Best Plan for Japan

Discussion in 'Newbies' started by SD92129, Feb 9, 2016.  |  Print Topic

  1. SD92129

    SD92129 New Member

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    Hi-
    My job is requiring me to travel to Japan 4X per year. As I work for the government, I have to use the contract carrier from San Diego to Tokyo. The Government Contract carrier is AA, but I'll be on JAL's 787. We also will be staying at the Intercontinental in Tokyo, 6-7 nights per trip. My goal is to earn enough miles to fly the family (2 adults one child) to Japan for vacation, preferably in Business Class. Or upgrade to business on JAL. I have about 40,000 family miles on JAL now. I am trying to decide on a credit card--was thinking the flexible points option and thus the SPG. I was also going to use my JAL membership to accrue miles because I thought they may be easier to redeem than through a partner (AA). The hotel (Intercontinental) is the third factor. So, what do you veterans think? Thanks in advance for your tips.
     
  2. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    You're looking at 80-100k JAL points per person r/t for USA-Japan in Biz: http://www.ar.jal.com/ar/en/jalmile/use/jal/inter/miles_ar.html. And that's assuming you can find the award inventory. Odds of being able to quickly raise 300k points through the SPG card and your planned travel are pretty low IMO. The Intercontinental is part of IHG and there's a CC for that as well but, similar to the flights, unlikely that you'll get enough points to host your family for a week based on planned activity.

    I'd think about either Y travel, a lot more CCs (where meeting the minimum spend is much harder these days) or some other alternatives.
     
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  3. jonspencer

    jonspencer Silver Member

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    buying an IHG IC Ambassador membership should be a good investment for you :eek:

    using your miles only for the upgrades after booking Y tickets with cash is probably best strategy
     
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  4. iolaire
    Original Member

    iolaire Gold Member

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    What is the partner earning rate for JAL flights credited to AA? AA points are fairly easy to get because there are a few AA cards you can get, and then or at the same time your wife can get the same cards.
     
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  5. SD92129

    SD92129 New Member

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    From what I can see, it is 100% if booked in Y, W, or B; which I will try to do. Unfortunately, I may be forced to book in a G fare (government) which only accumulates at 50%. I think for the family trip, the method may be to just buy tickets and then upgrade with miles...I realize this may take some time, but I want to head down the right path...thanks @jonspencer @Wandering Aramean
     
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  6. Dublin_rfk

    Dublin_rfk Gold Member

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    To paraphrase Lao-tzu. A journey of a thousand miles may begin with a single step. It is much easier journey if the first step is in the correct direction!;)
     
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  7. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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  8. misman
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    misman Gold Member

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  9. SD92129

    SD92129 New Member

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    I just got off the phone with JAL MB and they let me know that that I can not use AA miles to upgrade a JAL metal flight. So it looks like I'll be going with the JAL mileage plan. Now on to credit cards. I am looking at the IHG card as I will be staying at the Intercontinental.
     
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  10. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    You're looking at 35-50k/night for an award at the IC, depending on which of the ICs you stay at. The CC will help a bit but not enough to get a particularly long stay. Like really only 1 full night. Good luck.
     
  11. askmrlee

    askmrlee Active Member

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    I've been getting an 80k sign up bonus offer for the IHG card and I'm sure it's out there somewhere. Most other offers I see are for 60k.

    I know business class is nice but for a family you should seriously consider Premium Economy on JAL. In NRT/HND you have access to the same business class lounge and you'll get a wider seat that puts Economy Plus on UA or Comfort Extra on DL to shame. But yes it's not flat bed like C.

    AFAIK you cannot for now even book a JAL or BA Premium economy seat with AA Miles. So I think your plan to concentrate on JAL mileage bank vs AA is sound. Plus you get family share.

    You could do BA Avios for one PY ticket but you will pay probably $650 or so in taxes just like JAL. But with the 100K sign up bonus on the BA card it's something to consider for one of the tickets.
     

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