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The Frequent Traveller Thread - Perks, points, and deals for beginners and experts
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ksbms Offline
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Post: #1326
RE: The Frequent Traveller Thread - Perks, points, and deals for beginners and experts
I'm bewildered by the availability of options. What would be the most reasonable option, if I'm based in Europe and most importantly would want to aggregate airmiles? From what I've understood so far, AmEx cards seem to sit at the top?

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03-29-2018 11:22 AM
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Bikal Offline
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Post: #1327
RE: The Frequent Traveller Thread - Perks, points, and deals for beginners and experts
(03-29-2018 11:22 AM)ksbms Wrote:  I'm bewildered by the availability of options. What would be the most reasonable option, if I'm based in Europe and most importantly would want to aggregate airmiles? From what I've understood so far, AmEx cards seem to sit at the top?
I presume from previous conversations, you're in the UK?

If you're in the UK then yes, the AMEX Gold is the best card available on the market for rewards however acceptance in Europe is low and even outside of London it's low. Head for Points is the best UK resource for you to learn. If you can qualify for HSBC Premier and the Premier World Elite card, it's the best non-AMEX available.

Personally I have the AMEX Gold (primary) & Platinum (concierge/hotel benefits), HSBC Premier World Elite (BA miles) and Sberbank Visa Infinite (various benefits I don't use as AMEX Plat covers it better).
03-29-2018 11:39 AM
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ksbms Offline
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Post: #1328
RE: The Frequent Traveller Thread - Perks, points, and deals for beginners and experts
(03-29-2018 11:39 AM)Bikal Wrote:  
(03-29-2018 11:22 AM)ksbms Wrote:  I'm bewildered by the availability of options. What would be the most reasonable option, if I'm based in Europe and most importantly would want to aggregate airmiles? From what I've understood so far, AmEx cards seem to sit at the top?
I presume from previous conversations, you're in the UK?

If you're in the UK then yes, the AMEX Gold is the best card available on the market for rewards however acceptance in Europe is low and even outside of London it's low. Head for Points is the best UK resource for you to learn. If you can qualify for HSBC Premier and the Premier World Elite card, it's the best non-AMEX available.

Personally I have the AMEX Gold (primary) & Platinum (concierge/hotel benefits), HSBC Premier World Elite (BA miles) and Sberbank Visa Infinite (various benefits I don't use as AMEX Plat covers it better).

Thanks, dude. Coincidentally, I'm just reading about AmEx Gold on that site.

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03-29-2018 12:50 PM
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ksbms Offline
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Post: #1329
RE: The Frequent Traveller Thread - Perks, points, and deals for beginners and experts
The end of the world is nigh!

It's another symptom of more to come. In ten years, you'll get served your favourite G & T by buzz-cut tattooed and pierced, wearing a camo suit female flight attendants at every airline bar few non US/EU ones.

Female cabin crew at Cathay Pacific have won a battle to scrap a rule forcing them to wear skirts.

The Hong Kong airline has agreed flight attendants can choose to wear trousers, after intense union pressure.

It's just a matter of time before the rest follows suit.

More here: Cathay Pacific ends skirts-only rule for female staff.

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My Adventures in Game updates on the go >>> Twits by Max Detrick

I don’t ever give up. I mean, I’d have to be dead or completely incapacitated.

-- Elon Musk
(This post was last modified: 03-30-2018 07:02 AM by ksbms.)
03-30-2018 06:59 AM
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Hypno Offline
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Post: #1330
RE: The Frequent Traveller Thread - Perks, points, and deals for beginners and experts
Just be aware that the AmEx card carries an annual fee. Most other cards, like hotel or airline cards, carry an annual fee only after the first year. They usually allow you cance and re-up to get a second bonus after two years. However, some like Marriott measure the 2 years from your last bonus, while others like American Airlines measure from the date you last had the card. And my experience with Hilton AmEx was that you get a sign on bonus only once in your life. So read the fine print.

That said, the AmEx points can be the most valuable/liquid depending on how you travel, and sometimes the benefits of the card can offset the annual fee. The benefits vary with the fee level, read the fine print of your offer.
03-30-2018 08:10 AM
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Bikal Offline
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Post: #1331
RE: The Frequent Traveller Thread - Perks, points, and deals for beginners and experts
(03-29-2018 12:50 PM)ksbms Wrote:  Thanks, dude. Coincidentally, I'm just reading about AmEx Gold on that site.
It's honestly the best card on the market for the UK, the Hilton Honors is not accepting applications, Marriott card doesn't exist anymore, IHG is actually good but depends on stay patterns and other Avios cards confer very little in benefits and equally little miles but FX free for the Lloyds one (£24/year fee).

Personally I'd go for the Gold bonus then get the Platinum upgrade bonus and hold both as well as the HSBC Premier MasterCard Elite (if requirements are met), across those three cards you can accumulate enough rewards for BA and the major hotel chains.
03-30-2018 09:37 AM
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Jetset Offline
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Post: #1332
RE: The Frequent Traveller Thread - Perks, points, and deals for beginners and experts
I haven't seen a mention of the so-called "Chase Trifecta" yet, so just in case it hasn't been discussed, for American readers:

Chase Sapphire Reserve offers 3% on travel/dining and a 50% bonus through the Chase travel portal.

Chase Ink Business Preferred offers 3% on shipping, advertising, and some other business expenses.

Chase Freedom offers 5% on quarterly rotating categories, such as supermarkets, gas stations, department stores.

Chase Freedom Unlimited offers 1.5% on everything.

All of these cards earn Chase Ultimate Rewards, which you can transfer to the Chase Sapphire Reserve to capture the 50% travel bonus.

This means that you can absolutely use your Chase Freedom to walk into whatever stores they're covering that quarter, buy Hotels.com gift cards (or, if they don't carry them, Amazon gift cards, then use them to buy Hotels.com gift cards on Amazon), redeem them to get 10% back in the form of Hotels.com Rewards Nights, and then also cash in your Chase Freedom points through your Chase Sapphire Reserve at an effective rate of 7.5% for airfare that counts toward your elite airline status. (Alternately, you may be able to buy certain airline gift cards - Delta and Southwest are commonly sold - at a local store and funnel everything toward your airline status.)

I have not yet tried this, but Swagbucks.com also has a separate travel portal which apparently allows you to earn 5% cashback on Hotels.com while earning Hotels.com Rewards Nights in the form of Swagbucks that you can use to buy giftcards on MyGiftCardsPlus, and so you can presumably also stack that up for further free Hotels.com gift cards which you can use for further Hotels.com Rewards and further Swagbucks. Hotels.com Rewards might lack the cool factor of being a Diamond member at your favorite hotel chain, but it offers you a lot of flexibility overseas.

My relationship with Chase Ultimate Rewards in one meme:

[Image: b81057729fe23380f811c3efd8217b9f.jpg]

"He always wanted to drift forever, but through the American Southwest."
(This post was last modified: 05-09-2018 07:03 PM by Jetset.)
05-09-2018 06:33 PM
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Jetset Offline
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Post: #1333
RE: The Frequent Traveller Thread - Perks, points, and deals for beginners and experts
For those interested, American Express is doing their 100,000 signup bonus on Platinum cards again through Cardmatch and some other targeted advertising:

https://thepointsguy.com/2018/02/amex-pl...cardmatch/

Fella can have a pretty good weekend in Vegas with 100,000 Membership Rewards points.

"He always wanted to drift forever, but through the American Southwest."
05-30-2018 12:45 PM
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Post: #1334
RE: The Frequent Traveller Thread - Perks, points, and deals for beginners and experts
(05-09-2018 06:33 PM)Jetset Wrote:  I haven't seen a mention of the so-called "Chase Trifecta" yet, so just in case it hasn't been discussed, for American readers:

Chase Sapphire Reserve offers 3% on travel/dining and a 50% bonus through the Chase travel portal.

Chase Ink Business Preferred offers 3% on shipping, advertising, and some other business expenses.

Chase Freedom offers 5% on quarterly rotating categories, such as supermarkets, gas stations, department stores.

Chase Freedom Unlimited offers 1.5% on everything.

All of these cards earn Chase Ultimate Rewards, which you can transfer to the Chase Sapphire Reserve to capture the 50% travel bonus.

This means that you can absolutely use your Chase Freedom to walk into whatever stores they're covering that quarter, buy Hotels.com gift cards (or, if they don't carry them, Amazon gift cards, then use them to buy Hotels.com gift cards on Amazon), redeem them to get 10% back in the form of Hotels.com Rewards Nights, and then also cash in your Chase Freedom points through your Chase Sapphire Reserve at an effective rate of 7.5% for airfare that counts toward your elite airline status. (Alternately, you may be able to buy certain airline gift cards - Delta and Southwest are commonly sold - at a local store and funnel everything toward your airline status.)

I got in on the tail end of the legendary ValuMags giveaway. 450 points per dollar spent. You had to launder them through Carlton's Goldpoints but I eventually got Delta FF miles! This was a long time ago, it was a huge fiasco. If you research it, do it for historical curiousity only.
05-30-2018 02:09 PM
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Hypno Offline
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Post: #1335
RE: The Frequent Traveller Thread - Perks, points, and deals for beginners and experts
Anyone have an offer for Marriott? I was pitched for 100,000 sign up bonus, but they devalued and that's not as rich as it used to be.
05-30-2018 02:10 PM
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pargan Offline
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Post: #1336
RE: The Frequent Traveller Thread - Perks, points, and deals for beginners and experts
What would be the best card for someone that does an international flight around every 2 months or less. Kind of nomadic now so whichever bank/country has the best card I could just aim for that.
05-30-2018 04:24 PM
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Bikal Offline
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Post: #1337
RE: The Frequent Traveller Thread - Perks, points, and deals for beginners and experts
(05-30-2018 04:24 PM)pargan Wrote:  What would be the best card for someone that does an international flight around every 2 months or less. Kind of nomadic now so whichever bank/country has the best card I could just aim for that.
American Express, the choice of partners is unrivalled however if you're sticking to a particular airline alliance and you want to commit all your earnings into one carrier while flying the alliance get a co-branded card for that airline that comes with insurance, airport privileges etc.
05-31-2018 04:18 AM
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Jetset Offline
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Post: #1338
RE: The Frequent Traveller Thread
(05-31-2018 04:18 AM)Bikal Wrote:  
(05-30-2018 04:24 PM)pargan Wrote:  What would be the best card for someone that does an international flight around every 2 months or less. Kind of nomadic now so whichever bank/country has the best card I could just aim for that.
American Express, the choice of partners is unrivalled however if you're sticking to a particular airline alliance and you want to commit all your earnings into one carrier while flying the alliance get a co-branded card for that airline that comes with insurance, airport privileges etc.

If we're talking about premium cards, I would actually recommend the Chase Sapphire Reserve before American Express Platinum - for Pargan's specific situation.

CSR is 3x on airfare instead of 5x, but you can redeem it through their travel portal for 4.5x, and it also gives you 3x (4.5x) on dining and all other travel. CSR also has trip interruption insurance, which AmEx does not. You can also currently transfer points from a Chase Freedom Unlimited (1.5x on all spending) to use the portal bonus and effectively turn it into a 2.25x card.

AEP offers 5x on hotels, but only through their portal, which means you can't stack it with hotel loyalty programs. (Portal purchases usually provide airline miles, but not hotel points.)

CSR also has a $300 travel rebate that covers almost anything. AEP requires you to choose one airline for the $200 airline fee rebate and the Uber rebate is doled out monthly, use-it-or-lose-it.

Both programs do 1:1 points:miles transfers to Flying Blue, British Airways, and Virgin Atlantic, and I expect they'll both be equal players in the new Starwood/Marriot/Ritz-Carlton consolidated program, so I think they're competitive on transfers for somebody who doesn't fly enough to have status with United (1:1 with Chase) or Delta (1:1 with AmEx).

If you're spinning off a ton of airfare spend, you might come out ahead with AEP. For everyday spend with a flight every month or two, CSR, and Visa is much more widely accepted. There's a curve of airfare/other travel spend where it makes sense to carry both, but I'm not in a position to graph it right now.

"He always wanted to drift forever, but through the American Southwest."
(This post was last modified: 05-31-2018 10:52 AM by Jetset.)
05-31-2018 10:30 AM
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Post: #1339
RE: The Frequent Traveller Thread - Perks, points, and deals for beginners and experts
^ Well, shit, Pargan. Sorry for outdated information.

https://www.uscreditcardguide.com/credit...thout-ssn/

Quote:You were able to apply for a credit card without SSN in Chase in the past, but now it is not possible.

K, then.

"He always wanted to drift forever, but through the American Southwest."
05-31-2018 02:29 PM
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tobehero Offline
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Post: #1340
RE: The Frequent Traveller Thread - Perks, points, and deals for beginners and experts
(05-31-2018 04:18 AM)Bikal Wrote:  
(05-30-2018 04:24 PM)pargan Wrote:  What would be the best card for someone that does an international flight around every 2 months or less. Kind of nomadic now so whichever bank/country has the best card I could just aim for that.
American Express, the choice of partners is unrivalled however if you're sticking to a particular airline alliance and you want to commit all your earnings into one carrier while flying the alliance get a co-branded card for that airline that comes with insurance, airport privileges etc.

Wow.

Only have Amex with BA.
What's the best card to get to make use of travelling through Asia?
06-01-2018 12:49 AM
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asdfk Away
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Post: #1341
RE: The Frequent Traveller Thread - Perks, points, and deals for beginners and experts
I’m currently in the US in an AirBnB. Unfortunately it is not as expected.
I am wondering if there’s any way to get discounted rates at an extended stay hotel owned by Marriott.
If anyone has advice I’d really appreciate it hearing through PM.
06-28-2018 10:56 AM
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getdownonit Offline
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Post: #1342
RE: The Frequent Traveller Thread - Perks, points, and deals for beginners and experts
You can get your money back through airbnb at least

A man who procrastinates in his choosing will inevitably have his choice made for him by circumstance.
06-29-2018 09:20 AM
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Tail Gunner Offline
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Post: #1343
RE: The Frequent Traveller Thread - Perks, points, and deals for beginners and experts
(06-29-2018 09:20 AM)getdownonit Wrote:  You can get your money back through airbnb at least

After having a bad experience on AirBNB, where the host cancelled a reservation with less than one week's notice (that I had made three months in advance), I always keep a backup list of other suitable AirBNB units in the area.
(This post was last modified: 06-29-2018 12:26 PM by Tail Gunner.)
06-29-2018 12:25 PM
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Onto Offline
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Post: #1344
RE: The Frequent Traveller Thread - Perks, points, and deals for beginners and experts
I've been reading it may be a good idea to buy a Marriott travel package before the August merger. I'm kind of torn about pulling the trigger on it, and if I do where to put the airline miles. My current portfolio.

Marriott - 368,000 pts
Chase UR - 224,000 pts
Amex MR - 145,000 pts

Alaska - 75,000 pts
AA - 10,000 pts
BA - 155,000 pts

IHG - 133,000 pts
Ritz Carlton - 2 Tier 1-4 certs that I will get soon, but not sure if they will post before the August Merger

There is a Marriott Cat 6 property I am thinking about staying at within the next 6+ months. I'm thinking it's a good idea to get the 120k miles/ Cat 6 Marriott Travel package that costs 300k Marriott pts.

300k Marriott pts in the future will translate to 125k miles anyways, plus I'll get a 7 night certificate to use somewhere.

Downside is I will be committing my miles to a certain airline program, probably Alaska. No one knows for sure what will happen to those 7 night certs after the merger.

Any thoughts/suggestions? I've never purchased/redeemed a Marriott travel package before. Is it difficult to find hotel availability to redeem those certs?

I prefer AA miles because I often need a US regional flight to get to my final destination and being able to have the long haul and regional on the same record locator is very convenient for baggage (though expensive in miles). Unfortunately Alaska has no regional options for me, but the long haul cost is much better than AA though I have to pay for a regional flight and any extra baggage costs (but could get reimbursed for the baggage via Amex Platinum and Ritz-Carlton cards)

Another question kind of related. If you book a trip using Japan Airlines miles, can you add a regional flight on AA to the itinerary? The same way you can when booking Japan Airlines with AA miles?

And yet another question, I have 155,000 Avios miles. Can I book an itinerary of a regional AA flight with a long haul on Cathay or Japan and have it be on the same record locator?
(This post was last modified: 07-05-2018 11:47 PM by Onto.)
07-05-2018 11:43 PM
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OneManWolfPack Offline
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Post: #1345
RE: The Frequent Traveller Thread - Perks, points, and deals for beginners and experts
(06-28-2018 10:56 AM)asdfk Wrote:  I’m currently in the US in an AirBnB. Unfortunately it is not as expected.
I am wondering if there’s any way to get discounted rates at an extended stay hotel owned by Marriott.
If anyone has advice I’d really appreciate it hearing through PM.

Find properties that you think you would like and call them. Ask to speak with sales or a General Manager. If you are staying longer or more frequently than the typical guest, they are normally willing to provide a discounted rate to you.
07-06-2018 05:42 AM
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Bikal Offline
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Post: #1346
RE: The Frequent Traveller Thread - Perks, points, and deals for beginners and experts
(07-05-2018 11:43 PM)Onto Wrote:  There is a Marriott Cat 6 property I am thinking about staying at within the next 6+ months. I'm thinking it's a good idea to get the 120k miles/ Cat 6 Marriott Travel package that costs 300k Marriott pts.
300k vs. 510k is a no brainer for the redemption, are you sure the hotel is going to stay in Cat. 6 as in August, everything changes, if you're sure it will stay in 6, bite the bullet however what isn't know if whether they'll honour peak stays if you book now as reward redemptions becoming peak and off-peak from August rather than the current anytime model they've got in place.

As far as your split balances with AA, AS and BA, why have you done that? I'd put the 120k into whichever airline you're going to have a realistic chance of redeeming with and that's BA (OneWorld) although AS will get you the likes of SQ and EK.

As far as the regional and the international booking via BA, you need to call up but as long as there is availability, it shouldn't be an issue.
(This post was last modified: 07-06-2018 12:51 PM by Bikal.)
07-06-2018 12:51 PM
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Post: #1347
RE: The Frequent Traveller Thread - Perks, points, and deals for beginners and experts
For a three week trip to Europe for someone traveling from North America, what is the best way to get a SIM card to use that will cover me for several European countries throughout the trip?
07-09-2018 01:49 PM
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chicane Offline
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Post: #1348
RE: The Frequent Traveller Thread - Perks, points, and deals for beginners and experts
(07-09-2018 01:49 PM)Arado Wrote:  For a three week trip to Europe for someone traveling from North America, what is the best way to get a SIM card to use that will cover me for several European countries throughout the trip?

Depending on where you are going some of the cell companies have free international roaming in many European countries. T-Mobile is one of them.

What I did on my last trip was I switched to Google Fi (it was time for a new phone anyways), which gives me free coverage in many countries, but not Ukraine. In Ukraine I turned off the cellular radio in the phone (airplane mode) and then turned WiFi back on. Google Fi preferentially makes calls via WiFi and Ukraine is much better about having WiFi available almost everywhere than America is. Phone calls worked without a hitch.
07-11-2018 08:13 PM
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chicane Offline
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Post: #1349
RE: The Frequent Traveller Thread - Perks, points, and deals for beginners and experts
I've had a Chase Sapphire Reserve card for about 7 months now. I really like it. Here are some of the features I have used:

The $300 travel credit (makes the $450 annual fee effectively $150)
Priority Pass membership. Being able to use the lounges in airports is really nice.
National Car Rental gives an upgraded status (haven't used this one yet)
One TSA Pre/Global Entry paid for every 4 years (I screwed up and got my Global Entry 9 months ago)
Acts as primary on rental car insurance
Trip delay reimbursement. I almost needed this when JetBlue was late and caused me to miss my connection, but they paid for a hotel. It relieves a lot of stress.
No foreign transaction fees.

I'm not sure if the 1.5x points when booking through their site is the best deal. They seem to have limited options on flights and connections. Transferring points out to an airline transfer partner may get me better flights for less points.

I will probably look at getting a Chase Freedom Unlimited in a few months, but right now I'm trying to hit minimum spend on the new Marriott card for the 100K Marriott points.
07-11-2018 08:27 PM
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Post: #1350
RE: The Frequent Traveller Thread - Perks, points, and deals for beginners and experts
(07-11-2018 08:27 PM)chicane Wrote:  I'm not sure if the 1.5x points when booking through their site is the best deal. They seem to have limited options on flights and connections. Transferring points out to an airline transfer partner may get me better flights for less points.

Usually, if you don't like what the portal is showing you, you can use Google Flights and give Chase your itinerary over the phone. They can almost always find the flights you're seeing and straighten it out. If you don't care about pumping cash through an airline loyalty program and just want total flexibility, I gather it's case-by-case whether 1.5x as cash or miles is the better deal.

Maybe of interest: holding a Delta/AmEx co-brand card unlocks a "Pay With Miles" option, where you can use your Skymiles as cash at a 1 SkyMile/1 cent ratio, and so still get Skymiles and MQMs/MQSs. As far as I know, they're the only U.S. airline that allows you to use your miles in a way that still contributes to program status.

"He always wanted to drift forever, but through the American Southwest."
07-12-2018 08:33 AM
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