Good afternoon everyone, I hope your week is going well. I don’t know about you, but 2020 was the year I earned a lot more transferrable points than I spent. I am hoping that in 2021, I will be able to spend a lot more points than I did in 2020. For this post, I looked at my 3 favorite transferrable points programs (American Express Membership Rewards Points, Chase Ultimate Rewards Points, and Citi ThankYou Points). I looked at my starting balances on January 1, the number of points I earned in 2020, miscellaneous point transfers in/out, the number of points I redeemed in 2020, and the ending balance on December 31 (I don’t have any plans on redeeming any points in the next few days). For a quick calculation, I earned 350K points across the 3 programs and spent a total of 211K points (most were with Chase’s Pay Yourself Back feature).
American Express Membership Rewards Points
- Starting Balance on Jan 1: 240K
- Points Earned in 2020: 201K
- Points Redeemed in 2020: 4K
- Ending Balance on Dec 31: 438K
With American Express, I earned 201K AMEX MRs with 3 cards (American Express Business Platinum Card, American Express Gold Card, and American Express Blue Business Plus Credit Card). The Biz Plat had many pandemic bonus categories like wireless phones, shipping charges, and Dell purchases. The Gold Card had bonus categories for restaurants and grocery stores, along with high referral bonuses. And the Blue Biz Plus offered 2x everywhere and was my go to card when I wasn’t working on meeting minimum spending requirements on new CCs. Across all 3 CCs, I received a total of 65K AMEX MRs from referral bonuses. To view your points summary, click here. To view your redemption history, click the View Redemption History link.
As you can see, 2020 was a dismal year for AMEX MR points redemptions. I only redeemed 4K points total. Like I predicted this morning, AMEX will introduce a “Pay Yourself Back” feature where I can easily redeem more AMEX MR points in 2021.
Chase Ultimate Rewards Points
For Chase, I am going to break it up into 2 groups: Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card redemptions and Chase Ink Plus Credit Card redemptions. This gets a little messy since I transfer points from my wife’s Chase Freedom Credit Card over to my Chase Sapphire Reserve and I transfer points back and forth between my Chase Sapphire Reserve and Chase Ink Plus.
Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Starting Balance on Jan 1: 127K
- Points Earned in 2020: 13K
- Points Transferred in: 13K (from my wife’s Chase Freedom)
- Points Redeemed in 2020: 142K
- Ending Balance on Dec 31: 12K
To view your Rewards Activity, click here. Since I didn’t travel much in 2020, I didn’t put many charges on my CSR. I only used my CSR for dining if the restaurant did not accept my AMEX Gold Card.
To view your redemptions, click here. For 2020 redemptions, I redeemed a total of 142K points. Most of my redemptions were via the Pay Yourself Back feature and I transferred 27K points to Hyatt for a stay in February.
Chase Ink Plus
- Starting Balance on Jan 1: 41K
- Points Earned in 2020: 17K
- Points Redeemed in 2020: 45K
- Points Transferred Out: 13K
- Ending Balance on Dec 31: 0
Like most years, I earned a lot of points with my Chase Ink Plus and the 5x categories. I use my Chase Ink Plus to pay our cable and cell phone bills and used this CC to pay for shipping when Chase was running a 5x promo on shipping. I currently have 0 points on this card since I usually consolidate the points over to my Chase Sapphire Reserve. I just noticed that the Rewards Summary for my Chase Ink Plus shows transactions since my April 2020 statement cycle, so the earning numbers are missing data from the first 3 months of 2020.
On the redemption side, I redeemed 45K points. 21K points were transferred to Chase’s transfer partners and 24K points were redeemed via Pay Yourself Back for shipping charges.
Citi ThankYou Points
I have 6 Citi ThankYou Point earning credit cards (Citi Premier Credit Card, Citi Rewards+ Credit Card, Citi Double Cash Credit Card (when converting cash back to TYPs), and 3 Citi AT&T Access More Credit Cards), so I earned a ton of TYPs throughout 2020.
- Starting Balance on Jan 1: 172K
- Points Earned in 2020: 119K
- Points Returned in 2020: 46K (flights booked with TYPs in 2019, cancelled in 2020)
- Points Redeemed in 2020: 20K
- Ending Balance on Dec 31: 317K
To view your TYP Points Summary, click here. Then change the start date to January 2020 and the end date to December 2020.
For a simpler view, click the View By Account button. You will see TYPs earned from CCs, TYP redemptions, and any cancelled/returned orders.
To view your Order History, click here. I enjoyed transferring TYPs to Sears Shop Your Way Points for GC redemptions, but then that transfer opportunity got worse with a few negative changes.
If you have any questions about calculating how many points you earned and redeemed in 2020, please leave a comment below. Have a great day everyone!
Even though you only redeemed 1000 MR points to Choice Privileges, it still hurts to see that. I actually love Choice Privileges, but I can’t bring myself to do a transfer. What property did you stay at and sor how long?
Hi Brant, I had Choice points expiring so I just transferred 1,000 points over to reset the expiration date. I have never actually used Choice points for a hotel stay.
Ahh, well that explains it. Not bad then. Do you not have the Choice Privileges credit card?
No, I don’t have the Choice Privileges CC. It’s one of only a few hotel CCs that I don’t have (or Best Western CC).
Current balance: 5,528
Pending Points: 533
Available on Payment: 0
Earned Since Jan 1, 2020: 23,399
Used Since Jan 1, 2020: 32,008
Mostly to SQ, and Hilton with the 40% bonus.
Hi Kalboz, I’m glad you found good redemption options for your AMEX MR points. Did you do any Chase or Citi redemptions this year? Happy New Year :)
14K Chase UR points to Hyatt in 2020.
Didn’t do much spending on Citi and the 2019 TYP were transferred to SQ in 2019.
Gotcha, hopefully you were able to stay and enjoy your Hyatt award stay this year.
I am currently right now at the Hyatt Regency Sukhumvit on points!
Awesome, enjoy your Hyatt stay and happy New Year :)