What’s in Your AwardWallet? My Journey to 1 Million Points!

I was fortunate enough to have parents that loved to travel when I was younger, and they allowed me to tag along with them to quite a few locations around the world. My family knew only the bare-bones minimum about traveling and points – that if we’re flying, we should be signed up for a frequent flier program to earn points. Beyond that, we didn’t know anything…not even how to redeem those points.

And the last few years I was able to do a little bit of travelling either on my own or with friends/siblings, plus a four month work assignment, and so I’d built up a relatively respectable amount of points. When I first found out about this whole points world and realized that I should start tracking my programs in AwardWallet, I had about 300,000 points spread among all my programs.

It’s about 10 months later now. I honestly feel like I’ve come such a long way in such a short amount of time, but even still I know I’m just a beginner compared to so many out there that I aspire to be.

I’ve signed up for eight points-earning credit cards over those 10 months, and received quite a few free points through various sources, as well as speculatively buying points when I see a good deal and transferring when there’s a bonus involved…all leading to more points for very little cash.

In those 10 months, my balance has gone from roughly 300K points to today sit at 929,682 across all programs. I know that many people in the points game are multi-millionaires when it comes to their AwardWallet balances. In fact, Gary at View from the Wing noted in the comments section of this post that he has a 7 digit mileage balance with just American Airlines (a program that isn’t tracked on AwardWallet anymore btw).

But I will very shortly be crossing the million mile/point mark, and I see that as a major personal accomplishment. And the coolest part is that I’m not just going to surpass a million, I’m going to absolutely fly by that mark because of my recent credit card churn: I’m due 50K United miles, 50K Chase points, 20K SPG points, plus my normal spending and category bonuses. I also have about 53K Southwest points and a few thousand American miles sitting in accounts that refuse to allow AwardWallet access.

And it seems like I’ve brought my saving/hoarding habit from the cash world to the points world, except that in the points world inflation is rampant and an absolute certainty. I need to start using my points before programs start to devalue, and I plan to do so very soon.

I hope you join me on my trek to 2 million points and beyond!


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