Best way to get to the Maldives from the US using miles

Discussion in 'Newbies' started by erfan, Jul 9, 2015.  |  Print Topic

  1. erfan

    erfan New Member

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    Hello all! Im a newbie here and wanted to get your input. I'm thinking of going to the Maldives for my honeymoon sometime in October 2015. I'm very new to the concept of utilizing credit card bonus miles, but I'm very interested in it.

    From the research I conducted, it seems like AA awards is the way to go using Etihad as the carrier. However, when I look at the dates for the award tickets, it says its all sold out. But when I look at the same trip as 2 separate one way tickets, I have alot more options.

    I was wondering if anyone had any other opinions or advice on which credit cards and airlines to use for this trip. . Appreciate all the help in advance!

    PS. I'm hoping to fly either business or first if possible. I have almost no miles in any program either.
     
  2. eponymous_coward
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    eponymous_coward Gold Member

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    Welcome!

    You're going to need 270,000 AA miles to fly two people round trip from the USA in Etihad C to MLE.
    You would need 360,000 AA miles to do a similar trip in F.

    Given that you have almost no miles, you're going to be applying for a lot of credit cards all at the same time (the "App-O-Rama"), and possibly creating a very large amount of manufactured spend, all in a fairly short time, given that October 2015 is all of 3 months away, and presumably you'll want to confirm flights, hotels and so on before the wedding.

    What you propose can be done but the person in that link who did it is experienced. Also, it may be difficult to do all of that in ONE airline's program. You're probably going to need as many AMEX/Citi/Barclay/whatever products you can get your hands on, and to not be picky about where the miles come from...
     
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  3. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    No miles, fixed dates at a popular and distant destination, apremium cabin, and departure in 3 months? You could be out of luck. At a minimum you would need to rely on luck. Not impossible, but no guarantees.
     
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  4. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    3M to get enough miles to do this will be extremely difficult... unless you mean 10/2016 then it will be a lot easier
     
  5. satman40

    satman40 Gold Member

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    We often take an Award one way,only to return on another airline., sometime this is an easier game to play.

    Be flexible..
     
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  6. erfan

    erfan New Member

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    I'm not too worried about the spend since I have the wedding coming and I can use the cards for that. Also, I dont mind using different airlines at all, I just thought it was the most efficient to use 1. I was thinking of opening 5 or so cards for the signing bonuses, use them and cancel them at around 11 months.

    Honestly even the destination is flexible. While the Maldives would be great, I'm very open to other options too. But, you are all right, I am definitely realizing the difficulties with trying to pull this off in 3 months. Hopefully I can find something nice within this time frame!
     
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  7. eponymous_coward
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    eponymous_coward Gold Member

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    Where are you originating from? Is your goal "someplace tropical and beachy, and getting there in a premium cabin"? Are you looking at using cc spend to cover some of the hotel costs as well?

    FWIW, depending on where you originate/want to travel to, and how much you're spending on the wedding, I could see scenarios where using a cashback card and using the cashback to buy premium class PAID tickets could actually work for you...
     
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  8. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    Exactly ... if your wedding is at a hotel ... getting something like the Citi Prestige/Premier for the 3x then redeeming them for paid AA would be a good option. 1.25 or 1.6? per point and if you don't have enough you can pay for the remainder I believe ... unlike if you don't have enough miles and have to "buy" miles @ 2cpp.
     
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  9. eponymous_coward
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    eponymous_coward Gold Member

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    Yup. And there's no having to hope and pray for award availability on a cash ticket. And if it's the right hotel, you use points gained from the wedding for the honeymoon... with some extra maybe added in from the right credit card. ;)
     
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  10. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    For one of our receptions we had it at a Hilton, and we booked a night so we could move the F&B charges to the room. Ended up with quite a bit of HHonors points :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2015
  11. satman40

    satman40 Gold Member

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    My comments are from my experience,

    We often go to PEK on United, only to return AA, it helps, called being flexible.

    This month UA all the way...

    I have worked the system for many years, since the middle 80s, it is possible, and it does require some skin in the game..

    Write your goals down, they can be achieved

    Good Luck...
     
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  12. erfan

    erfan New Member

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    I like the idea of using the Citi cards to get points. The wedding costs will be around $20,000. We live around Atlanta, so that would be our originating location. In terms of destination, I would have to do more research to find realistic locations (ideally a place like Maldives or Bora Bora)....

    But if my calculations are right, by opening both premire and prestige cards and charging 10k to my cards, and doing the same with my fiance, we should have a total of 260,000 Thankyou points. Which we could either redeem for 1.6 per point with AA or 1:1 for Etihad or other airlines (Depending on where we go)

    I guess the question now is to determine whats the best bang for the buck location to go, and whether to use one of airlines that Citi has a relationship with, or redeem it for AA ticket...

    Also, any advice on any other cards that could be used to supplement these two to get more bonuses? I dont think I would be able to fly in a premium cabin if I were to redeem my points for an AA flight... Unless I'm missing something.

    Ps. After further research, it seems like I have 30k UA miles and 3k AA...
     
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  13. eponymous_coward
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    eponymous_coward Gold Member

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    Neither of those are particularly realistic locations for what you want to accomplish; Maldives we covered, Tahiti is difficult to get to using AA redemptions (only one AA partner, it's obviously a popular redemption, not a lot of last minute space showing up).

    Also, I think you're making a mistake by concentrating on the flight ("I wanna spend a bunch of miles and go really really far and drink Krug all the way") and glossing over the location (things like hotel, activities, etc.). This is backwards when you haven't actually gotten the miles yet (and you won't have the miles for a while, even if you do an app-o-rama, given that your wedding spending has to happen over time.)

    I'd actually strongly consider places like Hawaii, Mexico or Central America. The award availability is likely to be better than Tahiti (and cash tickets should be cheaper), it will take less miles (a LOT less miles), there's plenty of exotic luxury beachy stuff to do (probably have to be careful with hurricanes in Mexico/Central America, but if you stay out of the Atlantic Caribbean that helps), and you'd have the ability to possibly use hotel credit cards/point balances to help with vacation costs. The downside would be you're not going to be sipping Krug and eating caviar on the plane in a lie-flat suite... but the honeymoon isn't all about the plane ride, no? And hopefully there will be other times when you can travel with your beloved very far away, once the mileage balances are more bulked up...
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2015
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  14. satman40

    satman40 Gold Member

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    The connection times are overnight, and flights are limited, Bora Bora, AA over 20 years ago...IST wife used UA, and stayed at Hilton, changed planes in Germany.

    Do it on paper, and put some skin in the game, anyone can play a paper game...

    Apply for a CC, and get your feet wet...start with Credit Karma, find out your Credit Score,

    Weddings and honeymoons are often over rated,,save your money for later...
     
  15. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    I would have to say if you know you're going to be spending $20k in hotel expenses... Do exactly what you said and get 260k TY points asap. Then see what you can use those for either for your honeymoon or maybe your 1yr anniversary. 260k TY equates to about $4000 in AA flights so that's not a bad amount.
     
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  16. satman40

    satman40 Gold Member

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    That is good advice, but $4,000.00 will not buy you a RT FC Ticket to Asia., but it will get you status...

    Both helps,

    I bought a canon 60D with points once.

    All this depends on the best use for the points, for the person...

    At the moment I have almost 2 MM with AA.

    Erfan.... needs to decide what is best for him, but I have seen some good suggestions.,when I started, Internet was almost unheard of...you lucky dogs ....
     
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