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Making the most of airline miles rewards

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Are you loyal to an airline so you can accrue airline miles? Do you have an airline credit card?
8 months ago, February 5th 2018 No: 1 Msg: #203949  
We are members of several airline rewards programs plus we have a credit card that allows us to earn miles and use them on any airline and no blackout dates.
How have you learned to work the system?
Which are your favorites?

We prefer Delta airlines and the Capitol One credit card. Reply to this

8 months ago, February 6th 2018 No: 2 Msg: #203961  
I have credit cards for American and United. Two years ago I cancelled my American credit card and my wife signed up for one and got 60,000 miles. After two years I signed up for an American card again to get the bonus of 55,000 miles. Cancelling my credit card dents my credit rating a bit, but it soon recovers and I have enough miles for international travel. I only use miles when I get at least $.02/point; e.g., 60,000 points will have to exceed the price of a flight of $1200. I once used 70,000 point for travel to Asia which would have cost me $3,500 or $.05/mile. This is getting harder to do with Norwegian and other discount airlines flying the international routes. But as the price of domestic flights increases, I'm starting to use points for those flights. Reply to this

8 months ago, February 6th 2018 No: 3 Msg: #203964  
B Posts: 275
I met the most fascinating girl a few years back in Africa who plays the Awards game. I mean seriously. She's made it into a full time job. She whipped out a binder where she keeps all her stats organized and started to explain how to do it. It was like listening to a financial advisor give a pyramid presentation. Anyways, from what I understood, she has hundreds of credit cards from all over the world going at one time, she opens and cancels several each day. She gets the points and quite literally travels constantly for free all over the world. Most often she gets a free upgrade. She then couch surfs or finds cheap accommodations where ever she ends up. Because she's on the move constantly, she factors it like a rent budget. She's based out of NY but is rarely there. Oh and did I mention, she's a full time math tutor online? I think she's in Finland right now racing reindeer at some festival. Reply to this

8 months ago, February 18th 2018 No: 4 Msg: #204079  
We are not all equal in this game. If you live in north America, the credit card game is more than substantial. But in the rest of the world, you cannot count on it saldy.

The mileage game has gone tougher over the years. Earning has moved from the distance you were flying...to a revenue base earning. It simply means that if you fly on the cheapest ticket, you will receive close to no miles. And if you do want 100% miles earning, the price of the ticket is often ridiculous. So it's all a trade to deal with!

Miles per se are not that of a good deal, what is the good is to get the status with an airline or an alliance. Gold, will give you access to business class queue....but more important (except on domestic flights in North America), it will give you access to lounges...that means food, drinks, shower...a place of civility to wait for your next flight.

Upgrades, those we all dream at the gate when a flight is full...will only happen if you have one of this elite status...It's roughly....those who fly the insane way...150,000 miles per year...Platinum....today, the equivalent of 21 returns London-New york per year....in a high paying economy seat!

The decent level is 50000 miles to get to Gold. I will do for example few hours more in a plane today, for the same price as a direct flight...just to get those 50k....may sound crazy, but not when you fly in the back of the plane...lounges, no queues, exit row and upgrade makes flying a little more fun from time to time!

Silver will be yours for around 25,000 miles....that can be as low as 2 return per year from Europe to Asia. You may have access to some lounge...some more civility...but you are always at the end of the upgrade queue...


The truth these days is that the same game apply to hotels....and that can be a much more beneficial game...starwood, once you've done 25 stays per year, will upgrade you, from a basic room to 80% (outside of North America) to a suite. If there is a lounge, this is a free breakfast...and in Asia, it's a free decent buffet between 5.30pm and 7.30pm with all the drinks you want. Suddenly, a 5 stars hotel for less than 100usd in Kuala Lumpur can become cheaper than a basic hotel.
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8 months ago, February 18th 2018 No: 5 Msg: #204081  
In response to: Msg #204079 Thanks for your input...from the master of good deals! Most of my miles come from using my credit cards. My kids have the Amazon card that gives them $.05/$1 purchase. I get much less than that equivalent with airline cards. I justify sticking with the airline cards because this way I can use them to fly. If I just got cash back, I would spend it immediately.

Although airline cards benefits are becoming less attractive, I'm finding that the discount airlines are becoming more attractive. I am booking my return from Rome to JFK on Norwegian Airlines flying the 787 for $208! I would rather pay this than use 30,000 frequent flyer miles! Perhaps soon I will switch to the Amazon card.. Reply to this

8 months ago, February 18th 2018 No: 6 Msg: #204082  
In response to: Msg #204081

We earn 2 miles per dollar spent on Capitol One and no restrictions or black out periods. We just booked a trip for later in the year to Africa and then on the Seychelles and back with free miles earned on the credit card.

We are often housed in hotel because we do interim work for hospitals. Sometimes we get an apartment but generally we are in an extended stay hotel (Marriott or Hilton) we much prefer the Hilton properties.

We accrue airline miles but find it difficult to use the rewards. Generally the flights we want are not available with our rewards. We find you have to plan a trip far in advance to us them easily. Reply to this

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