I have a Goal, to learn and grow!

Discussion in 'Newbies' started by Guitarman13, Aug 13, 2015.  |  Print Topic

  1. Guitarman13

    Guitarman13 Member

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    Good Day All,
    Just found the site after recently hearing some stories on yahoo about "Flyer Guy" and "points guy"
    very intrigued!!! A few questions if I may.
    1. What do you do with the service fees on all the cards after the first year? Cancel the cards or just pay them with the points?
    2. The goal for me is next oct/Nov/Dec roughly I would love to get back to Hawaii for my/wife's 10 year anniversary, with our 2 (maybe more) kids.
    3. I'm out of Grand Forks, ND so United is the preferred choice, I fly maybe once/twice a year, domestically. Delta could be an option but around here is far more expensive than United.
    4. I understand how they have changed their program to more $$$ based than mileage based so do the mile runs still work? or will just getting the Credit card points suffice" Currently gaining "Status" doesn't concern me....yet, cost vs reward
    5. I'm on the United Dining and what not but they have no restaurants in my area and 1 within 100 miles. just out of luck there? suggestions?
    6. I've seen mention of a FTU, are there videos out there or maybe I just haven't looked hard enough on this site for more education (first day).
    7. Getting cards shouldn't be a problem, it's the How many at a time (to make the spending requirement) I'm liking the SPG, chase sapphire as options, but again, what do you do the next year. I have 2 cards currently, US bank Flex Spending and a Bank of America. Already most of my stuff is on CC as I understand the rewards said but using them for the miles is new.
    8. I guess how do all the "points" work, are they transferred to ie..United to use to flights or transferred to hotels...I'm confused on that "process" as frequent flyer programs don't work as well now?
    Sorry for the length but sometimes I need to see things a few times to let it sink in as it's all new, but I'm exited for this....again Ultimate goal currently is Hawaii next fall for my family.
    Thanks for much in advance!!!
     
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  2. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    Welcome I'll try to help answer as much as I can.

    1) Depends, on some cards the AF is not a big concern if that's your primary card that you earn a majority of our miles on and you use those miles to offset the cost of travel in the long term. (Example:Most of my spending is on the CSP and I earn more than enough points to "cover" the $95 fee) Or the AF has a perk that "covers" the dollar cost with something you think is worth it. (Example: IHG $49 AF = 1 Free night anywhere)
    2/3/ I'm grouping this together ... One year should be more enough time to gather enough points for your family, especially if you + wife apply for cards and meet the min spend req. Getting out of GFK seems difficult ... as Wikipedia lists only DL but you said UA is preferred. So I'm not sure maybe wiki is outdated.
    4) I don't MR anymore and when I did it was because the fare was really cheap and we kinda made it into a quick getaway. I don't believe MR is a viable method anymore on UA/DL because of the Rev based acquisition of miles.
    5) yup. Maybe get a card that will just double your eating out spend (CSP etc.)
    6) I dont know about videos but FTU is a gathering of like minded folks to discuss this hobby of ours with "classes" that talk/teach about certain topics. I've been to 1 and they're informative.
    7) I guess to answer this question, you need to correctly identify what your monthly/annual spend on CC would be and if you can even dive deeper to see what categories you spend the most on it would be even more useful. (gas, eating out, groc, etc)
    8) Miles are miles, points are Bank issued and can be transfered to certain airlines/hotels. Two quick reads you should read are from Frequent Miler. http://frequentmiler.boardingarea.com/2014/06/24/transfer-partner-master-list/ & http://frequentmiler.boardingarea.com/2015/02/26/a-quick-guide-to-transferable-points-programs/
     
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  3. Guitarman13

    Guitarman13 Member

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    Thanks Edebka
    2. Grand Forks, has Delta and Allegiant airlines. I usually will drive to a smaller airport like Devils Lake, ND and possibly Fargo, ND because it's much cheaper. So Wiki is correct, there is no UA in Grand Forks.
    7. I guess if I could find a way to pay my mortgage through CC payments that'd be awesome. However monthly can range from $2500-$4000 depending on the month. I'll have to go back and break it down in my Quicken file which is fairly simple. I don't eat out to much, maybe $100 a month. Most Groc are through Target so I'd be curious if the CC would even acknowledge it as Groc. Gas is probably $120 give/take depending on the month.
    8. I'll make sure to read before getting the cards to know which will work better with my airlines.

    Thanks again!
     
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  4. satman40

    satman40 Gold Member

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    American and United both have flights leaving from Fargo,

    American and United both are much easier credit card miles,

    Working with Citi, and Chase, no problem, many cards to chose from....you can tell I'm not a big fan of Delta,
     
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  5. Pizzaman
    Original Member

    Pizzaman Co-founder

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    Not saying this is a good value, but on paying bills with a credit card, you may want to read this post:

    http://viewfromthewing.boardingarea...cheap-enough-so-it-makes-sense-to-earn-miles/
     
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  6. Pizzaman
    Original Member

    Pizzaman Co-founder

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    To be more clear, depending on what you redeem points for, this may be a good value. Each person has their own value for points.
     
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  7. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    DVL is UA only it seems.
    FAR has AA/DL/UA so that might be your best bet in terms of vareity to start off from. Esp since I see Fargo, ND on AA reduced mileage awards pretty often. So 17,500 AA miles RT instead of 25,000. Depending upon the cost of the paid flight that might help.

    Potentially flying from Fargo to HNL when Fargo is part of the reduced mileage wards will save 7.5k miles from the RT so 37.5k vs. 45k. Not sure if FAR-HNL would count as discount but potentially that's nice. Getting the 75k Citi Executive card would net you 75k AA miles so you + 1 would get the trip for miles.


    Usually mortgages aren't a real payment due to the fees associated with using a CC to pay them plus you're jsut moving the debt around(But i guess the same can be said about MS). It might make sense to pay the fees to meet high spend req on the sign-on bonus. But that's about it.

    $2500 a month is a good number. Target not so much (not classified as a groc as far as I know) ... unless you have a possibly a Chase Ink card, goto Staples/OfficeDepot and buy Target GC to use at target, then its 5 Ultimate Rewards/$.

    At $2500 a month w/o the Ink you might be better off slowing accumulating through sign on bonus. $120/month on gas would equate to 360 TY/MR (depending on the car since you could be getting 3/$ on the right card) and/or 600UR for 3M if you had a Chase Freedom for the 3M Chase has gas at 5x (Now).

    Strickly speaking on getting to Hawaii. The "best value" I've seen/read is using BA Avios from the westcoast gateway cities of LAX/SFO/OAK/SJC/SEA etc. You'll need to find a way to get to those gateway cities but then you could just throw those cities as bookends to the Hawaii portion Look for cards that transfer to BA (So Chase/Amex).
     
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  8. Guitarman13

    Guitarman13 Member

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    Awesome info Edekba! However I need to apologize as I'm learning so please forgive my elementary school knowledge
    What does "TY/MR" mean? UR? MS? BA - I assume is British Airways/lines....
    So many cards, wow, but so far I'm gathering, based on my location, The Chase (Sapphire) and or the AA Citi and then the SPG/Amex would be a great way to start, I appreciate the BA thought but until I get something under the belt, I like simplicity currently. As I've read, the first is the hardest...
    So assuming I go the 3 card route, to start, probably space them out a bit to make the requirements, Do you all (Anyone on here) pay the fees or do you accumulate points and then transfer them to the preferred airline, then cancel the card and wait for the next "hot deal"? I assume if you keep the card you will either get some reward for the fee or just pay the fee using points? Thanks again! This is exciting!
     
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  9. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    TY = Thank You Points (Citi)
    MR = Membership Rewards (Amex)
    UR = Ultimate Rewards (Chase)
    MS = Manufactured Spending

    TY/MR/UR/SPG(to a degree) are like Bank Points that can be transferred to various airlines to book since the "cash" value redemption is not super ideal & usually booking via airline miles you get a better value; but using "cash" redemption gives you far better availability, thus flexibility is key in using miles to get tickets.

    If you can swing the minimum spend why not get all 3 at the same time? If not then yes space them out. Be sure try to use your wife ability to apply/carry/charge the card to get 2 cards of the same type since you're trying to get tickets for her + your kids as well.

    Regarding the AF; see above;

    I have the CSP/SPG + various other cards and I pay the AF or you could always call the company and ask about retention offers where they'll offer points/credit if you meet a short-term spend req. Example: I have a Citi AA card with AF of $89. I called asked and they said spend $1000 in 3 Months and they'll credit the AF back. Thus AF = $0.


    If you're going to get the CSP or the SPG let me know :) I Can send you a referral and I get some extra points as well. ;)
     
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  10. Guitarman13

    Guitarman13 Member

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    Awesome,
    1 quick ?, when you say my Wife's ability, do you mean to apply for a joint account with myself or 2 individual cards and then transfer the points to 1 account? Thanks
     
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  11. pshuang

    pshuang Silver Member

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    Two individual card accounts is usually more lucrative than one card account plus one additional user. Not all programs would allow you to combine the points or miles into a single account, but it's not a requirement to do that, you can redeem for a ticket out of your account and redeem for a ticket out of her account. Combining is valuable when you need a higher total of points to redeem for a single more expensive award.
     
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  12. satman40

    satman40 Gold Member

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    One great thing about husband and wife accounts,is one way she pays, the return you pay..

    Done it more than once,, when the other one stays home
     
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  13. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    2 Individual accounts, since that way you'll get the sign on bonus twice (if you spend can meet the minimum spend of course) which you'll need to get yourself + wife + kids ... you'll need all points you can get.
     
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  14. satman40

    satman40 Gold Member

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    My wife and I rotate WN CP....

    Next year my turn ready for the churn...
     

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