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Which airline and credit card programs do you use for travel? - eradicator - 08-10-2019 09:42 PM

Yes I know this may not be old news for most of you, but some people new to points or taking advantage of the generous signup bonuses of programs like chase and amex, or with the various ways to maximize your points may find this thread to be extremely useful.

Amex mr points are nice(the new gold card combines with the blue business preferred for a good amount of points. There are often bonus periods for transferring mr points to a specific airline, such as virgin atlantic, they often run a 30% or 40% bonus when turning mr points to airline miles once or twice per year.

The chase sapphire reserve may have dethroned the amex platinum as the king of travel cards.

Here are some popular methods, I won't say one is better or one is "wrong".

Pile up merchant rewards points with amex cards like blue business plus and amex gold(especially if you get the 50000 point signup bonus for gold and 20000 point bonus for signing up with the blue business plus. Use those cards for a couple of years. Gold gives 4x points for supermarket and restaurant purchases and amex blue business plus gives 2x purchases for anything, up to $50000 per year.

Get the amex platinum with the 100000 point signup bonus(targeted), so that you have a few hundred thousand amex points to play with. Pick your selected airline for discounts with the amex plat, for example southwest, if you do a lot of flying on southwest. Buy your southwest tickets through the amex travel portal using points and immediately get 25% of the points back. Wash rinse repeat until you are out of points. This works for any airline that is partnered with amex.

Chase UR points are similar to amex mr points. The chase sapphire reserve combines well with the chase freedom(gives ur points, you get 5x points with rotating categories), and the ink family, the chase ink preferred in particular. The sapphire reserve gives a 150% bonus when purchasing airline tickets with points using the portal on the chase ur app or site. You can get even better redemption by taking advantage of sales or favorable redemptions. (united excursionist perk, British Airways executive club and others).

Also, for guys who like to travel to South America, Colombia's flagship carrier, Avianca, is running a sale from new York to south America. 673 dollars on business class round trip.

Some have speculated that Avianca must be going out of business and it may not be wise to book a trip 6 months in advance for an airline that could go belly up and are offering too good to be true fares for a quick influx of cash, that will not be enough to keep them in business. I hear you, and get that logic, but if you book through amex or chase with points and your flight gets cancelled because the airline you booked on went belly up, you will just get your points back.

I love southwest and frontier for their cheap domestic flights. I use the various southwest cards like business premier, rapid rewards plus and will try out the endurance card, with the 80000 point signup bonus you can easily get the companion pass if you combine with a personal card like rr plus. The southwest cards generally have generous signup bonuses but not much of a reason to use them after getting the signup bonus because of 1 point per dollar spent(compared to 5 ur points with freedom rotating categories, 2 or 3 with Ink business plus depending on the category, 4 points/dollar spent on groceries and restaurants with amex gold, 1 point with your southwest(or delta) makes zero sense as an everyday spend card.

Still you likely want to stay below the 5/24 rule to take advantage of the yummy UR points from chase

A lot of guys are sick of American women and work like crazy to travel and enjoy the women of other countries. What are your favorite airline programs and credit card programs? I like the UR points from chase(sapphire reserve, ink family cards, freedom rotating categories), and the combo of amex gold with blue business plus, but these are certainly not the only options. I like Airbnb over hotel stays so I am not a member of any hotel programs or cards, but for some of you, I am guessing you are the opposite. I'm curious what the rest of you are up to, as far as the cards and programs you like to strategize.

I'm not an employee of the pointsguy or getting any sort of referral, I put up all of the links because he goes into more detail and this post is already way too long.