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The Frequent Traveller Thread - Perks, points, and deals for beginners and experts
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Global Entry Offline
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Post: #26
RE: The Frequent Traveller Thread - Perks, points, and deals for beginners and experts
You're right, this offer from US Air ways is a targeted offer. I bought my miles in May, when i had very few, that wasn't a targeted offer, but open to the public. I'll post about the US Airways offer when it goes "wide" and is openly available.

As far as the account needing to be 12 dye old, that doesn't seem like much of an impediment. I'd suggest opening a slew of accounts for this very purpose - some require you to have a little mileage activity in them to really become active though. For example, I opened today an Iberia account, because they're a transfer partner of OneWorld, I can actually transfer BA miles to Iberia (rather than just book on Iberia), and their fuel surcharges are lower than BA's for similar distance routes. It sucks that they have fuel surcharges, but thats not too uncommon on international carriers especially between Europe and North America.

In fact, if I were a new flier, I'd definitely open or have accounts on every major alliance, plus Alaska, Virgin, and some other premium airlines. That way you won't have to worry about these delay times. Iberia's is 60 days from setting it up to transfer BA Avios, so I've set that clock ticking. The clock doesn't begin to run til you earn some Iberia Avios, but they have a contest right now - gives 50 free avios. The benefit of that is it activates your account.

Thanks for the research gunner.

(07-19-2014 02:46 AM)Tail Gunner Wrote:  
(07-17-2014 09:19 AM)G_global Wrote:  I just looked and US Airways has this 100 percent bonus purchase right now through the end of July. Coach on Cathay would be 70,000 roundtrip between NYC and HKG, not such a great deal, actually. But biz class is only 110,000 roundtrip, and that ticket is north of US$6,000 usually, meaning $1800 has gotten you most of the way there, and you save around 4,000 on a first class airline.

(07-17-2014 07:16 AM)G_global Wrote:  Along this idea, US Airways often does 2x bonus on mileage purchases several times a year. This means if you buy 50,000 miles, you get an additional 50,000 miles for free (they do something similar with sharing miles with other US Airways frequent fliers). I recently bought 50,000 plus 50,000 with US Airways for around 1850 USD, and with the miles in hand, I can get a round trip biz class ticket on Cathay (also a US Airways partner through One World) for 110,000 miles, NYC-HKG. Thats a great price, when premium economy one way NYC-HKG recently priced out at 1700. So moving up in class from a one way ticket to a two way ticket, on the world's #1 rated airlines (by some raters, at least) is quite a way to make money go a lot further. And the same holds true even if you're just interested in booking coach tickets, though they tend to be a bit pricier on a dollar for dollar exchange basis than using more mileage for a biz class seat.

I just researched this topic, because I would love to fly business class on Cathay on a long-haul flight for one-third of the cost. But your account must be at least 12 days old (which precludes opening a new account to take advantage of this deal) PLUS U.S. Airways must target you for the offer. I have no clue why it targets particular accounts. While I see the benefits of such deals, this is exactly why I hate dealing with this crap.

http://millionmilesecrets.com/2014/07/09...-targeted/

Great thread, though. I need to learn this stuff.

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Strip away judeo-christian ethics ingraining sex is dirty/bad & the idea we're taking advantage of these girls disintegrates. Once you've lost that ethical quandary (which it isn't outside religion) then they've no reason to play the victim, you've no reason to feel the rogue. The interaction is to their benefit.
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Phils SZ China
07-19-2014 03:44 AM
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Post: #27
RE: The Frequent Traveller Thread - Perks, points, and deals for beginners and experts
http://www.holidaypirates.com/flights?page=2

For those in Europe, I regularly check this site. Some great deals on flights from Europe to Asia recently... £287 Rome - Japan - London.

Apologies, this is nothing to do with air miles or points. Just a useful site I found.
(This post was last modified: 07-19-2014 02:01 PM by Ladoo.)
07-19-2014 02:00 PM
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Post: #28
RE: The Frequent Traveller Thread - Perks, points, and deals for beginners and experts
To the contrary Ladoo, this is a very helpful post, and actually has a lot to do with points. There is another method point gatherers use to collect points, which is to buy cheap tickets that fly long distances to places they'd otherwise go. For example, flying from Phoenix to San Francisco, having the choice to route through either of Dallas, or say Los Angeles, some (especially those who get free upgrades) would route through Dallas to get the extra mileage. If you're not in a rush and the seat is comfortable. Who wouldn't want to go to Tokyo, and for 287 pounds, you'll be collecting a huge amount of miles for that trip. If its on an airline with good allegiances, thats an excellent "hack," or at least highly efficient. I'd book it. All you need a positioning flight between Rome and London on a commuter airway for a low price.

(07-19-2014 02:00 PM)Ladoo Wrote:  http://www.holidaypirates.com/flights?page=2

For those in Europe, I regularly check this site. Some great deals on flights from Europe to Asia recently... £287 Rome - Japan - London.

Apologies, this is nothing to do with air miles or points. Just a useful site I found.

I've referral links for most credit cards, PM me for them & thanks if you use them
Strip away judeo-christian ethics ingraining sex is dirty/bad & the idea we're taking advantage of these girls disintegrates. Once you've lost that ethical quandary (which it isn't outside religion) then they've no reason to play the victim, you've no reason to feel the rogue. The interaction is to their benefit.
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Phils SZ China
07-20-2014 01:45 AM
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Post: #29
RE:The Frequent Traveller Thread - Perks, points, and deals for beginners and experts
Virgin America is currently offering a fairly generous incentive to new members.

They’re offering 500 points for joining Elevate, and an additional 7,500 Elevate points after you take your first flight in first class (2500 for Main Cabin and 5000 bonus for main cabin select). There are some great ways to take advantage of this promotion, like a $219 first class fare between San Francisco and San Diego, but with the current 20% discount thats available on many flights, including this one, that fare is now $178.

I often fly to Vegas from LA or San Fran on Virgin, and if you are new to their program and planning a Vegas trip, might as well get between 2500 and 7500 miles free (especially when its available as a bonus on a flight thats less than 500 miles).

Here's my referral link - feel free to use it. I'll get a bonus if you do as well.

Virgin American sign-up bonus

I've referral links for most credit cards, PM me for them & thanks if you use them
Strip away judeo-christian ethics ingraining sex is dirty/bad & the idea we're taking advantage of these girls disintegrates. Once you've lost that ethical quandary (which it isn't outside religion) then they've no reason to play the victim, you've no reason to feel the rogue. The interaction is to their benefit.
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Phils SZ China
07-21-2014 10:04 AM
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Post: #30
RE: The Frequent Traveller Thread - Perks, points, and deals for beginners and experts
Jet Blue is for award bookings this week, giving 20 percent of the redeemed mileage back as a rebate, for travel during the fall. This is a pretty good deal, amping up the value of a Jet Blue point from 1.5 cents per to 1.8 cents per (according to industry "experts"). The miles will be withdrawn from your account, and then deposited back after the flight, as a rebate, so you lose access to them for a while. If you're looking at transferring points to a program for travel during Sept. 2 to October 31, definitely something to consider getting done with Jet Blue this week.

I've referral links for most credit cards, PM me for them & thanks if you use them
Strip away judeo-christian ethics ingraining sex is dirty/bad & the idea we're taking advantage of these girls disintegrates. Once you've lost that ethical quandary (which it isn't outside religion) then they've no reason to play the victim, you've no reason to feel the rogue. The interaction is to their benefit.
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Phils SZ China
07-22-2014 04:08 PM
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Post: #31
RE: The Frequent Traveller Thread - Perks, points, and deals for beginners and experts
Several airlines, such as Airfrance, British Airways and Delta currently have Canada to South African (Capetown and JBurg) biz class roundtrip for $2400. Thats a very steep discount. Low enough that there will be some who find it worth buying a ticket from their home city in the U.S. up to Toronto to start their journey. (Also, US players may be able to route back home through their home city and then throw away the final segment back to Canada.)

I've referral links for most credit cards, PM me for them & thanks if you use them
Strip away judeo-christian ethics ingraining sex is dirty/bad & the idea we're taking advantage of these girls disintegrates. Once you've lost that ethical quandary (which it isn't outside religion) then they've no reason to play the victim, you've no reason to feel the rogue. The interaction is to their benefit.
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Phils SZ China
07-22-2014 04:25 PM
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Post: #32
RE: The Frequent Traveller Thread - Perks, points, and deals for beginners and experts
Guys listen up. G Global is doing you a mega service by aggregating all of the top CC/miles deals into one thread.

If you pay attention to what he's been saying then you can fly 1st or Business to where you want to go for oftentimes CHEAPER than what you'd pay for an economy ticket.
07-22-2014 07:16 PM
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RE: The Frequent Traveller Thread - Perks, points, and deals for beginners and experts
Here is a little tip that can be useful for guys traveling to Asia.

You can use AAdvantage miles (American Airlines) to redeem with Cathay Pacific. It's a HK based airline, one of the best in the world. You won't see these award flights on the AAdvantage web site, can only book them by calling AA, but this may be a good thing because the availability is generally pretty good.

Direct flights to HK from JFK and good connections throughout Asia. You can also stop over in HK which is a great city. From 70K miles for a round trip Economy class ticket from the US to Asia. 15K more if you stop over for more than 24 hours. Book over 3 weeks in advance to avoid an additional $75 fee, you can change the dates later for free if there are tickets available.

A good way to get AAdvantage miles is getting an AAdvantage Citibank credit card with a signup bonus. There are different types of them (Visa/Mastercard, Personal/Small Biz). Get a couple of them, apply on the same day to avoid separate hits on your credit report. Spend 3K on each within 3 months (including manufactured spend which is a different subject) and get 100K AA miles. Boom!
(This post was last modified: 07-22-2014 08:26 PM by Brodiaga.)
07-22-2014 08:23 PM
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Post: #34
RE: The Frequent Traveller Thread - Perks, points, and deals for beginners and experts
This is some good info.

Most importantly G is giving us information that is easy to understand for everyone, not just pros.

I can't understand half the jargon on flyertalk and other similar websites.

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07-22-2014 09:10 PM
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Post: #35
RE: The Frequent Traveller Thread - Perks, points, and deals for beginners and experts
Thanks guys for the props.

I'm going to start a series of "Core Articles" which will address in some degree of depth the basics of setting up your situation to make the best use of the funds you spend and the credit you have available to you. I'll just mark them "Core" or something so that scanning through pages or searching more easily can extract the basic, getting started information as a reference tool. If there's a better way to do this in the context of the forum, great. I'm also considering setting up or partnering with a pre-existing outside site with more detailed information and perhaps credit card referral options, though I want to get this thread more populated and hence, popular.

I don't know why the jargon on these sites has become so esoteric - I will admit that some of the best posters really do good analysis - at the same time there's a bunch of sloppiness or subjectivity inherent in a lot of the blogs, some of it arising from laziness perhaps, and some arising from the products people are promoting through their writing.

Mentavious, back at you for keeping up the thread regarding international travel. I've tried to work a little of that in here, more often when its specifically applicable to the topics being discussed here, or just to good to let people potentially miss. But you''ve got the real deal on your thread, just like Hung Wei Lo had the real deal with his postings on the overlapping topic of credit/points gen a few months ago.

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Strip away judeo-christian ethics ingraining sex is dirty/bad & the idea we're taking advantage of these girls disintegrates. Once you've lost that ethical quandary (which it isn't outside religion) then they've no reason to play the victim, you've no reason to feel the rogue. The interaction is to their benefit.
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Phils SZ China
07-23-2014 09:08 AM
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Post: #36
RE: The Frequent Traveller Thread - Perks, points, and deals for beginners and experts
(07-23-2014 09:08 AM)G_global Wrote:  Mentavious, back at you for keeping up the thread regarding international travel.

I wholeheartedly agree. I have been subscribed to that thread from the beginning. I gave him a well-deserved +1. Great RooshV effort to help other members.

I hope that this thread results in something similar. I know that it takes time and effort, so I hope that you guys can monetize it somehow. I have no problem with members doing that, providing that they make an up-front disclosure (just as G_Global did with the Virgin American link).
(This post was last modified: 07-23-2014 10:30 AM by Tail Gunner.)
07-23-2014 10:26 AM
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RE:The Frequent Traveller Thread - Perks, points, and deals for beginners and experts
CORE ARTICLE

"You gotta know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, know when to walk away, know when to run..." Kenny Rogers, The Gambler

What are points worth, and why do you care?

The question of what a point, in a particular loyalty program, is worth is fairly central to the whole concept of collecting points and using them for travel, upgrades, hotels or even cash-back programs. And because there are multiple ways to obtain points, and so many ways to use them, it can be difficult to value them - to be fair, the value differs from person to person, based on their circumstances. There might be points that are hugely valuable to you because you often travel to a particular destination and those points provide a lot there, but for me, if I don't go there or somewhere with similar characteristics, I wouldn't pursue points in that loyalty program at all. That being said, the biggest loyalty programs (the major airline alliances and the biggest hotel chains, Hilton and Marriot) tend to have SOME value across most geographic locations, just because they typically have a way to trade points for travel almost anywhere. A program like Hyatt though has points that may be very valuable in first world big cities but less valuable in the third world, as Hyatt only has I believe 300 hotels worldwide in its network. If you stay in the big cities, these points have more value to you then to some who gets further off the beaten path.

The chart below is from a blog, and is just that blogger's interpretation of what the value is of a point in each program. It's based on what the points can be traded for (e.g., if 10000 points can be traded for a $50 hotel room, then the points would be worth .02 cents each). Still keeping in mind that points can often have vastly different values depending on what you use them for, but what this chart and valuations like this are useful for is telling you when to make the trade, or when not to make the trade (as a buyer of points, or as a user of points). Hence, if the estimated value of your Starwood points is 2.6 cents per point, typically its a bad deal for you to cash them in on a hotel room where you're actualizing less than 2.6 cents for point, and a good deal if you're actualizing more than 2.6 cents per point. (I'll provide some detailed examples later of what the hell this means). Similarly, if a loyalty program offers the opportunity to buy points, either normally or as a part of a promotion, then you don't want to buy them in most cases (or at least not buy a large amount of them) for a price that is more than the estimated value per point. Of course, you may want to buy a few sometimes, to top off an account where you can get to a redemption level (i.e., the level needed to trade the points balance for a flight, hotel room, etc.) even if the value isn't quite exceeding the cost of the points.

[Image: ScreenShot2014-07-23at72935AM_zps1de2bd90.png]
[Image: ScreenShot2014-07-23at72950AM_zps33c5346b.png]

The blogger's comments are the reasons he's altered the value of the points from last month to this month. For example, during june, Starwood is giving a 20 percent bonus on mileage transfers to American Airlines and US Air. They also always give a 25 percent bonus for transfers in blocks of 20,000 Starwood points, and these bonuses "Stack" which mean you get the bonus on the bonus.

So this month, if you had 20,000 starwood points to transfer to AA, you'd get a 5,000 bonus for a transfer of these points to any airline. You could alternatively use these points to stay or upgrade in Starwood hotels (Sheraton, W, Aloft, etc.) but the best use of starwood points is typically to transfer them in blocks of 20,000 and get the bonus. On top of this bonus, during July, an additional bonus would apply for transfers to USAir and AA, meaning if you transfer the 20,000 to AA, e.g., you'd get 20,000 x 1.25 = 25,000 x 1.2 = 30,000 miles, which is truly a great deal. I'm in vegas right now for work staying at a Starwood property, checking out Friday, and I'm hoping all of my miles from my stay (more on this in a future post on Starwood) hit my account by the 31st so that I can transfer to AA and get the double bonus (I should have 20000 after my stay is done).

So lets consider some recent examples from my own life. In May, I bought miles from USAir. They offered an open to the public promotion whereby if you bought a full 50,000 miles, you could get a 50,000 bonus for free. The total price for 100,000 miles was 1,855 USD or thereabouts. I bought it, and if you look at the chart, you'll see that its pretty much buying at "par" or the value of the points, at least by this bloggers estimate. But remember, you have to consider your own situation. Mine is that I live in south China and Cathay is my home airport carrier back to the USA. Also, my client pays for 4 trips minimum back to the US per year at least in premium economy class. So in my situation I have the #1 Airline in the world (just won again, 4th time in the last 11 years or so), which is part of an alliance with USAirways. They also generally have decent availability in business class for flights to the US, and a biz class flight is 110,000 miles (a bit more than I bought). Finally, and most importantly, I can use my US Air miles to book a Cathay ticket, because they are part of the same Alliance (and this very very important general rule holds true within most partners within a single alliance). I normally pay around 1700 one way for a preferred economy flight from HK to NYC or LA, and now, I'll basically have in excess of 90 percent of the mileage I need by spending 1855 for a round trip, business class. Since that ticket is normally around $6,000, that means I'm getting about 6000/110000 or 5.4 cents per point. If I booked economy instead, at 70,000 miles roundtrip, with a ticket price generally around 1700 (not on cathay but on an inferior airline with a lower ticket price), the value would per mile/point would be about 1700/70000 or 2.4 cents per mile. In first class (I'll skip the math lesson) the value exceeds 12 cents per mile. So again, it depends on your circumstances, but with my work paying, I'll gladly arb from 1.8 cents on purchase to 5 cents on redemption (rounding down since I still have to find the other 10,000 miles for the total 110,000 necessary for biz class). Totally worth it, and so for me, with my desire to fly the worlds best airline business class for a really long fucking flight, those points are worth 5 cents each to me.

I guess the point of this is that the more you know how to use points, and understand whats available given where you need to go and how long you need to stay, you'll vary from the points charts like these. But for starters, until you know that, or understand a bit better the options, these charts are decent tools for figuring out when to buy, and when to hold, and when to trade (and when to walk away/run away).

Most importantly, keep in mind that a point you never use because its stranded in a program without enough miles ever to redeem for anything, or because it expires, is worth NOTHING. When you fly one time on Cathay Airways, if you don't expect to aggregate a lot of flights on that airline or to be often traveling where you'd want a Cathay award flight, don't give them your Cathay frequent flier number. Given them a British Airways, US Airways, or American Airways, or whatever other OneWorld alliance partner makes sense for you (be careful of those that charge fuel surcharges on many flights, British Airways does but there tends to be ways around it). Alternatively, you could collect a large number of miles in your Cathay account and then redeem those on any OneWorld alliance airline. But what you don't ever want to do is bank a single flights miles in an airline account and then decide later than you're going to aggregate miles for that alliance in a different account. Generally, those miles might buy you some magazine subscriptions or other crap tard but otherwise will be stranded. Value = 0.

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Strip away judeo-christian ethics ingraining sex is dirty/bad & the idea we're taking advantage of these girls disintegrates. Once you've lost that ethical quandary (which it isn't outside religion) then they've no reason to play the victim, you've no reason to feel the rogue. The interaction is to their benefit.
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Phils SZ China
07-23-2014 11:07 AM
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Post: #38
RE: The Frequent Traveller Thread - Perks, points, and deals for beginners and experts
G_global, thanks for the chart above.

(07-22-2014 09:10 PM)Mentavious Wrote:  This is some good info.

Most importantly G is giving us information that is easy to understand for everyone, not just pros.

I can't understand half the jargon on flyertalk and other similar websites.

Flyertalk is a bit hardcore. I used to be active on that forum. Funny running into like 10 people doing MRs and shit. Ahhh the old days. Hardcore people taking pics of their amenity kits and shit (never was that crazy).

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(This post was last modified: 07-23-2014 11:14 AM by samsamsam.)
07-23-2014 11:12 AM
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My take on this stuff....
First post here: I'm a big expert on this stuff. I've been playing this game for almost 10 years and am one of the big experts on Flyertalk. I fly 250,000 miles for work a year, mostly to South/Central America and Asia. There's just a few things to keep in mind when playing this game.

1. Blogs are businesses - a lot of these bloggers will throw information at you to push their credit cards (which they get a kickback from). A blogger like The Points Guy is actually really not much of an expert at all (seriously, a lot of his good stuff is written by others), but rather a pretty good businessman. Blogs such as Hack My Trip are a bit less influenced by Chase and AMEX. Also, all of these blogs only write about Starwood and Hyatt because they're hooked on free breakfast with their status, and don't really offer anything too interesting with the other chains.

2. There are things to keep in mind when booking these awards. For example, the US Airways award mentioned above can't be changed after the departure of the first flight, while other airlines' awards can. If the OP is flying JFK-HKG-CAN-HKG-JFK on August 20th and returning on May 2nd of next year, it can't be touched after the first flight. This is the biggest problem with the US awards. That one blog (which probably influenced the OP) is a young gay guy who just flies around the world writing trip reports and doesn't have any real obligations. He flies these awards in 2 days and doesn't really have the schedule change issues that most of us would have. Also don't forget that US awards from Central America/Caribbean are cheaper than from the USA, so SDQ-JFK-NRT (stop)-CAN-HKG-JFK-SDQ is possible for 90,000 miles (I know how this forum loves SDQ). Other programs have similar caveats that one should be aware of before delving into this game too deeply.

3. The Pointbreaks list is king. Follow the IHG thread in Flyertalk and beat the blogs to announce the list. I booked 3 weeks in the Intercontinental Medellin earlier this year and had more than a little success bringing girls back to my suite at one of the top hotels in town. For those who aren't familiar with pointbreaks, it's a 5k points/night promo at IHG hotels (holiday inn, crowne plaza, intercontinental, and more) on a random list. The points can be bought for 35$/5k points easily. I've stayed full months in these hotels before when a great and convenient property appeared on the list. Thankfully, it seems no one is really interested in the properties in South and Central America as much as the ones in the USA.

Any questions, let me know. I'm not so familiar with how this forum works in terms of private messages and the like, but I'll post a bit more now that my account has been approved for posting.
07-23-2014 11:26 AM
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Post: #40
RE: The Frequent Traveller Thread - Perks, points, and deals for beginners and experts
Sam, as I said previously, and as was repeated by "Big Expert" El Cid, remember not to use that chart as gospel - its just a starting point. I'd definitely say that if points are being sold more expensively that the chart, I'd take a hard look before considering buying any significant amount. Then look at the value you'll get from cashing them in, compare to the cost and make your decision. Using this methodology, you're definitely less likely to do a speculative buy (meaning you buy without knowing what you'll use your miles for). Best off to do your own calculation and see if it really makes sense.


(07-23-2014 11:12 AM)Elcidcampeador Wrote:  First post here: I'm a big expert on this stuff. I've been playing this game for almost 10 years and am one of the big experts on Flyertalk. I fly 250,000 miles for work a year, mostly to South/Central America and Asia. There's just a few things to keep in mind when playing this game.

1. Blogs are businesses - a lot of these bloggers will throw information at you to push their credit cards (which they get a kickback from). A blogger like The Points Guy is actually really not much of an expert at all (seriously, a lot of his good stuff is written by others), but rather a pretty good businessman. Blogs such as Hack My Trip are a bit less influenced by Chase and AMEX. Also, all of these blogs only write about Starwood and Hyatt because they're hooked on free breakfast with their status, and don't really offer anything too interesting with the other chains.

2. There are things to keep in mind when booking these awards. For example, the US Airways award mentioned above can't be changed after the departure of the first flight, while other airlines' awards can. If the OP is flying JFK-HKG-CAN-HKG-JFK on August 20th and returning on May 2nd of next year, it can't be touched after the first flight. This is the biggest problem with the US awards. That one blog (which probably influenced the OP) is a young gay guy who just flies around the world writing trip reports and doesn't have any real obligations. He flies these awards in 2 days and doesn't really have the schedule change issues that most of us would have. Also don't forget that US awards from Central America/Caribbean are cheaper than from the USA, so SDQ-JFK-NRT (stop)-CAN-HKG-JFK-SDQ is possible for 90,000 miles (I know how this forum loves SDQ). Other programs have similar caveats that one should be aware of before delving into this game too deeply.

3. The Pointbreaks list is king. Follow the IHG thread in Flyertalk and beat the blogs to announce the list. I booked 3 weeks in the Intercontinental Medellin earlier this year and had more than a little success bringing girls back to my suite at one of the top hotels in town. For those who aren't familiar with pointbreaks, it's a 5k points/night promo at IHG hotels (holiday inn, crowne plaza, intercontinental, and more) on a random list. The points can be bought for 35$/5k points easily. I've stayed full months in these hotels before when a great and convenient property appeared on the list. Thankfully, it seems no one is really interested in the properties in South and Central America as much as the ones in the USA.

Any questions, let me know. I'm not so familiar with how this forum works in terms of private messages and the like, but I'll post a bit more now that my account has been approved for posting.


Big Expert,
I agree that the blogs are business, driven off their credit card referral fees. One can read the blogs, figure out the biases and then adapt the information for their own situation. Thanks for the warning though.
(07-23-2014 11:12 AM)G_Global Wrote:  I don't know why the jargon on these sites has become so esoteric - I will admit that some of the best posters really do good analysis - at the same time there's a bunch of sloppiness or subjectivity inherent in a lot of the blogs, some of it arising from laziness perhaps, and some arising from the products people are promoting through their writing.
For me, when I have a board meeting in the USA, I won't be changing my flights, I know when I'll be going and returning, and so the inability to change the flights without cost doesn't affect me. Also, many airlines allow one way booking so if you're doing a long trip, it can often be worthwhile to do oneway awards. More airlines seem to be making one-way awards an option. Again, though, what you're reiterating is that the value of the points is dependent on the situation of the traveller. For me, I'm more interested in avoiding fuel surcharges than worry about change fees that will never affect me. For others, change fees might be more of a consideration. Also, I guess I am not sure why the fact that the blogger is gay has anything to do with the award chart, its value and limitations. But congrats on the inside information.

I'll check out the Pointsbreak list. $35 for an Intercontinental night is a very good deal - I stayed twice at the Mexico City Intercontinental recently and I was impressed by the quality. Apparently recent purchase opportunities for Club Carlson also appear to have good implicit value, but frankly, I've not stayed in that chain.

Edit: Here's the link to the Pointsbreak list. http://www.ihg.com/hotels/us/en/global/r...ointbreaks One choice currently for all of asia, two in all of Latin America (three in Mexico, listed separately). Definitely good prices if it happens to be, this time around, for a city your visiting anyway.

Welcome to the discussion.
(07-23-2014 11:12 AM)samsamsam Wrote:  G_global, thanks for the chart above.

(07-22-2014 09:10 PM)Mentavious Wrote:  This is some good info.

Most importantly G is giving us information that is easy to understand for everyone, not just pros.

I can't understand half the jargon on flyertalk and other similar websites.

Flyertalk is a bit hardcore. I used to be active on that forum. Funny running into like 10 people doing MRs and shit. Ahhh the old days. Hardcore people taking pics of their amenity kits and shit (never was that crazy).

I've referral links for most credit cards, PM me for them & thanks if you use them
Strip away judeo-christian ethics ingraining sex is dirty/bad & the idea we're taking advantage of these girls disintegrates. Once you've lost that ethical quandary (which it isn't outside religion) then they've no reason to play the victim, you've no reason to feel the rogue. The interaction is to their benefit.
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(This post was last modified: 07-23-2014 12:08 PM by Global Entry.)
07-23-2014 11:45 AM
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Vicious Offline
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RE: The Frequent Traveller Thread - Perks, points, and deals for beginners and experts
G_g you have tons of food info for guys here that wasn't too get into the frequent flyer game I suspect though that it might become somewhat overpowering.

Consider adding headlines and maybe even an index. Take this as props.
07-23-2014 12:08 PM
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RE: The Frequent Traveller Thread - Perks, points, and deals for beginners and experts
Thanks, V. I'll take it in the spirit in which its intended. Headlines are easy enough, how do I do an Index here?

(07-23-2014 09:08 AM)G_global Wrote:  Thanks guys for the props.

I'm going to start a series of "Core Articles" which will address in some degree of depth the basics of setting up your situation to make the best use of the funds you spend and the credit you have available to you. I'll just mark them "Core" or something so that scanning through pages or searching more easily can extract the basic, getting started information as a reference tool. If there's a better way to do this in the context of the forum, great. I'm also considering setting up or partnering with a pre-existing outside site with more detailed information and perhaps credit card referral options, though I want to get this thread more populated and hence, popular.

I don't know why the jargon on these sites has become so esoteric - I will admit that some of the best posters really do good analysis - at the same time there's a bunch of sloppiness or subjectivity inherent in a lot of the blogs, some of it arising from laziness perhaps, and some arising from the products people are promoting through their writing.

Mentavious, back at you for keeping up the thread regarding international travel. I've tried to work a little of that in here, more often when its specifically applicable to the topics being discussed here, or just to good to let people potentially miss. But you''ve got the real deal on your thread, just like Hung Wei Lo had the real deal with his postings on the overlapping topic of credit/points gen a few months ago.

(07-23-2014 12:08 PM)Vicious Wrote:  G_g you have tons of food info for guys here that wasn't too get into the frequent flyer game I suspect though that it might become somewhat overpowering.

Consider adding headlines and maybe even an index. Take this as props.

I've referral links for most credit cards, PM me for them & thanks if you use them
Strip away judeo-christian ethics ingraining sex is dirty/bad & the idea we're taking advantage of these girls disintegrates. Once you've lost that ethical quandary (which it isn't outside religion) then they've no reason to play the victim, you've no reason to feel the rogue. The interaction is to their benefit.
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07-23-2014 12:10 PM
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A little more on the Pointbreaks list
The pointbreaks list can be a tremendous opportunity for people here, as the list tends to have a lot of properties in high-value destinations. The last list was garbage, with the only Intercontinental being in Cleveland. This link to flyertalk (Pointbreaks List) shows a historical list of Pointbreaks properties.

Think top hotels in prime locations for 35$/night. It's worth checking out.

The list right now is depleted because it's expiring in a week. The new list should be out Monday and a preview out before then.

The trick with these hotels are that they need to be booked immediately. The blogs publicize them, and the good hotels are gone within hours.

To get points, it's necessary to have an IHG Rewards Club account (Join here) and then buy 5,000 points here for $67.50 (Buy points).

Next, there is a little trick involving making and then cancelling a points and cash booking. With the 5,000 points, you can book a property that is normally 15,000 points a night for 5,000 points and $70. That $70 directly goes to buying the 10,000 points required to complete the 15,000 point booking. Therefore a 5,000 point and $70 booking when cancelled will leave 15,000 points in your account. If you make a few of these bookings and cancel them (there's usually no penalty to cancel bookings with points), you'll be making 5,000 points at a rate of 35$ per portion.

I'd recommend doing at least the account creation and 5,000 points initial purchase now in advance of the release of the new list. Once the list is out, one can act quickly and purchase as many points as they need to complete a desired booking.
07-23-2014 02:22 PM
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Tail Gunner Offline
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RE: The Frequent Traveller Thread - Perks, points, and deals for beginners and experts
(07-23-2014 11:07 AM)G_global Wrote:  Most importantly, keep in mind that a point you never use because its stranded in a program without enough miles ever to redeem for anything, or because it expires, is worth NOTHING. When you fly one time on Cathay Airways, if you don't expect to aggregate a lot of flights on that airline or to be often traveling where you'd want a Cathay award flight, don't give them your Cathay frequent flier number. Given them a British Airways, US Airways, or American Airways, or whatever other OneWorld alliance partner makes sense for you (be careful of those that charge fuel surcharges on many flights, British Airways does but there tends to be ways around it). Alternatively, you could collect a large number of miles in your Cathay account and then redeem those on any OneWorld alliance airline. But what you don't ever want to do is bank a single flights miles in an airline account and then decide later than you're going to aggregate miles for that alliance in a different account. Generally, those miles might buy you some magazine subscriptions or other crap tard but otherwise will be stranded. Value = 0.

I have read this paragraph numerous times and I still do not understand much of it, except for the first sentence. Perhaps I can provide a real life example and you can tell me what not to do. lol

As I mentioned in another thread, I hope to visit the Philippines next February, so I have plenty of time to plan. I am a really bad flyer and a long trip in coach is like a torture chamber to me. So, I am hoping to create a U.S. Airways Dividend Miles account, obtain a U.S. Airways MasterCard with 40,000 Dividend Miles, and then purchase 50,000 miles during the next two-for-one sales promotion for an additional 100,000 miles. I would then have 140,000 miles in my U.S. Airways Dividend Miles account and I could then obtain a business class seat on Cathay Airlines for a trip to the Phils. I hope that I have presented the gist of that plan correctly.

So, using my trip as an example, perhaps you could demonstrate how I could muck that up (based on the information that you provided that I do not understand). I am hoping that an example demonstrates the pitfalls better than a narrative. Much thanks in advance.
(This post was last modified: 07-23-2014 04:20 PM by Tail Gunner.)
07-23-2014 03:39 PM
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The Frequent Traveller Thread - Perks, points, and deals for beginners and experts
Actually, since you'd be booking award travel (and your plans for that seem fine - keep in mind these trips will go through HK and your total flight time will be longer as a result, but on OneWorld, I'd generally agree that this still might be your best choice) you won't be earning any miles. You only earn miles when you buy a ticket, not when you fly on one obtained as an award for points.

But lets change the example as if you were buying the ticket (and then maybe upgrading using miles, or not). If you bought a ticket on Cathay, and you otherwise didn't expect to fly Cathay again, and didn't want to aggregate your mileage on Cathay (by giving a cathay number when flying other OneWorld airlines like USAir), then after this trip, you might have say 15,000 miles on Cathay. Without any further collections to that account, that amount isn't enough to use for an award flight (unless Cathay has some one way bookings within Asia). Thus the amount would be stranded, until you earned perhaps another 10,000 miles by flying a OneWorld partner or Cathay and providing your Cathay number, or transferring miles into that program from a credit card or hotel brand that allows transfers to Cathay frequent flier accounts. Assuming that your US-based, I'd keep it simple for purchased flights and collect all your OneWorld miles in USAirways if you expect to buy miles on US Airways (though that option may disappear as they merge into American, at which point the balances purportedly will be combined anyway). By the way, I believe that 140,000 will get you a first class trip.

(07-23-2014 03:39 PM)Tail Gunner Wrote:  
(07-23-2014 11:07 AM)G_global Wrote:  Most importantly, keep in mind that a point you never use because its stranded in a program without enough miles ever to redeem for anything, or because it expires, is worth NOTHING. When you fly one time on Cathay Airways, if you don't expect to aggregate a lot of flights on that airline or to be often traveling where you'd want a Cathay award flight, don't give them your Cathay frequent flier number. Given them a British Airways, US Airways, or American Airways, or whatever other OneWorld alliance partner makes sense for you (be careful of those that charge fuel surcharges on many flights, British Airways does but there tends to be ways around it). Alternatively, you could collect a large number of miles in your Cathay account and then redeem those on any OneWorld alliance airline. But what you don't ever want to do is bank a single flights miles in an airline account and then decide later than you're going to aggregate miles for that alliance in a different account. Generally, those miles might buy you some magazine subscriptions or other crap tard but otherwise will be stranded. Value = 0.

I have read this paragraph numerous times and I still do not understand much of it, except for the first sentence. Perhaps I can provide a real life example and you can tell me what not to do. lol

As I mentioned in another thread, I hope to visit the Philippines next February, so I have plenty of time to plan. I am a really bad flyer and a long trip in coach is like a torture chamber to me. So, I am hoping to create a U.S. Airways Dividend Miles account, obtain a U.S. Airways MasterCard with 40,000 Dividend Miles, and then purchase 50,000 miles during the next two-for-one sales promotion for an additional 100,000 miles. I would then have 140,000 miles in my U.S. Airways Dividend Miles account and I could then obtain a business class seat on Cathay Airlines for a trip to the Phils. I hope that I have presented the gist of that plan correctly.

So, using my trip as an example, perhaps you could demonstrate how I could muck that up (based on the information that you provided that I do not understand). I am hoping that an example demonstrates the pitfalls better than a narrative. Much thanks in advance.

I've referral links for most credit cards, PM me for them & thanks if you use them
Strip away judeo-christian ethics ingraining sex is dirty/bad & the idea we're taking advantage of these girls disintegrates. Once you've lost that ethical quandary (which it isn't outside religion) then they've no reason to play the victim, you've no reason to feel the rogue. The interaction is to their benefit.
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(This post was last modified: 07-23-2014 08:56 PM by Global Entry.)
07-23-2014 08:54 PM
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Post: #46
RE: The Frequent Traveller Thread - Perks, points, and deals for beginners and experts
Please be sure to drop a post here so people know when to check back, would be great for our group to get an early look at it before the best of the pickings are gone.

(07-23-2014 02:22 PM)elcidcampeador Wrote:  The pointbreaks list can be a tremendous opportunity for people here, as the list tends to have a lot of properties in high-value destinations. The last list was garbage, with the only Intercontinental being in Cleveland. This link to flyertalk (Pointbreaks List) shows a historical list of Pointbreaks properties.

Think top hotels in prime locations for 35$/night. It's worth checking out.

The list right now is depleted because it's expiring in a week. The new list should be out Monday and a preview out before then.

The trick with these hotels are that they need to be booked immediately. The blogs publicize them, and the good hotels are gone within hours.

To get points, it's necessary to have an IHG Rewards Club account (Join here) and then buy 5,000 points here for $67.50 (Buy points).

Next, there is a little trick involving making and then cancelling a points and cash booking. With the 5,000 points, you can book a property that is normally 15,000 points a night for 5,000 points and $70. That $70 directly goes to buying the 10,000 points required to complete the 15,000 point booking. Therefore a 5,000 point and $70 booking when cancelled will leave 15,000 points in your account. If you make a few of these bookings and cancel them (there's usually no penalty to cancel bookings with points), you'll be making 5,000 points at a rate of 35$ per portion.

I'd recommend doing at least the account creation and 5,000 points initial purchase now in advance of the release of the new list. Once the list is out, one can act quickly and purchase as many points as they need to complete a desired booking.

I've referral links for most credit cards, PM me for them & thanks if you use them
Strip away judeo-christian ethics ingraining sex is dirty/bad & the idea we're taking advantage of these girls disintegrates. Once you've lost that ethical quandary (which it isn't outside religion) then they've no reason to play the victim, you've no reason to feel the rogue. The interaction is to their benefit.
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07-23-2014 08:57 PM
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Post: #47
The Frequent Traveller Thread - Perks, points, and deals for beginners and experts
Right now Caesars is having its purportedly 25% off sale. This covers the following hotels in Vegas: Caesars Palace NOBU Hotel Planet Hollywood Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino Harrah's Las Vegas Paris Las Vegas Flamingo Las Vegas Bally's Las Vegas The Quad The Cromwell The LINQ

Also, now with the SPG partnership, you'll earn points to your Starwood account (and to some degree status, but make sure to call and check, and in any event, I believe its limited to 10 nights per year towards elite status, and it doesn't count towards lifetime elite status - Starwood has great online help via chat as well, very easy to use) by staying there. Since the Starwood options in Vegas kind of suck, if your collecting SPG points like I do, and aiming for status with them, this is a more interesting option on-strip. I checked the Cromwell out the other night, brand new, where Drai's is, could be a good home base for a stay. Definitely brace yourself for price increases for the weekends though.

I've referral links for most credit cards, PM me for them & thanks if you use them
Strip away judeo-christian ethics ingraining sex is dirty/bad & the idea we're taking advantage of these girls disintegrates. Once you've lost that ethical quandary (which it isn't outside religion) then they've no reason to play the victim, you've no reason to feel the rogue. The interaction is to their benefit.
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07-23-2014 09:11 PM
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Post: #48
RE: The Frequent Traveller Thread - Perks, points, and deals for beginners and experts
G-global, here is a question for you: I opened a Finnair frequent flyer account earlier this year, because I purchased a ticket and I figured "why not apply the miles?" I can apply for a U.S. Airways MasterCard and get 40,000 miles. I can also apply for a British Airways Visa card for 50,000 miles. All three of these airlines are members of the OneWorld Alliance. Can I somehow combine all these miles to obtain a ticket on just one airline, e.g., on Cathay Airlines?

If so, how do I do this?
(This post was last modified: 07-23-2014 10:18 PM by Tail Gunner.)
07-23-2014 10:17 PM
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RE: The Frequent Traveller Thread - Perks, points, and deals for beginners and experts
(07-23-2014 10:17 PM)Tail Gunner Wrote:  G-global, here is a question for you: I opened a Finnair frequent flyer account earlier this year, because I purchased a ticket and I figured "why not apply the miles?" I can apply for a U.S. Airways MasterCard and get 40,000 miles. I can also apply for a British Airways Visa card for 50,000 miles. All three of these airlines are members of the OneWorld Alliance. Can I somehow combine all these miles to obtain a ticket on just one airline, e.g., on Cathay Airlines?

If so, how do I do this?

You cannot combine points from multiple frequent flyer accounts, even though they're part of the same alliance. You CAN however, use miles from one frequent flyer account to book across the entire alliance. So for example, you could book a BA flight using AA miles, but you can't take miles from both BA and AA, combine them and book something.

Also, booking flights using miles is purposely not easy. It's a free flight, you think they're just going to let you easily book the exact flight an seat you want?

When using miles to book, it's important to be flexible. Figuring out how to book miles, what search engines show award flights, and what FF programs to enroll in is an entirely different and lengthy process. Best bet is to read a few of the miles/CC blogs consistently and learn about it over the course of a few months. I read ViewFromTheWing, MillionMileSecrets, and ThePointsGuy daily.
07-24-2014 02:19 AM
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Vicious Offline
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Post: #50
RE: The Frequent Traveller Thread - Perks, points, and deals for beginners and experts
Tail Gunner, you can't. You'd have to either gain enough in one program and use it for an alliance award redemption or transfer it to a single FF program account . For the alliance award redemption it's the points price is 9/10 not as lucrative for the own Airlines award seats. For transfering points between airline programs there are usually fees and exchange rates other that 1:1 that further diminish their value.

Pick one and stick with it unless you are a frequent flyer that can amass, say, 100K in several programs over a 3 year period.

I have an idea about the indexing but it's I'll wait to type it out until I'm on my desktop. Just sitting on my mobile where I'm currently at.
07-24-2014 02:21 AM
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