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Dear Santa – My Top 5 Points and Miles Wish List For 2023

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2023 Points and Miles

My 2023 Points and Miles Wish List

It’s been quite an active 2022 in our points and travel hobby.  I have Christmas wishes that I hope come true, as well.  While some involve credit card rewards changes or improvements, I’ll be happy if some stuff stays the same.  Indeed, staying the same often means avoiding devaluations.  Regardless, I know some of my wishes probably won’t come true.  But a man can dream.  Here’s what’s on my 2023 points and miles wish list.

Amex NLL Offers Continue

Perhaps the most generous angle in our hobby currently is Amex’s willingness to provide no lifetime language welcome offers.  This allows many of us to get around Amex’s traditional once per lifetime card welcome offer policy.  Consequently, we’re able to earn and redeem significant amounts of Membership Rewards points (and occasionally other currencies) with less effort.  I’ve been able to take advantage of these offers for the past few years, so I realize my wish may be pushing it.  Nonetheless, I hope active hobbyists can continue taking advantage of Amex’s generosity here.

2023 Points and Miles

Dormant Banks Awaken

I feel like the credit card heavyweights – Amex, Chase, and Citi – have given us enough to hold our attention throughout this past year.  But other banks have mostly sat on the credit card rewards sidelines recently.  When will Well Fargo get its act together?  (No, I don’t consider the Bilt card worth the attention.)  Synchrony seems to have lost cards left and right the past few years without really adding anything significant.  While their flagship cards and Preferred Rewards program deliver for many, Bank of America otherwise feels like a bore.  I’d be happy if just one of these banks offers a new credit card product worth my attention.

Pay Yourself Back Peace of Mind

I asked for this last year, but I’m asking again.  Chase, please bring a bit more stability to the Pay Yourself Back program.  I’ve enjoyed using Ultimate Rewards points at a 1.5 cents per point rate to wipe out certain expenses, primarily dining, in the past year.  But extending the program and tweaking the categories every three months is keeping me on my heels.  Perhaps Chase likes it this way.  I wish Chase would announce six-month or calendar year categories, but I realize this may not come true.  Unfortunately, it appears Chase has devalued the program a bit with Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders obtaining 1.25 cents per point on grocery store charges.

2023 Points and Miles

Sensible Marriott Dynamic Pricing

While I consider Marriott to be the most difficult program for finding a high value stay, I’ve been able to find a few solid options with some effort.  That may change in 2023, when Marriott’s award pricing will go fully dynamic.  Other active hobbyists I’ve talked to are acting as if the sky is falling with Marriott next year.  I can’t say I’d be paying much attention to this one otherwise.  I’m hoping that the changes won’t be too painful next year, and I’ll be able to find practical redemptions at reasonable rates.  I know this wish is as vague as it is valid for my situation.

Low-Maintenance Airline Fee Credits

Many of us hold significant airline fee credit capacity, primarily from Amex, but also with other entities like Bank of America and PenFed.  I’ve been able to easily consume all of these credits for the past several years.  While some methods have died, other solid options continue.  In my view, no news is good news here as we go into next year.  Like Mark, I look forward to using them all on New Year’s Day.

2023 Points and Miles Wishes – Conclusion

In general, I’ll take all developments in stride.  Good and bad news arrives each year.  As I’ve said before, I feel like we as hobbyists come out ahead.  But I’m still hoping that a few of the above wishes come true.  Regardless, it’s on me to adapt to how our hobby changes in 2023, and I look forward to the puzzle, as always.  What’s on your 2023 points and miles wish list?

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Benjy Harmon
Benjy Harmon
Benjy focuses on the intersection of points, travel, and financial independence (FI). An experienced world traveler, husband, and father, he currently roams throughout the USA close to expense-free. Benjy enjoys helping others achieve their FI and travel goals.

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  1. Benjy, I also worry about the sky falling next year on Marriott award pricing. With only a few weeks of vacation to travel each year, I’ve always focused on bigger trips with aspirational redemptions at the top of the Marriott chart. If I could travel more, I would probably stretch things out significantly at some more moderate, but still wonderful locations. Since that is not in the cards, I’ll be very curious to see how this plays out.

    • Matt,
      I’m confident those of us who get in the Marriott weeds will be able to find something in the middle worth the redemption. I bet the biggest effects will be felt by those on the extreme ends of the redemption spectrum.


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