The End of Year Checklist

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With the new year approaching quickly, you should probably start thinking about your end of the year checklist. Well realistically, I should’ve brought this up earlier, but at least there’s still time!

By “end of year” checklist, I’m of course referring to your points and miles checklist. Certain aspects of this game have an earning period that sticks to a calendar year, rather than a rolling year. Which means, if you’re close to hitting a certain goal, you might want to hurry and finish that before January 1st hits.

End of Year Checklist

-Yearly Spend Bonus

There are many credit cards available that offer lucrative yearly spend bonuses. These bonuses can range from earning status to earning miles to earning MQMs. So, if you’re close to hitting a yearly spend requirement, make sure you do before the year ends.

Here are the cards that offer yearly (calendar) spend bonuses (if I missed one, please let me know):

  • Starwood SPG – Spend $30,000 and receive Gold Status.
  • Amex Gold – Spend $30,000 and receive 15,000 Membership Rewards Points.
  • US Bank FlexPerks – Spend $24,000 and receive 3,500 FlexPoints.
  • Citi Platinum Select AAdvantage Visa – Spend $30,000 and receive $100 off an AA flight.
  • Delta Reserve – Spend $30,000 and receive 15,000 MQMs. Spend $60,000 and receive another 15,000 MQMs.
  • Delta Platinum – Spend $25,000 and receive 10,000 MQMS. Spend $50,000 and receive another 10,000 MQMs.
  • Citi Executive AAdvantage Visa – Spend $30,000 and receive 10,000 elite qualifying miles.
  • US Airways – Spend $25,000 and receive 25,000 preferred qualifying miles.
  • Southwest Premier – Earn 1,500 tier qualifying miles for every $10,000 you spend (up to 15,000 tier qualifying miles per year).
  • United MileagePlus Explorer – Spend $25,000 and receive 10,000 United miles.
  • Citi HHonors Reserve – Spend $10,000 and earn a weekend night. Spend $40,000 and earn diamond status.
  • Fairmont Visa Signature – Spend $12,000 and earn one free night.
  • Hyatt Card – Spend $20,000 and receive 2 stay credits and 5 night credits towards diamond status. Spend $40,000 and receive an additional 3 stay credits and 5 night credits.
  • Marriott Premier – Earn 1 elite credit for every $3,000 spent.
  • Amex Hilton Surpass – Spend $40,000 and receive diamond status.
  • Ritz-Carlton Rewards Card – Spend $10,000 and receive gold status.

If you do not know how much you have spent on a card this year, send a secure message to support or call the number on the back of your card.

-Southwest Companion Pass

The Southwest Companion Pass is one of the best travel perks available. If you are close to hitting the 110,000 Rapid Rewards points needed to earn yourself a companion pass for next year, make sure you do it soon. Here are a few ways to earn qualifying points:

  • ResellThat’s how I earned mine. (This is a subscriber only post)
  • Transfer from Hyatt – They transfer 2.5/1.
  • Transfer from Club Carlson – They transfer 10/1.
  • Transfer from Marriott – The transfer 5/1 (up to 2.8/1).
  • Transfer from Wyndham – They transfer 5/1.
  • Transfer from Choice – They transfer 3.33/1
  • Regular Spend – Obviously.
  • Manufactured Spending – Sadly, there aren’t any cards that give you more than 1X.

-Elite Status

Elite status usually lasts 1-2 years depending on the program and the date that you earned it, but you will always have to requalify at some point. If you need to requalify this year and you haven’t yet, you should get on that. This will likely require a mileage run, a mattress run, some manufactured spending, or some good ol’ reselling, depending on what status you’re trying to qualify for.

-Airline Incidentals Credit

There are three big players in the credit card world that offer airline incidental credits. Incidentals can range from award ticket fees, taxes, gift cards, phone booking fees, gift registries, and other random airline fees that the credit card companies deem qualify (this varies by card). If you have not used your yearly airlines incidentals credit yet, you should and soon.

Here are the cards that offer airlines incidental credits:

  • Amex Platinum – This card gets a $200 yearly credit. I used my credit on a gift registry.
  • Citi Prestige – This card gets a $250 yearly credit. For credit ideas, I suggest looking at this thread.
  • Ritz-Carlton – This card gets a $300 yearly credit, but it’s the most annoying to use, because it’s not automatically applied.

Don’t forget to check off your end of year checklist!

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