The news could be worse, but I’ve been in better shape. 380,000 and 350,000 in my primary programs. I have a rule of thumb for miles and points that is comfortable for me – If my balance is below 500,000 (airline or hotel), it’s time to fly, buy, and think. The bottom line – it’s time for MJ to fly, buy, and think. The flying part will start taking care of itself as July winds down. I have plenty of travel booked, mostly business, some personal. Buy means that I’ll make sure I’m using the right credit cards for every purchase to maximize my points earning, but think? Think simply means review the first two things, and think about what I could be doing better to increase my mileage balances.

Is it time to retire a credit card from one program and switch to one that is more useful to me and is offering a big mileage/point bonus? Do I have time to toss in a few extra connections in upcoming trips to up my mileage earning? Or heaven forbid…a mattress run? My minimum points threshold is what I am comfortable with. I know people that have lower thresholds, and some who will scoff at my 500,000 number thinking it far too low. Here’s my take. With 500,000 airline miles and 500,000 hotel points I can put together a pretty solid vacation itinerary and have a little left over for surprises like my recent party trip to DFW. This number works for me because I travel outside the country by air once per year on average…..and I’m proud to say, I have never crossed the pond in coach. 🙂

Others are more aggressive with international travel and might have a higher comfort zone. Honestly, if I didn’t cruise so much, I would feel the same way. I know I’m not the only traveler who has a minimum balance of miles and points in mind, and would love to hear from others. What’s your number?

-MJ, July 26, 2013