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Certain times of the year are of particular importance with points and miles. The beginning/end of the year, whenever you approach the renewal of a credit card account and the day you reach or elevate any elite status are just a few important days that occur throughout the year. The beginning of the year is a time to focus, especially if you want to maximize the value across all of your programs.
With 2017 around the corner, here's what we think you should do to start the year off right:
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2. Take inventory your credit cards and identify which ones make the cut
Open up your credit card tracking spreadsheet and review what is helping fuel your travel bank. Answer the questions:
- What fees are you paying?
- What rewards are you earning?
- What other benefits are the cards providing?
- Do you have duplicate accounts with a spouse/significant other?
3. Cash in on credit card annual travel credits
Look through our list of credit cards that provide annual travel credits, and plan on how you'll use them. Everything from the $200 credit from The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Business Platinum® Card from American Express to the $300 credit with the Chase Sapphire Reserve® to the $250 air travel credit on the Citi Prestige® Card should all be reviewed. Remember, all of these cards provide the benefit on a rotating calendar basis and are not related to when you pay your annual fee.
4. Review Your Travel Plans for the next 12-24 months
Plans change, but put together your list and figure out what you need to achieve those goals. How many points and miles do you need to meet those goals? Can you achieve them with your current strategy? If not, look at new cards to possibly pick up. If you need a hand with booking an award, check out our Award Booking service.
Many cards offer some form of Complimentary Elite Status in a loyalty program. Hilton and Marriott come with the Amex Platinum and Business Platinum Card. Cashing in on these statuses at the start of 2017 should give you that status all the way through the beginning of 2019 — at least 24 months. Rental car status is equally easy across many American Express, Visa, and MasterCard offerings. (Hotels and Rental Car Elite Status)
6. Register for Q1 2017 Promotions
Starwood and Marriott have released their promotions:
- SPG Double Take
- Marriott MegaBonus
- Hilton Double Up (Originally slated to end December 31, 2016, but has been extended through January)
7. Receive Complimentary GoGo Inflight Wi-Fi Passes (Business Platinum Card Only)
An Ongoing List
This list could go on depending on your travel plans, preferred programs and credit cards that you carry. Go through your list and share with us what else you're doing at the start of the new year to hit your travel goals for the upcoming year. Let us know your plans in the comments below.
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