Hi everyone! Looking for help. I have a goal, I just don't know where to start!

Discussion in 'Newbies' started by breakfrom9to5, May 15, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. breakfrom9to5

    breakfrom9to5 New Member

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    Here's the gist: My wife and I currently live in Utah. We have a 10 month old baby girl, and we're thinking of moving to live in Spain for about a year, in maybe a year and a half. That would be 2, maybe 3 one-way tickets (if our baby is old enough). We have decent credit scores (730-40 ish). I know that it's possible to get that many points, even if it's only taking advantage of credit card offers. I just want to be pointed in the right direction.

    With this trip in mind, what would be the ideal alliance to choose? How can you combine points from different credit card offers? What's the best path I should take?

    Thank you so very much for taking time out of your day to help me do this right!
     
    gconnery likes this.
  2. satman40

    satman40 Gold Member

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    I would not want to tell a credit card company My goal is a one way trip out if the country.
     
  3. ffitalia

    ffitalia Silver Member

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    Hello and welcome.
    For Spain probably best option is OneWorld Alliance, because, Iberia, Spanish airline is OneWorld member, like British and American Airlines (for all member see official OneWorld page . So AA is probably best option for US.
    For credit card... I do not know the US current offers (I'm italian)... but start from here
     
  4. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    If you do AA offpeak I think EU is 20k?

    So what you'll need is 60k ... easily done considering the plethora of AA cards (Citi Exec 100k (not sure if it still alive) or get an AA (30k) + SPG Amex (then xfer to AA) ... Or US Airways 40k ...
     
  5. gconnery

    gconnery Silver Member

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    Yup. Both you and your wife should apply for the current Citi AA Executive offer. 100K miles after $10k spend in 3 months. But that's $20K in spend which might be more than you can handle without some Manufactured Spend. Anyway, if you did apply for these you'd end up with 220K AA miles which you could use on One World flights. However, you'll have two AA accounts each with 110K miles which you won't have an easy way to combine, so that may or may not work for you. Check the miles cost for the flights you want and see if those two alone will cover it. If not, you could supplement with a couple of Barclay US Air cards with 40,000 miles each which in this time frame should be combined with AA (they're merging) for $89 and no spend. Or 8 days after the Citi AA Exec applications try for a Citi AA Platinum VISA. Not sure what the best current offer for that one is. Sometimes its 50K but I have a feeling there aren't any of those available right now. You might also want to look into where you'll fly to Spain FROM. Perhaps getting there from Utah is too expensive but you can get a flight from New York or Chicago that's cheap enough. If so you'll need "positioning" flights that perhaps could be on a different airline or alliance--maybe Southwest or United or whatever. If so look into getting some of those points as well.
     
  6. mattsteg
    Original Member

    mattsteg Gold Member

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    For 2-3 one-way coach tickets, the main consideration is to make sure that you are getting miles from programs that can do 1-way tickets (US can't, although AA can so this is most likely to change by the time you redeem. Delta can't now but will change in 2015.) It is also useful to check which carriers charge fuel surcharges on redemptions (and how much those are). Also, do you have plans/desires to fly other places while there? What about getting back to the US eventually? Getting the points is relatively easy whether in coach or in business/first, but easier while in the US. I'd aim to get the points for the return flight also.

    How flexible will you be on when you make the trip? To be honest I think you may be getting less feedback because you can do this easily with most major mile programs, as long as you plan and have some flexibility. Would you be flying out of SLC?

    All options have some drawbacks. AA will assess fuel surcharges on many partner flights. US does not yet allow one-way bookings. Delta has iffy availability and strained partner relations. UA has higher prices for partners (but coach isn't an issue).

    AA you can get 100k with 1 application and 10k spending in 3 months. the US credit card also would likely end up as AA miles eventually, and has no minimum spend. Delta you can get points from DL amex and also amex MR. UA you can get points from the UA cards and also Chase Sapphire and Ink.

    Even flying blue promo awards transferred from amex could be an option.

    I would choose one program to get enough miles in and get those first, but after than pick 1-2 backup programs (especially transferable points like amex and chase) and pick up enough points there too if you have the time/resources to do so. Then you are fully covered!
     
  7. breakfrom9to5

    breakfrom9to5 New Member

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    Thanks everyone for your help!! Quick question. There's no way we'd be able to spend 10k in 3 months, I know that in the past there have been ways of artificially spending that amount, anyone know of any good tricks? Thanks again.
     
  8. LarryInNYC

    LarryInNYC Gold Member

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    The easiest thing is to simply move spending after the three month period forward into the three month period. You can do that pretty easily:
    • Many people you pay bills to (like utilities) will happily accept advance payments and leave the extra money on your account as a positive balance.
    • Vendor-specific gift cards are generally purchasable with credit cards. You can simply buy Amazon gift cards and load the credit from them to your Amazon account, then spend the money down when you need to. There are plenty of other vendor-specific gift cards for places where you might well wind up spending a lot of money (Home Depot, for instance).
    The problem with moving spend up like this is that if you're planning on getting another credit card with minimum spend in the next quarter, you'll have all this saved-up spend. If you're planning to go invest heavily in credit cards you'll want to look up manufactured spend, which is the concept of spending money on your credit card in such a way that you get the money back. Sending money ($1K per month without fees) via Amazon Payments is an example, as is buying "money" (money card reloads from Vanilla network or PayPal) and turning it into money orders is another.
     

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