Disloyal Newbie in california is confused

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Miles/Points' started by nolamom, Oct 23, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. nolamom

    nolamom Silver Member

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    Hi there.

    My main airport is SFO (sometimes STS for AS flights). Fly frequently on WN, but have not obtained elite status since daughter just moved to NOLA earlier this year.

    Will probably fly 42K miles in 2012, mostly SFO-NOLA, SFO-Cancun, and hopefully SFO-CDG, the latter with hubby who is not as interested in the FF game. [We both have good credit, and I am self-employed so could rack up quite a few more miles with credit cards + bonus points. I use Award Wallet to track.]

    Here is where I need help on strategy:

    1) I have a sense that *A is the way to go with the upcoming Cancun and Europe trips, although I am not convinced. With that assumption: I was on another FF website and asked what my best bet was to combine/leverage my various *A miles --accrued mostly from credit card offers: CO = < 40,000, US = 40,000+, UA = 0. The advice -- fro the other FF forum member -- was to get onto the Aegean Airlines FF plan, but I just could not grasp the logic. Aegean does not go anywhere I want to travel, so why would I move my "credits" there? I think it had to do with obtaining elite status.

    2) Besides WN, what is my best bet as a second carrier for the frequent SFO-NOLA trips. I am thinking US, or maybe Frontier?

    3) Should I just keep racking up bonus sign-up credit card miles for various *A airlines, and then get Expertflyer when I am ready to book my SFO-CDG flights?

    4) What is the best credit card that does not have high spending requirements but greatest flexibility on miles? I am hearing Sapphire or Ink? I have a friend who loves Starwood?

    Thanks!

    P.S. I hope I am in the right place..the other website may be a bit advanced for my level of savvy and amount of flying/mileage.
     
  2. mowogo
    Original Member

    mowogo Gold Member

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    The bad news is that the only Star Alliance Programs that you can combine miles with are UA and CO, as they are merging. Your US miles will always be US. The reason that some recommended Agean was because you can get Star Gold (larger free bag allowance and lounge access whenever you fly on a Star Alliance carrier) for only 20000 miles flown.

    Realistically, I would recommend you credit and fly on United. Getting status on them will improve your experience and make it comparable to what you experience on WN. In addition, your status would be honored by all Star Alliance carriers, and provides you good options for wherever you may want to travel in the world.
     
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  3. ACMM
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    ACMM Gold Member

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    nolamom mowogo has some good information for you.

    I just wanted to take a minute to welcome you to milePoint!! Enjoy!

    [From my milePoint enabled iPhone]
     
  4. nolamom

    nolamom Silver Member

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    Thank you both!
     
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  5. rwoman
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    rwoman Gold Member

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    nolamom,

    Welcome to MP. It definitely sounds like UA would be the right FF plan, especially with their SFO hub.

    In addition to a MileagePlus earning credit card, you could likely make use of a card that accrues points that can be transferred to your account or can be used to redeemed for tickets that earn miles.

    For the United Forum... LINK

    We're here to help!

    :)
     
  6. nolamom

    nolamom Silver Member

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    Sounds like a sensible plan.

    So I have the CO card: I guess I should apply for the UA card before the merge? I will see what's up in the United Forum. On your second point, I understand the that Sapphire and/or Ink can be redeemed for UA miles. Do either give bonus points for adding the authorized signer?
     
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  7. Scottrick
    Original Member

    Scottrick Gold Member

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    It may be too late to apply for UA's card. The UA Explorer is the same thing as the CO OnePass Plus. If you can find it, try to apply for the UA Select. On the other and, they might announce a new card in the next few months as they consolidate the cards offerred through each program. At this time I am not aware of any additional card user bonuses.

    I agree with everyone else's advice to fly UA/CO. You can get to MSY connecting through DEN or IAH without much trouble.
     
  8. nolamom

    nolamom Silver Member

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    Thanks @ Scottrick. I am not seeing the Select through regular channels, but I can always apply for the UA Explorer business. Not quite as many miles. I will keep searching, though...we'll see what bankrate has.
     
  9. cennas
    Original Member

    cennas Gold Member

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    Welcome to MP nolamom!
     
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  10. Seacarl
    Original Member

    Seacarl Gold Member

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    All good advice EXCEPT that you can fly on US and credit to UA and those miles will still be elite earning on UA. So if US has better fares or better schedule, they are also an option for your trips to MSY or CDG, when you are concentrating on UA. To reach CDG you can of course also fly LH or SWISS from SFO and credit to UA.
     
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  11. bk3day
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    bk3day Gold Member

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    Welcome to MP nolamom!

    Just wanted to add some thoughts to the great advice already given.

    Respecting where to credit flight miles, I agree w/the other that UA/CO is the way to go.

    While Aegean (A3) will get you *Gold faster, if you plan to use miles for premium intl flights, then those tix come with similar bennies. (Lounge access, priority boarding & higher baggage allowances)

    Also, if you think you will likely earn 42,000 EQM by flying, you may want to consider flying a bit more to pass the 50K threshold for those extra bennies that status conveys.

    Flying an extra 8K miles can be done quite easily by simply padding your trip with a few more segment or if you prefer, more creative routings via MRs.

    About credit cards & other ways to earn miles, while starting with ones that earn/transfer into UA is the first priority, don't limit yourself there.

    Promos can come from anywhere & if the effort is worth it, get whatever miles/points you can from wherever you can. They are all valuable assets & You just never know when they'll come in handy.

    For example, l once won a slew of Priority Club hotel points in an easy Twitter contest. Those extra points became a lifesaver & allowed me to stay for free at the IC Paris Grand when the ash cloud shut CDG.

    There are many blogs that focus on CCs & promos including freefrequentflyermiles.com, mommypoints.com & frugaltravelguy.com.

    Sounds like you're on the right track to have a great 2012!
     
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  12. JohnDeere19
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    JohnDeere19 Gold Member

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    Welcome to Milepoint nolamom!

    I agree that if you're planning on flying 42k miles, adding in a mileage run to get to 50k is well worth it imo. If you can find a good one at ~4 cpm, you'd be looking at ~$320 for far more benefits (especially since UA recently devalued their lowest tier). If you can complete a challenge (a shortcut flying x miles in y days to earn status, x varies by status level and I believe y is 90 days on UA challenges), give them a call and see if they'd be willing to offer you any sort of status challenge.
     
  13. nolamom

    nolamom Silver Member

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    Thank you all so much .. I feel both welcomed and emboldened by all your good advice!
     
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