Mrs. Selfish and I are now half-way through our year long trip around
the world. In the last year we’ve visited 22 countries (most in business class), flown in 1st Class on Lufthansa’s brand new 747-8, and stayed at 5-star hotels that retail for over $700 a night.


The Park Hyatt in Zurich for ~$700 or 22,000 points a night.

Mrs. Selfish and I aren’t ludicrously rich.  We don’t have a travel nest egg that we’ve been saving for years for this trip. We don’t have a rental property that brings home the bacon (just an underwater mortgage).

But we DID earn over 2.2 million airline miles and hotel points in the last year and a half, with another 550,000 projected to hit in the next 2 months. If you value miles and points at $.01 – $.02 each, then we’ve earned over $22,000 – $44,000 in points. Most with little to no effort.

miles earned

The majority of the miles we earned were from credit card sign up bonuses, followed by bank and brokerage bonuses.  The remaining miles were earned through shopping portals, third party promotions, or normal spending. That teeny-tiny sliver of 3.4% represents the number of miles and points we earned through flying or paying for hotels!


In my next few posts, I’ll take you through the basics of earning and burning miles and points.  Here are some of the topics we’ll be tackling: