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[Sticky] Newbie Guides: [Award Booking w/o Elite Status, Picking a Program, How to Use This Forum & more]  

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deant
(@deant)
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 3163
December 27, 2011 6:51 am  

As miles and smiles said, there are many good bonus offers out there right now. So just because it is a great deal, if you will not reasonable use the points then it is not such a great deal. Especially since banks will only allow so many "hard pulls" on your credit report before they deny credit - so use your pulls wisely. Make a priority list of what points you want / need and plot a way to get those points. Also, make sure you can make the minimum spend to get the bonus points. In addition, the bank / airline / hotel web site does not necessarily have the best sign up bonus. Many times there are better offers out there.

I would suggest picking whichever airline you have the most miles with and see what it would take to get a F international award. Get familiar with the rules of the award program and the potential award availability. For example Delta is known to be hard to redeem miles so many people stay away from that program. For United / Continental you can book any of the *A carriers. AA is in an alliance with BA but BA tends to have very high "fuel surcharges" depending on where you are going. As you can see, there are pros and cons to the various programs.

A couple of very good web pages to read are the following:

http://www.frugaltravelguy.com/
http://www.freefrequentflyermiles.com/index.htm

Good luck.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
December 28, 2011 3:37 am  

Hi miles and smiles/deant,

Thanks for the feedback. I'm very happy that I came here first and didn't get the SW card. Makes sense. Also I didn't get the chance to check on my credit but I definitely will tomorrow. I have the most points with Delta (a little over 7K) but I have heard that its hard to redeem points. I just got an offer today from Continental which was 50K points after the first purchase. That would be a good one right? I was also thinking about AMEX Platinum. only have about 3K points with them. BTW, what is *A carriers? And does AA stand for American Airlines? Sorry for all of the questions. One of my goals is to try to use points to travel overseas next year...which I've never done before. I'm hoping I can make that happen.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
December 29, 2011 1:51 pm  

kfran227, post: 1089861 wrote: Hi miles and smiles/deant,

Thanks for the feedback. I'm very happy that I came here first and didn't get the SW card. Makes sense. Also I didn't get the chance to check on my credit but I definitely will tomorrow. I have the most points with Delta (a little over 7K) but I have heard that its hard to redeem points. I just got an offer today from Continental which was 50K points after the first purchase. That would be a good one right? I was also thinking about AMEX Platinum. only have about 3K points with them. BTW, what is *A carriers? And does AA stand for American Airlines? Sorry for all of the questions. One of my goals is to try to use points to travel overseas next year...which I've never done before. I'm hoping I can make that happen.

So I checked my credit and its excellent! Which card should be my first?


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deant
(@deant)
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 3163
December 29, 2011 4:18 pm  

With an excellent credit rating, and assuming you have not applied for any cards in the last few months, use the following strategy.

1. Look and see when the Continental offer you received expires. IF it expires in Feb. I would hold off and apply for that a few days before expiration. If it expires in Jan., I would apply for it first and then in Feb apply for the Sapphire card.
2. Apply for the Chase Sapphire card now. You can find the 50K sign up bonus link on many blogs. The 50K points is after $3K in spending in 3 months so make sure you can make the spend requirement. One of the blogs I like is www.frugaltravelguy.com . The reason for applying for this card is that the 50K points can be transferred 1:1 to United / Continental and you don't know when the bonus will change.

Between these two cards, it will give you over 100K miles on United / Continental. More than enough for a Saver coach seat to Europe. However remember that award seats are capacity controlled so you will need flexibility in your trip planning.

Both of these cards are from Chase so that will limit what you can do with Chase for the next few months.

The next card I would probably apply for, in about late March or April, would possibly be the Hilton cards. This would start you on your way to getting free hotel nights. In April you could probably apply for both the Citi Hilton card and the AMEX Hilton card. That would give you a few free nights (depending on where you wanted to stay of course).

As for your other questions, *A stands for Star Alliance. Most airlines are part of an alliance (Star Alliance, One World, etc.) and you can book awards (subject to availability) on the partner airlines. For example United / Continental is part of Star Alliance so you can book awards on Lufthansa, ANA, US Airways etc.

Hope this helps.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
December 29, 2011 8:39 pm  

deant, post: 1092547 wrote: With an excellent credit rating, and assuming you have not applied for any cards in the last few months, use the following strategy.

1. Look and see when the Continental offer you received expires. IF it expires in Feb. I would hold off and apply for that a few days before expiration. If it expires in Jan., I would apply for it first and then in Feb apply for the Sapphire card.
2. Apply for the Chase Sapphire card now. You can find the 50K sign up bonus link on many blogs. The 50K points is after $3K in spending in 3 months so make sure you can make the spend requirement. One of the blogs I like is www.frugaltravelguy.com . The reason for applying for this card is that the 50K points can be transferred 1:1 to United / Continental and you don't know when the bonus will change.

Between these two cards, it will give you over 100K miles on United / Continental. More than enough for a Saver coach seat to Europe. However remember that award seats are capacity controlled so you will need flexibility in your trip planning.

Both of these cards are from Chase so that will limit what you can do with Chase for the next few months.

The next card I would probably apply for, in about late March or April, would possibly be the Hilton cards. This would start you on your way to getting free hotel nights. In April you could probably apply for both the Citi Hilton card and the AMEX Hilton card. That would give you a few free nights (depending on where you wanted to stay of course).

As for your other questions, *A stands for Star Alliance. Most airlines are part of an alliance (Star Alliance, One World, etc.) and you can book awards (subject to availability) on the partner airlines. For example United / Continental is part of Star Alliance so you can book awards on Lufthansa, ANA, US Airways etc.

Hope this helps.

Nope I haven't applied for a credit card in about 8-10 years. Unless department store cards count..that would be about a year or so. I've heard great things about Sapphire...definitely on the list! Thanks for the hotel cards tips. I will look into those as well. BTW, failed to mention that I will get my fiance to sign up as well. He also have excellent credit but we will double check before applying.

You didn't say anything about the AMEX Plat. Should I stay away?

What do you mean by awards seats are capacity controlled? Does that mean that the airlines only provide certain amount of seats to be purchased with points?

Here's the deal about the Continental offer. It expires Jan. 21. So as you said I will reply for it ASAP.

Your Cardmember benefits include:

50,000 bonus miles after you use your Card the first time — enough for two round-trip reward tickets2

10,000 bonus miles each calendar year when you spend $25,000 on your Card3

NEW: Priority boarding — board Continental and United flights early, ahead of general boarding4
NEW: Redeem miles for any seat, any time — if seats are available for sale, they can be redeemed with miles at the EasyPass® (or equivalent) reward level5
NEW: Reward seat upgrades for Elites6
Free first checked bag for you and a companion each time you fly Continental or United (a savings of up to $100 per round trip)7
Two miles per $1 spent on tickets purchased from Continental and United, and one mile per $1 spent on all other purchases3

Two passes to United ClubSM (formerly Presidents Club®) every Cardmember anniversary8

My concerns: $25,000 each calendar???! I guess this is when I will cancel?


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deant
(@deant)
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 3163
December 29, 2011 9:34 pm  

There are typically 2 types of award seats. Saver and Anytime. Saver awards are capacity controlled and may be very limited. Anytime awards, which are typically twice the price of Saver awards, allow you to book basically the last seat on the plane.

On the Continental card, I would not bother with the 10K points at $25K spending - unless you have massive spending and can meet all sign up bonus spending.

On the AMEX Plat, it would just be lower on my priority list. Nothing wrong with it but I just feel there are better options right now.


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misterbwong
(@misterbwong)
Silver
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 327
January 4, 2012 11:51 pm  

kfran227, post: 1092999 wrote: You didn't say anything about the AMEX Plat. Should I stay away?

Don't have much to add to what deant has already said but I wanted to mention that the one (only?) major con of the Amex Plat is the yearly fee (~$500). If you can't get more than $500 worth of benefits from it (lounge access, $200 airline reimbursement, global entry reimbursement, various elite programs, etc), the card isn't worth it to you.

deant, post: 1093060 wrote: On the AMEX Plat, it would just be lower on my priority list. Nothing wrong with it but I just feel there are better options right now.

deant: Just wondering...what do you think are better options?


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deant
(@deant)
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 3163
January 5, 2012 12:32 am  

misterbwong, post: 1106051 wrote: Don't have much to add to what deant has already said but I wanted to mention that the one (only?) major con of the Amex Plat is the yearly fee (~$500). If you can't get more than $500 worth of benefits from it (lounge access, $200 airline reimbursement, global entry reimbursement, various elite programs, etc), the card isn't worth it to you.

deant: Just wondering...what do you think are better options?

Based on what I believed to be kfran227's goals, I think the Chase Sapphire card is a very good opportunity. This gives 50K points that can be transferred to various programs including UA / CO. This would add to kfran227's pool of UA / CO miles (they had the targeted CO offer).

As for hotels, Hilton is also a very good program. You can get about 80K points without any real problem (Citi and Amex).

Another great opportunity is the Chase Hyatt card. 2 free nights anywhere after $1K in spending.

Also don't forget about the "cash" programs like the AARP card that gives 5% cash back on everything for the first 6 months. Our daughter was doing some major house remodeling and got the card. Saved her thousands of dollars. You don't need to be a senior citizen to apply for the card - just become an associate member.

All of the above have the first year fee waived (except Hyatt which has a $75 fee). The Hyatt fee is well worth it since you are getting upwards of $1,000 value.


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Scottrick
(@scottrick)
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 2614
January 14, 2012 7:37 pm  

I know many people on MilePoint have already seen the links in my signature, but if anyone is interested, I started a new blog last week. Some of my first posts were a series of walkthroughs on using ITA, and I'm planning similar walkthroughs on other travel tools that newbies might find helpful.

Part 1: Introduction to using ITA
Part 2: Advanced routing language
Part 3: Other ITA features

Thanks for listening. Shameless plug is now over. 😉

Check out my blog: TravelCodex.com


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Arooj
(@arooj)
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 2
March 4, 2012 2:27 pm  

Im new here , I wana know what is the main purpose of this website?


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deant
(@deant)
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 3163
March 4, 2012 5:04 pm  

Arooj, post: 1256108, member: 69235 wrote: Im new here , I wana know what is the main purpose of this website?

Welcome to MilePoint. Have a look around.


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deltagoldLass
(@deltagoldlass)
Silver
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 514
March 5, 2012 12:31 am  

Hi from ist soon going

6:25 am ist Cdg
7:10 pm. Cdg JFK
Who knows af flt #s plz I'm code share on dl
Thanks:)

GM [SIZE=1"> LOEWS HOTELS platinum; marriott silver[/SIZE">
EMBRACE DIVERSITY!!!!!!!!! PAY IT FORWARD 🙂


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airshadow
(@airshadow)
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 1260
March 5, 2012 12:53 am  

deltagoldLass, post: 1257428, member: 61781 wrote: Hi from ist soon going

6:25 am ist Cdg
7:10 pm. Cdg JFK
Who knows af flt #s plz I'm code share on dl
Thanks:)

AF 2391
AF 8


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KyRoamer
(@kyroamer)
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 3443
March 7, 2012 12:14 pm  

MilePoint's Kiva Do is Friday and Saturday. Make a loan. Join if not a member. Use a referral like mine http://www.kiva.org/invitedby/michael8602 (I get nothing) and you may get your first loan free. See http://milepoint.com/forums/threads/limited-free-offer-free-trial-25-kiva-loan-for-new-kiva-members.30374/

Have a great day. 🙂

Gold Diamond Platinum Platinum Platinum Centurion


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deltagoldLass
(@deltagoldlass)
Silver
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 514
March 7, 2012 9:05 pm  

KyRoamer, post: 1264640, member: 7484 wrote: MilePoint's Kiva Do is Friday and Saturday. Make a loan. Join if not a member. Use a referral like mine http://www.kiva.org/invitedby/michael8602 (I get nothing) and you may get your first loan free. See http://milepoint.com/forums/threads/limited-free-offer-free-trial-25-kiva-loan-for-new-kiva-members.30374/

Thanks! I shall
🙂

GM [SIZE=1"> LOEWS HOTELS platinum; marriott silver[/SIZE">
EMBRACE DIVERSITY!!!!!!!!! PAY IT FORWARD 🙂


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