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The Frequent Traveller Thread - Perks, points, and deals for beginners and experts
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Brodiaga Offline
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Post: #201
RE: The Frequent Traveller Thread - Perks, points, and deals for beginners and experts
(10-01-2014 10:36 AM)Global Entry Wrote:  They have other credit card transfer partners, not just their own branded credit card. You could transfer points from another card such as a Chase Ultimate Rewards card. There is also a good Ritz Carlton offer out there right now (well, two actually) and its the same program as Marriot. What might be more useful is to tell us why you want 10K Marriot points and maybe we can find a way to achieve a comparable result.

I have 50K Marriott points, need a hotel for a couple of nights in HK which costs 60K points or 30k/night. The best option i have found so far is to convert 10K United miles into 10K Marriott points, but United miles are valued at around 1.5c/mile (Marriott - 0.7c/point), so that's already $150 for $70 worth of points which is pretty expensive.

Btw, a good article on miles value
http://thepointsguy.com/2014/09/what-are...aluations/
(This post was last modified: 10-02-2014 10:31 PM by Brodiaga.)
10-02-2014 10:30 PM
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Global Entry Offline
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Post: #202
RE: The Frequent Traveller Thread - Perks, points, and deals for beginners and experts
You might need to open a new card. Or you can credit miles from other OneWorld partners to an Avios number, so do so if you fly American or USAir (in the US). No idea where you are or what you fly, but there's usually a way.

(10-02-2014 06:12 PM)Stun Wrote:  
(09-30-2014 09:34 PM)Global Entry Wrote:  You're welcome. Id get some of your points from credit card spend transferred to British Airways Avios and use their distance based chart to get award tickets on American or US Airways for 4500 miles or so. The absolute best way.

That sounds like a great deal. I am finding Citi TY points wants 8200 points for that trip and AAdvantage wants 25000 Dodgy

I checked Avios site and there seems to be a few ways to transfer miles, but not seeing anything to transfer from Citi or American.

(10-02-2014 10:30 PM)Brodiaga Wrote:  
(10-01-2014 10:36 AM)Global Entry Wrote:  They have other credit card transfer partners, not just their own branded credit card. You could transfer points from another card such as a Chase Ultimate Rewards card. There is also a good Ritz Carlton offer out there right now (well, two actually) and its the same program as Marriot. What might be more useful is to tell us why you want 10K Marriot points and maybe we can find a way to achieve a comparable result.

I have 50K Marriott points, need a hotel for a couple of nights in HK which costs 60K points or 30k/night. The best option i have found so far is to convert 10K United miles into 10K Marriott points, but United miles are valued at around 1.5c/mile (Marriott - 0.7c/point), so that's already $150 for $70 worth of points which is pretty expensive.

Btw, a good article on miles value
http://thepointsguy.com/2014/09/what-are...aluations/

I guess I'd book a free night and pay for a night, and save the 20K for next time. Depending on where you fly United miles could be worth that. I don't like the airline, but I would use them to fly to Europe or Hawaii on Star Alliance partners. I don't think I'd cry to much about using 10K United Miles for less than full value if I wanted to save the cash. But everyone values currency differently. Even your home airport makes a big difference.

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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10-03-2014 10:57 AM
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Global Entry Offline
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Post: #203
RE: The Frequent Traveller Thread - Perks, points, and deals for beginners and experts
If you've a short trip coming up that you want to book, in Europe, the US or in Asia, it could make a lot of sense to do a limited purchase of British Airways avios.

Right now there is a bonus on Avios, so they are giving an extra 20 percent free on a purchase. With the bonus, it comes out to 2.37c/avios. I would't go buying them to stockpile at that price (I'd rather get them from one of their several credit card or hotel transfer partners - British Airways Executive Club partners with American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, and Starwood Preferred Guest, so there are many ways to rack up British Airways Avios.). That being said, if you've a short but expensive flight coming up, this could be a real savings.

By way of example, a flight from NYC to Montreal is pricing out one way, last minute at 533 dollars. But if you booked with avios, that would only be 4500 avios (which is the required redemption for flights less than 650 miles in economy) to redeem to fly on a BA partner such as US Airways or American (I think AA is the metal on this route, not USA). At. 2.37c/avios, that gives a price of 105USD plus a 5 dollar surcharge, which is a huge savings over the cash ticket. This is an extreme example, but saving half or more using Avios isn't uncommon at all on short haul flights. I'll be using my avios to fly my gal and I from HKG to Siem Reap later this month, and the tickets will be 30000 avios all in roundtrip, rather than over USD 1000. Not quite the same value, but a good deal given what it costs me typically to obtain the avios in the first place. They are really the best currency for short flights assuming you have a partner of theirs nearby, and all of these partner flights in OneWorld (but not Alaska, which is their non-oneworld partner, with Aer Lingus) are bookable directly through the BA website.

This would cover, just by way of example, American flights to the caribbean, BA flights from England to many western european destinations, Finnair flights from Finland to many places in Northern Europe, Malaysian Air flights from KL around SE asia, and Dragon Air/Cathay flights out of HK around China and SE asia, among others.

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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10-05-2014 11:20 PM
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Handsome Creepy Eel Offline
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Post: #204
RE: The Frequent Traveller Thread - Perks, points, and deals for beginners and experts
(10-01-2014 10:36 AM)Global Entry Wrote:  
(10-01-2014 04:12 AM)Handsome Creepy Eel Wrote:  Noob question:

Is there any sort of benefit that I earn from airline membership programs if I make just one intercontinental return trip per year? What about two? At what amount of travel are you generally able to "cash in" for the most basic stuff?

Not really, but you're actually kind of asking the wrong question. The question is, what do you do that you can use to earn miles that will give you benefits. Don't think of the flights anymore as the primary method to earn points/status/whatever. They aren't. Your spending (even manufactured spending) (manufactured spending) and your obtaining credit card deals that give up sign up bonuses and rewards without spending are now the premium way to achieve these benefits. Glad you found this thread and don't worry about being new to it. In my experience, it only takes a few months to learn some tricks that can benefit you very significantly given your circumstances (even if those circumstances include fairly limited funds). Hardest thing to overcome is very bad credit.

Thanks man, much appreciated. I have never used any sort of delayed payment instrument of any sort (with interest or no interest) in my whole life though. This seems totally at odds with my habit of never having any debt and absolutely not incurring any interest expenses on anything.

I've found some charge (no interest incurred if you pay back everything on time) credit cards that earn you miles, as you said. I'm not sure the mile value I could derive from them (considering the meager cca $4000 annual spending that I could pile on them) would be worth it, given their annual membership fees of cca $50. I'll give it some more thought.

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10-07-2014 08:20 AM
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getdownonit Offline
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Post: #205
RE: The Frequent Traveller Thread - Perks, points, and deals for beginners and experts
(10-05-2014 11:20 PM)Global Entry Wrote:  If you've a short trip coming up that you want to book, in Europe, the US or in Asia, it could make a lot of sense to do a limited purchase of British Airways avios.

Right now there is a bonus on Avios, so they are giving an extra 20 percent free on a purchase. With the bonus, it comes out to 2.37c/avios. I would't go buying them to stockpile at that price (I'd rather get them from one of their several credit card or hotel transfer partners - British Airways Executive Club partners with American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, and Starwood Preferred Guest, so there are many ways to rack up British Airways Avios.). That being said, if you've a short but expensive flight coming up, this could be a real savings.

By way of example, a flight from NYC to Montreal is pricing out one way, last minute at 533 dollars. But if you booked with avios, that would only be 4500 avios (which is the required redemption for flights less than 650 miles in economy) to redeem to fly on a BA partner such as US Airways or American (I think AA is the metal on this route, not USA). At. 2.37c/avios, that gives a price of 105USD plus a 5 dollar surcharge, which is a huge savings over the cash ticket. This is an extreme example, but saving half or more using Avios isn't uncommon at all on short haul flights. I'll be using my avios to fly my gal and I from HKG to Siem Reap later this month, and the tickets will be 30000 avios all in roundtrip, rather than over USD 1000. Not quite the same value, but a good deal given what it costs me typically to obtain the avios in the first place. They are really the best currency for short flights assuming you have a partner of theirs nearby, and all of these partner flights in OneWorld (but not Alaska, which is their non-oneworld partner, with Aer Lingus) are bookable directly through the BA website.

This would cover, just by way of example, American flights to the caribbean, BA flights from England to many western european destinations, Finnair flights from Finland to many places in Northern Europe, Malaysian Air flights from KL around SE asia, and Dragon Air/Cathay flights out of HK around China and SE asia, among others.

A major drawback to avios is that BA charges hefty fuel surcharges on award tix. You can still use the avios for partner airlines like American or USAir without being charged the bogus fuel surcharge though.

Supposedly it's possible to transfer BA Avios to Iberia, as they're part of the same corporation and use the same FF program, since IB charges much less in fuel charges, if at all for certain flights. I've never tried this myself, since IB website is terrible and partner awards MUST be round trip, but it shouldn't be too difficult if you have an account with either airline program.

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10-07-2014 10:04 AM
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Cattle Rustler Offline
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Post: #206
RE: The Frequent Traveller Thread - Perks, points, and deals for beginners and experts
(10-07-2014 08:20 AM)Handsome Creepy Eel Wrote:  
(10-01-2014 10:36 AM)Global Entry Wrote:  
(10-01-2014 04:12 AM)Handsome Creepy Eel Wrote:  Noob question:

Is there any sort of benefit that I earn from airline membership programs if I make just one intercontinental return trip per year? What about two? At what amount of travel are you generally able to "cash in" for the most basic stuff?

Not really, but you're actually kind of asking the wrong question. The question is, what do you do that you can use to earn miles that will give you benefits. Don't think of the flights anymore as the primary method to earn points/status/whatever. They aren't. Your spending (even manufactured spending) (manufactured spending) and your obtaining credit card deals that give up sign up bonuses and rewards without spending are now the premium way to achieve these benefits. Glad you found this thread and don't worry about being new to it. In my experience, it only takes a few months to learn some tricks that can benefit you very significantly given your circumstances (even if those circumstances include fairly limited funds). Hardest thing to overcome is very bad credit.

Thanks man, much appreciated. I have never used any sort of delayed payment instrument of any sort (with interest or no interest) in my whole life though. This seems totally at odds with my habit of never having any debt and absolutely not incurring any interest expenses on anything.

I've found some charge (no interest incurred if you pay back everything on time) credit cards that earn you miles, as you said. I'm not sure the mile value I could derive from them (considering the meager cca $4000 annual spending that I could pile on them) would be worth it, given their annual membership fees of cca $50. I'll give it some more thought.


Credit cards don't necessarily have the be "debt" cards. I pay mine weekly so I never get charged with interest on them and that way I never forget to pay the bill. You can use them as a debit card by paying the charge off as soon as it comes into your account.

The points are good for getting hotels, some go for way cheaper than expected, in case you don't travel far often.

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10-07-2014 10:08 AM
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Post: #207
RE: The Frequent Traveller Thread - Perks, points, and deals for beginners and experts
Sorry, Getdown, but this is misleading. BA charges significant fuel surcharges on transatlantic flights, for which its best to transfer Avios 1:1 to Iberia. But for the short haul flights on Cathay, AA, USA, etc, they charge quite low fuel surcharges. I do this all the time. I've recently flown on award flights without significant or any fuel surcharges between HKG and Bangkok, Phnom Peng, Penang, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Fuel surcharges plus taxes and fees on none of these flights exceeded 35 per ticket, which is a very minor cost compared to the value of the award ticket.

And as you've allowed, short flights on IB, AA, USA, and BA (of course) have zero fuel surcharges.

Please make sure of the accuracy of your information before making a blanket statement like you've made. It can mislead players to take an action like transferring points or applying for a non-optimal credit card.

(10-07-2014 10:04 AM)getdownonit Wrote:  
(10-05-2014 11:20 PM)Global Entry Wrote:  If you've a short trip coming up that you want to book, in Europe, the US or in Asia, it could make a lot of sense to do a limited purchase of British Airways avios.

Right now there is a bonus on Avios, so they are giving an extra 20 percent free on a purchase. With the bonus, it comes out to 2.37c/avios. I would't go buying them to stockpile at that price (I'd rather get them from one of their several credit card or hotel transfer partners - British Airways Executive Club partners with American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, and Starwood Preferred Guest, so there are many ways to rack up British Airways Avios.). That being said, if you've a short but expensive flight coming up, this could be a real savings.

By way of example, a flight from NYC to Montreal is pricing out one way, last minute at 533 dollars. But if you booked with avios, that would only be 4500 avios (which is the required redemption for flights less than 650 miles in economy) to redeem to fly on a BA partner such as US Airways or American (I think AA is the metal on this route, not USA). At. 2.37c/avios, that gives a price of 105USD plus a 5 dollar surcharge, which is a huge savings over the cash ticket. This is an extreme example, but saving half or more using Avios isn't uncommon at all on short haul flights. I'll be using my avios to fly my gal and I from HKG to Siem Reap later this month, and the tickets will be 30000 avios all in roundtrip, rather than over USD 1000. Not quite the same value, but a good deal given what it costs me typically to obtain the avios in the first place. They are really the best currency for short flights assuming you have a partner of theirs nearby, and all of these partner flights in OneWorld (but not Alaska, which is their non-oneworld partner, with Aer Lingus) are bookable directly through the BA website.

This would cover, just by way of example, American flights to the caribbean, BA flights from England to many western european destinations, Finnair flights from Finland to many places in Northern Europe, Malaysian Air flights from KL around SE asia, and Dragon Air/Cathay flights out of HK around China and SE asia, among others.

A major drawback to avios is that BA charges hefty fuel surcharges on award tix. You can still use the avios for partner airlines like American or USAir without being charged the bogus fuel surcharge though.

Supposedly it's possible to transfer BA Avios to Iberia, as they're part of the same corporation and use the same FF program, since IB charges much less in fuel charges, if at all for certain flights. I've never tried this myself, since IB website is terrible and partner awards MUST be round trip, but it shouldn't be too difficult if you have an account with either airline program.

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
(This post was last modified: 10-07-2014 01:05 PM by Global Entry.)
10-07-2014 01:03 PM
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Global Entry Offline
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Post: #208
RE: The Frequent Traveller Thread - Perks, points, and deals for beginners and experts
I hear you. I guess what I'd say is that (1) if you pay your balance in full every month, there is no interest charge and (2) certain cards give enough of a bonus for signing up that its worth the annual fee, and you can cancel after year 1 or ask them to waiver the fee for year 2 if the benefit doesn't repeat.

By way of example, I just applied for the Chase Ink Plus business card and get 70,000 miles for doing so. The fee is $95 for the first year. For me those miles will be worth, in tickets, probably north of 800 USD. So my arb from signing up for the card, assuming I make the minimum spend (only $5 k for three months, easy for me) will be in excess of 700USD of free travel, more if I book first class.

What you've pointed out though is my major fail on this page, which is, how to spend money on your card without spending money - i.e. how to get credit for spending you're already doing not on a card or how to double count spending. This whole category is called manufactured spending, and for you, its the difference between having full access to these benefits and not having them. For me, its not so essential as I spend enough money to get most of the bonuses I want without adding too much manufactured spend.

I will make an effort to at least do an intro to manufactured spending post within the next week or two, unless someone who knows more about it (paging Hung Wei Lo) wants to write it for me. There have been some changes in that space to be sure, with recent modifications to the Amazon payments program, so we could all use an update.

(10-07-2014 08:20 AM)Handsome Creepy Eel Wrote:  
(10-01-2014 10:36 AM)Global Entry Wrote:  
(10-01-2014 04:12 AM)Handsome Creepy Eel Wrote:  Noob question:

Is there any sort of benefit that I earn from airline membership programs if I make just one intercontinental return trip per year? What about two? At what amount of travel are you generally able to "cash in" for the most basic stuff?

Not really, but you're actually kind of asking the wrong question. The question is, what do you do that you can use to earn miles that will give you benefits. Don't think of the flights anymore as the primary method to earn points/status/whatever. They aren't. Your spending (even manufactured spending) (manufactured spending) and your obtaining credit card deals that give up sign up bonuses and rewards without spending are now the premium way to achieve these benefits. Glad you found this thread and don't worry about being new to it. In my experience, it only takes a few months to learn some tricks that can benefit you very significantly given your circumstances (even if those circumstances include fairly limited funds). Hardest thing to overcome is very bad credit.

Thanks man, much appreciated. I have never used any sort of delayed payment instrument of any sort (with interest or no interest) in my whole life though. This seems totally at odds with my habit of never having any debt and absolutely not incurring any interest expenses on anything.

I've found some charge (no interest incurred if you pay back everything on time) credit cards that earn you miles, as you said. I'm not sure the mile value I could derive from them (considering the meager cca $4000 annual spending that I could pile on them) would be worth it, given their annual membership fees of cca $50. I'll give it some more thought.

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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10-07-2014 01:11 PM
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Post: #209
RE: The Frequent Traveller Thread - Perks, points, and deals for beginners and experts
(10-07-2014 01:03 PM)Global Entry Wrote:  Sorry, Getdown, but this is misleading. BA charges significant fuel surcharges on transatlantic flights, for which its best to transfer Avios 1:1 to Iberia. But for the short haul flights on Cathay, AA, USA, etc, they charge quite low fuel surcharges. I do this all the time. I've recently flown on award flights without significant or any fuel surcharges between HKG and Bangkok, Phnom Peng, Penang, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Fuel surcharges plus taxes and fees on none of these flights exceeded 35 per ticket, which is a very minor cost compared to the value of the award ticket.

And as you've allowed, short flights on IB, AA, USA, and BA (of course) have zero fuel surcharges.

Please make sure of the accuracy of your information before making a blanket statement like you've made. It can mislead players to take an action like transferring points or applying for a non-optimal credit card.

(10-07-2014 10:04 AM)getdownonit Wrote:  A major drawback to avios is that BA charges hefty fuel surcharges on award tix. You can still use the avios for partner airlines like American or USAir without being charged the bogus fuel surcharge though.

Supposedly it's possible to transfer BA Avios to Iberia, as they're part of the same corporation and use the same FF program, since IB charges much less in fuel charges, if at all for certain flights. I've never tried this myself, since IB website is terrible and partner awards MUST be round trip, but it shouldn't be too difficult if you have an account with either airline program.

I haven't read through this whole thread, but your first post leaves out a significant factor in calculating whether it's worth it to buy Avios for a particular itinerary. You recommend using avios for short haul flights, which is correct, but didn't say anything about the potential for fuel surcharges on many flights. It doesn't hurt to post that in case someone is thinking of using them for that purpose. It isn't clear in my post that long haul flights on BA or partners are usually hit with fuel surcharges, so it's good you pointed that out specifically.

My post wasn't trying to be a comprehensive solution to anyone's decision on whether to buy avios, transfer points, or get a credit card? as there are plenty of in depth resources out there for RVF to use for their own situation.

A man who procrastinates in his choosing will inevitably have his choice made for him by circumstance.

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10-07-2014 02:50 PM
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Post: #210
RE: The Frequent Traveller Thread - Perks, points, and deals for beginners and experts
Do the math on the example i presented. Then add 30 dollars in fuel surcharges, and its still a enormous savings. Cut the ticket price in half and its still an enormous savings.

I appreciate you adding to the conversation the issue of fuel surcharges, but you're overstating the issue. Please come back with a concrete example and it will be more helpful for the thread.

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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10-07-2014 11:38 PM
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Post: #211
RE: The Frequent Traveller Thread - Perks, points, and deals for beginners and experts
(10-07-2014 11:38 PM)Global Entry Wrote:  I appreciate you adding to the conversation the issue of fuel surcharges, but you're overstating the issue. Please come back with a concrete example and it will be more helpful for the thread.

No he's not. BA's frequent flyer program is universally considered terrible on flyertalk, primarily because of fuel surcharges.

British Airways and Iberia are the only frequent flyer programs that make the customers pay for fuel surcharges. I would never use either.
10-08-2014 12:41 AM
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Post: #212
RE: The Frequent Traveller Thread - Perks, points, and deals for beginners and experts
^You are still missing the point.

Avios is really useful to book with partner airlines on short haul on low fuel surcharges. Moreover, even flying short haul the BA fuel surcharge still makes the flight a bargain when compared with buying the fare.
10-08-2014 01:39 AM
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Post: #213
RE: The Frequent Traveller Thread - Perks, points, and deals for beginners and experts
Avios can definitely be useful for short haul, as noted in GE's NYC-YUL example, but it's always worth it to find out about potential fuel surcharges, which are prevalent on many BA award bookings. BA doesn't charge massive fuel surcharges for every single BA or partner award, but people need to be aware of this possibility if they're looking at buying Avios in order to make an accurate calculation and an informed decision. There are so many important variables and cost calculations involved in the points game, and overlooking one during of your decision making process could end up costing you significant dough.

For example, IB recently devalued its partner award redemption chart big time, but still typically charges less in fuel surcharges than BA, so throw that in as another calculation if you're trying to maximize value. Since the value of avios is mostly in redeeming for otherwise expensive short haul flights, it's more likely that BA avios would be the better choice. There following post shows a good example of what you need to look out for with avios.

http://thepointsguy.com/2014/04/using-us...urcharges/

I was able to price out the same itinerary [JFK-LHR-HKG] on BritishAirways.com for 280,000 Avios and $1,614 in taxes and fees.

However, thanks to US Airways’ rules, it priced out at just 120,000 miles and $131 in taxes and fees!

A man who procrastinates in his choosing will inevitably have his choice made for him by circumstance.

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10-08-2014 08:20 AM
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Post: #214
RE: The Frequent Traveller Thread - Perks, points, and deals for beginners and experts
(10-08-2014 01:39 AM)MaleDefined Wrote:  ^You are still missing the point.

Avios is really useful to book with partner airlines on short haul on low fuel surcharges. Moreover, even flying short haul the BA fuel surcharge still makes the flight a bargain when compared with buying the fare.

I'm not missing the point at all. Avios is not a good value, and shrewd travelers don't use it.

If you want to book short haul flights, go with LAN. Not only do you get better valuation than Avios on short haul flights, but there are no fuel surcharges. And fuel surcharges between countries (short haul or not) get expensive.
10-08-2014 08:37 AM
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Global Entry Offline
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Post: #215
RE: The Frequent Traveller Thread - Perks, points, and deals for beginners and experts
The first paragraph below is totally true, and I fully agree. And as you've noted, not all BA tickets have fuel surcharges.

For IB, I wouldn't use IB points to fly anything other than IB, of course. They raped their partner chart, and its just not feasible. The only reason to have an IB account for me is to potentially transfer Avios and fly IB itself, without fuel surcharges, never to fly partners. Remember that you need to have some IB Avios in your account to do a lot of things with IB, so find a way to dump a handful into your account to "activate" it.

Finally, and I imagine you know this, BA Award sucks for flights that aren't direct - if you need to connect, the awards charge each flight separately. Not a good answer for short haul-medium haul with a connection. You're paying twice.
(10-08-2014 08:20 AM)getdownonit Wrote:  Avios can definitely be useful for short haul, as noted in GE's NYC-YUL example, but it's always worth it to find out about potential fuel surcharges, which are prevalent on many BA award bookings. BA doesn't charge massive fuel surcharges for every single BA or partner award, but people need to be aware of this possibility if they're looking at buying Avios in order to make an accurate calculation and an informed decision. There are so many important variables and cost calculations involved in the points game, and overlooking one during of your decision making process could end up costing you significant dough.

For example, IB recently devalued its partner award redemption chart big time, but still typically charges less in fuel surcharges than BA, so throw that in as another calculation if you're trying to maximize value. Since the value of avios is mostly in redeeming for otherwise expensive short haul flights, it's more likely that BA avios would be the better choice. There following post shows a good example of what you need to look out for with avios.

http://thepointsguy.com/2014/04/using-us...urcharges/

I was able to price out the same itinerary [JFK-LHR-HKG] on BritishAirways.com for 280,000 Avios and $1,614 in taxes and fees.

However, thanks to US Airways’ rules, it priced out at just 120,000 miles and $131 in taxes and fees!

(10-08-2014 08:37 AM)BallsDeep Wrote:  
(10-08-2014 01:39 AM)MaleDefined Wrote:  ^You are still missing the point.

Avios is really useful to book with partner airlines on short haul on low fuel surcharges. Moreover, even flying short haul the BA fuel surcharge still makes the flight a bargain when compared with buying the fare.

I'm not missing the point at all. Avios is not a good value, and shrewd travelers don't use it.

If you want to book short haul flights, go with LAN. Not only do you get better valuation than Avios on short haul flights, but there are no fuel surcharges. And fuel surcharges between countries (short haul or not) get expensive.
Balls, I appreciate your opinion but stating broadly that shrewd travelers don't use it is just false. I read flyer talk as well, and many people who are very familiar with the options use it. I agree that LAN is also a good program (and would say any distance based program might have some benefits). What we need to remember is that the reason to keep miles in different programs (airlines and cards with multiple transfer partners) is that there are sweet spots and that's what we're after. We want to have the ability to play the arb depending on a trip which we may not have arranged and may not know we're going to take. If I dump all my miles into Avios, and then want to get an award LAX to HKG, one way, I'm fucked. However, if I've diversified with miles into AA, then I have a pretty good cost efficient way to get a J or an F trip. Similarly if I just relied on my USA miles, I'd be stuck with a useless RT award and be wasting half the miles.

I have miles with all three alliances, to a different degree. I also have Starwood miles and I just applied for Chase Ink Plus, which I'll probably use to book Korean Airline awards tickets to HKG from LAX. Again, its about finding the arb, the sweet spot for each program.

Guys, opinions can differ, so lets all (me as well) tone down the rhetoric and diatribe.

I welcome your contributions, Balls and GetDown. Thanks for weighing in.

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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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10-08-2014 10:56 AM
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Post: #216
RE: The Frequent Traveller Thread - Perks, points, and deals for beginners and experts
Since when is LAN a good program? They only allow round-trip awards and don't have nearly the same ease-of-earning capability as BA/AA does. LANPASS could be the most overrated program in terms of partner availability as well, as they rarely open up space on desirable routes (i.e JFK-LIM, MIA-LIM) in advance. I know the girl in charge of LP and she knows nothing. They do a good job making a profit and controlling the market in Chile and Peru.

Of course, some of this interest in LAN derives from bloggers writing about the LIM-CUZ route, which is 4,500 avios. Of course, no one knows that the same route with Avianca is 3,500 lifemiles.

I'm flying on a BA redemption today on US Airways. It cost less than it would have been with cash and already upgraded into F thanks to status.

My take on BA is that it's a mixed program. The rates on CX are OK - not spectacular and not necessarily the greatest thing out there unless one is HK-based. Also some of those taxes do add up quite a bit.

If you're in MIA then you win, it's the best. If you're in ORD it's OK for domestic stuff.

I still don't see how LAN can be even mentioned in the same tier of program with their accrual rates being so low for cheap fares and the lack of one-way awards.
10-08-2014 11:09 AM
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Post: #217
The Frequent Traveller Thread - Perks, points, and deals for beginners and experts
I just booked a flight using avios, so I'll provide this as an example. I don't have any LAN miles right now, so Id welcome Balls Deep to do the same thing using his LAN miles for sake of comparison. (I've indicated here many times I'm no expert, so happy to learn - I'd be most interested in how he earns his LAN miles, assuming that the arb is there).

Here's the cash price of the ticket direct (the connections are three times as much time in transit, so I didn't consider them, but if you don't mind losing the day, of course, there is some value there for you) one-way.

[Image: ScreenShot2014-10-08at100349AM_zpsa09c6d49.png]

So for two tickets, 1226 USD.

Now here's my Avios booking, two people, one way.

[Image: ScreenShot2014-10-08at100559AM_zps703fdcba.png]

Total out of pocket is 15000 Avios (7500 per ticket) and 78USD total in taxes and charges (or 39 per ticket). Even if you value Avios highly, its hard not to see this as a good value. If you value your Avios at 2c/Avios then the comparison is 378 for the two oneway direct tickets vs. 1226. That's about a 70 percent savings, and I'll take that every time. The avios booking is even cheaper than the one-stop 273 per ticket price with a connection in MNL (11hrs and 50 minutes duration).

Balls, please do the same with your Lan miles, and then write an entry and tell us how to get those miles cheaply (obviously we can figure out how to get them by flying), and I'll be first in line to follow the advice if it makes any sense.

Edit: Thanks ElCid for weighing in.

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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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(This post was last modified: 10-08-2014 11:19 AM by Global Entry.)
10-08-2014 11:16 AM
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Global Entry Offline
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Post: #218
RE: The Frequent Traveller Thread - Perks, points, and deals for beginners and experts
Cid,
I'm guessing that you don't earn the majority of your miles from flying, because most of us use a card (or 4) to do that, but perhaps I'm wrong. But pointing out the bad mileage accumulation rates is important for those here who don't have cards or spend enough (manufactured or otherwise). I recently flew Thai on a discount ticket and credited to my EVA mileage without checking how EVA would credit the ticket. They didn't give it any mileage at all, which sucks as I wanted to top my EVA mileage to 25K to use for an award ticket to Taiwan.

I usually try to book at least in W (premium economy) for comfort on long haul, which regardless of the price you pay, gets full Avios credit (though no tier bonuses, just credit, on Cathay, my usual long haul airline for revenue tickets).

(10-08-2014 11:09 AM)elcidcampeador Wrote:  Since when is LAN a good program? They only allow round-trip awards and don't have nearly the same ease-of-earning capability as BA/AA does. LANPASS could be the most overrated program in terms of partner availability as well, as they rarely open up space on desirable routes (i.e JFK-LIM, MIA-LIM) in advance. I know the girl in charge of LP and she knows nothing. They do a good job making a profit and controlling the market in Chile and Peru.

Of course, some of this interest in LAN derives from bloggers writing about the LIM-CUZ route, which is 4,500 avios. Of course, no one knows that the same route with Avianca is 3,500 lifemiles.

I'm flying on a BA redemption today on US Airways. It cost less than it would have been with cash and already upgraded into F thanks to status.

My take on BA is that it's a mixed program. The rates on CX are OK - not spectacular and not necessarily the greatest thing out there unless one is HK-based. Also some of those taxes do add up quite a bit.

If you're in MIA then you win, it's the best. If you're in ORD it's OK for domestic stuff.

I still don't see how LAN can be even mentioned in the same tier of program with their accrual rates being so low for cheap fares and the lack of one-way awards.

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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10-08-2014 11:25 AM
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Post: #219
RE: The Frequent Traveller Thread - Perks, points, and deals for beginners and experts
The amazing value on short haul nonstop awards makes me dread the impending BA devaluation. Hopefully it won't appear overnight like in the IB situation.

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10-08-2014 12:07 PM
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Post: #220
RE: The Frequent Traveller Thread - Perks, points, and deals for beginners and experts
BA have made noises recently in social media that they're not planning to nuke the Avios award short haul rewards, but the comments are pretty ambiguous. Its actually been agreed upon by most of the bloggers (see View from the Wing) that the IB wasn't a devaluation, they just finally posted their shitty chart, so that wasn't a harbinger of BA things to come. But I tend to agree with the philosophy of earn and burn, and keep my miles spread out and in transfer partner accounts, so that no one devaluation can hurt my balance and expected value too highly.

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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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(This post was last modified: 10-08-2014 12:11 PM by Global Entry.)
10-08-2014 12:11 PM
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Post: #221
RE: The Frequent Traveller Thread - Perks, points, and deals for beginners and experts
I tally my Oneworld miles to my AA account. If I want to book a short haul flight, I transfer from Starwood to LAN.

Remember with LAN, you get 1.5 miles to every starpoint. When you factor in the Starwood bonus, you get 37.5 thousand LAN when you transfer out 20k Starwood.

GE, think about that for a second, and let me know if that doesn't change your opinion. ;-)

Cid, you are right, LAN agents are morons, they don't know the rules of their own airlines, and are a pain in the ass. Not going to argue with any of that. But they give me good value so I'm willing to be patient. Another note about LAN--their mileage program sucks if you're redeeming it on their own airline. But it's my goto mileage program for short-haul transfers within Europe and Asia. Most of the time I've ended up on BA, without the fuel surcharges and at a better mileage valuation.
10-08-2014 01:00 PM
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Global Entry Offline
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Post: #222
RE: The Frequent Traveller Thread - Perks, points, and deals for beginners and experts
You definitely have my attention. Mention SPG and you get my attention. Mention a transfer ratio above 1:1 in addition to the 20K bonuses and you've my rapt attention.

Can you link the chart and indicate how it compares to BA? And guys, if you're talking fuel surcharges, be precise. BA doesn't charge FS on all partner flights, so railing against them isn't really helpful unless its specific.

Can LAN flights be booked online? I'm crazy, but if all else is equal, Id probably pay a bit more for the convenience of not having to call and being able to book online. Fuck, trying to call BA is the worst experience of all time if you don't have the elite phone number to get through. Their US service center is basically a bird-flip at American BAEC members.

(10-08-2014 01:00 PM)BallsDeep Wrote:  I tally my Oneworld miles to my AA account. If I want to book a short haul flight, I transfer from Starwood to LAN.

Remember with LAN, you get 1.5 miles to every starpoint. When you factor in the Starwood bonus, you get 37.5 thousand LAN when you transfer out 20k Starwood.

GE, think about that for a second, and let me know if that doesn't change your opinion. ;-)

Cid, you are right, LAN agents are morons, they don't know the rules of their own airlines, and are a pain in the ass. Not going to argue with any of that. But they give me good value so I'm willing to be patient. Another note about LAN--their mileage program sucks if you're redeeming it on their own airline. But it's my goto mileage program for short-haul transfers within Europe and Asia. Most of the time I've ended up on BA, without the fuel surcharges and at a better mileage valuation.

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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10-08-2014 01:04 PM
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Post: #223
The Frequent Traveller Thread - Perks, points, and deals for beginners and experts
Cheapish packages to the DR...

[Image: ScreenShot2014-10-08at83520PM_zps16412e6b.png]

Jet Blue link click here


Enjoy

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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
10-08-2014 09:41 PM
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Post: #224
RE: The Frequent Traveller Thread - Perks, points, and deals for beginners and experts
My big issue with both BA and LAN are that they charge for each segment and don't do the overall distance (like ANA does).

Obviously a HKG-REP flight will present good value, but even a PEK-HKG-REP on CX will make BA be the same as AA, and definitely less valuable than UA (with all the cool tricks you can do with those miles).

GE: I'm pretty sure the 1.5 rate from SPG is because LA uses KMs, so the rates are about 50% higher. I'm guessing there's a bit of a value in some of those awards, but mainly the value will be from the lack of the YQ.

Looking at HKG-REP-HKG (1806m/2906km) ---> BA is 15k RT (15k straight transfer or 12k on the BA Visa spending) ----> LA is 27k KMs and requires a RT (that's 18K SPG).

The real value seems to be that the range is 2k-5k KM for that 27k redemption, so I guess one could do a HKG-KIX-HKG in that pricing bracket, but not HKG-SIN/KUL/CGK/TYO. Maybe the pricing is better from LHR where one could basically do everything for under 27k.

BOS-LHR creeps into the 10k KM bracket which prices at 60k instead of 35k. Maybe there's a good deal out there, but again I hate the segment-by-segment pricing instead of total distance.

Edit: LAN chart is here: http://www.lan.com/en_us/sitio_personas/...index.html
(This post was last modified: 10-08-2014 10:28 PM by elcidcampeador.)
10-08-2014 10:28 PM
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Post: #225
RE: The Frequent Traveller Thread - Perks, points, and deals for beginners and experts
Rumors of a 4th global airlines alliance are real

Can't find the link to it as I read it earlier

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10-08-2014 10:52 PM
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