Chase sapphire preferred and Citi Thankyou Premier

Discussion in 'Other Credit Card Programs' started by jumbo_cards, Nov 8, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. jumbo_cards

    jumbo_cards Silver Member

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    I'm actually curious on why there are many posts and interests about the Chase sapphire versus Citi thankyou.

    I'd like to start off saying that I've had the Citi TY premier card since this summer. I've looked at both cards in detail... but for frequent fliers like myself, I not sure why would I ever use chase sapphire.

    I know there are immediate benefits with sapphire that you don't get with citi,
    eg, constant 7% bonus (citi has a 5 year accumulation that tops off at 5% I believe).
    lower annual fee and ability to transfer points; lastly, some might say better customer service.

    From my perspective the only positives I can gain from this card is the 7% bonus, and the lower annual fee.

    The main reason I stick with citi thankyou premier is the fact I get 1 flight points per mile each time I fly. These flight points get transferred by 1 to 1 TY points. Meaning, if I have 5000 flight points, and I earned 1000 TY points, then I'd have 2000 TY earned in total. In other words, frequent fliers like me will most likely earn 2 points per dollar everywhere.

    Compared this to chase sapphire preferred, I only get 2x on airfare purchases and dinning.

    In addition, both card allows you to buy revenue tickets at a discounted points than normal (I haven't used chase's travel reward site, but I was able to find flights that I want through citi's reward travel site). I've recently bought 2 one way tickets from SEA->PUJ for next may just bit over 50k points total on CO H booking class, pretty good I think.

    The last point I want to make the benefit of transferring points. I'm not sure why I want to do that when I can buy revenue tickets at a discount from the card's travel vendors? I would certain choose to use 25k points towards a revenue ticket than moving it over to UA and only able to redeem reward.

    So in conclusion, I think Citi TY premier wins by a long mile for frequent travelers. I'm just surprised that there isn't much talk on this card given the nature of this forum :)

    Let me know your thoughts!
     
  2. Scottrick
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    Scottrick Gold Member

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    I recently signed up fro the Citi TY Premier, and my girlfriend signed up for the Chase Sapphire Preferred (I just got another Chase card and couldn't join her). I haven't decided yet what I'll use the TY points for.

    I'm not sure what you mean by 1 flight point per mile flown. Maybe its the math, which doesn't seem to add up. Are you referring to the usual frequent flyer miles? So if I paid $500 for a 5,000 mile flight on UA, I would get 500 TY points and 5,000 MP base miles (not include elite bonuses). The paperwork that came with my card says the only bonus is 1.2X for "gas stations, supermarkets, drugstores, commuter transportation, and parking merchants."

    In contrast, if I used the Chase Sapphire, I would get the same 5,000 MP base miles and 1,000 UR points because of the 2X bonus for all travel.

    You make it sound like Citi is keeping track of the distance I fly and giving me an extra 5,000 miles that get converted into 1,000 TY points, but I don't see that anywhere.

    I think here you're making bad use of your points and miles. I've never made a redemption for 25K miles. I am able to find 2 cpm value for my miles (but I work harder for it), and I wouldn't redeem 25K miles for anything less than a $500 domestic fare. When I fly domestic, I don't pay $500. With good planning, I nearly always keep it under $350 unless someone else is paying and usually forcing me to wait while prices go up.

    My miles go toward rewards that cost 100K+ miles. At my 2 cpm assigned value for RDM, that means a business class ticket is costing me $2,000, which may be more than $800-1,200 for coach but far better than $5,000 for paid business. Even if I'm not earning miles for that flight, that's fine. I can earn those miles flying domestic trips at 4 cpm (2 cpm with my 100% elite bonus) and come out even.
     
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  3. RestlessLocationSyndrome
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    RestlessLocationSyndrome Silver Member

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    So for your SEA-PUJ tickets that you purchased, what did you pay in points per ticket and how much was each ticket selling for had you bought them directly from CO or from Orbitz? I think this allows some of us not as familiar with the card to understand the value that you received.

    However, I think the value you are getting are directly related to the cost of the ticket. For those of us who redeem our points for business class travel, this is definitely not the case in that 100,000 pts can get us a business class ticket to Europe which could be worth like $4000 whereas you would only get something like $1,333 in value from those 100,000 points from Citi if I understand the card correctly.
     
  4. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    I just looked at their welcome kit and that seems to be exactly what they do.

    https://thankyoucard.citi.com/uploadedFiles/ThankYou_Premier_Welcome_Kit_10_4.pdf

    You apparently get one flight point for each mile you fly (presumably only if you pay for the ticket with the Citi card?), which then somehow can be converted into Thankyou points (it makes it sound like you first have to earn a matching number of TY points, but maybe I am misreading this). The whole thing is rather convoluted, or maybe I just need more coffee to understand it.
     
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  5. Scottrick
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    Scottrick Gold Member

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    Yes, convoluted. I completely overlooked that in the brochure. However, there are two caveats.

    (1) I don't think the brochure states how many flight points it takes to earn a TY point. From the OP, it sounds like 5:1. I suppose that could be a good deal. If I buy a 6,000 mile mileage run for $180, then I would earn 1,380 TY points vs. 360 UR points.

    (2) The disclaimer reads, "TY flight points are not transferred to your TY member account unless we transfer or have previously transferred an equal or greater number of TY points earned from purchases." So if I want that extra 1,200 TY points from flying 6,000 miles, I have to shift $1,000-1,200 in spending from other cards. Maybe. The wording could also be interpreted as saying I need 6,000 TY points from other purchases.

    Let's be generous in our calculations. Suppose I say I'm buying a $180 ticket to fly 6,000 miles and $1,000 in groceries. If I use the Citi TY card, I get 2,380 TY points broken down as 180 + (6000/5) + (1.2*1000). If I use a Chase Sapphire card only for the ticket and something else with 2X on groceries, then I get 360 UR points + 2,000 other miles/points. Assuming all points/miles have equal value, I get 20 more for using Citi. And this is only with the most generous calculation. If I need to earn 6,000 TY points before transferring 6,000 flight points, Citi easily loses. If I buy a more expensive ticket but fly the same distance, Citi loses again. If we were to assume miles/points do not have equal value, then TY points would take the greatest hit IMO because they cannot be transferred and are not as flexible as, say, UA miles for buying international award tickets. Citi loses a third time.

    I'm not sure 20 more is worth the hassle of dealing with Citi's program. I would have to keep track of two separate point structures to ensure the flight points get converted, and I wouldn't be able to transfer TY points to anyone else for flexibility. I already pointed out that I don't think redeeming TY points for revenue travel is an obvious winner, though I don't deny that it could come in handy in certain cases. The Citi program comes out ahead only in exceptional best-case scenarios.
     
  6. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Most of my travel is with UA and partners and I buy everything I can (at least up to $5000 a year) on united.com with my Chase UA card, since I earn 1 EQM/$ and 3 RDM/$. Plus I don't get a headache keeping track of flight points vs. ThankYou points :)

    KISS, Citi!
     
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  7. Scottrick
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    Scottrick Gold Member

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    Exactly my point. I have the TY card and plan to use it for some gift cards. Then it will disappear. UA Select remains my primary card given that I don't buy much besides groceries and pay bills, though I am tempted by the Sapphire. I will probably apply in March or May when it's safe again. We'll see how my girlfriend likes it and whether I get a job after graduating.
     
  8. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    I actually just yesterday received and activated the Sapphire card. It will likely replace my BA card, which was my primary card for international travel. With so many different cards in my safe/wallet, I think it's time to work on a handy dandy cheat sheet to figure out what card to use for what charges :)
     
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  9. FlyingBear
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    FlyingBear Silver Member

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    Points go 1 to 1. So in your case you would earn 360 TY points assuming you have no other expenses whatsoever. You will earn 6180 points if you had a total of $6000 expenses already transferred in.

    A bit convoluted, but that it is saying that for every mile flown to transfer to TY point, you will have to have a matching TY that came from spending. Any spending, not just flying.

    You'd be getting 2380 points, 180 + 1000 +1.2*1000. The issue with that calculation is that it assumes some sort of a monthly statement or closed period of time for calculation, which in my previous experience has not been true. If you had $6000 of regular spending accumulated, you would get full 6000 TY points out of this flight.

    If you want to put some time frame on this, it means that if you typically fly 25k miles a year on your own dollar, you would get the most bang for the buck if you have $25k spending on the card.

    Another benefit of Citi TY points that I didn't catch being noted is that you can have several cards feeding one account. That means that if you have 2-3 cards with different rewards categories, you can optimize/maximize your TY gains.

    As far as redeeming, there is a 33% redemption for discount for those that have this card
     
  10. Scottrick
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    Scottrick Gold Member

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    I'll have to take your word for it because I don't see where they describe the conversion ratio.

    I understood that. I'm saying it's convoluted that I have to keep track of two different point systems. I understand bonus miles for a certain category. But why should one category (all purchases) influence the amount of bonus received from another category (flying).

    My math is wrong, so thank you for correcting me. In my earlier post it means that the advantage of Citi's TY points drops to 20 from 220. I also didn't mean to imply a closing period accumulated spending. Instead I was providing a best-case scenario that would be required to get full credit for the flying points. The deal is not as great as one might think. If I fly 100,000 miles per year (a lot of us on MP and FT) then I need to spend $100,000 on this credit card to get the bonus points. I think if you are spending $100,000 on a credit card, there are better cards with bonuses in a variety of categories. The Chase Sapphire card, for example, is particularly flexible in what it considers travel expenses.

    My girlfriend and I will fly ~150,000 miles combined this year (on all airlines) and charge ~$25K combined (on all cards). The only thing we don't charge is our monthly rent and her loan payments. This would be a very bad card for us. While I admit I don't have the experience of a high spender, I think if I had that kind of money I could still find a better deal.
     
  11. FlyingBear
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    FlyingBear Silver Member

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    It's just a variation on tiered levels that Discover and Amex had over the years, motivating customer to spend more on the card.

    Yep, that was my point. I fly 75k miles, but barely anything on my own money, so my situation is different and I liked Citi Premier Pass for these same features since I was getting lots of points elsewhere and could redeem at discount while getting occasion bonus from flying.
     
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  12. Espan

    Espan Silver Member

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    I've been mulling over the exact same thing lately...
     
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  13. jblankoh

    jblankoh Active Member

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    I actually posted that exact cheat sheet at Online Travel Review a couple of days ago. You can see it here.

    Hope that's helpful!
     
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  14. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Yes, that post actually trigged my to-do item :) Since my cards differ from yours, I need to create my own custom version. Thanks for putting it together, though.
     
  15. jblankoh

    jblankoh Active Member

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    If you PM me your cards, I'd be happy to add them to the chart. It's possible there's good values that I missed.
     
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  16. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    I think for me it's ultimately a bit more complicated than just picking cards based on their miles/points per dollar. For example, in my case

    - UA Select VISA --> first $5k united.com charges definitely go on this card for EQMs. UA/Star Alliance charges earn 3 RDM per dollar, so those should probably also go on that card.

    - HHonors Amex --> will have to decide at some point if I want to designate $20k in charges to this card to earn/retain Gold status. If so, it will be all groceries, all gas, all drug stores... but that won't get me to $20k in a year, so may need to add other stuff that doesn't give me good earnings on other cards (e.g., insurance payment). But if I expect enough HHonors stays over the course of the year to earn Gold the old-fashioned way, I might change plans midway.

    - CO OnePass MC gives me Primary Car Rental insurance. But very high on the cancellation list for next year.

    Another card I have is the Priority Club VISA, which will likely only see action at IHG properties.

    Citi AA MC -- will be canceled when the fee comes due unless I get a good retention offer.

    SPG Amex vs. Chase Sapphire -- need to work out where they fall.
     
  17. jumbo_cards

    jumbo_cards Silver Member

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    Interesting...

    I do admit that in order for you to take full advantage of the Flight Points you gain from flying, You have to spend equal amount in dollars to get the points. So yes, 25000 FP will require you to spend 25000 dollars to fully redeem.

    I'm still not convinced Sapphire card is better for me. Majority of my expenditures goes into this credit card. Airfare, Groceries and Dinning does not even add up to 30% of that. With the Citi card, I know that 100% of the dollar I put in I will net 2 points. This is because I fly more miles than I can ever spend (hopefully this situation improves :) a year. So for example, say I fly 50k miles this year. All dollars put into this card from 0 to 50k will net me 2 points. 1 from purchase and 1 from the FP. So, say I only manage to spend 25k on my card this year. I'd get a total of 50k points. (I know I 1.2 points on several categories, but let's just keep the math simple)

    Compared to if I had Sapphire, 30% of my 25k annual spending would net me 2 points per dollar. So 7500 dollars will net me 2 points. the rest nets me 1 point. So if my math is correct, that would be 7500*2 + 17500 = 32500.

    In addition, to reply about 25k redemption is bad. I agree, it is not the best redemption.
    My SEA->PUJ ticket would of cost me 350+ dollars, and yes that is not a great price, but I'd say that is the average price for specific date. I can spend more time finding cheap fares and maybe slip my schedule to allow that, but the fact of the matter is, I can't afford to spend that time nor can I afford to move my flight to another day.

    moving the 25k to UA MP for instance doesn't help me at all as 1) I don't usually fly reward tickets, I usually use it on family and 2) there is not available for me on that particular date. Using the 25k for revenue ticket imo is the smarter choice.

    So effectively I look at this card as a 2% reward card with 33% discount on airfare when using the reward. Keeping the math simple, it basically means 12500 dollars of my purchases converts to 25000 TY points which allows me to purchase airfare that would normally cost approx 375 dollars. In comparison with Sapphire, that 12500 dollars of purchase will need to come from dinning, food shopping, airfare only.
     
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  18. jumbo_cards

    jumbo_cards Silver Member

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    I think some of you might think that if you fly 25k this year and gain 25k in Flight points, you MUST spend 25k in purchases or you get NONE of the FP. This is certainly not true. In fact, I think this card will NOT be good for you if you don't flight enough miles but wastes loads of monies on... say, expensive clothing.
     
  19. jumbo_cards

    jumbo_cards Silver Member

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    And I guess to also add, some of you are really good at micro managing your expenses.
    this purchase on card A because it nets me 2%, that purchase on card B because it nets me 3%... etc. I applaud you to be able to continuously do this. I can't, and I'm sure most of us also can't or just can't be bothered.

    2% reward with a 33% airefare discount to me is probably the best all round card that I can put all my purchases on. Effectively, my primary card.

    The only other card I'd be interested is 2% cash back on all purchase which sadly, charles schwab's visa is done for.
     
  20. jblankoh

    jblankoh Active Member

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    The Capital One Spark Cash Business card gives 2% back on all purchases. $59 annual fee, though it's waived the first year. They'll give you $100 when you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months. Apply here.

    The Fidelity Rewards Amex gives you 2% cash back that goes into a Fidelity account. No annual fee on that one. Apply here.
     
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  21. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    If you're using your points on coach tickets, particularly domestic, carribbean, etc. then the straight 2%+ back that you're getting makes good sense. You get miles on the flights, the redemptions are reasonable, etc.

    People that get big value out of Sapphire and ultimate rewards are transferring and picking out high-value redemptions, often ones that they would never pay list price for. 22k points could be redeemed for ~300 in flight with your TY card, but 22k UR points could, for example, transfer to Hyatt to book a hotel room that goes for upwards of 1k a night. With a greater number of points, I could transfe er to BA or CO and book a business or first class award ticket that might otherwise cost thousands or tens of thousands, typically with much more flexible routing rules than revenue flights. Also, if you are earning points/miles in the partner programs through other means, the ability to top off accounts to reach award thresholds is valuable.

    They're not a transfer partner, but I recently booked a pair of business class award tickets using 120k Delta miles each, including travel to Reunion, Maritius, and Paris, plus an overnight to have dinner with friends in Montreal. The revenue price of these tickets was upwards of 14k each. I won't claim that I'd ever spend that, and I wouldn' spend the million-plus TY points it would take to redeem for each ticket either, but that's part of the appeal of award travel to me - spend points on things I would never otherwise consider affordable.

    As Scott said, you really need to assign your own valuation for non fixed-value points based on how you value the experience and the opportunity cost of not using a fixed-value program, and structure your use of the points to meet or exceed that valuation. For a fixed-value card, yours looks like a good one.
     
  22. jumbo_cards

    jumbo_cards Silver Member

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    True, if you consider the non fixed value of Sapphire versus the relatively fixed value of Citi, then Sapphire is a better choice for reasons you also pointed out. Although this is only true if you also micro manage your everyday purchases against several CCs.

    I micro managed before... wasn't worth it for me :(

    Regarding the post with the other cashback cards, yes, I'm aware of them, Fidelity one goes to your account which... well, I'll have to open. And spark card is a business card. I read somewhere that Capitol one "voluntarily" made these cards under the Card Act, but at the end of the day capitol one can also voluntarily pull the consumer protection out.

    That said, these cards are better for me if citi decides to discontinue in the future. my 2% reward (.2% extra on some categories) and 33% airfare discount is enough to keep me happy.
     
  23. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    Personally, I'd rather have 1 sapphire UR or amex MR point than 2 TY points. No need to micromanage - while it can help, my personal priorities and valuation mean I'd rather have double points on a few categories and single points elsewhere with sapphire than your double points everywhere with the TY card. Most of us here intrinsically value miles at 2 cents per mile or greater by chosing them over cashback etc card options.
    If you need the protections of the Card Act, you probably shouldn't be focusing on rewards cards and instead should be looking at low-interest, no fee cards and working to rein in spending. If you're not carrying balances, they generally do not come into play (and you should generally avoid carrying CC balances, particularly on rewards cards that typically charge a bit more interest).
     
  24. Scottrick
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    Scottrick Gold Member

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    You spend less than $625 per month on airfare, groceries, and dining combined (30% * $25,000/year)? Between my girlfriend and I, we spend about $400 per month just on groceries.

    I think the problem here is differences in income and spending patterns. We don't make much, so we don't spend much. Nearly all our purchases are in a few categories that get bigger bonuses like groceries, dining, and travel. Of our combined $25K in annual spending, I'd say over 70% is in these categories, not less than 30%. Because of those bonuses we still get over 50K miles/points using the Sapphire and UA Select cards. For example, $4k for me and $2k for her on UA/CO flights = $6k * 3 = 18,000 miles plus an additional 6,000 EQM using our UA Select Visa cards. Groceries at $100 a week is another $5200 * 2 = 10,400 miles. Here I've allocated only $11,200 out of $25,000 annual spend and already we've earned 28,400 miles plus some EQM. There's still $13,800 to go, and a good portion of that will qualify for other category bonuses.

    But I can only spend so much on groceries and flights. If I had more money and were spending $50K per year, twice as much, I don't think my grocery or travel budgets would double to match. I'd have to be eating lobster and truffles every week and paying for F instead of relying on elite upgrades. Instead the extra $25K would probably be spent on other things, like theater tickets or nicer clothes or paying someone to wash my car. Things that don't earn bonuses. In my case category bonuses from Sapphire and UA Select are great because those are the categories where I spend all my money. ;)

    Also, 2 TY points does not equal 2 UR points or 2 UA miles. I can't buy international F tickets with 135,000 TY points. Nor can I convert them to other programs or transfer them between different people.
     
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  25. FlyingBear
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    FlyingBear Silver Member

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    A relevant question would be: But does jumbo_cards need the F ticket or UA miles? Back when I was heavily invested in TY points, I was using them just for regular flights within US in the economy class at lowest rate possible. They also gave me the flexibility to use any (cheapest) airline in case of emergency, in particular buying tickets for others. So as usual, pro/con depends on the personal needs.

    P.S. Don't forget to add the bonus of still getting FF miles on any airline you redeem TY points on. The math gets fuzzy in no time!
     

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