Brand new and looking for advice

Discussion in 'Newbies' started by red259, Jun 13, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. red259

    red259 New Member

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    Hi all, I am new to the forum and I am looking for advice on which FF/hotel programs I should join. Background is that I am based in NYC so have access to a number of airlines. I currently have a Chase Freedom card and intend to obtain a Sapphire Preferred in Jan. I tend to rent from avis. My goals for future trips are mostly international Turkey/Greece, China, Japan, Argentina/Brazil. Through avis when I rent I can have points put into specific FF programs but I am not sure which ones would be ideal for my future needs. Also, I have some domestic hotel stays coming up and I am wondering what hotels may be best to focus on in order to build up accounts. I am trying to plan out my strategy so that all my points are going in the same direction. Any advice on which programs are best would be appreciated. Thanks!
     
  2. tom911
    Original Member

    tom911 Gold Member

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    I've been to all your destinations with AA or One World partners, but that may not be ideal for you. The one thing you need to sort out, being that elite levels and benefits differ per carrier, is how much you intend to fly each year and what your home airport will be. At 100K AA offers some excellent benefits,which include 8 international upgrades good on AA metal on any fare, subject to availability, and even at 50K they're not bad (100% bonus miles versus 50% at UA, for example).

    If your airport of choice is Newark, though, AA is not very strong there as it's a UA hub.

    Hotel programs will drive you crazy. I do primarily Hyatt in the U.S. and Priority Club outside the U.S. Priority Club has recently raised redemption rates, though, so a 25K hotel is now 35K and some of the value is gone. I just did 4 award nights in Perth, Australia, booked at the old 25K rate, and saved $350 a night. As with airlines, you have to sort out how many stays or nights you intend to have with a hotel program to sort out what is best for you. Associated credit cards can be a good value (Hyatt gives you two nights anywhere in the world with theirs--that can be $1,000 a night worth of hotel). Priority Club gives you 80,000 points which could cover 2-4 nights depending on property.
     
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  3. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    If you plan to stay with the Chase UR redemption, you should try to stick with UA and Hyatt. Priority Club or Marriott are good hotel backup since Hyatt footprint is small. I would try to get teh Sapphire Pref ... and eventually get the Hyatt/Priority Club cards as they give you one free night a year for the AF.
     
  4. maksim

    maksim Silver Member

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    I will add. I am in central nj, however when I fly, I tend to fly Philly as it is cheaper. And in Philly, delta is typically cheapest...

    So who pays for trips? You or boss?
     
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  5. red259

    red259 New Member

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    I'll be paying.
     
  6. maksim

    maksim Silver Member

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    Back to a computer so I can actually type. =)

    In that case, since you are paying, take a look at the airports you are flying from, to see who has the most competitive rates.

    We are in Central Jersey, and even though Newark is closer, it is on the whole, quite a bit more expensive than Philly. As I am also involved in the firearms world, I will sometiems fly with guns, so I much prefer PHL.

    PHL is by all means a US Airways stronghold, however what I found over the past 2 years, Delta has the lowest rates out of PHL to most destinations I look, and for that reason, I am focusing on Skymiles. Only downside is most flights from PHL are via another Delta Hub, which I do not mind.

    If I was not paying for my own tickets, yeah, I would fly US non stop, or United out of Newark.

    So, just another point of consideration.
     
  7. JellyFish

    JellyFish New Member

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    Yes, Marriot and hilton, well, if you afford it anyway.
     

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