Year in Review: 2022

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It has been a while since I last did a year in review. Part of the reason is that I didn’t feel like it was necessary or I had “better things to write about”. The other part of the reason, most applicable to the last few years, is that I did a lot of traveling in 2022 – at least compared to 2020 and 2021, for obvious reasons. Post-pandemic travel hasn’t been as enjoyable for me, at least when it comes to airports and flying. In addition to traveling more, I think 2022 was one of my biggest years for earning miles & points. The details lie ahead in my year in review for 2022.

Notable Travel

In 2022, there were a few places that I visited that stand out to me. Each one, however, for different reasons. I went to a couple of conferences, took relaxing vacations, and saw some amazing places.

In February, I went to Sonoma which is part of the wine country in Northern California. It’s a one and a half hour drive from San Francisco, which makes it a very convenient day trip from the Bay Area. The reason I went there is for a miles and points meet up, organized by the Travel on Point(s) Facebook group. Not only did I meet a lot of people in the hobby, but I also learned some valuable tips and tricks – albeit, most were short lived. I (and others) will emphatically say that the best miles & points info is only spread via word of mouth at meetups. The people I have met at meetups are some of my closest friends – far more valuable than the price of admission!

The other conference I went to is a travel blogger conference, in April. It was the first one since 2019. The conference was held in the Tri-Cities area in Washington state. I had a really good time reconnecting with friends, and meeting new people.


2022 wasn’t all about meetups and conferences. I took two vacations! As you may have noticed, I use the term “trips” a lot. Reason being is that I tend to go places where I remain very active, and try to get some content to write about or take pictures, etc. I also feel the need to see and do more, wherever I am. The vacations were not that. I mostly relaxed during both of them. The first one was to Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos. You may laugh, but I had to force myself (and relearn how) to relax while drinking margaritas next to a pool. I think the last time I took a true vacation was when I went to Hawaii over eight years ago! Once I figured out how to relax, I had a fantastic time even though my body had a very physiological reaction, in the form of minor back and neck aches, from my stress releasing. Note to self: find ways to relax more!

Prospector Golf Course at Suncadia Resort

The other vacation I took was to Suncadia Resort, over Labor Day weekend. Even though I was quite active, I was doing things that I enjoy. My only regret about Suncadia, that is under my control, was that I didn’t say long enough. 

Rounding out my notable travel in 2022 is the trip to Moab, Utah. It is places like Moab that remind me not to take nature for granted. The geology/topography of the area is jaw dropping and awe inspiring. I have never seen such interesting formations of rocks. There were times where I thought that I was looking at another planet. Stay tuned for a more in-depth article about Moab.

Miles & Points Year in Review

2022 was a pretty big year for me. Honestly, part of that was how I ended 2021. I think I earned the most points in one single year than I have ever earned before, except maybe when I first entered the hobby.

A few new cards found themselves in my wallet, at least temporarily. I got the American Express Platinum card near the end of last year and quickly earned the 125,000 points sign up bonus. It may not stay in my wallet long term, but that was a very high number of points for not spending a lot ($5,000 I think). The Chase Freedom Flex had an additional bonus category: 10 points per dollar at gas stations! However, sadly, I didn’t take advantage of that nearly as much as I thought I would. The card now has 5 points per dollar at grocery stores and I know I would make more use of that. Such is life! I did what I thought was best given the information that I had at the time.

Other than that, the sign up bonuses on personal cards weren’t worthwhile for me. I am under 5/24 so it doesn’t make sense to get a card with a mediocre sign up bonus.

Looking at Business Cards

It made sense for me to look at business cards. Obviously I consider this site and my photography portfolio as businesses. But you don’t have to have a business to get a business card – just use your name as the business name (wink wink).

I don’t recommend getting a new card “just because”. You should always have a reason to get the card, and preferably a plan of what you’re going to do with the points it earns. I had a somewhat large purchase mid-year. At the time, the Barclays AAdvantage Business card had a high sign up bonus. I was able to meet the minimum spend with just that purchase. I’ll likely close the card when the annual fee comes due as I don’t use it a lot. That could change though, so I’m not in a rush to close it.

The World of Hyatt Business card earned new cardholders double elite night credits though the end of the year. The promotion only lasted for about a month and a half, but that allowed me to requalify for Globalist status much more easily.

Recently, I got approved for the Chase Business Ink Cash card. I did this for several reasons. One of them is that, despite the name, it earns Ultimate Rewards points. I can then combine them with the UR points that I earn from other cards. The sign up bonus was particularly high with a lower minimum spend, so that was nice. Another reason I got it is the Ink Case earns 5 points per dollar, up to $25,000 per year, at office supply stores. Most office supply stores sell gift cards to other merchants. I can, theoretically, get 5x nearly anywhere I go, if I bought and used gift cards. The card also had no annual fee, so it’s almost a no brainer to get and hold on to.

Total Earn & Burn

Burning (i.e. using/redeeming) your points is just as important as using them. Generally speaking, miles & points are a depreciating asset. Over time, they will lose their value. It’s why I don’t recommend travel goals that are more than 12-15 months out.

I estimate that I earned roughly 275,000 points from sign up bonuses alone! However, do as I say, not as I do. On the redemption side, I used nearly 210,000 points last year (mostly at Hyatt hotels!).

2023 Outlook & Predictions

I’m looking forward to what 2023 has in store. Demand for travel will remain high, but it mostly depends on the economy and consumer sentiment. Hopefully, I’ll be able to travel to more new places. My prediction is that we will continue to see very high sign up bonuses, so keep your eyes open. I also think that we’ll see more ways to earn elite status through unconventional means – e.g. credit card spend, shopping portals, and so on. I do know, for sure, that the new year is an unknown. Rather than putting up resistance to what might change in 2023, we have to embrace it.

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