Are you going for the $30K Chase 2-4-1 in 2012?

Discussion in 'British Airways | Executive Club' started by SFOPeter, Nov 25, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. SFOPeter
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    SFOPeter Silver Member

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    I currently have 175K Avios points. If I spend $30K on the BA Chase card next year, with the 1.25 conversion would have 212K points and another 2-4-1 voucher. Alternatively could just use the 175K as-is, round of from Amex as needed, and go back to using my Amex SPG and Chase United cards. Had good results for 2010 and 2011, going to Mumbai in F this New Years, and then LHR in F July 4th 2012.

    Am wondering with all the changes what the rest of you in a similar situation are going to do.

    [Apologies to the BA folk that are tired of us Chase Yanks!]

    SFOPeter
     
  2. JohnDeere19
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    JohnDeere19 Gold Member

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    I'm based in a east coast location that allows me to fly to LHR direct then on to their wherever they fly and think the 241 is a great deal to get to western Europe. I've already gotten mine for 2011 and may go for another one in 2012 depending on what other CC bonuses come out that require my spend. For me, it's the best way to justify the high taxes and fees that come with the ticket.
     
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  3. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    I am in a similar situation with about 150k miles in my account, 130k in my wife's and the potential for Amex or Chase UR transfers to top off. So far I have not used the 2-4-1 feature -- $30k would be about 60% of my annual credit card spend. I am thinking about what to do for 2012. I am leaning towards dropping the BA card, but need to think through our travel plans for the next 12-24 months to see what makes most sense. Like you (?) I am based at SFO, so no cheap/quick east coast trips to LHR on BA.

    Hey, my browser's url shows "milepoint" -- seems to be a site to talk about miles and points ;)
     
  4. TheBeerHunter
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    TheBeerHunter Silver Member

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    My husband and I (based near SFO) both hit our spend last year and he will hit his again this year, but after this we will ditch the BA card; me for my Sapphire, Mr. for his Gold Amex.

    OP, I got something in the mail a bit ago about how without registration I would earn 2 points per dollar (I think?? Didn't pay much attention since I don't use this card anymore) -- I don't know of that offer changes your opinion at all...

    Glad we booked at least one of the 2-4-1s before the 'avios' change...
     
  5. Tivoboy
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    Tivoboy Milepoint Guide

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    I just hit my 30K early this year, wanted to try and push it out to mid-december, but it hit. I end up putting about 100K on cards (business and personal spend) so try to manage my BA spend carefully, with remainder on another chase and AMEX cards. I'll still try and hit the 30K spend next year on BA though. I think if one CAN use the 2-4-1 for an int'l C or F ticket it is very worth it.
     
  6. SFOPeter
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    SFOPeter Silver Member

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    Have thought about this a bit more and done some calculations based on the effective price/mile of the fuel charges, since you can use that money to just buy miles. For reference, I paid $1800 for 2 F SFO-LHR-SFO for this coming summer. I am not complaining - it all worked out because of the 100K bonuses before. Now working thru whether it is worth it to continue without a bonus.

    For 2 J tix US West-LHR:
    Spend: $30K = 37,500 miles a 1.25m/$
    Transfer from Amex/Chase = 62,500
    At surcharge fees of $1,500, the second ticket is effectively $.015/mile for 100K miles

    So from the West coast it is not the best deal as there are plenty of ways to get miles for $.015/mile on S* and plenty of programs that will do US-LHR for 100K miles/ticket and no fuel surcharges. Net net, 100K miles + $1500 for 2 tix.

    For 2 J tix US East-LHR

    Spend: $30K = 37,500 miles a 1.25m/$
    Transfer from Amex/Chase = 42,500
    At surcharge fees of $1,300, the second ticket is effectively $.01625/mile for 80K miles

    So as others have noted, from the East coast it is an OK deal because the 80K saves you 20K (although you can get that from ANA/VS it is a pain). The effective price/mile for the second ticket goes up to $.016 which again is very high, but offset by the 20K savings. Net net, 80K miles + $1300 for 2 tix.

    SFOPeter
     
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  7. Andyandy
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    Andyandy Gold Member

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    I just cancelled my BA visa, but I have a 241 cert from last year and 200k Adios miles in the bank. Looking at redemptions, the surcharges are killing me. $ 1600 for two in F TATL. I much prefer my *A and Skyream (typo, but on reflection, I'll leave it) redemptions that usually cost 1/4 as much. I guess I'm spoiled.
     
  8. Toula
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    Toula Gold Member

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    I am on the fence about this one. Just back from doing a 241 in FC and have to say the experience left me totally underwhelmed. I have always been a fan of BA and their service, but the experience we had this time around has left us with the feeling we don't care if we ever fly with BA again. One thing I do know is I would not waste the additional points to jump from Biz to First as the First experience with BA is very average.

    That said, I do feel like we got good value for money paying $1800 in taxes and surchages as an economy class would not have been much less dollar wise.
     
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  9. Tivoboy
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    Check the T&C's, I THINK it used to be you had to still be a card holder to use the 241, but I could be wrong.
     
  10. Tivoboy
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    Tivoboy Milepoint Guide

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    Was this old first or new first?
     
  11. Toula
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    Toula Gold Member

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    Half and half. New on the way out, old on the way back.

    Our experience coming back was the nail in the coffin. FC checkin took forever as staff were too busy chatting on their cells phones or to each other. Priority tags were only put on luggage because we asked. I asked about the lounge and the response was to go thru security and ask one of her colleagues. Of course didn't tell us we could go thru Fastrack. On board, service was mostly good, though food is only average. I asked for a snack to be told there was no food available I needed to go back to business class and raid the trolley. Of course there was hardly anything there as they couldn't believe how low the catering was on the flight. Then miraculously they found a whole tray of crisps that they had missed before. When there was a change in staff I was told by the oncoming staff member that of course there was food, did I want sandwiches or pastries. Never had anyone offer to make up the bed or even have the offer of a pillow or a quilt the entire flight.

    Maybe I have been spoilt by my experiences with Cathay. All I know is when I win the lottery the list of airlines that would actually see any of my money for premium cabins is shrinking fast.
     
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  12. Tivoboy
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    Tivoboy Milepoint Guide

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    In our lifetime we have seen the RISE and the FALL of the jet age.
     
  13. Globaliser
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    Globaliser Silver Member

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    Was this at T5? If so, you know, don't you, that priority tags don't do anything because humans don't sort the luggage?
     
  14. Andyandy
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    Andyandy Gold Member

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    FWIW, the Cert still shows up in my BA account. I don't know whether it's useable.
     
  15. Toula
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    Toula Gold Member

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    I did not know that, thanks for that info.

    However, it does beggar the question, if the tags are not needed why are they sitting there on the desk and why did all the other First Class and Business Class baggage have them? Also if the computer are directing the baggage can they not be programmed so priority baggage comes out first?

    It's a bit like the Fast Track passes for UK Immigration. When the CSD came thru the cabin with the UK immigration forms she had a stack in her hand. She seemed annoyed when I asked for one, it was never offered. She told me at the time our flight was arriving the arrivals hall would not be busy. She was correct. However, I am curious as to why she had the passes and who she intended to give them to, because if she didn't think a passenger in First needed one, who else in the plane would?

    Hmm will need to rethink my 2-4-1 strategy as checked our BA account today and the total was a lot more than expected as BA gave us some points ex-gratia related to compensation for overcharged/delays in refunding a previous cancellation. With what we got and what we spend we could easily do a 2-4-1 in Business for 2 trips. Choices, choices.
     
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  16. Globaliser
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    Globaliser Silver Member

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    When departing from T5, the primary function of the priority tags is to stop first and business class passengers complaining that their bags have no priority tags!
    Operationally, what's required is for the priority bag can to come out and be taken to the baggage belt first. BA's systems are not very robust for this, but they're very (arrival) airport dependent in any event.

    Sometimes, it works well. When flying LHR-JNB, our bags have a very good record of getting onto the belt quickly at JNB.

    But it's not nearly as good at other airports, including arriving at LHR - but then, that also depends on the departure airport having a system in place for identifying priority bags and getting them loaded in a way which allows them to be given priority on arrival.

    So when flying JNB-LHR, our primary question is whether JNB has bothered to load the bags at all. We still have fond memories of arriving at LHR one freezing January morning to find that JNB had forgotten all four of our bags, in which we had packed our winter coats as we didn't want to be lugging them around two airports and one aircraft. And then when the weather really closed in the next day, it meant that it took 10 days for our bags to get home to us.
     
  17. barcelona

    barcelona Silver Member

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    Does anyone know how quickly you get these once you complete the spend requirement in 2012? I recall a delay of a month or two last year.
     
  18. The Terms & Conditions say that you should expect the voucher to post to your BAEC account 4 to 6 weeks after the end of the billing period in which you reach the $30,000 spending threshhold, but my experience (six vouchers in my hosehold) is that the vouchers often show up very soon after you hit the threshhold. They seem to process them in batches ...... my voucher and my wife's voucher appeared on the same day.
     
  19. Tivoboy
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    Tivoboy Milepoint Guide

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    I have found that it is about two weeks after hitting the target and it pretty much posts immediately. While the T&C say different the reality is a bit quicker. I keep trying to delay it as long as possible but it always hits about three weeks before I want it to.
     
  20. SFOPeter
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    SFOPeter Silver Member

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    Well I ended up letting Chase make the decision for me. Called to cancel, they didn't offer any miles to stick around, so cancelled it is. It was the math on just buying miles in a different program with what would go towards the BA surcharges that made the difference for me. Still have 182K avios that I can round up as needed with Chase Ultimate Rewards. That said, I think the BA new F was far nicer than UA/AA. SFOPeter
     
  21. Toula
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    Toula Gold Member

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    I guess one other way of looking at it is taking that $1800 that is the surcharges and seeing how you can make it work in another program to get you two First Class tixs on any carrier. Thinking about it you could probably spend that amount on the US Airways Grand Slam program for 2 participants and get two FC tixs on Lufthansa which sounds rather appealing.
     
  22. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    My $95 renewal fee just hit on 1/1. Time for me to call. With the Chase Sapphire card in my wallet there is really very little reason to retain the BA card.
     
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  23. infamousdx

    infamousdx Silver Member

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    Same here. I'm not going for the 241 since I have other cards to rake up spend with. The only thing keeping me on BA will be a nice retention bonus.
     
  24. Steven Schwartz
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    Steven Schwartz Gold Member

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    I'll be the contrarian. BA gives me flexibility since they continue to have excellent availability compared to many other carriers. The award rates to Europe are as good or better than they were. Certainly fares to Asia are high but a 2-4-1 Companion Pass often lets them price out at the same number of miles as competitors while once again often having better availability. Yes, we felt that both Swiss and Lufthansa FC were a bit better but it is incredibly more difficult to score those seats so really, what are we talking about? Any my experience with UA First left me totally underwhelmed. I'm told that the UA flight attendants are surly because of the way they have been treated by their employer, yet we've read about union issues with BA for a long while and the flight attendants still are head and shoulders above what I experienced in UA First.

    We did 2-4-1 First Class NY to Tel Aviv in May, 2011 and are doing Moscow in June, 2012. And thanks to BA, I still have loads of miles and one more certificate in the bank. I will definitely go for the $30,000 and another certificate but will hold off hitting that mark until closer to the end of this year to extend the expiration date.

    After that, who knows? If availability gets worse on other carriers, I'll keep doing this. We'll see.
     
  25. SFOPeter
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    SFOPeter Silver Member

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    It's the "loads of miles" part that is the differentiator. If I didn't have 200K avios in the bank I wouldn't have even considered staying another year.
     

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