Cash Rewards Visa Signature $118.20

HSBC Cash Rewards MC $256.47

Wells Fargo Cash Wise Signature Visa $42.74

 

Shopping Portals:

DOSH $79.11

Rakuten Amex MR Earning. Pays out quarterly.

Fetch Rewards Points 13,036

AA/DL Dining and Shopping

 

Eliminated one of AF today. Changed from the IHG Premier to the no AF IHG Traveler.

 

Next on deck for closing will be Amex Platinum and Citi AA Platinum.

 

Citi AA Platinum is now closed. That leaves me with the no AF AA MileUp.

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Amex Green, Platinum, Every Day MR 290,792

Delta SkyMiles. Amex Delta Gold and Blue 200,908

American Airlines. Citi MileUp MC 64,017

Amtrak. Amtrak Guest Rewards MC 35,938

IHG Traveler MC 59,507

BofA Cash Rewards Visa (3% Travel) $46.11

Citi Double Cash MC $70.19

Citi Rewards+ MC Thank You Points 17,830

Choice Privileges Visa Signature / Points 365,427

US Bank Cash+ Visa Signature $2.45

Regions Cash Rewards Visa Signature $118.20

HSBC Cash Rewards MC $256.47

Wells Fargo Cash Wise Signature Visa $42.74

 

Shopping Portals:

DOSH $79.11

Rakuten Amex MR Earning. Pays out quarterly.

Fetch Rewards Points 13,116

AA/DL Dining and Shopping

 

Points posted from a recent Amtrak day trip between CLT-RGH.

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Amex Green, Platinum, Every Day MR 290,792

Delta SkyMiles. Amex Delta Gold and Blue 200,908

American Airlines. Citi MileUp MC 64,017

Amtrak. Amtrak Guest Rewards MC 35,938

IHG Traveler MC 59,507

BofA Cash Rewards Visa (3% Travel) $46.11

Citi Double Cash MC $70.19

Citi Rewards+ MC Thank You Points 17,830

Choice Privileges Visa Signature / Points 365,427

US Bank Cash+ Visa Signature $2.45

Regions Cash Rewards Visa Signature $118.20

HSBC Cash Rewards MC $256.47

Wells Fargo Cash Wise Signature Visa $42.74

 

Shopping Portals:

DOSH $79.11

Rakuten Amex MR Earning. Pays out quarterly.

Fetch Rewards Points 13,222

AA/DL Dining and Shopping

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Amex Green, Platinum, Every Day MR 290,792

Delta SkyMiles. Amex Delta Gold and Blue 200,908

American Airlines. Citi MileUp MC 64,017

Amtrak. Amtrak Guest Rewards MC 35,938

IHG Traveler MC 59,507

BofA Cash Rewards Visa (3% Travel) $46.11

Citi Double Cash MC $70.19

Citi Rewards+ MC Thank You Points 17,830

Choice Privileges Visa Signature / Points 365,427

US Bank Cash+ Visa Signature $2.45

Regions Cash Rewards Visa Signature $118.20

HSBC Cash Rewards MC $256.47

Wells Fargo Cash Wise Signature Visa $42.74

 

Shopping Portals:

DOSH $79.91

Rakuten Amex MR Earning. Pays out quarterly.

Fetch Rewards Points 13,443

AA/DL Dining and Shopping

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